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Lynch School of Education

Professional Standards for Teaching

practicum experiences & teacher induction

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education requires that all teacher candidates pursuing Initial Licensure complete a supervised field experience and be evaluated using the Preservice Performance Assessment (PPA). It assesses teacher candidates' full practicum performance and readiness to teach according to five standards.

With approval from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, the Lynch School of Education expanded this assessment to include two new standards focused on pupil learning and developing an inquiry stance. We also refined Standard D: Promotes Equity to reflect the Lynch School of Education's committment to teaching for social justice. This work resulted in the creation of a new assessment tool, the Preservice Performance Assessment Plus (PPA+). Teacher candidates at Boston College are assessed according to seven standards highlighted on the PPA+; the University's additions to the state tool are noted in italics:

  • A. Plans Curriculum and Instruction
  • B. Delivers Effective Instruction
  • C. Manages Classroom Climate
  • D. Promotes Equity and Social Justice
  • E. Meets Professional Responsibilities
  • F. Assesses and Promotes Pupil Learning
  • G. Demonstrates an Inquiry Stance in Daily Practice

PPA+ Evidence Binder

Additionally, teacher candidates are required to select evidence from their teaching that relates to these standards and to briefly justify each selection. Candidates are informed in advance about possible data sources and evidence examples for each indicator. Clinical Faculty supervisors assess teacher candidates on these standards throughout the full practicum period based on evidence candidates collect (e.g. lesson plans, journals, samples of pupil work, etc.), and summative ratings determine whether the program endorses the candidate. An extensive rubric is used to evaluate candidate performance on the PPA+ based upon a 4‐point scale for each individual indicator.

Scores across the indicators within a standard are averaged to determine whether the candidate has or has not met each standard. The lowest score on this scale (0) is given if the candidate’s performance is unsatisfactory, which results in a candidate failing to meet the given standard, no matter what the score they earn on other indicators or the average across indicators.

A score of 1 results in the teacher candidate not meeting a given indicator, but the candidate may still meet the overall standard with high enough ratings on the other indicators. The average across the indicators determines whether the candidate meets the standard. A score of 2 qualifies the candidate as meeting the standard, and a score of 3 corresponds to “exceeding” a given standard.

Teacher candidates must meet all standards in order to receive the endorsement. Clinical Faculty supervisors are trained in using this scoring system through regular “refreshers” where evidence selections are rated individually and disagreement is determined and discussed.

Assessments & Rubrics

Teacher candidates can review the appropriate assessment, which highlights all of required standards and indicators, as well as the rubric below:

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