Standard 4: Diversity
The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P–12 schools.
Evidence for the Onsite BOE Team to validate during the onsite visit
1) Candidate assessment data related to diversity proficiencies for the MAT programs in curriculum studies, elementary education emphasis, and physical education as well as master’s programs in foreign languages-Spanish teaching emphasis and mathematics teaching emphasis. How is diversity being addressed in the new mathematics course? What assessments will provide data on development of these proficiencies? How are grades in some areas providing data related to diversity proficiencies?
The Elementary MAT documents candidate proficiency in diversity two ways. First the candidates must successfully complete EDF: Pluralism in Education where they learn to recognize the need for creating processes that enable students and educators to support and design a culturally and socially diverse curriculum. Second, candidates for the MAT in Elementary Education design and implement in their own elementary classrooms curriculum that meets the needs of culturally diverse learners through a curriculum development project (EDEL 612). In this second of two field experiences (first field experience is the teacher research project), teachers develop or adapt existing curriculum to accommodate the learning needs of children from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Throughout the cycle of curriculum instruction, and assessment, teachers recognize the impact of curriculum for diverse groups of learners. On the rubric category assessing this cycle of curriculum, candidates received and overall mean for the last three years of 2.44 on a 3-point scale. Finally, candidates must successfully answer a question about pluralism on their written comprehensive examination. In summer 2009, the overall mean for 19 candidates completing the exam was 3.8 on a 5-point scale. The three candidates who failed the examination received their lowest scores on the pluralism question. In summer 2010, 36 students completed comprehensive exams. Two out of the 36 candidates received scores below 3.0 on the pluralism question and failed the examination. These data document that in 2009, 85%, and in 2010 94% of the candidates were proficient in their knowledge and application of diversity in their elementary classrooms.
The candidates in the MAT: Curriculum Studies Program must successfully complete the EDF: Pluralism in Education courses where they learn to recognize the need for creating processes that enable students and educators to support and design a culturally and socially diverse curriculum. The successful completion of the course with a “B” or better documents a high level of proficiency in understanding the course content. Grades are an indirect measure of proficiency and reflect how well the candidates accomplish a compilation of experiences across the course.
The new Sport and Exercise Teaching Emphasis Program requires candidates to document their proficiency of diversity in their program portfolio in SES 603. The Program focuses on the NASPE (2001) standard that states “accomplished physical education candidates model and promote behavior appropriate in a diverse society by showing respect for and valuing all members of their communities and by having high expectations that their students will treat one another fairly and with dignity.” Candidates submit portfolio artifacts documenting their work in diverse settings. The rubric evaluates the follow four categories: Encourage and model equity and fairness for all students; Critique and implement curricula that challenge students to value and respect individual and cultural differences and hold them accountable for demonstrating respect; Promote expectations that students will demonstrate ethical, moral, and fair relationships with others within and beyond the school’s context; and, Assess students’ understanding of the consequences of inappropriate language and behavior related to issues of equity, fairness, and diversity. In summer 2010, nine candidates all received “acceptable” ratings documenting their proficiency in working with diversity in the schools.
The Reading MA program requires two assignments where diversity proficiencies are documented. First candidates demonstrate their ability to meet individual student needs in diagnostic tutoring logs in one of their advanced practicum experiences. In addition to providing appropriate tutoring the candidate must complete a case report on the strengths and needs of the students as well as an explanation of factors inhibiting student growth. The Capstone Notebook is the second assignment where candidates select various themes for their notebook synthesis and are required to meet a rubric category that requires candidates to address the personal significance of the themes and how they relate to “diversity or local and global environments. Data results showing candidates are proficient on these assessments are found on pages 9 and 15 in the report at http://www.unco.edu/cebs/ncate/A-17_Reading_MA.pdf
The Foreign Language: Spanish MA Program focuses on historical, geographical, sociological and political features of traditional and contemporary cultures. Candidates must implement effective instructional techniques and strategies as necessary for developing literacy skills in first and second languages. This is accomplished through a required Discourse Analysis and Lesson Unit Development assignment. Candidates must use the information from the course readings, analytic discussions and activities. Candidates will then explain how discourse analysis can help them to teach or introduce the previously identified language proxy measure – data will be collected and analyzed in the future. This assignment and the rubric are described in more depth within http://www.unco.edu/cebs/ncate/A-9_FL_MA_Spanish.pdf Beginning summer 2011 data from this rubric will be collected and analyzed so the program faculty can determine specific candidate/program strengths and needs. Data for the last three years document that 97% of the candidates were proficient in diversity as determined by the indirect measure of grades in FL 531.
The new Mathematics MA: Teaching Emphasis Program has a program focus on diversity. In MED Teaching Geometry – spring 2010, candidates were assigned a task addressing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. The goal of the task was for candidates “to learn about and reflect on ways to teach that are responsive to the many cultures within each classroom.” It involved three readings cited below, reflecting on the information, posting a reflection in a discussion board, and responding to another participant’s post. Of the 21 participants who participated in the task (1 withdrew from the course prior to this assignment), 3 were unsatisfactory, 9 met expectations, 7 exceeded expectations, and 2 were advanced.
- Wlodkowski, R. J, & Ginsberg, M. B. (1995). A framework for culturally responsive teaching. Educational Leadership, 53(1), 17–21.
- Davidson, D. M., & Miller, K. W. (1998). An ethnomathematics approach to curriculum issues for American Indian students. School Science and Mathematics, 98(5), 260–265.
- Lipka, J., Sharp, N., Adams, B., & Sharp, F. (2007). Creating a third space for authentic biculturalism: Examples from math in a cultural context. Journal of American Indian Education, 46(3) 94–115.
The MED: Culture in the Mathematics Classroom has an especially strong focus on diversity.
The course syllabus details the Cultural Inquiry Process assignment, the Community Engagement Project, and the Culture in the Mathematics Classroom Project that highlight specific tasks in which the teacher-participants engage to develop proficiencies in diversity. The
Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is being used in the course to assess diversity. The IDI is based on Bennett’s (1986, 1993) theoretical framework developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS). The DMIS constitutes a progression of worldview ‘‘orientations toward cultural difference’’ that comprise the potential for increasingly more sophisticated intercultural experiences. Three ethnocentric orientations, where one’s culture is experienced as central to reality (Denial, Defense, Minimization), and three ethno-relative orientations, where one’s culture is experienced in the context of other cultures (Acceptance, Adaptation, Integration), are identified in the DMIS. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) was constructed to measure the orientations toward cultural differences described in the DMIS. The result of this work is a 50-item (with 10 additional demographic items), paper-and-pencil measure of intercultural competence. The reports we have of IDI measures are baseline proficiencies that are not appropriate to report due to the sensitive nature of the information. However in a year we will be able to report changes in proficiency among our first master’s program cohort.
2) Faculty knowledge and experiences related to diversity. What experiences do faculty members have? What professional development activities have been provided to assist faculty in developing their knowledge base in this area?
The faculty in the unit have extensive knowledge and experiences related to diversity. A review of faculty publications and presentations in the Faculty Qualifications Summary highlights wide-ranging topics related to diversity. In addition, faculty are closely involved in diverse settings in the recruitment and retention of candidates. There are vast arrays of opportunities for faculty to continue developing their knowledge of diversity as highlighted beginning on page 8 of the award-winning report on campus-wide diversity. Our unit-wide Diversity Initiative offered two professional development workshops at the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year and are detailed in the Diversity Initiative Update.
3) Most recent demographic data on candidates in initial teacher preparation and advanced programs (not undergraduate and graduate degree completers).
We discovered that the candidate demographic data for the Professional Education Unit (PEU) was mislabeled in the Institutional Report submitted in May 2010. The PEU data labeled “undergraduate” should have been labeled “initial” and the PEU data labeled “graduate” should have been labeled “advanced.” PEU data are reported for initial and advanced licensure areas for state and federal reporting. The report on Candidate Demographic Data in the Institutional Report has been revised.
4) “Alternative methods” of ensuring diverse field experiences, particularly at the advanced level. What are these methods? How are they used? What is the diversity of students in the alternative field experiences for advanced candidates?
Responses to the unit-wide Diversity Scan in spring 2010 documented that 12 of the 60 unit-wide programs used an “alternative methods” to the Diverse Field Experience Form. Seven of these advanced programs are in the School of Special Education. Students in the School of Special Education undergraduate program complete four field placements prior to completing their degree program. Students are required to have experiences in K-6 (elementary) settings as well as 7-12 (secondary) settings. In addition, our students must have experience working with students who demonstrate the continuum of need, including students with mild/moderate disabilities, students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders, and students with significant support needs. Each of the four field placements must be completed in a different school setting. The schools that have served as locations for these field placements are made up of a range of schools, from large urban schools to small rural schools. A majority of the placements occur in the Northern Colorado and Denver Metro regions - regions that serve a diverse population of students. A list of the schools used for these placements is available at http://www.unco.edu/cebs/ncate/P-12_Student_Demographic_Data.pdf. With the number of field placement opportunities our students complete, combined with the diverse populations of the schools they are placed in, including individuals with disabilities, students from rural and urban environments, etc., our students enjoy learning about and working with a diverse population of students.
In the advanced special education programs (MA degrees), we have less control over practicum sites because most candidates are completing their field experiences in their own classroom on TTEs or SEEs. Summaries of these practicum sites are maintained in database and are aggregated across all advanced program placements. In addition, the special education programs address the diversity of site issue by requiring advanced candidates to complete six program visitations in addition to the full-time practicum experience.
The Unit compiled information on the student diversity of the partner schools where initial and advanced candidates completed their student teaching. Diversity information was obtained from the Colorado Department of Education for schools where three or more UNC student teachers were placed during the academic year. Analysis of P-12 Student Demographic Data suggests UNC candidates graduate with experience working with diverse populations. Overall, UNC initial candidates completed their student teaching in schools with higher percentages of minority students, students receiving free and reduced lunch, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities/exceptionalities than state-wide averages. Data from special education programs and advanced programs indicated candidates’ practicum and internships are in more diverse settings than the initial programs.
5) Status of meeting diversity goals at the target level. Where is the unit in meeting its target goals? What are the next steps?
The unit is beginning the Year Two: Planning phase of the initiative. The Diversity Initiative Update details how the unit is currently meeting it goals and the work that has taken place since spring 2010 semester. The initiative is being guided by the co-chair of the Diversity Committee who is receiving a 2-credit course reassignment for both fall and spring semesters. The Diversity Committee presented a well-received professional development workshop in August 2010 on understanding culture and exploring micro-cultures which was a springboard for this year’s work. The School of Teacher Education (STE) is piloting the curriculum review process that requires programs to review all curricula for diversity content using a diversity matrix based on the new Diversity and Equity Framework. In addition, the STE faculty participated in a workshop at their fall retreat on using the new framework to guide culturally responsive pedagogy.
The Diversity Committee will begin conducting an intake survey of existing practices that reflect the Diversity and Equity Framework. The survey will be followed by focus group interviews to better understand the initial information collected. Next steps involve using the data collected from the faculty intake survey and focus groups to develop a unit-wide professional development curriculum that targets faculty areas of need and to take the curriculum review process currently being piloted in STE to a unit-wide scale.
A major highlight of the initiative is the Waste Not Food service learning project that is fully implemented on campus following a successful summer pilot. Candidates and faculty are meeting at one of the campus dining halls every evening to package surplus food and deliver that food to the local Salvation Army Center that provides meals to over 80 participants per day. Over 3,000 pounds of food was donated this summer. The summer pilot was supervised by faculty in the School of Teacher Education; this fall the project is being supported unit-wide.