Section 3: Overview and Exam Framework Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12 (160)
|Exam Name||Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12|
|Number of Questions||100 selected-response questions|
|Format||Computer-administered test (CAT)|
The TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12 (160) test is designed to assess whether an examinee has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess. The 100 selected-response questions are based on the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12 test framework and cover grades EC–12. The test may contain questions that do not count toward the score. Your final scaled score will be based only on scored questions.
Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12
The teacher designs instruction appropriate for all students that reflects an understanding of relevant content and is based on continuous and appropriate assessment.
The teacher creates a classroom environment of respect and rapport that fosters a positive climate for learning, equity and excellence.
The teacher promotes student learning by providing responsive instruction that makes use of effective communication techniques, instructional strategies that actively engage students in the learning process and timely, high-quality feedback.
The teacher fulfills professional roles and responsibilities and adheres to legal and ethical requirements of the profession.
All teachers use and promote creative thinking and innovative processes to construct knowledge, generate new ideas, and create products.
All teachers collaborate and communicate both locally and globally using digital tools and resources to reinforce and promote learning.
All teachers acquire, analyze, and manage content from digital resources.
All teachers make informed decisions by applying critical-thinking and problem solving skills.
All teachers practice and promote safe, responsible, legal, and ethical behavior while using technology tools and resources.
All teachers demonstrate a thorough understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
Domains and Competencies
|Domain||Domain Title||Approx. Percentage of Exam||Standards Assessed|
|I||Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning||34%||Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12: I|
|II||Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment||13%||Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12: II|
|III||Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment||33%||Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12: I, III; Technology Applications: I–VII|
|IV||Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities||20%||Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12: IV|
The content covered by this exam is organized into broad areas of content called domains. Each domain covers one or more of the educator standards for this field. Within each domain, the content is further defined by a set of competencies. Each competency is composed of two major parts:
- The competency statement, which broadly defines what an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools should know and be able to do.
- The descriptive statements, which describe in greater detail the knowledge and skills eligible for testing.
Domain I—Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning
Competency 001—The teacher understands human developmental processes and applies this knowledge to plan instruction and ongoing assessment that motivate students and are responsive to their developmental characteristics and needs.
The beginning teacher:
- Knows the typical stages of cognitive, social, physical and emotional development of students in early childhood through grade 12.
- Recognizes the wide range of individual developmental differences that characterizes students in early childhood through grade 12 and the implications of this developmental variation for instructional planning.
- Analyzes ways in which developmental characteristics of students in early childhood through grade 12 impact learning and performance and applies knowledge of students' developmental characteristics and needs to plan effective learning experiences and assessments.
- Demonstrates an understanding of physical changes that occur in early childhood through adolescence, factors that affect students' physical growth and health (e.g., nutrition, sleep, prenatal exposure to drugs, abuse) and ways in which physical development impacts development in other domains (i.e., cognitive, social, emotional).
- Recognizes factors affecting the social and emotional development of students in early childhood through adolescence (e.g., lack of affection and attention, parental divorce, homelessness) and knows that students' social and emotional development impacts their development in other domains (i.e., cognitive, physical).
- Uses knowledge of cognitive changes in students in early childhood through adolescence (e.g., from an emphasis on concrete thinking to the emergence and refinement of abstract thinking and reasoning, increased ability to engage in reflective thinking, increased focus on the world beyond the school setting) to plan developmentally appropriate instruction and assessment that promote learning and development.
- Understands that development in any one domain (i.e., cognitive, social, physical, emotional) impacts development in other domains.
- Recognizes signs of developmental delays or impairments in students in early childhood through grade 4.
- Knows the stages of play development (i.e., from solitary to cooperative) and the important role of play in young children's learning and development.
- Uses knowledge of the developmental characteristics and needs of students in early childhood through grade 4 to plan meaningful, integrated and active learning and play experiences that promote the development of the whole child.
- Recognizes that positive and productive learning environments involve creating a culture of high academic expectations, equity throughout the learning community and developmental responsiveness.
- Recognizes the importance of helping students in early childhood through grade 12 learn and apply life skills (e.g., decision-making skills, organizational skills, goal-setting skills, self-direction, workplace skills).
- Knows the rationale for appropriate middle-level education and how middle-level schools are structured to address the characteristics and needs of young adolescents.
- Recognizes typical challenges for students during later childhood, adolescence and young adulthood (e.g., self-image, physical appearance, eating disorders, feelings of rebelliousness, identity formation, educational and career decisions) and effective ways to help students address these challenges.
- Understands ways in which student involvement in risky behaviors (e.g., drug and alcohol use, gang involvement) impacts development and learning.
- Demonstrates knowledge of the importance of peers, peer acceptance and conformity to peer group norms and expectations for adolescents and understands the significance of peer-related issues for teaching and learning.
Competency 002—The teacher understands student diversity and knows how to plan learning experiences and design assessments that are responsive to differences among students and that promote all students' learning.
The beginning teacher:
- Demonstrates knowledge of students with diverse personal and social characteristics (e.g., those related to ethnicity, gender, language background, exceptionality) and the significance of student diversity for teaching, learning and assessment.
- Accepts and respects students with diverse backgrounds and needs.
- Knows how to use diversity in the classroom and the community to enrich all students' learning experiences.
- Knows strategies for enhancing one's own understanding of students' diverse backgrounds and needs.
- Knows how to plan and adapt lessons to address students' varied backgrounds, skills, interests and learning needs, including the needs of English-language learners and students with disabilities.
- Understands cultural and socioeconomic differences (including differential access to technology) and knows how to plan instruction that is responsive to cultural and socioeconomic differences among students.
- Understands the instructional significance of varied student learning needs and preferences.
- Knows the ELPS in the domains of listening and speaking in accordance with the proficiency-level descriptors for the beginning, intermediate, advanced and advanced-high levels.
- Knows the ELPS in the domains of reading and writing in accordance with the proficiency-level descriptors for beginning, intermediate, advanced and advanced-high levels.
Competency 003—The teacher understands procedures for designing effective and coherent instruction and assessment based on appropriate learning goals and objectives.
The beginning teacher:
- Understands the significance of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and of prerequisite knowledge and skills in determining instructional goals and objectives.
- Uses appropriate criteria to evaluate the appropriateness of learning goals and objectives (e.g., clarity; relevance; significance; age-appropriateness; ability to be assessed; responsiveness to students' current skills and knowledge, background, needs and interests; alignment with campus and district goals).
- Uses assessment to analyze students' strengths and needs, evaluate teacher effectiveness and guide instructional planning for individuals and groups.
- Understands the connection between various components of the Texas statewide assessment program, the TEKS and instruction and analyzes data from state and other assessments using common statistical measures to help identify students' strengths and needs.
- Demonstrates knowledge of various types of materials and resources (including technological resources and resources outside the school) that may be used to enhance student learning and engagement and evaluates the appropriateness of specific materials and resources for use in particular situations, to address specific purposes and to meet varied student needs.
- Plans lessons and structures units so that activities progress in a logical sequence and support stated instructional goals.
- Plans learning experiences that provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities to explore content from integrated and varied perspectives (e.g., by presenting thematic units that incorporate different disciplines, providing intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary instruction, designing instruction that enables students to work cooperatively, providing multicultural learning experiences, prompting students to consider ideas from multiple viewpoints, encouraging students' application of knowledge and skills to the world beyond the school).
- Allocates time appropriately within lessons and units, including providing adequate opportunities for students to engage in reflection, self-assessment and closure.
Competency 004—The teacher understands learning processes and factors that impact student learning and demonstrates this knowledge by planning effective, engaging instruction and appropriate assessments.
The beginning teacher:
- Understands the role of learning theory in the instructional process and uses instructional strategies and appropriate technologies to facilitate student learning (e.g., connecting new information and ideas to prior knowledge, making learning meaningful and relevant to students).
- Understands that young children think concretely and rely primarily on motor and sensory input and direct experience for development of skills and knowledge and uses this understanding to plan effective, developmentally appropriate learning experiences and assessments.
- Understands that the middle-level years are a transitional stage in which students may exhibit characteristics of both older and younger children and that these are critical years for developing important skills and attitudes (e.g., working and getting along with others, appreciating diversity, making a commitment to continued schooling).
- Recognizes how characteristics of students at different developmental levels (e.g., limited attention span and need for physical activity and movement for younger children; importance of peers, search for identity, questioning of values and exploration of long-term career and life goals for older students) impact teaching and learning.
- Stimulates reflection, critical thinking and inquiry among students (e.g., supports the concept of play as a valid vehicle for young children's learning; provides opportunities for young children to manipulate materials and to test ideas and hypotheses; engages students in structured, hands-on problem-solving activities that are challenging; encourages exploration and risk-taking; creates a learning community that promotes positive contributions, effective communication and the respectful exchange of ideas).
- Enhances learning for students by providing age-appropriate instruction that encourages the use and refinement of higher-order thinking skills (e.g., prompting students to explore ideas from diverse perspectives; structuring active learning experiences involving cooperative learning, problem solving, open-ended questioning and inquiry; promoting students' development of research skills).
- Teaches, models and monitors organizational and time-management skills at an age-appropriate level (e.g., establishing regular places for classroom toys and materials for young children, keeping related materials together, using organizational tools, using effective strategies for locating information and organizing information systematically).
- Teaches, models and monitors age-appropriate study skills (e.g., using graphic organizers, outlining, note-taking, summarizing, test-taking) and structures research projects appropriately (e.g., teaches students the steps in research, establishes checkpoints during research projects, helps students use time-management tools).
- Analyzes ways in which teacher behaviors (e.g., teacher expectations, student grouping practices, teacher-student interactions) impact student learning and plans instruction and assessment that minimize the effects of negative factors and enhance all students' learning.
- Analyzes ways in which factors in the home and community (e.g., parent expectations, availability of community resources, community problems) impact student learning and plans instruction and assessment with awareness of social and cultural factors to enhance all students' learning.
- Understands the importance of self-directed learning and plans instruction and assessment that promote students' motivation and their sense of ownership of and responsibility for their own learning.
- Analyzes ways in which various teacher roles (e.g., facilitator, lecturer) and student roles (e.g., active learner, observer, group participant) impact student learning.
- Incorporates students' different approaches to learning (e.g., auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic) into instructional practices.
- Provides instruction to ensure that students can apply various learning strategies (e.g., using prior knowledge, metacognition, graphic organizers) across content areas, in accordance with the ELPS.
- Provides instruction in a manner that is linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced and scaffolded) to the student's level of English-language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills across content areas, in accordance with the ELPS.
- Applies knowledge of the implications for learning and instruction of the range of thinking abilities found among students in any one grade level and students' increasing ability over time to engage in abstract thinking and reasoning.
Domain II—Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment
Competency 005—The teacher knows how to establish a classroom climate that fosters learning, equity and excellence and uses this knowledge to create a physical and emotional environment that is safe and productive.
The beginning teacher:
- Uses knowledge of the unique characteristics and needs of students at different developmental levels to establish a positive, productive classroom environment (e.g., encourages cooperation and sharing among younger students; provides middle-level students with opportunities to collaborate with peers; encourages older students' respect for the community and the people in it).
- Establishes a classroom climate that emphasizes collaboration and supportive interactions, respect for diversity and individual differences and active engagement in learning by all students.
- Analyzes ways in which teacher-student interactions and interactions among students impact classroom climate and student learning and development.
- Presents instruction in ways that communicate the teacher's enthusiasm for learning.
- Uses a variety of means to convey high expectations for all students.
- Knows characteristics of physical spaces that are safe and productive for learning, recognizes the benefits and limitations of various arrangements of furniture in the classroom and applies strategies for organizing the physical environment to ensure physical accessibility and facilitate learning in various instructional contexts.
- Creates a safe, nurturing and inclusive classroom environment that addresses students' emotional needs and respects students' rights and dignity.
Competency 006—The teacher understands strategies for creating an organized and productive learning environment and for managing student behavior.
The beginning teacher:
- Analyzes the effects of classroom routines and procedures on student learning, and knows how to establish and implement age-appropriate routines and procedures to promote an organized and productive learning environment.
- Demonstrates an understanding of how young children function in groups and designs group activities that reflect a realistic understanding of the extent of young children's ability to collaborate with others.
- Organizes and manages group activities that promote students' ability to work together cooperatively and productively, assume responsible roles and develop collaborative skills and individual accountability.
- Recognizes the importance of creating a schedule for young children that balances restful and active movement activities and that provides large blocks of time for play, projects and learning centers.
- Schedules activities and manages time in ways that maximize student learning, including using effective procedures to manage transitions; to manage materials, supplies and technology; and to coordinate the performance of noninstructional duties (e.g., taking attendance) with instructional activities.
- Uses technological tools to perform administrative tasks such as taking attendance, maintaining grade books and facilitating communication.
- Works with volunteers and paraprofessionals to enhance and enrich instruction and applies procedures for monitoring the performance of volunteers and paraprofessionals in the classroom.
- Applies theories and techniques related to managing and monitoring student behavior.
- Demonstrates awareness of appropriate behavior standards and expectations for students at various developmental levels.
- Applies effective procedures for managing student behavior and for promoting appropriate behavior and ethical work habits (e.g., academic integrity) in the classroom (e.g., communicating high and realistic behavior expectations, involving students in developing rules and procedures, establishing clear consequences for inappropriate behavior, enforcing behavior standards consistently, encouraging students to monitor their own behavior and to use conflict resolution skills, responding appropriately to various types of behavior).
Domain III—Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment
Competency 007—The teacher understands and applies principles and strategies for communicating effectively in varied teaching and learning contexts.
The beginning teacher:
- Demonstrates clear, accurate communication in the teaching and learning process and uses language that is appropriate to students' ages, interests and backgrounds.
- Engages in skilled questioning and leads effective student discussions, including using questioning and discussion to engage all students in exploring content; extends students' knowledge; and fosters active student inquiry, higher-order thinking, problem solving and productive, supportive interactions, including appropriate wait time.
- Communicates directions, explanations and procedures effectively and uses strategies for adjusting communication to enhance student understanding (e.g., by providing examples, simplifying complex ideas, using appropriate communication tools).
- Practices effective communication techniques and interpersonal skills (including both verbal and nonverbal skills and electronic communication) for meeting specified goals in various contexts.
Competency 008—The teacher provides appropriate instruction that actively engages students in the learning process.
The beginning teacher:
- Employs various instructional techniques (e.g., discussion, inquiry, problem solving) and varies teacher and student roles in the instructional process and provides instruction that promotes intellectual involvement and active student engagement and learning.
- Applies various strategies to promote student engagement and learning (e.g., by structuring lessons effectively, using flexible instructional groupings, pacing lessons flexibly in response to student needs, including wait time).
- Presents content to students in ways that are relevant and meaningful and that link with students' prior knowledge and experience.
- Applies criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of instructional activities, materials, resources and technologies for students with varied characteristics and needs.
- Engages in continuous monitoring of instructional effectiveness.
- Applies knowledge of different types of motivation (i.e., internal, external) and factors affecting student motivation.
- Employs effective motivational strategies and encourages students' self-motivation.
- Provides focused, targeted and systematic second language acquisition instruction to English-language learners in grade 3 or higher who are at the beginning or intermediate level of English-language proficiency in listening and/or speaking in accordance with the ELPS.
- Provides focused, targeted and systematic second language acquisition instruction to English-language learners in grade 3 or higher who are at the beginning or intermediate level of English-language proficiency in reading and/or writing in accordance with the ELPS.
- Develops the foundation of English language vocabulary, grammar, syntax and mechanics necessary to understand content-based instruction and accelerated learning of English in accordance with the ELPS.
Competency 009—The teacher incorporates the effective use of technology to plan, organize, deliver and evaluate instruction for all students.
The beginning teacher:
- Demonstrates knowledge of basic terms and concepts of current technology, systems, and operations (e.g., hardware, software applications and functions, input/output devices, networks, and basic design principles).
- Understands issues related to the safe and appropriate use of technology in society and follows guidelines for the legal and ethical use of technology and digital information (e.g., privacy guidelines, copyright laws, acceptable use policies, and digital etiquette).
- Applies procedures for acquiring, analyzing, and evaluating electronic information (e.g., locating information on networks, accessing and manipulating information from secondary storage and remote devices, using online help and other documentation, and evaluating electronic information for accuracy and validity).
- Knows how to use task-appropriate tools and procedures to synthesize knowledge, create and modify solutions, and evaluate results to support the work of individuals and groups in problem-solving situations and project-based learning activities (e.g., planning, creating, and editing word processing documents, spreadsheet documents, and databases; using graphic tools; participating in electronic communities as learner, initiator, and contributor; and sharing information through online communication).
- Knows how to use productivity tools to collaborate and communicate information in various formats (e.g., slide show, multimedia presentation, and newsletter) and applies procedures for publishing information in various ways (e.g., printed copy, monitor display, Internet document, and video).
- Knows how to plan, organize, deliver, and evaluate instruction that incorporates the effective use of current technology; knows how to use developmentally appropriate instructional practices, activities, and materials to integrate the Technology Applications TEKS into the curriculum.
- Knows how to promote creative thinking and innovative process to construct knowledge, generate new ideas, and create products (e.g., design multimedia presentations, explore complex systems or issues, and develop steps for the creation of products).
- Identifies and addresses equity issues related to the use of technology.
Competency 010—The teacher monitors student performance and achievement; provides students with timely, high-quality feedback; and responds flexibly to promote learning for all students.
The beginning teacher:
- Demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics, uses, advantages and limitations of various assessment methods and strategies, including technological methods and methods that reflect real-world applications.
- Creates assessments that are congruent with instructional goals and objectives and communicates assessment criteria and standards to students based on high expectations for learning.
- Uses appropriate language and formats to provide students with timely, effective feedback that is accurate, constructive, substantive and specific.
- Knows how to promote students' ability to use feedback and self-assessment to guide and enhance their own learning.
- Responds flexibly to various situations (e.g., lack of student engagement in an activity, the occurrence of an unanticipated learning opportunity) and adjusts instructional approaches based on ongoing assessment of student performance.
Domain IV—Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities
Competency 011—The teacher understands the importance of family involvement in children's education and knows how to interact and communicate effectively with families.
The beginning teacher:
- Applies knowledge of appropriate ways (including electronic communication) to work and communicate effectively with families in various situations.
- Engages families, parents, guardians and other legal caregivers in various aspects of the educational program.
- Interacts appropriately with all families, including those that have diverse characteristics, backgrounds and needs.
- Communicates effectively with families on a regular basis (e.g., to share information about students' progress) and responds to their concerns.
- Conducts effective conferences with parents, guardians and other legal caregivers.
- Effectively uses family support resources (e.g., community, interagency) to enhance family involvement in student learning.
Competency 012—The teacher enhances professional knowledge and skills by effectively interacting with other members of the educational community and participating in various types of professional activities.
The beginning teacher:
- Interacts appropriately with other professionals in the school community (e.g., vertical teaming, horizontal teaming, team teaching, mentoring).
- Maintains supportive, cooperative relationships with professional colleagues and collaborates to support students' learning and to achieve campus and district goals.
- Knows the roles and responsibilities of specialists and other professionals at the building and district levels (e.g., department chairperson, principal, board of trustees, curriculum coordinator, technology coordinator, special education professional).
- Understands the value of participating in school activities and contributes to school and district (e.g., by participating in decision making and problem solving, sharing ideas and expertise, serving on committees, volunteering to participate in events and projects).
- Uses resources and support systems effectively (e.g., mentors, service centers, state initiatives, universities) to address professional development needs.
- Recognizes characteristics, goals and procedures associated with teacher appraisal and uses appraisal results to improve teaching skills.
- Works productively with supervisors, mentors and other colleagues to address issues and to enhance professional knowledge and skills.
- Understands and uses professional development resources (e.g., mentors and other support systems, conferences, online resources, workshops, journals, professional associations, coursework) to enhance knowledge, pedagogical skills and technological expertise.
- Engages in reflection and self-assessment to identify strengths, challenges and potential problems; improve teaching performance; and achieve professional goals.
Competency 013—The teacher understands and adheres to legal and ethical requirements for educators and is knowledgeable of the structure of education in Texas.
The beginning teacher:
- Knows legal requirements for educators (e.g., those related to special education, students' and families' rights, student discipline, equity, child abuse) and adheres to legal guidelines in education-related situations.
- Knows and adheres to legal and ethical requirements regarding the use of educational resources and technologies (e.g., copyright, Fair Use, data security, privacy, acceptable use policies).
- Applies knowledge of ethical guidelines for educators in Texas (e.g., those related to confidentiality, interactions with students and others in the school community), including policies and procedures described in the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators.
- Follows procedures and requirements for maintaining accurate student records.
- Understands the importance of and adheres to required procedures for administering state- and district-mandated assessments.
- Uses knowledge of the structure of the state education system, including relationships among campus, local and state components, to seek information and assistance.
- Advocates for students and for the profession in various situations.
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