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Standards


Note: To purchase the PDF version of Standards 2010, click here.

Standards 2010 has been updated as of Spring 2018. To purchase a copy of Standards 2017, click here. The Standards 2017 FAQ can be found here.


Standards 2010: Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher

A Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher is a professional responsible for teaching one of the content or academic areas (e.g., science, mathematics, social studies, or English) at either the middle or high school level. These teachers must teach the content of the discipline and have responsibility for helping students engage in and learn not only the content but also the reading and writing demands of the discipline. Middle and High School Content Classroom Teachers collaborate with reading specialists and other professionals to improve instruction and to modify the physical and social environments as needed.

For certification, a Middle and High School Classroom Teacher Candidate must have the following:

  • An undergraduate or graduate degree with a major in the specific academic discipline
  • Successful completion of content area reading or adolescent literacy courses as part of the degree

Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge

Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher Candidates understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
1.1: Understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
  • Recognize major theories and research evidence of reading and writing processes and development in adolescence, including first and second literacy acquisition and the role of native language in learning to read and write in a second language.
  • Identify and explain the specific reading and writing expectations of their content areas as described in national and state standards.
  • Explain the research and theory of learning environments that support individual motivation to read and write. [For example, choice, challenge, interests, and access to traditional print, digital, and online resources.]
  • Value the scholarship of the reading profession and seek to understand the theoretical knowledge base in relation to their disciplinary areas.
  • Understand the process of identifying and differentiating the range of literacy needs of adolescent readers.
1.2: Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components. Not applicable
1.3: Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students' reading development and achievement.
  • Show fair-mindedness, empathy, and ethical behavior when teaching students and working with other professionals.
  • Use multiple sources of information to guide instructional planning to improve reading achievement of all students.

Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction

Candidates use instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
2.1: Use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
  • Explain how reading and writing relate to their content areas and to local, state, and professional standards.
  • Implement the curriculum based on students' prior knowledge, world experiences, and interests.
  • Evaluate the curriculum to ensure that instructional goals and objectives meet the reading and writing demands of the content areas.
  • Work with other teachers and support personnel to design, adjust, and modify the curriculum to meet students' literacy needs.
  • Support students as agents of their own learning and critical consumers of the discipline.
2.2: Use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
  • Select and implement content area reading and writing instructional approaches based on evidence-based rationale, student needs, and purposes for instruction.
  • Differentiate instructional approaches to meet students' reading and writing needs in the content areas. [Literacy development is an ongoing process and requires as much attention for adolescents as for beginning readers. Literacy demands are expanding and include more reading and writing tasks than in the past (see IRA's position statement on adolescent literacy for more information).]
  • Implement and evaluate content area instruction in each of the following areas: vocabulary meaning, comprehension, writing, motivation, and critical thinking. [Vocabulary meaning instruction should include work with multisyllabic words and the use of affixes and Greek and Latin roots.]
  • Incorporate traditional print, digital, and online resources as instructional tools to enhance student learning.
  • As needed, adapt instructional approaches and materials to meet the language-proficiency needs of English learners.
2.3: Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about various materials and their uses.
  • Guided by evidence-based rationale, select and use quality traditional print, digital, and online resources.
  • Build an accessible, multilevel, and diverse classroom library for their content areas that contains traditional print, digital, and online resources.

 

Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation

Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
3.1: Understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of reading and writing elements of content area assessments and their purposes in assessing student performance.
  • Describe the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment tools and their appropriate uses.
  • Recognize the basic technical adequacy of assessments (e.g., reliability, content, and construct validity).
  • Explain district and state assessment frameworks, proficiency standards, and student benchmarks.
3.2: Select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.
  • Select or develop assessment tools to analyze instructional effectiveness within the content areas.
  • Administer classroom and school-based assessments using consistent, fair, and equitable assessment procedures.
  • Interpret and use assessment data to analyze individual, group, and classroom performance and progress.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and with support personnel to discuss interpretation of assessment data and their uses in responding to student needs and strengths.
3.3: Use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
  • Analyze and use assessment data to plan and adjust instruction systematically and to select appropriate reading materials for use in the content areas.
  • Analyze and use assessment data to evaluate students' responses to instruction and to develop relevant next steps for teaching.
  • Identify and interpret patterns in classroom and individual students' data.
  • Collaborate with reading teachers to identify relevant reading and writing strategies and skills for use in the specific content areas or disciplines.
3.4: Communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
  • Communicate assessment purposes and a summary of results to appropriate audiences (i.e., student, parents or guardians, colleagues, and administrators).
  • Use assessment data and student work samples to discuss implications for the content areas or literacy instruction (e.g., highlight differences in student work samples across a content area).

 

Standard 4: Diversity

Candidates create and engage their students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
4.1: Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity can be used to strengthen a literate society, making it more productive, more adaptable to change, and more equitable.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of urban, suburban, and rural environments on local culture, language, and learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which various forms of diversity interact with adolescent literacy development and content area learning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
4.2: Use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students' knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
  • Assess the various forms of diversity that exist in students as well as in the surrounding community.
  • Provide differentiated instruction and instructional materials, including traditional print, digital, and online resources, that capitalize on diversity.
  • Provide instructional formats that engage students as agents of their own learning.
4.3: Develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
  • Provide students with linguistic, academic, and cultural experiences that link their backgrounds with content area learning.
  • Advocate for change in societal practices and institutional structures that are inherently biased or prejudiced against certain groups.
  • Demonstrate how issues of inequity and opportunities for social justice activism and resiliency in students' communities can be incorporated into the content areas and literacy curriculum.

Standard 5: Literate Environment

Candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
5.1: Design the physical environment to optimize students' use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
  • Arrange their classrooms to provide easy access to books, other instructional materials, and specific areas designed for a variety of individual, small-group, and whole-class activities.
  • Modify the arrangements to accommodate students' changing needs.
5.2: Design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students' opportunities for learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate a respectful attitude toward all learners and understand the roles of choice, motivation, and scaffolded support in creating low-risk and positive social environments.
  • Model and teach students appropriate ways to interact with each other and adults.
  • Create supportive environments where English learners are encouraged and given many opportunities to use English.
5.3: Use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another; discussions, and peer feedback).
  • Understand the role of routines in creating and maintaining positive learning environments for content area learning using traditional print, digital, and online resources.
  • Create and use routines to support instructional and social goals (e.g., regular steps for sharing and responding to stories, formats for reporting, and efficient transitions among activities, spaces, and online resources).
5.4: Use a variety of classroom configurations (i.e., whole class, small group, and individual) to differentiate instruction.
  • Use evidence-based rationale to make and monitor flexible instructional grouping options for students.
  • Model and scaffold procedures, so students learn to work effectively in a variety of classroom configurations and activities.
  • Use various practices to differentiate instruction (e.g., cooperative learning, partner work, and research/investigation groups).

 

Standard 6: Professional Learning and Leadership

Candidates recognize the importance of, demonstrate, and facilitate professional learning and leadership as a career-long effort and responsibility.

Elements Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to
6.1: Demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the factors that influence adult learning, organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2: Display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
  • Display positive reading and writing behaviors and serve as models for students.
  • Display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and use reading and writing to promote student learning.
  • Help students meet the specific demands of traditional print, digital, and online resources required for content learning.
  • Promote student understanding of the value of reading traditional print, digital, and online resources in and out of school.
  • Identify specific questions and goals about literacy and the learning of content and plan strategies for finding answers to questions.
  • Implement plans and use results for their own growth.
  • Are members of professional content area organizations.
  • Demonstrate effective use of technology for improving student learning.
6.3: Participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
  • Recognize the importance of professional development for improving academic learning through reading and writing in schools.
  • Participate individually and with colleagues in professional development programs at the school and district levels.
  • Apply learning from professional development to instructional practices.
6.4: Understand and influence local, state, or national policy decisions.
  • Are informed about important professional issues.
  • Advocate with various groups (e.g., administrators, school boards, and local, state, and federal policymaking bodies) for needed organizational and instructional changes to promote effective literacy instruction.