Study Guide

Field 003: Assessment of Professional Knowledge:
Adolescence to Young Adult (7–12)
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Competency 0001
Understand processes of human development, variations in student development, and how to apply this knowledge to provide instructional environments and experiences that promote all students' development and learning.

A middle school teacher has been planning to have the students in a class carry out individual research projects in which each student would investigate and report on a self-selected topic. The teacher decides instead to have the students conduct and report on their research in groups. The group approach is likely to be particularly effective for middle school students because it:

  1. increases the students' overall learning efficiency and sense of contribution during the project.
  2. enables students who usually achieve at varied levels to perform at a level similar to that of high-achieving peers in the class.
  3. uses the students' interest in social interactions to enhance motivation and increase engagement in the learning process.
  4. prompts the students to use a greater variety of methods and approaches to pursue broader, more complex research topics.
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to evaluate various instructional strategies, approaches, and learning goals in relation to the developmental characteristics and needs of young adolescents. To plan effective instruction, teachers need to take into consideration the developmental characteristics of the students they teach. Social development in young adolescents is characterized by an increased focus on peers and peer relationships. Cooperative learning engages students in the social construction of knowledge, integrating learning with peer interaction. This approach also enhances student motivation by responding directly to young adolescents' need for relatedness to others.

Competency 0002
Understand learning processes, factors that can affect student learning and performance, and how to apply this knowledge to provide instructional environments and experiences that promote all students' learning and achievement.

Which of the following is the best example of a teacher applying a constructivist approach to student learning?

  1. A math teacher has students use hands-on materials and real-world problems to acquire new concepts and practice skills.
  2. A language arts teacher provides students with a concrete reward each time they turn in a written assignment that is free of errors.
  3. A social studies teacher uses visual aids and a logical progression of ideas when presenting lectures about new or unfamiliar topics.
  4. A science teacher models the correct procedures for performing complex experiments before having students perform the experiments.
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of major theories and concepts related to the learning process and their application in educational contexts. Constructivism is based on the concept that individuals build their own knowledge by exploring and interacting directly with their physical and social environments. Constructivism emphasizes the active role of the learner in building understanding, making sense of information, and applying knowledge. The use of hands-on materials promotes each student's active engagement in the learning process and the use of real-world problems provides students with authentic and relevant contexts in which to apply new knowledge.

Competency 0003
Understand student diversity and how to provide learning opportunities and environments that are responsive to student differences, promote all students' learning, and foster students' appreciation of and respect for diversity.

When planning a lesson, a teacher can best help ensure that instruction will be effective and appropriate for students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds by asking himself or herself which of the following questions?

  1. Will the lesson include opportunities for interaction among students from different backgrounds?
  2. Will students have opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification at various points in the lesson?
  3. Will the lesson be structured in a way that allows students to spend time working with self-selected peers to help process new learning?
  4. Will the examples used to illustrate and explore lesson content be familiar and relevant to students with varied life experiences?
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of strategies for planning and adapting instruction that is responsive to the characteristics, skills, strengths, and needs of all students. Effective instruction helps students make connections between their current understandings and new concepts and ideas. Students from different socioeconomic backgrounds vary in their experiences and their access to enrichment activities (e.g., arts classes, science camps) and educational resources (e.g., museums, libraries, technology). To make learning meaningful for all students, teachers must take into consideration this variation in students' experiential backgrounds and circumstances when choosing examples that will serve as the foundation for new learning.

Competency 0004
Understand assessment instruments and practices, the relationship between assessment and instruction, and how to use assessment to guide instruction and monitor students' learning progress.

A teacher regularly gives students brief quizzes of three to five questions covering material taught in the current or preceding lesson. Which of the following is likely to be the primary benefit of this practice?

  1. helping improve instruction through ongoing feedback on teaching effectiveness
  2. minimizing the amount of reteaching required for students to master curricular content
  3. ensuring that the teacher has adequate performance data to assign students a fair grade for the class
  4. enhancing students' engagement in the learning process and recognition of key learning goals
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to apply strategies for using assessment to monitor student understanding and to guide instruction. A primary purpose of classroom assessment is to determine whether students have mastered targeted concepts and skills. Giving students brief quizzes at frequent intervals allows the teacher to quickly determine whether students have achieved this mastery as well as the effectiveness of particular instructional strategies or approaches in promoting student learning. If students perform well on a daily quiz, the teacher can be relatively sure that the approach used in a lesson was effective in promoting student learning. If students perform poorly on a daily quiz, the teacher must then use an alternate methodology or different examples to facilitate students' understanding. The ongoing use of frequent quizzes helps promote the teacher's ability to tailor instruction to students' specific learning needs.

Competency 0005
Understand principles and procedures of curricular and instructional planning and how to use effective planning to design instruction that promotes all students' learning and achievement.

Eighth-grade science, social studies, and language arts teachers are planning an integrated unit on the Industrial Revolution. This instructional approach can be expected to enhance student learning primarily by:

  1. facilitating students' accelerated achievement of content standards in multiple subject areas.
  2. presenting students with tasks that are responsive to their individual learning preferences.
  3. promoting students' ability to apply a wide range of academic problem-solving strategies.
  4. connecting ideas for students in ways that make content more authentic and meaningful.
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of the benefits of and strategies for integrating curricula. Isolated subject area instruction often prevents students from identifying important interconnections among the subjects they study. Interdisciplinary instruction integrates topics from multiple content areas, usually focusing on a specific theme. This approach provides students with links to help them connect otherwise discrete bits of knowledge and simulates real-world learning and work environments. Interdisciplinary instruction adds meaning and relevancy to students' learning by helping them discover relationships across content areas and to their own lives. It also prompts them to use their knowledge in one content area to better understand and appreciate content in other curricular areas.

Competency 0006
Understand principles and practices associated with various instructional approaches and how to apply these principles and practices to promote all students' achievement of instructional goals.

A tenth-grade history teacher is introducing a long-term project with several components. Students will be required to conduct research and interviews on a self-selected topic, write a report, and make an oral presentation. At this point in instruction, the teacher can best promote all students' ability to achieve the goals of the project by using which of the following strategies?

  1. assigning students partners to provide support throughout the project and scheduling regular times for the partners to meet
  2. reassuring students that they possess all of the skills and abilities needed to complete the project tasks
  3. organizing project tasks in a step-by-step sequence and providing students with directions and reminders for completing each step
  4. explaining to students how the objectives of the project fit into a larger instructional plan
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of how to organize and implement instruction that promotes the ability of all students to achieve learning goals. To complete a long-term project successfully, students must be able to manage their time and organize their work. Individual students vary in their ability to plan and organize their work effectively as well as in the level of independence they demonstrate with regard to their learning. Structuring long-term projects as a series of smaller steps, each with specific directions, provides scaffolding to help students develop organizational skills and achieve the goals of the project. This strategy keeps students aware of what they have to accomplish each day or week and allows the teacher to monitor their progress and provide assistance and support at the point of need.

Competency 0007
Understand principles and practices of motivation and communication and how to apply these principles and practices effectively to promote students' active engagement and learning.

Students are most likely to be intrinsically motivated to learn and master subject matter when they:

  1. know that they will be tested on their understanding of the content in the near future.
  2. believe that the work they are doing is interesting and relates to their own lives.
  3. perceive that their performance compares favorably with that of peers engaged in the same tasks.
  4. anticipate that they will receive positive reinforcement for achieving instructional objectives.
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. An important concept in motivation theory is the idea that the strength of students' internal, or intrinsic, motivation in a particular situation is determined in part by their perception of the value of the assigned task. For students to find an assigned task meaningful and interesting, they must perceive the task to have some connection to the real-life problems and situations they will face outside the classroom, both now and in the future. For example, a physics teacher who knows that many of his or her students are avid skateboarders might use skateboarding as the basis for examples and problems in a physics lesson.

Competency 0008
Understand how to structure and manage the classroom to establish a safe, inclusive, and positive environment that is organized and productive; fosters excellence; and promotes learning, appropriate student behavior, and effective work habits.

A student breaks a classroom behavior rule, disrupting the class and interrupting the day's lesson. Which of the following is the most important guideline for the teacher to follow when disciplining the student?

  1. Involve the class in determining an appropriate consequence for the student's actions.
  2. Document in writing the steps taken to address the student's actions and his or her response to those steps.
  3. Determine consequences for the student's actions based on his or her previous behavior and achievement.
  4. Address the student's actions in a manner that allows the student to preserve his or her sense of dignity.
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of various strategies for managing student behavior and relationships between specific classroom management approaches and student learning, attitudes, and behaviors. Good teachers know that every student deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This is particularly important when a teacher needs to redirect a student's behavior or discipline a student for inappropriate behavior. In taking steps to preserve the student's dignity, the teacher helps prevent the kind of power struggle that can occur when a student feels humiliated before his or her peers and becomes defiant or argumentative to try to save face and avoid further embarrassment.

Competency 0009
Understand how to establish partnerships and collaborate effectively with families, colleagues, and members of the community to enhance and support student learning.

A high school math teacher has a few students in her classes who have learning disabilities that affect various aspects of their math performance. The teacher has planned a new instructional unit on probability and wants to make sure that all of the students with learning disabilities will be able to participate fully in unit activities. The teacher can best help ensure this outcome by:

  1. preparing a selection of alternative activities that require less advanced math skills for the students with learning disabilities.
  2. asking the special education teacher to review the planned activities and utilizing adaptations suggested for each student who has learning disabilities.
  3. having the students with learning disabilities work on unit activities with a peer partner who has strong skills in math.
  4. trying a few sample activities with the students who have learning disabilities before beginning the unit and making adjustments as needed.
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of how to collaborate effectively with others in the school community to meet student needs and enhance student learning. In inclusive learning environments, classroom teachers must address a wide range of student needs. Special education staff have in-depth training in the nature of various exceptionalities that is beyond the training most general education teachers receive. Special education teachers also have a broad knowledge base about alternative or adapted methods, materials, and approaches that are most effective in meeting the needs of students with specific exceptionalities.

Competency 0010
Understand roles and expectations for professional educators, legal and ethical guidelines, and strategies for continuous professional growth and self-reflection.

In which of the following situations is a teacher most clearly using reflection and self-assessment to improve professional practice?

  1. A teacher asks another teacher to review his or her lesson plans prior to instruction and provide feedback on planned activities and materials.
  2. A teacher engages in co-teaching with a more experienced teacher when introducing particularly challenging content to students.
  3. A teacher reviews videotapes of his or her instruction with a more experienced teacher to identify teaching strengths and challenges.
  4. A teacher creates a comprehensive description of activities used during each grading period to submit to the department chairperson.
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of strategies for using reflection and self-assessment to identify teaching strengths and challenges and to improve professional practice. Self-assessment requires the teacher's active engagement in the process of reviewing and reflecting upon his or her instructional approach. Viewing a video of a lesson allows a new teacher to observe his or her own speaking patterns, body language, pacing, and other elements of instructional delivery as well as student engagement in the lesson. Soliciting the support of an experienced colleague who has a broader understanding of professional practice can enhance the new teacher's personal observations and reflections by promoting objectivity and providing helpful suggestions for adapting instruction to better promote student learning.