Curriculum Reform - Elementary, Middle Grades, and Special Education

Instructional Strategy Lessons for Educators Series (ISLES)

As part of the TQP curriculum reform, a series of online modules were developed.  The module series was designed to teach ELEM, MIDG, SPED pre-baccalaureate pre- service candidates ten particular instructional practices found to increase student achievement. They are not the only strategies that are effective or that a prospective teacher should learn to incorporate in instruction.

The ten instructional strategies discussed in the module series constitute a starting place; over time pre-service candidates are expected to learn additional effective instructional strategies.  Pre-service candidates receive instruction on those additional strategies from professors in certain courses throughout their program.  It is important to note that instructional strategies are not the only means of raising student achievement.  An effective teacher must have good classroom management, an effective curriculum, and appropriate professional dispositions.  For now, however, the TQP curriculum reform focused primarily on effective instructional strategies.

Pre-service candidates learn about a common framework for instructional practices that highlights 10 effective evidence- based strategies for increasing student achievement. They explore the framework in introductory courses, methods courses, senior courses, and internship.  Pre-service candidates have the opportunity to see it, understand it, explain it, plan it, and do it as they experience the connections with partnering school districts as their teachers incorporate the same framework. To ensure consistency of implementation in the pre-baccalaureate programs, pre-service candidates complete a series of online Instructional Strategy Lessons for Educators Series (ISLES) modules that focus on the framework at every step.

As the ISLES modules continue to be integrated into courses, iterative refinements will occur as needed. ELL will be emphasized with greater clarity. Updates will be made to the ISLES 3 templates and rubrics to reflect the revisions made in the edTPA handbooks. The ISLES Faculty Guide will be updated with additional resources provided for faculty integration of ISLES into course content. Comparative data will be analyzed linking ISLES 3 work with edTPA scores.

The following materials have been developed for the reform in elementary, middle grades, and special education:

Cuthrell, K., & Fogarty, L. (2013). Rolling out edTPA: Lessons learned as theory, research, and practice intersect. Presentation.

Cuthrell, K., Stapleton, J., Bullock, A. A., Lys, D. B., Smith, J. J., and Fogarty, E. (2014). Mapping the journey of reform and assessment for an elementary education teacher preparation program. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 8(1), 67-85. doi: 10.3776/joci.2014.v8n1p67-85.

Cuthrell, K., Steadman, S. C., Wilhite, K., Stapleton, J., and Hodge, E. (2014). Moving beyond a pilot: Expanding video grand rounds across teacher education. Presentation at AERA.

Smith, J., Stapleton, J., and Cuthrell, K. (2013). Revision teacher education with 21st century reform efforts. Presentation.