Assessment of Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of the NASPE Standards

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This study investigated to what degree preservice teachers gained knowledge base of the NASPE beginning teacher standards (1995, 2003). The participants were 12 preservice teachers. Data sources included: (a) curriculum scope and sequence and course syllabi; (b) participants' five written exams on teaching and learning, five lesson plans, one curriculum project, and one reflection paper; and (c) one formal interview with each participant. The interviews were transcribed verbatim for analysis. The multiple data were analyzed using constant comparison technique. Findings included six themes related to six NASPE standards. First, content knowledge, the participants were knowledgeable of fundamental movements, movement concepts, adventure-typed cooperative activities, creative dance, and a few individual and team sports, although some expressed their needs to know more sports in depth. They had adequate knowledge of designing appropriate learning cues. However, they still lacked knowledge of integrating multiple disciplines with teaching physical education. Second, growth and development, they knew how to break down learning tasks into small steps to meet children's needs. They understood how to use task mediation to accommodate individuals' differences in skill levels. Third, management and motivation, they all gained a thorough understanding of establishing rules and routines that promote responsible personal and social behaviors, maximize students learning, and provide safe learning environment. Fourth, communication, although both student teachers and juniors grasped the effectiveness of communication skills such as presenting information precisely, using multiple ways of demonstration along with learning cues, and using age appropriate language, only student teachers described how to associate task presentation to students' familiar information. Fifth, planning and instruction, they demonstrated competency in designing instructional objectives based on content and age group. They all had adequate knowledge of writing a lesson plan consisting of objectives, learning cues, learning tasks, class organization, safety, and closure. They were familiar with a variety of teaching styles and instructional strategies. Last, assessment, the juniors seemed to have a better knowledge of designing rubrics, checklists, and rating scales for assessing students' psychomotor and affective learning than did student teachers because the juniors were currently taking the assessment and evaluation in physical education. The participants attributed their strengths and weaknesses based on the standards to the program structure and the way teacher educators taught content to them.

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