Frequently Asked Questions

What Are "Performance Expectations"?

The School of Education (SOE) faculty has identified a set of Performance Expectations to guide and evaluate your performance as you move toward becoming a certified teacher. These are based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Performance Expectations are characteristics, skills and attributes that the SOE has determined to be essential for becoming a powerful beginning teacher.

Over the course of your credential program, it is expected that your performance will reveal an increased depth of knowledge and a growing collection of pedagogical strategies and methods that you have acquired and honed through course work and field experiences.

You will demonstrate your growth in terms of Performance Expectations through the documents and artifacts you present in your Digital Portfolio.

What are "Candidate Work Samples"?

In each phase of your credential program, you will compile a Candidate Work Sample (CWS) by selecting documents and other artifacts from assignments, learning plans, observations, etc. that you complete during your course work and field work.

During Phase 1 of the program you will complete CWS 1, representing six Performance Expectations

During Phase 2 you will complete CWS 2, representing nine Performance Expectations.

The final entry in each CWS is a 3-5 page Reflection in which you will review the work you have selected and will articulate your reasoning for how, in light of the School of Education Mission Statement and the Performance Expectations, each of your selections demonstrates your growth as a future teacher.

What is a digital or eportfolio?

Digital portfolios are web-based file cabinets that allow us to collect our candidates’ artifacts, thoughts, and reflections. Programs or faculty can evaluate the portfolio work to check on what our candidates are learning. Programs can collect data that could help inform our instruction at individual, course, program and school levels. Additionally, portfolios provide a space for both candidate and faculty comments and reflections, mentor, peer cohort, supervisor and student teacher sharing and interactive learning spaces.

What is the CWS1 or the CWS2-PACT?

These are portfolio assessments that you construct at the end of Phase 1 (CWS1) and the end of Phase 2 (CWS2-PACT). The portfolios are comprised of samples of your program work--learning plans, course assignments, artifacts from your fieldwork that are combined with a rationale or reflection that explains, examines, and/or considers how this work represents your growth as a well-prepared beginning public school teacher. The digital portfolio is your chance to represent yourself as a teacher and to receive constructive feedback on your growing body of work. Thus your work samples and reflections should show deep thought and connection between field and course work, as well as explain to the reviewer your stance and beliefs on effective, important and transformative teaching and learning.

What is LiveText?

LiveText is a commercial, Web-based technology package that provides an electronic portfolio for candidates and assessment tools for managing the Performance Assessment of teacher education in the School of Education for both the Multiple Subject and Single Subject Programs. It supports assessment of candidates on program, School, state, and national standards.
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What is PACT?

PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers) is a consortium of teacher preparation programs at 30universities, 1 district internship program, and 1 charter school network. These institutions have joined together to develop a teacher performance assessment. Successful completion of the teaching performance assessment will be required to earn a California Preliminary Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential.

The teaching performance assessment consists of the Teaching Event and Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs). Multiple Subject (elementary) candidates complete three additional Teaching Event tasks so that they are assessed in each of the core content areas (literacy, mathematics, history-social science, and science) taught in elementary schools. The Teaching Event measures the Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs), which are teaching standards for California student teachers. The customized ESAs, which measure selected Teaching Performance Expectations, are developed by each program.

What is a PE?

A PE is a Program Element that has been judged to be an essential component of a well-prepared beginning teacher. The faculty have identified a set of Program Elements to guide and evaluate your performance as you move toward becoming a certified teacher. These are based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.

How will we learn to do the digital portfolio if we don’t have to take 476S (Hutchins Blended, CALS and AMCS Integrated)?

Each semester there will be support for FlexPath candidates and those who are exempt from 476S (Hutchins Blended, CALS and AMCS Integrated) to introduce them to the digital portfolio software and CWS process.

The Digital Portfolio is not a big new assignment. It is a virtual filing cabinet – on steroids! It is fundamentally a place called ‘LiveText’ where you put your work. LiveText also has incredible video resources that you can use with your students as well as other features to help make your teaching life more organized and successful.

How will I be supported in my work on the CWS1 and CWS2-PACT?

In EDMS 476S, you will be introduced to the Program Elements in the CWS1, LiveText, the major features of the web-based portfolio, and the basic operating tools. In EDMS 464, you will be introduced to the Program Elements in the CWS2-PACT, literacy instruction that is informed by classroom and student assessment, and central focus of each of the five PACT tasks.

When should I take EDMS 476S?

At the very beginning of your program.

When should I take EDMS 464?

At the end of your program during full-time student teaching.

What kinds of things should we save for the CWS from semesters before we take 476FS?

Your course instructors will make suggestions about work to include in your CWS. In addition, here are some pointers for preparing your CWS:

  • Save things that show important moments in your learning and/or document your increased responsibility as a teacher candidate.
  • Prepare your written work (assignments, plans, reflections, etc.) on computer . You can do the work in LiveText (that’s easiest) or cut and paste it from other sources.
  • Take photos of 3-D projects and make copies of student work and other graphic artifacts. Be sure to remove the students’ names.

What is a Rationale?

The Rationale is an explanation of why you selected each work entry as evidence of your growing knowledge and/or teaching practice for each specific performance expectation. Sometimes our work leads us to see why a program element (a theoretical belief in action) is important to successful teaching and learning. Other times, our work is not a great success and when we reflect on what the strengths were and where we had challenges or concerns, we see we had not attended to an important aspect of teaching and learning. A rationale might show how you understand, value and put this belief into action in your own teaching and learning or it might reveal how you struggled to incorporate this element into your teaching and learning. Your rationale should be brief, but to the point.

What is the Reflection?

At the heart of your digital portfolio are reflections on the documents and artifacts that you select to represent your work and growth. Traditionally evaluations are conducted by outside forces - the State, a review body or your instructors. However, as Short and Burke state, at the heart of evaluation is the word "value." When we evaluate, we make a value judgments - we decide what we value for ourselves and others and make decisions based on those values. Evaluation is what allows us to move our inquiry (sic learning) ahead, not what someone else imposes from the outside. (Creating Curriculum, 1991, p61)

How Do I Select Work to Include in My Portfolio?

It is your choice which documents and teaching artifacts to include in your digital portfolio. At the heart of your portfolio are your rationales and reflections on the chosen documents and artifacts. Evaluation of your CWS’s will be based upon the intersection of your selected entries, rationale for selections and reflections on your learning. In other words, a great work sample or a great rationale or reflection alone will not be sufficient evidence for a successful portfolio.