The Missouri State Board of Education approved new standards for educator preparation programs Nov. 27.
The new standards, the Missouri Standards for Professional Educators, go into effect March 30, 2013, and detail the requirements future educators, including teachers, school officials and librarians, must meet to become certified.
Gale Hairston, Missouri Education Preparation Director, said MoSPE were designed to replace 14-year-old preparation standards, Missouri Standards for Teacher Education Programs, which Hairston said is outdated.
“The nature of instruction is different,” Hairston said. “The students coming into the classroom are a lot different. MoSPE is the next generation’s set of standards.”
Hairston said MoSPE includes six educator preparation standards, as opposed to the eight standards for MoSTEP. These six standards are academics, assessments, field and clinical experiences, candidates, educator preparation program faculty and resources.
Schools will be held accountable to the new state standards beginning during fall 2014 and Paul Yoder, education department chair, said Truman State will not have to do much to meet the requirements. He said most aspects of Truman’s Master of Arts in Education program already meet the standards, and the biggest change will be making sure students are familiar with MoSPE.
One example of a change from MoSTEP to MoSPE is the removal of a technology standard, because the next generation of educators is already knowledgeable about technology, Yoder said.
“What Missouri discovered is recent graduates have grown up with technology,” Yoder said. “They don’t need to be taught it.”
Yoder said MoSPE also allows more flexibility for educator preparation programs because the standards are broader than MoSTEP.
“Really, it’s going to be a little more of a paperwork issue,” Yoder said. “The standards are more of a reflection of really good teaching, and Truman has always produced really good teachers.”
Truman has been involved with the development of MoSPE for two years, making the transition into the new standards an easy one, Yoder said.
Yoder said one minor change that affects students with the new standards is a change to the MAE portfolio project. MAE students are required to create a portfolio to graduate. Yoder said any student who already has begun to create a portfolio can do so using MoSTEP standards, but students who have yet to start a portfolio will create one that fits the new requirements.
Yoder said he does not think the new standards will have a large impact on Truman. However, during the next six to eight months, Truman will begin to implement the new standards and determine how many changes need to be made to the MAE program, he said.
“This is very, very new,” Yoder said. “It’s still preliminary how this is going to play out. We will have to see as we begin to transition into these new set of standards here at Truman.”
The biggest impact MoSPE will have on the District is with student teachers, said Julie Reuschel, Kirksville R-3 School District’s Improvement Coordinator. The new standards could affect how students, many of whom attend Truman, complete their student teaching, she said. She said she is unsure of what changes, if any, will be made, but any changes to the student teaching program will affect the district.
While such changes might occur, Hairston said he hopes the new standards have a positive effect regarding the education of Missouri teachers.
“Missouri has a lot of excellent teacher preparation programs, but we can always do better,” Hairston said. “We hope with the new standards to bring things up to date in Missouri.”
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