Content and Knowledge

 

The Bahrain Teachers College is currently in the process of applying for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a US-based organization that is recognized by the US Department of Education and is perceived to be the most important such board. Nearly all teachers colleges in the US have achieved (or are required to achieve) accreditation from CAEP or its predecessors, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The two predecessors merged in 2016, and universities that had obtained accreditation from either previously are now undergoing the process to meet the expectations of CAEP. Increasingly, teachers colleges outside the United States are seeking CAEP accreditation to demonstrate their commitment to global standards of teacher education.

In this first article of a series that explains the accreditation for which the BTC is pursuing, we will focus on the first standard, Content and Pedagogical Knowledge. According to CAEP, this standard holds teachers colleges accountable for ensuring “that candidates develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their discipline and, by completion, are able to use discipline-specific practices flexibly to advance the learning of all students toward attainment of college- and career-readiness standards.” Unlike earlier forms of university accreditation, this standard focuses not on a prescription for what the college’s students should learn, but a framework that assures the college keeps careful track of data about whether or not students are learning. If there is any prescription in the curriculum, it is simply that the college uses a set of evidence-based standards as an overall guide, in this case the standards of the Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), which include such things as a focus on learning environments, differences between learners, planning for instruction, and other elements that are already deeply embedded in the BTC’s curriculum.

In this standard, the agency will inspect BTC’s practices in developing its curriculum based on international evidence and in assessing students’ ability to master it. So far, the faculty of the BTC feel confident that its curriculum is ready for the review of the agency. However, the college will need to implement assessments that cover the total learning across the programs, not just course-by-course. This will be implemented over the course of the upcoming year.

 

 

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