School of Education faculty attend Common Indicators System Network Inquiry Institute through Deans for Impact

Four members in the School of Education attended the Common Indicators System Network Inquiry Institute virtually August 3-6, 2020.

Deans for Impact launched the Common Indicators System (CIS) Network as an effort to systematically transform teacher preparation at scale. What makes the CIS approach unique is that, for the first time, institutions that prepare future teachers are gathering common evidence, using common instruments, about what makes those teachers more (or less) effective. After two years of development, programs are now working together to transform their programs making use of CIS data.

First, programs have agreed to use a common observation instrument for observing student-teaching — and have been specially trained to use this instrument. Second, programs are using a single co-constructed instrument to evaluate teacher-candidate’s beliefs and mindsets about teaching (what some in the field call “dispositions”). Third, programs are using a commonly agreed upon survey of recent graduates of teacher-prep programs. Finally, programs are similarly using a commonly agreed upon survey of employer who have hired teachers prepared by participating programs.

Each of these instruments were selected by the CIS participants after a rigorous evaluation period that focused on selecting tools with research evidence to support their validity and reliability

The CIS Network provides ongoing opportunities for members to learn from each other, analyze candidate evidence and lead others in assessing data to improve the instructional preparedness of beginning teachers.

A key component of the CIS Network is the annual Inquiry Institute, which brings together Network participants for several days of carefully sequenced and structured inquiry into data collected over the prior year. The Institute creates protected space for Network members to investigate their data and also gives them a model they can use to lead shared inquiry at their respective institutions. Ann Bullock, dean of the school of education, Marna Winter, chair and senior lecturer in the department of education and wellness, Katie Baker, assistant professor of education, and Katrice Hawthorne, director of accreditation in the school of education, attended the annual Institute virtually among 15 other institutions.

This is the second year of attendance for Elon University’s School of Education.

Other intuitions in attendance included:

  • Ashland University
  • California Lutheran University
  • Glenville State College
  • Lipscomb University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Purdue University
  • Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Roosevelt University
  • Teachers College of San Joaquin
  • University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wyoming

“The transparent sharing of similar experiences and challenges is especially powerful,” said one Inquiry Institute participant.