Seminar on Education: Theory and Practice (TPP 405)
TPP 405 Seminar on Education is a full-semester course taken in the afternoon/evening during the same semester as Practice Teaching (TPP 406). No other course can be taken in the same semester with TPP 405 and TPP 406, and students are discouraged from having any other additional responsibilities, such as part-time work.
The TPP 405 seminar allows candidates to expand their knowledge and thinking in regard to policies and philosophies that affect learning, methods
for establishing a culture of learning, the role of academic language and technology in instruction,
and best practices in pedagogy and assessment.
Students learn subject-specific methods by working with practitioners from local schools, called Content Instruction Specialists, in addition to readings and field experiences. The course assignments and requirements are closely linked to TPP 406 Practice Teaching.
Practice Teaching (TPP 406)
TPP 406 Practice Teaching offers the opportunity to apply theories and knowledge about teaching to classroom settings. TPP 406 is a full-time teaching commitment working with a cooperating teacher in an area school for a full semester. When possible, Practice Teaching (TPP 406) placements occur in the same district as the TPP 404 placement. Student teachers follow their respective school’s calendar, which requires student teachers to work through some University recesses.
Student teachers are placed with a cooperating teacher who has been carefully co-selected by the program staff in collaboration with the local school district and selected for their success as a teacher. Student teachers are expected to adhere to the district/school’s professional code of conduct. Failure to abide by the code of conduct may jeopardize continued placement. Program staff conduct a workshop for all cooperating teachers to prepare them for their responsibilities as a host teacher and to review evaluation criteria and procedures. As the semester progresses, the student teacher gradually assumes the teaching responsibilities for the cooperating teacher’s classes. A supervisor from the Program in Teacher Preparation regularly conducts formal and informal classroom observations and works in collaboration with the cooperating teacher to support the development of the student teacher.
Candidates receive weekly feedback, verbally or in writing, from their host teacher and/or University supervisor. Student teachers create and deliver an original unit of instruction for their area(s) of certification which includes development of both formative and summative assessments along with the analysis of student achievement data and its application to planned instruction."
Teacher Prep candidates must earn a minimum grade of B- in Practice Teaching (TPP 406) to be recommended by the program for the New Jersey State Department of Education initial teaching certificate (the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing).
One component of the candidate’s final TPP 406 grade is an ongoing evaluation of clinical practice using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. The Framework outlines four performance categories:
1) Ineffective; 2) Partially Effective; 3) Effective; and 4) Highly Effective. Candidate scores that fall in the “Ineffective” range are considered unacceptable, requiring immediate intervention. Scores of “Partially Effective” indicate areas requiring improvement, and candidates are expected to show progress in those areas over time.
To support the candidate’s growth, the supervisor, in consultation with the host teacher and candidate, may prepare an improvement plan that sets goals and expectations for performance. An improvement plan can be introduced at any time during the candidate’s TPP 406 clinical placement. If a candidate receives an improvement plan, progress will be evaluated after a short period of time by the supervisor, who will then determine if additional actions are needed. If a candidate does not satisfy the conditions of the plan or if the improvement plan states that the candidate is not allowed to fully take over the instruction of the host teacher, the candidate may not be recommended for New Jersey State licensure.
The state requires that students pass a performance assessment before they can apply for the state teaching certificate. The program's performance assessment has two components. The first is the Student Teacher Work Sample, a structured reflection and analysis of the original unit of instruction described above. The second component is the University supervisor's final evaluation of the student using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Students must pass both components of the performance assessment to be eligible for the state certificate.
In rare cases of very low performance, or where it is determined to be in the best interests of the program, the University supervisor, in consultation with the host teacher, may terminate the placement. If the placement is terminated before the conclusion of the Add/Drop Period, the student may withdraw from TPP 406. In instances when the termination occurs after the Add/Drop period, the student, in accordance with University policy, will receive a failing grade for the course. (In this event, the student should consult with their academic advisor.)
Students who wish to appeal a course grade should do so in accordance with University policies. Normally, the student should start by discussing the grade with the professor of the course. If necessary, the appeal may be pursued with the program director. If the student believes that the grade was inconsistent with stated policies, a further appeal can be brought to the Senior Associate Dean of the College (returning alumni would take such appeals to the Deputy Dean of the College).
For other concerns related to the program, it is suggested that students first consult with the professor or staff member associated with the concern. If the concern is not resolved at that level, the student should consult with the director of the program. If the above steps do not address the issue, then the student should bring the concern to their residential college staff or to the Office of the Dean of the College. Incidents of discrimination or harassment should be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.