ERIC Number: EJ726571
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-22
Reference Count: N/A
"Walk a Mile in my Shoes"
Childhood Education, v82 n1 p36-C Fall 2005
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which is regarded as the most significant federal education policy initiative in a generation, was signed into law on January 8, 2002. The purpose of this law is to ensure that each child in America is able to meet the high learning standards set forth by the state in which he or she lives. One of the specific goals of the law, as reported in the Federal Register issued on March 6, 2002, is that "by 2005-2006, all students will be taught by highly qualified teachers." Even before NCLB was passed, research demonstrated the importance of teacher quality on student performance; passage of the law has caused state policymakers to revamp teacher preparation and licensure requirements to ensure that they are performance-based. For preservice teachers to begin the road to becoming "highly qualified," they must demonstrate competency in all of ACEI's Standards for Elementary Teachers. The use of portfolios at all levels of their preservice experiences provides the data to support performance-based competencies in all of these standards. Elementary preservice teachers in South Carolina also are required to demonstrate competence in appropriate subject matter knowledge and teaching skills by taking ETS's Praxis II tests--Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment and Elementary Education: Content Area Exercises. Here, the author tells his experience of taking the test as well as his learnings. As a way to better prepare their pre-service teachers for taking these tests, faculty members in the elementary education department at her university were encouraged to take both tests. She had to study for a major test. She passed the test and is now "highly qualified," as defined by NCLB. But, by "walking a mile in their shoes," she learned to never take her students' concerns lightly. She also learned to be more understanding, especially during the time period when they are trying to juggle their student teaching and studying for the tests that will have such a major impact on their quest for becoming highly qualified teachers. She states that highly qualified teachers can learn from all of their experiences.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Teacher Effectiveness, Educational Policy, Preservice Teachers, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Academic Standards, Teacher Competency Testing
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Subscriptions, 17904 Georgia Ave., Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Web site: http://www.acei.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001