The School of Education upholds the City University of New York and Lehman College’s commitments to access, excellence, and multicultural understanding through academic departments that are dedicated to the development of practices that affirm diversity, creativity, critical thinking, integrity, and technological expertise of 21st Century tools and skills. The School of Education is comprised of more than 25 state-approved certification programs that are committed to preparing pre-service and in-service teachers, educational leaders, and school counselors with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to become proficient and caring educators and counselors. The mission of the School of Education is captured in the Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) framework.
The School of Education is also actively engaged with over 200 schools based in the Bronx, lower Westchester, as well as the other boroughs of New York City. Each of these collaborations and partnerships represents the School of Education’s commitment to make a positive difference in the lives of students, teachers, school counselors, principals, families, and school communities. The School is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), soon to become the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Based on the needs of our education graduate and undergraduate students, the resources available and the college infrastructure, our C2L (Connect to Learning) Leadership Team stayed singularly focused on developing ePortfolios within the School of Education.
The ePortfolio initiative in the School of Education currently involves approximately 4 programs and about 150 students (roughly 10% of the School of Education). Three faculty members as well as two staff members have been actively involved and committed to ePortfolio practice over the past several years. With the new State mandated teacher performance assessment ePortfolio requirements, all School of Education programs now have some ePortfolio requirements. Programs specifically connected to C2L are the Graduate Childhood Education and Science Education programs (details below).
The primary focus of our ePortfolio work has been in the area of capstone ePortfolios, however we are moving towards full program implementation. Our work has focused on enhancing student learning through reflective practice, helping students make connections within a program and across the program (integrative learning) and social pedagogy (sharing work with others, using the ePortfolio as a teaching and collaboration tool). Additionally, while completing an ePortfolio students are supported in understanding and developing their identity as professionals. It creates a space for them to further develop their abilities to see themselves as professionals in a variety of ways, i.e., connecting to broader professional standards; evaluating their strengths and weaknesses; deepening an understanding of continuous learning; speaking clearly about their philosophies and beliefs and thinking critically about their practice. Based on 3 years of student self-perception data, this implementation of the capstone experiences with a focus on reflection and professionalism has been very successful.
Graduate Childhood Education: After three years of piloting the ePortfolios in a capstone course, the Graduate Childhood Education program started a two-year program ePortfolio in fall, 2013. Instead of completing an entire ePortfolio from scratch in one capstone semester, the students are adding pieces to a program ePortfolio each semester throughout the two years. In the capstone course they will polish their ePortfolio and create a professional ePortfolio. The ePortfolio will be introduced in the first semester of the program, and students will be asked to place key assignments and assessments in a TaskStream DRF (Directed Response Folio). In addition to key assignments and assessments (such as an annotated bibliography, a child study report, group projects, a classroom observation report, etc) the ePortfolio asks students to include a headshot, and a quote or small description about himself or herself as an educator, a beginning of program educational philosophy an end of program educational philosophy, a reflection on the changes in the philosophies over time, and a resume. Additionally, students are asked to compare their learning to the INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment Support Consortium) standards – the national standards for beginning teachers. Students choose artifacts (such as lesson plans, student work, reflections, written assignments or other materials students have produced to document their learning), describe them and reflect on what they learned from the artifact and then describe how it relates to the standards. In this way they are able to affirm that they are indeed prepared for teaching in classrooms. Students will begin with one entry for the INTASC standards in the first semester, the beginning of program educational philosophy and will also begin the annotated bibliography of theory and pedagogy. Additionally, each semester they will be asked to respond to reflective prompts which will ask them to integrate the knowledge they have learned across courses in the program and relate it to theory and pedagogy (referencing their annotated bibliography will assist in completing this assignment). Over the two years of the program (during each semester), students will add to their ePortfolios in all areas. The amount of cross course integration and theory integration with real life experiences will both scaffold learning and increase in rigor as they progress through the program.The ePortfolio is not only a chance for students to reflect on their learning throughout the program but also to showcase their work and ability to think reflectively. While the main objective for the portfolio is assessment, the process and participation has absolutely helped students build a professional identity. With that in mind, it is also intended to be a showcase portfolio that can be brought to job interviews. In the capstone course students will be asked to refine their portfolios so that they are suitable for job interviews.
Science Education: Similar to the Childhood Education Program, the Science Education Graduate Program is completing its second year of implementing ePortfolio capstone project ( first year 2010-11; second year 2011-2012). The program has graduate students who have been sponsored by the New York Teaching Fellows and students who are in our traditional programs. Currently only students in traditional program are required to create an ePortfolio capstone project in order to graduate. The eP has replaced the thesis project for the traditional students. The New York Teaching Fellow students are required to complete a “thesis” project. In the first two years the ePortfolio capstone was implemented in the two-semester research track offered to students in the last year of their program. In the first semester of the research track students are introduced to the ePortfolio and asked to begin working on their Welcome page, Philosophy of Science Education and one of three other competency areas: 1) Reflective Practice, 2) Use of New Pedagogical Knowledge to Design Instruction and Assessment and 3) understanding Science Education Theory and Literature.
It is important to note here that, unlike the Childhood Education program, Science Education does not directly use competency prompts from the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) or another teacher association accrediting organization to structure the ePortfolio. Entries, however, can be tagged to NSTA competency areas. In the second semester students are then asked to complete the entire ePortfolio. In the second semester each student selects at least two competency areas to orally present to the class. The purpose of this formative presentation is to have students share how they are going about developing their ePortfolio and get feedback from the class. At the end of the second semester all students must orally present their completed ePortfolio (summative presentation). Formative presentations last for about one hour. Summative presentations last for about 70 minutes (with Q& A). Both the formative and summative presentations are videotaped and made available to the students. In the second year of implementation, with suggestions from students, two additional competency areas were added: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Using Science Content Area Knowledge. Also with the inspiration form Randy Bass’s idea of social pedagogy a third competency area was added in the second year of implementation at the beginning of the second semester call “ Collaborative Entry.” In order to complete the collaborative entry, students had to team up with at least two other students in the course to create the entry. The guidelines for the entry asked students to 1) to address a salient topic in science education, 2) to identify an audience for the entry, and 3) supply guideline for how the entry should be evaluated. The purpose of the collaborative entry was to give more room for student to be creative and collaborative in their approach to creating their ePortfolio.