Embargoed for release, October 19, 2016
New Teaching Matters report, case studies show promise of competency-based micro-credentials for educators and schools systems
New York, NY - October 14, 2016
A new report from Teaching Matte
Two years ago, while some professional development was being assailed as ineffective or superficial, Teaching Matters
“We’ve changed our practices to support teachers and teacher leaders differently,” said Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters’ Executive Director. “Competency-based professional development is all about engaging learners and having them demonstrate their knowledge - it’s not passive, and it’s not about seat time. It’s about outcomes, not inputs.”
The new report - Competency-based Learning and Micro-Credentials: Powerful Lessons from Two Years in the Field - reflects upon three major Teaching Matters impleme
Teaching Matters initiatives were with the New York CIty school system (NYC DOE), the largest in the country, and a suburban district. Preliminary findings show micro-credential
Teaching Matters found there were important ways to promote micro-credentials.
Teachers need sufficient time to complete a rigorous micro-credentialing process, and they are most willing to invest in micro-credentials when there are inducements in the form of pay or newly available roles.
One of the implementations examined in the report, the Emerging Teacher Leaders Program, showsthe benefits of clear incentives, or “currency.” Developed in collaboration with the NYC DOE the project provided an alternative pathway to teacher leader roles. Candidates had to demonstrate competencies related to the role before being accepted into the pool. Sixty percent of all who began the project successfully completed the program, and 95% of those who completed the program were accepted into the teacher leader pool and given the opportunity for additional salary.
Dr. Michael Nagler, superintendent of the Mineola Public Schools in suburban New York, finds the customizable and very specific knowledge that is imparted and assessed an attractive element: “Teachers need to be constantly updating their pedagogical practices and skills. Often this is smaller snippets of learning - not a whole course. Micro-credentials really focus on the right “bite size” of skills that people need. They are very efficient.”
There is another benefit to this new way of proceeding, said Guastaferro. “Micro-credentialing provides the teacher more agency because it makes the expectations very transparent. It puts the onus on the teacher to apply what he or she has learned, and demonstrate impact.This results in deeper, context-based learning and the greater likelihood the practice will stick.”
Anne Williams, Director of NYC DOE’s office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality, observed: “We did see strong potential for this as an alternative process - one that requires evidence that educators have demonstrated competencies in critical skills and as an important strategy for supporting qualified candidates into new roles and re-qualification for existing roles.” During the 2016-17 school year, the Emerging Teacher Leaders Program that Teaching Matters conducts with the NYC DOE will grow from 191 to 300 participants.
The full report about Teaching Mat
Teaching Matters will be releasing the report at The Council of Great City Schools in Miami, where we will be discussing its findings on October 20th.
Teaching Matters is dedicated to increasing teacher effectivene