Annual Program Review. History 7-12

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1 Annual Program Review History History Education Program Review Committee: Nancy Dye, Social Studies Coordinating Teacher, CMCSS Stacie Dunn, Social Studies teacher, Rossview High School, CMCSS James Ferebee, Social Studies teacher, Kenwood Middle School, CMCSS Danny Gilkey, retired principal, Hopkinsville Middle School, Christian County Schools, Hopkinsville, KY and Instructor of History, APSU Michael Moseley, Assistant Principal, West Creek Middle School, CMCSS Janice Scott, White House Heritage School, Robertson County Schools Dewey Browder, Chair and Professor History, Department of History and Philosophy, APSU Michèle Butts, Professor of History and Secondary Social Studies Advisor, Department of History and Philosophy, APSU Program Description: Designed to prepare students to teach both United States and World History and Social Studies on the secondary school level, the History Education Program requires teacher candidates to complete American History I and II; World History I and II; eighteen hours of upper division U.S. and World History courses; a middle school methods course; and a high school methods course. In addition, teacher candidates in this program complete one concentration of at least six hours in directed Economics, Geography, or Political Science courses and twelve lower division hours in American Government, World Geography, and Macroeconomics. Candidates in this program also complete the Professional Education minor. Changes in Program: History 4400 has now become History 4950/5950 Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary Schools and a new course History 4410 Teaching History in the Middle School, which will be taught for the first time during the 2011 Spring semester. Based upon student requests, additional history courses on the Ancient World are under development. As recommended by the History Education Program Review Committee, History 4580 United States, has been added to be post-civil War list of recommended upper division U.S. History courses. History 3820 Modern Korea has been added to the list of recommended upper division Modern World History courses.

2 Assessment of Candidates: As was true last year, there is a clear difference between the responses of students completing the Exit Surveys from Clinical Teaching in the Fall semester 2009 versus the Spring semester The Fall completers expressed great confidence in their professional preparation with the exceptions of classroom management and linking content concepts to students prior understandings. In contrast, the Spring 2010 completers felt only somewhat prepared overall, especially citing: planning relevant learning experiences connecting concepts to real life; designing appropriate goals, objectives, strategies, and assessments; encouraging problem-solving and decision-making; understanding of content; connecting concepts with students prior understandings; developing critical and creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities and independent learning; linking learning with students prior understandings and backgrounds; organizing group work to involve all members; using assessment of various types of student information to plan instruction; interpretation and use of state test scores in determining student progress; collaboration with colleagues; reflection; classroom management; modifying lessons for diverse students; creating a professional development plan; using technology to enhance learning; and organizing and maintaining student records. In the view of their university supervisors, History Education Program completers possess professional skills that are above satisfactory in every area. Their strengths included: incorporating material outside the text; providing relevant and accurate information; completing plans in timely fashion; meeting university requirements; providing examples and explanations; presenting material in logical, sequential manner; creating an atmosphere of mutual respect; demonstrating patience; establishing good rapport with students; interacting appropriately with colleagues and administrators; understanding and upholding school policies (outstanding); completing records accurately and in timely manner; being punctual; demonstrating professional behavior (outstanding); having a professional appearance; being receptive to professional feedback; presenting material in clear, precise language; using technology to enhance communication; and speaking with appropriate tone and volume. Supervisors also noted many weaknesses, largely in the instructional area: drawing on content knowledge to build understanding and motivate students; adapting the lesson for diverse learners; providing for assessment of student progress; using knowledge of student development; utilizing a variety of questioning techniques; modifying instruction as needed; encouraging higher order thinking skills; using formal and informal assessment; providing a variety of assessment formats; informing parents of students progress; providing useful feedback to students; reflecting on impact of instruction; providing timely feedback; communicating rules, expectations, and consequences; reinforcing rules, consequences, and expectations consistently; preventing discipline problems; guiding students through transitions; identifying appropriate student for correction; engaging in professional development; probing for understanding; and possessing good writing skills. While these issues appear to reveal strengths and weaknesses in preparation, comparison of the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 Class and Field Experience Disposition Ratings

3 indicate a negative shift during the Spring semester. Personalities may have played a particular role in shaping the Spring Candidate reports. Analysis of History Education program completers Milestone IV performance in demonstrates their mastery of Standards 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Only in relation to Standards 2 and 3 did these students fail to Exceed expectations by 57 percent or higher. In Knowledge of Assessment and Evaluation, 42 percent exceeded expectations, while only 28 percent exceeded expectations in Knowledge of Instruction. No History Education students scored in the Developing or Unacceptable ranges. In contrast, current History Education students are struggling to pass Milestone II. Only 50 percent of History Education students passed Milestone II in the Spring semester compared with a 75 percent pass rate in the Fall 2009 term. Male and minority History Education students are having greater difficulty completing this Milestone. Their low GPA s tend to be the issue. These students records are being studied more thoroughly to discover how the department can assist them in improving their performances. Many History Education students are non-traditional, in that they have spent years in the military or at home with small children. While it is still difficult to ascertain which students were included in the summary data, all thirteen seniors passed the PRAXIS II PLT and History Tests, but three had to take the latter multiple times. Four students passed the Government Test, three passed the Geography Test, and three passed the Economics Test, adding additional credentials. Unfortunately, the program no longer has access to the score breakdown, which was exceedingly helpful in determining areas of weakness that could be addressed. In order to gain greater insight into the History Education students performance, the History Education Program Review Committee again compared the students PRAXIS II scores with their GPA s and scores on the Senior Major Field Test. It is apparent that many of these students continue to have problems with retention of content information or have made poor choices among the upper division History courses. Although the department provides two weeks of review sessions before the Major Field Test, these students may not have attended. History Education students are encouraged to attend these sessions before taking the PRAXIS II Test, but not all choose to attend them.

4 History Education Students History Exam Scores PRAXIS II Pass Major Field Mean Needs GPA (History) European & U.S European, World, & U.S European & U.S World & U.S European World & European European European, U.S., & World Addressing the weaknesses observed among History Education Program completers will require continuous coordination between the Department of History and Philosophy and the College of Education. Offering secondary sections of upper division Education courses and revising the Assessment course clearly have benefited History Education students greatly. Instructional problems are being further addressed this year by more thorough teaching and practice in the Social Studies Methods courses. More examples of teaching strategies; designing lessons; guestioning techniques; daily, test, and unit assessments and evaluation; adaptive teaching; modifying instruction to meet individual needs; developing learning communities; mentoring; and other topics are being provided. The Teaching History in the Middle School course will be taught for the first time in the 2011 Spring semester. An ARGOS

5 program is under development to enable the department chair and History Education advisors to assess more effectively History Education students academic strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this additional resource, faculty will be able to address students problems earlier and prescribe specific course work or provide additional support services. Low national test scores can be indicative of many issues. Poor retention of content is one issue, but Dr. Browder s examination of low performing History Education Program completers transcripts found that these particular students had not followed the program guide sheet recommendations. After receiving their PINs from their History Education advisors, they enrolled in narrow content courses instead of the recommended courses which provide broad historical coverage. Of course, students are at the mercy of the semester schedule, but they should have been able to select broader course offerings in other semesters. Another issue is the limited size of classrooms in Harned Hall, where most upper division courses are held. The military history courses now include graduate students, leaving fewer seats for undergraduates. History 4750 American Economic History is packed, with potential students far outnumbering the seats available. The department is investigating how we can offer more than one section of these courses or offer them more often. On a positive note, this year the department has hired two new professors, one of whom will be teaching European and African history in the classroom. This move from strictly online European and African offerings should facilitate better variety of choices and retention of content among History Education Program completers and other History majors. Assessment of Program Operations Most History Education Program completers were more than satisfied with their preparation to enter the profession, but the department continues to address areas of noted weakness. Both methods courses ( Teaching History in the Middle School and the Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary Schools ) are allotting more class time to examples of teaching strategies; designing lessons; guestioning techniques; daily, test, and unit assessments and evaluation; adaptive teaching; modifying instruction to meet individual needs; developing learning communities; and mentoring. Reading skill development, instruction of the gifted and talented, and modifying of instruction for English Language Learners continue to be addressed in History 4950/5950. In studying this year s data, the History Education Program Review Committee again expressed concern over students content preparation and their lack of professional skills required by today s teachers. The professional educators made the following recommendations: 1. Adolescent Psychology should be restored to the Professional Education Minor to better equip students to modify instruction, mentor students, and manage the classroom. Combining technology and strategies courses would create a slot for Adolescent Psychology in the minor.

6 2. The History Education Program should place more emphasis on collaboration. 3. Post-World War II U.S. and World History courses are needed. 4. History Education students should be trained in writing in the Social Studies, especially in constructed response questions. 5. History Education students should be trained in Marzano strategies and be able to demonstrate their use. 6. History Education students should be trained in constructing effective multiple choice test items. 7. History Education students should be trained in differentiated instruction in the Social Studies. 8. History Education students should be able to construct lesson plans based upon the new Tennessee Explicit Instruction model. In response to the summary data and these recommendations, the Department of History and Philosophy is revising the History Education Program guide sheet to include History 4590 United States, and is investigating how to provide additional courses in post- World War II U.S. and World History. Courses on the Viet Nam War, the Korean War, and the United States in the post-cold War period are under development. The Social Studies methods courses already cover Marzano strategies, collaborative teaching, writing in the Social Studies, test development, and differentiated instruction in the Social Studies, but the department will strive to increase their emphasis on these issues. Both courses will strive to familiarize students with the new Explicit Instruction model, but its elements already are included. Recommendations regarding the Professional Education Minor will be referred to the Dean of the College of Education for consideration. Assessment System While the College of Education continues to provide good data providing an overview of teacher training at APSU, it is still difficult to assess individual programs or students. Without access to individual students PRAXIS II sub scores, it is impossible to assess the students areas of strength and weakness. Thanks to the College of Education record system, we now have access to the number of attempts each student makes before passing each PRAXIS test. For the past few years, the History Education Program has been using students GPAs and Major Field Test sub scores to assess students content mastery and identify areas of strength and weakness, but in the coming academic year a new senior History major assessment test will be administered, the ACAT. Because the Major Field Test is no longer available from the Educational Testing Service, the department will lack depth of perspective for some time. Nevertheless, the department hopes that a more thorough sub score break down will be available with the ACAT, which will provide the detailed assessment once provided by the students PRAXIS II reports. When the department s ARGOS program is completed, History Education advisors and the chair also will be able to monitor students progress more effectively.

7 Conclusion Although History Education Program completers felt they were more than adequately prepared to enter their professional careers, they and their university supervisors noted areas of weakness that are being addressed. Their identified areas of weakness will be receiving additional coverage and practice in both Teaching History in the Middle School and Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary Schools for the benefit of current History Education students. History 4590 United States, is being added to the post-civil War U.S. options section on the History Education Program guide sheet, and new post- World War II courses in U.S. and World History are under development. Despite the success of all of the program completers in passing the PRAXIS II History Test, the Review Committee and the department continue to be concerned about the students areas of weakness and frequent need to retake the PRAXIS II. The department offers two-week Major Field Test Review sessions every semester, and History Education students are encouraged to attend these sessions before taking the PRAXIS II. Many take advantage of them, but others do not. An ARGOS program is under development to assist in monitoring and advising History Education students.

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