• The next interaction is called Profiles of Practice—Observation of Classroom Practice. Two observation events take place in which the mentor teacher observes the beginning teacher leading an instructional lesson. The mentor then provides feedback based on the observation and on review of planning materials, oral and written reflections, and examples of student work.

  • Three inquiry tasks are also scheduled for beginning teachers. These tasks require beginning teachers to explore specific aspects of their teaching practice. To complete each event, beginning teachers must gather information about a selected aspect of teaching using a variety of resources, including their colleagues, research journals, and texts. Together with the mentor, the beginning teacher develops a plan of action to try out in the classroom, implements the plan, and reflects on the experience. The inquiry events focus on ways to establish a positive classroom environment, design an instructional experience, and analyze student work.

  • Teachers also participate in two events called Individual Growth Plans. The individual growth plans are designed to help beginning teachers determine how best to focus their efforts throughout the entire induction process. To complete these events, beginning teachers must prepare a plan for professional learning that takes into account their teaching practices, school or district initiatives, and other challenges they may face.

  • The final induction activities are referred to as Closure Events: Assessment and Colloquium. These interactions help bring closure to the year by engaging beginning teachers in self-assessment, encouraging a final evaluation of professional learning, and promoting the sharing of professional knowledge with other beginning teachers.

A total of 10 events occur over the course of the school year. All of the inquires and observations make use of planning, teaching, reflecting, and applying what is learned. The activities encourage beginning teachers to participate in reflective writing, conversations with experienced colleagues, and ongoing examination of teaching in relation to student learning (Educational Testing Services, 1995a).

Training of Mentors and Assessors

Since the PATHWISE Induction Program-Praxis III Version relies on effective use of observational data, extensive training is required. ETS offers three levels of training for the program. An initial two-day training in the PATHWISE Classroom Observation system acquaints individuals with the 19 criteria that form the basis for the program and is a prerequisite for other levels of training. Participants receive instruction in recording observational data, analyzing written contextual information, using written and observational information to evaluate performance, writing summaries of teacher performance, and providing



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement