Using Eggen & Kauchak, Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms for the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations

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1 Using Eggen & Kauchak, Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms for the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations Introduction The New York State Education Department requires that prospective teachers achieve qualifying scores on designated tests of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) in order to receive state certification. These tests measure a candidate s knowledge and skills in the liberal arts and sciences, in teaching theory and practice (Assessment of Teaching Skills), and in the content area of the candidate s field of certification. The tests needed depend upon the certificate title desired. The testing program is administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc. for the New York State Education Department. The purpose of this Web site is to help you prepare for the either the Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills Written or the Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills Written (ATS-W) by: Helping you become familiar with the test format Providing you with sample items and feedback Correlating the test s content with information in the text, Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms Providing you with information about how to obtain additional sample items. Providing you with strategies to help you prepare for the exam. Test Format for the Assessment of Teaching Skills Written (ATS-W) Examinations The content of each of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations is organized into subareas, which define the major content domains of the test. Both the Elementary ATS-W and the Secondary ATS-W assess pedagogical knowledge and skills in the following four subareas: Subarea I: Student development and learning (Approximately 25% of the test) Subarea II: Instruction and assessment Subarea III: (Approximately 38% of the test) The professional environment (Approximately 17% of the test) Subareas IV: Instruction and assessment: Constructed-Response Assignment (Approximately 20% of the test) Both tests are composed of approximately 80 multiple-choice test questions and one constructed-response (written) assignment. The multiple-choice questions are intended to assess each of the test s objectives which are listed in the Test Content section of the Web site: Examples of each are taken from the Preparation Guides available from this Web site. The Web site also provides the objectives assessed by each 1

2 test and sample applications of each objective. The same objectives exist for Elementary ATS-W and the Secondary ATS-W. Elementary Sample Items Multiple-Choice 1. A teacher s use of which of the following procedures can best help ensure fair and accurate assessment of content-area learning for students for whom English is a second language? a. Give the students varied opportunities (e.g., through speaking, writing, performing) to demonstrate what they have learned. b. Emphasize the students use of self-assessment procedures in evaluating their acquisition of knowledge and skills. c. Administer classroom tests on a flexible schedule that allows the students themselves to determine when they are ready to be evaluated. d. Use standardized, grade-level assessments whose norm group includes nonnative- English speakers to monitor the students learning on an ongoing basis. 2. Students in a fifth-grade classroom will use the Internet to conduct research for a social studies project. How can the teacher most effectively use the features of the Internet and Web browsers to help the students learn how to use the Internet for their work? a. By using a search engine while planning the project to prepare a list of appropriate pages for the students to visit as they conduct their research b. By helping the students use the browser s favorites or bookmark feature to mark good sites to revisit and explore further c. By using the browser s history and back functions to gather source and bibliographic information on the Web sites that the students have visited d. By helping the students use the feedback or feature on the Web pages that they visit to address questions directly to the authors of those pages. Correct Answers: 1. a 2. b The Test Preparation Guide (available at: for this examination provides an explanation for the correct and incorrect responses. Written Assignment (Constructed Response) It is important for teachers to be able to provide students who have disabilities with effective learning experiences in an inclusive regular education classroom. Imagine that the educational goal below, formulated by a joint committee of teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians, has been established for your school. 2

3 Goals for Educational Excellence Goal 5: Provide students who have disabilities with effective learning experiences in an inclusive regular education classroom. Examples of Teaching Objectives: Work with others inside and outside the school to facilitate student achievement of desired learning goals in an inclusive classroom. Individualize instruction to promote learning and development for students with special needs. Implement procedures to ensure that students with special needs participate to the greatest extent possible in all classroom activities. In an essay written for a group of New York state educators, frame your response by identifying a grade level/subject area for which you are prepared to teach, and then: explain the importance of providing students who have disabilities with effective learning experiences in an inclusive regular education classroom; describe two strategies you would use to achieve this educational goal; and explain why the strategies you describe would be effective in achieving this educational goal. Prepare a written response of about words on the above topic. Your response will be evaluated based on the extent to which it fulfills the purpose of the assignment, applies relevant knowledge and skills, and uses appropriate supporting examples and/or sound reasoning reflecting an understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills. The Test Preparation Guide for this examination (available at: contains complete instructions, a sample of a stronger and weaker response to the sample written assignment, and evaluations of each. Secondary Sample Items Multiple-Choice 1. During a health unit, a ninth-grade teacher asks his students to imagine that they have just found out that a friend is selling drugs. He asks the students to suggest possible actions they might take in response (e.g., tell a teacher, talk to the student, do nothing) and what might happen as a result. This activity is likely to promote adolescents development by encouraging them to: I. consider what a person s negative behaviors reveal about what that person values. 3

4 II. III. IV. recognize the social problems that may arise when basic human needs are not met. reflect on their responsibilities toward other people in their society. develop problem-solving strategies in regard to real-life situations. a. I and II only b. I and IV only c. II and III only d. III and IV only 3. Ms. Morales class includes Milos, a student whose family immigrated to the United States a year ago. Milos s English language skills have been improving, but he is not yet proficient in English. Which of the following strategies would be most appropriate for Ms. Morales to use to respond to Milo s needs during the cooperative learning activity? a. Assign Milos to one of the cooperative learning groups, and have him determine independently whether and how to participate in the group s work. b. Give Milos an alternative assignment, such as a reading task at his current English language reading level, that focuses on the same content as that being addressed by classmates. c. Have Milos observe the various cooperative learning groups as they work on their projects, so that he will have maximum access to spoken and written English in varied group learning contexts. d. Have Milos participate as a member of one of the cooperative learning groups, while ensuring that he is supported in his assigned roles as needed. Correct Answers: 1. d 2. d The Test Preparation Guide for this examination (available at: contains an explanation of the correct and incorrect responses. Written Assignment (Constructed Response) It is important for teachers to help students develop career awareness and an understanding of the world of work. Imagine that the educational goal and objectives below have been established for all schools in your district. District Educational Goals Educational Goal #8: Students will develop career awareness and an understanding of the world of work. Objectives include the following: 4

5 Students will gain awareness of types of career opportunities and major features of the world of work in contemporary U.S. society. Students will recognize connections between their learning in school and the workplace. Students will develop skills (e.g., working in teams, problem solving, communication) needed in the workplace. In an essay written for a group of New York state educators, frame your response by identifying a grade level/subject area for which you are prepared to teach, and then: explain the importance helping students develop career awareness and an understanding of the world of work; describe two strategies you would use to achieve this educational goal; and explain why the strategies you describe would be effective in achieving this educational goal. Be sure to specify a grade level/subject area in your essay, and frame your ideas so that an educator certified at your level will be able to understand the basis for your response. Prepare a written response of about words on the above topic. Your response will be evaluated based on the extent to which it fulfills the purpose of the assignment, applies relevant knowledge and skills, and uses appropriate supporting examples and/or sound reasoning reflecting an understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills. The Test Preparation Guide for this examination (available at: contains complete instructions, a sample of a stronger and weaker responses to the sample written assignment, and evaluations of each. Test Content (Numbers in parentheses indicate the approximate percentage of test items that assess this set of objectives.) Subareas and Objectives Subarea I: Student Development and Learning (25%) 0001 Understand human development, including developmental processes and variations, and use this understanding to promote student development and learning. Chapter, Topic, and Page Numbers in Eggen & Kauchak Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms (6 th ed.). Chapter 2: The Development of Cognition and Language (Entire chapter) Chapter 3: Personal, Social, & Emotional Development (Entire chapter) 5

6 0002 Understand learning processes, and use this understanding to promote student development and learning Understand how factors in the home, school, and community may affect students development and readiness to learn; and use this understanding to create a classroom environment within which all students can develop and learn Understand language and literacy development, and use this knowledge in all content areas to develop the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of students, including students for whom English is not their primary language. Chapter 2: The Development of Cognition and Language Applying Piaget s work in the classroom: Instructional strategies (51-53) Vygotsky s work: Instructional strategies (58-61) Chapter 6, Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theory (Entire chapter) Chapter 7: Cognitive Views of Learning (Entire chapter) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding (Entire chapter) Chapter 9: Complex Cognitive Processes Concept learning ( ) Problem solving ( ) Chapter 2: The Development of Cognition and Language Language diversity (66-67) English as a second language (67-68) Teaching ELL students: Instructional strategies (70-72) Chapter 3: Personal, Social, & Emotional Development Personal development: Parents and other adults (80-81) Personal development: Peers (81-82) Social development (82-88) Promoting psychosocial and self-concept development: Instructional strategies (86-87) Development of morality, social responsibility, and self-control ( ) Ethnic pride: Promoting self-esteem and ethnic identity (98-100) Chapter 4: Learner Differences Influence of SES on schooling ( ) Culture and schooling ( ) Chapter 6: Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theory Addressing diversity: Behavioral and social cognitive theory ( ) Chapter 7: Cognitive Views of Learning The impact of diversity on information processing ( ) Chapter 2: The Development of Cognition and Language Language development (63-70) English as a Second Language (67-69) Teaching ELL students: Instructional strategies (70-73) 6

7 0005 Understand diverse student populations, and use knowledge of diversity within the school and the community to address the needs of all learners, to create a sense of community among students, and to promote students appreciation of and respect for individuals and groups Understanding the characteristics and needs of students with disabilities, developmental delays, and exceptional abilities (including gifted and talented students); and use this knowledge to help students reach their highest levels of achievement and independence. Subarea II: Instruction and Assessment (38%) 0007 Understand how to structure and manage a classroom to create a safe, healthy, and secure learning environment Understand curriculum development, and apply knowledge of factors and processes in curricular decision making Understand the interrelationship between assessment and instruction and how to use formal and informal assessment to learn about students, plan instruction, monitor student understanding in the context of instruction, and make Chapter 2: The Development of Cognition and Language Factors influencing development (39-40) Social interaction and development (56-57) Language and development (57) Culture and development (58) Chapter 4: Learner Differences Assessment and learning: Cultural controversies in measuring intelligence ( ) Learning styles ( ) Intelligence: One trait or many? ( ) Influence of SES on learning ( ) Culture and schooling ( ) Responding to gender differences: Instructional strategies ( ) Students placed at risk ( ) Chapter 5: Learners with Exceptionalities ((Entire chapter) Chapter 12: Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management (Entire chapter) Principles of Instruction (Entire chapter) Principles of Instruction Deciding what topics are important to study (464) Preparing objectives: Deciding what students should know, value, or be able to do ( ) Preparing and organizing learning activities ( ) Planning in a standards-based environment ( ) Chapter 14: Assessing Classroom Learning (Entire chapter) Chapter 15: Assessment Through Standardized Testing (Entire chapter) 7

8 effective instructional modifications Understand instructional planning and apply knowledge of planning processes to design effective instruction that promotes the learning of all students Understand various instructional approaches, and use this knowledge to facilitate student learning Understand principles and procedures for organizing and implementing lessons, and use this knowledge to promote student learning and achievement. Principles of Instruction Deciding what topics are important to study (464) Preparing objectives: Deciding what students should know, value, or be able to do ( ) Preparing and organizing learning activities ( ) Planning in a standards-based environment ( ) Chapter 7: Cognitive Views of Learning Schema production: Acquiring integrative declarative knowledge (264) Understanding and automaticity: Acquiring procedural knowledge (267) Promoting understanding and automaticity: An instructional strategy ( ) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding Guided discovery ( ) Inquiry ( ) Discussions ( ) Cooperative learning ( ) Principles of Instruction (Entire chapter) Chapter 6: Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theory Behaviorism in the classroom: Instructional strategies ( ) Social Cognitive Theory in the classroom: Instructional strategies ( ) Chapter 7: Cognitive Views of Learning Information processing in the classroom: Instructional strategies ( ) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding Constructivism in the classroom: Instructional strategies ( ) Chapter 9: Complex Cognitive Processes Learning and teaching concepts: Instructional strategies ( ) Helping learners become better problem solvers; Instructional strategies ( ) Principles of Instruction (Entire chapter) 0013 Understand the relationship between Chapter 3: Personal, Social, and Emotional Development 8

9 student motivation and achievement and how motivational principles and practices can be used to promote and sustain students cooperation in learning Understand communication practices that are effective in promoting students learning and creating a climate of trust and support in the classroom, and how to use a variety of communication modes to support instruction Understand uses of technology, including instructional and assistive technology, in teaching and learning; and apply this knowledge to use technology effectively and to teach students how to use technology to enhance their learning. Integrating personal, emotional, and social development: Erikson s theory (89-93) Self-concept and achievement (95-98) Chapter 6: Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theory Classical conditioning: Learning to like and dislike school ( ) Chapter 10: Theories of Motivation Behavioral views of motivation ( ) Humanistic views of motivation ( ) Cognitive views of motivation ( ) Using rewards in classrooms: Instructional strategies ( ) Humanistic views of motivation: Instructional strategies (356) Chapter 11: Motivation in the Classroom Class structure: Creating a learning-focused environment ( ) Self-regulated learners: Developing student responsibility ( ) Climate variables: Creating a motivating environment ( ) Instructional variables; Developing interest in learning activities ( ) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding Social interaction facilitates learning ( ) Chapter 12: Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management Benefits of communication ( ) Communication with parents: Accommodating learner diversity ( ) Principles of Instruction Communication ( ) Chapter 5: Learners with Exceptionalities Technology and learning: Assistive technology (185) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding Technology and learning: Using technology to represent content ( ) Chapter 9: Complex Cognitive Processes Using technology to improve problem-solving ability ( ) Chapter 11: Motivation in the Classroom Technology and learning: Using technology to 9

10 increase learner motivation ( ) Chapter 14: Assessing Classroom Learning Technology and learning: Using technology to improve assessment ( ) Subarea III: The Professional Environment (17%) 0016 Understand the history, philosophy, and role of education in New York state and the broader society Understand how to reflect productively on one s own teaching practice and how to update one s professional knowledge, skills, and effectiveness Understand the importance of and apply strategies for promoting productive relationship and interactions among school, home, and community to enhance student learning Understand reciprocal rights and responsibilities in situations involving interactions between teachers and students, parents/guardians, community members, colleagues, school administrators, and other school personnel. This text does not deal with this objective. Chapter 1: Educational Psychology: Teaching in the Real World Knowledge and learning to teach (7-11) The role of research in acquiring knowledge (12-20) Conducting research in classrooms: Instructional strategies (17-18) Research and the development of theory (18-20) Research and teacher decision making (20-24) Assessment and learning: Gathering data for decision making (23) Reflection and decision making (24) Principles of Instruction Teacher knowledge and teacher thinking ( ) Chapter 8: Constructing Understanding Social interaction facilitates learning ( ) Chapter 12: Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management Benefits of communication ( ) Communication with parents: Accommodating learner diversity ( ) Principles of Instruction Communication ( ) This text does not deal with this objective. 10

11 Subarea IV: Instruction and Assessment: Constructed-Response Item (20%) The content to be addressed by the constructed-response assignment is described in Subarea II, Objectives See Subarea II, Objectives Additional Sample Test Items The sample test items above were taken from the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations Preparation Guide for the Professional Education Test. Examination objectives and additional test items may be obtained by downloading the Preparation Guides from the NYSTCE web site: Each Preparation Guide contains 19 sample multiple-choice questions with feedback and one sample written assignment with stronger and weaker response examples and feedback. The Preparation Guides are not intended as complete sources for teaching theory and practice knowledge, nor are they substitutes for college courses. The sample items are not exact representations of the content that appears on the actual test. Instead, the guides are designed to help examinees prepare for tests by offering an overview of the content and format that may be encountered on the actual exam. Preparing for the Exam As you prepare for the exam, plan ahead and acquaint yourself with the topics in the test. Examine the Test Format and Test Content sections of this web site: Additional information is also available at the site. Study this material carefully and respond to the sample test items. Analyze the different kinds of questions asked and the feedback and criteria provided. Succeeding on the Exam What strategies should you employ as you use the practice test items to prepare for your exam? Experts offer the following suggestions (Educational Testing Service, 2002): Read the test directions carefully. Make sure you understand the test formats, what is being asked of you, and the time restrictions for each section. Answer all parts of the question. For instance, if the questions ask you to identify five characteristics of professionalism that were demonstrated in a case, be sure that your response includes all five. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory or pedagogical concepts related to the question. As you analyze the case in writing, be sure to discuss key elements of the relevant concept or theory. 11

12 Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the case. In your answers, be sure to discuss the case in general, as well as specific details within the case that relate to the questions. Repeat key words from the question. This helps to focus your response and communicates to the reader that you are directly responding to essential elements of the question. For example, if asked to list three important elements of student diversity, write, Three important elements of student diversity are a, b, and c. Support your answer with details. By specifically referring to the case and identifying the concepts that are being demonstrate, you will provide documentation for your answer. Before you write a response, organize and outline your thoughts so they clearly represent your best thinking. References Educational Testing Service. (2002). Tests at a glance: Praxis II subject assessment/principles of Learning and Teaching. Available online: Rogers, J., & Yang, P. (1996). Test wiseness: Its nature and application. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 12,

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