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Big Sky Five Infographic by Montana CEED
Big Sky Five
Montana Effective Practices Alignment Matrix

Since its inception, the Montana Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) – a partnership of the Office of Public Instruction, University of Montana, University of Montana Western, Montana State University, Montana State University Billings, and University of Providence – has been focusing on its mission to increase the commitment and capacity of all Montana educators to maximize the learning outcomes of every student. Central to this work has been an emphasis on ensuring that all future and novice educators acquire a core set of highly effective instructional practices through the various educator preparation programs (EPPs) available throughout the state. More recently, the MT CEEDAR team along with other MT EPP professional colleagues has undertaken the alignment of three major national and statewide professional development initiatives: the Danielson Framework, Teaching Works High-leverage Practices (HLPs), and the Council for Exceptional Children HLPs – using the effective practices ratings system developed by John C. Hattie.

The Role of High Leverage Practices in Preparing Novice Teachers

In recent years, teacher and leader educators have identified a critical set of essential practices that can be used in any content area with research showing these essential practices improve student learning and behavior (citation). These practices can be learned by candidates through coursework and reinforced through clinical field experiences. These critical practices, known as High Leverage Practices (HLPs), represent a “common core of professional knowledge and skill that can be taught to aspiring teachers across all types of programs and pathways” (Ball & Forzani, 2011, p. 19). More information on HLPs is available here.

How to Understand the Matrix

This Effective Practices Alignment Matrix is designed to show the alignment between highly-used instructional frameworks and practices across Montana schools and create coherence across practices and instructional frameworks. It is organized using four essential resources: The Danielson Framework, a widely used observation tool designed to evaluate general education teacher instruction that represents core domains, components, and elements of effective general education instruction; Teaching Works High Leverage Practices, which embodies 19 essential practices general education research has found to be effective across students and content areas; Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and CEEDAR HLPs, which are practices that special education researchers and experts have identified as critical for general success of students with disabilities or students receiving specialized instructional intervention support; and, John C. Hattie Influencers, a list which contains 250+ factors that impact student learning, along with how much
impact each factor has.

A Note about Effect Sizes

Effect size depicts the difference in performance between two groups--usually control and treatment—irrespective of sample size. To calculate this metric, Hattie uses the statistical method of Cohen’s d, which classifies effect sizes as “small,” “medium,” or “large” based on the following range: small effects = 0.20, medium effects =0.50, large effects = 0.80. Educational and behavioral science research generally sees smaller effects compared to other sciences because much of the research is working with latent variables in quasi designs. Also, the more distal assessments are to the treatments, the more diminished the effect size will likely be (e.g., standardized tests versus curriculum aligned assessments). According to Hattie (2009,) an effect size of .4 is the average for educational research, .5 is equal to one years’ worth of growth, and 1.0 is equal to two years’ worth of teaching. Therefore, an effect size greater than or equal to .4 is a zone of desired effects in terms of instructional practice. As the purpose of this document is to align different frameworks, it does not provide information about the effect sizes of the recommended practices (column 4). However, these practices have either shown an effect size of .4 or greater, and/or are researched, evidence-based practices.

How to Use the Matrix

1. The matrix is organized around the principle domains of the Danielson Framework which are: Planning & Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. The core components and  elements of each Danielson domain are listed in the first column. Listed in the following two columns are corresponding general (TeachingWorks) and special education (CEC/CEEDAR) HLPs. The final column lists the matching researched influencers by Hattie on student achievement, as well as other recommended, evidence-based teaching practices. Many of the recommended practices contain links to resources, which provide more in-depth descriptions of the practices and how to use them.

2. Instructors in educator preparation programs (EPPs) can use this matrix to help develop course syllabi. For example, if an instructor wants to ensure they are providing their pre-service teachers with the most relevant and up to date evidence-based information on the Danielson Domain of Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy, they can see that the general education HLP aligned with this is diagnosing common patterns of student thinking. Therefore, the instructor may want to teach their pre-service teachers how to assess for prior student knowledge. To ensure their pre-service teachers are prepared to teach students with disabilities, the instructor can look across and see that a HLP associated with the Danielson domain of Demonstrating Knowledge of Content is scaffolded instruction, which also has a significant effect size. Therefore, an instructor in an EPP may want to ensure they include ways in which to teach their pre-services teachers to scaffold instruction.

3. EPPs can also use this matrix through practicum experiences. For example, while observing a pre-service teacher for specific examples of the Danielson Domain of Managing Student Behavior and the general education HLP of specifying and reinforcing productive student behavior, a practicum supervisor may at the same time use the opportunity for teaching explicit social behaviors (a CEC HLP) using behavioral organizers (recommended by Hattie due to a desired effect size).

Effective Practices Alignment Matrix

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MT Ceedar has been a CEEDAR TA Partner since 2014

Participating Teacher Preparation Programs

Montana State University-Billings

Montana State University-Bozeman

University of Montana-Missoula

University of Montana-Western

University of Providence-Great Falls

Reform Efforts

Teacher Leadership Preparation:

Montana strives to achieve its vision of all students maximizing their post-secondary attainment and finding meaningful places in their communities through its primary CEEDAR statewide goal of increasing the commitment and capacity of every Montana educator to address the academic, behavioral, and socio-emotional development of every learner, including students with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse learners.  Central to achieving this goal is identifying and applying a core set of content and instructional practices derived from a broad array of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and high-leverage practices (HLPs) that can be implemented in both educator preparation and in-service professional development programs to guide and support the engagement of higher education, state, and local education partners in the implementation of multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) throughout the state. Merging these CEEDAR priorities with the statewide implementation of MTSS and the long-standing Positive Behavioral and Interventions Support (PBIS) initiative ensures the effective scaling up and long-term sustainability of these efforts. Furthermore, this work is buttressed by individual outreach and partnership efforts by each of the four participating institutions of higher education (IHEs) with their local schools and school districts and with all IHEs with EPPs through the statewide Higher Education Consortium.

Licensure Certification:

Revisions to Montana’s Licensure and Certification standards were adopted in early 2015, before Montana’s CEEDAR intensive state work began, and will not be taken up again for revision until 2017.

Program Evaluation/Approval:

All four IHEs participating in the CEEDAR initiative have either completed or are completing the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) program review process and have incorporated descriptions of their current and planned CEEDAR work as evidence in addressing the CAEP standards.

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