the Florida Professional Education Test, which covers five content areas: personal development, appropriate student behavior, planning instruction, implementing instruction, and evaluating instruction. Alternatively, candidates can take the Praxis Professional Knowledge Test.
California has a new pedagogical test for prospective reading teachers called the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) <www.ctc.ca.gov>. RICA assesses the knowledge and skills essential for providing effective reading instruction to students. It includes four domains, which cover planning and organizing reading instruction based on ongoing assessment, developing phonological and other linguistic processes related to reading, developing reading comprehension and promoting independent reading, and supporting reading through oral and written language development. RICA is offered as a paper-and-pencil test and as a video-based performance assessment.
INTASC states are developing a new pedagogical knowledge test called the Test of Teaching Knowledge (TTK) for teacher candidates. This test is scheduled for administration in 2002 (J.Miller, INTASC, personal communication, 2000). Field test materials for the TTK include open-ended items about learning, development, and motivation; teaching scenarios and artifacts; and samples of student work that attempt to evaluate whether teacher candidates understand the fundamentals of child development, motivation and behavior, learning theory, the identification of common learning difficulties, principles of classroom management, and strategies for assessment.
The field test version of the TTK includes a case study exercise and a folio review as well as constructed-response questions based on INTASC principles. In the case study a detailed narrative about a classroom situation is described, while the folio review exercise presents a collection of documents related to one particular classroom instructional sequence. Questions following the exercises ask candidates to describe appropriate instructional strategies that address and support different learning styles or to describe effective classroom management styles of individual, small-group, or whole-class work. Other items ask candidates to write letters to parents explaining plans for organizing classroom work for their students, considering curriculum goals, and knowledge about child and adolescent development.
Another kind of teacher knowledge that includes dimensions of content and pedagogy is called subject-specific pedagogical knowledge (Shulman, 1986). Subject-specific pedagogical knowledge goes beyond knowledge of subject matter to include ways of representing and formulating topics that make them understandable to students. It also includes an understanding of what makes learning a topic easy or difficult for students—for example, misconceptions about the solar system that might impede learning about astronomy.