The Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework requires every educator to develop at least one student learning goal and at least one professional practice goal. On the basis of a self-assessment, many educators may wish to focus one or both of their goals on inclusive practice. The principles of accessible instruction and positive behavior supports can help educators identify targeted, actionable instructional practices and related assessments that help all learners in inclusive instructional settings access core instruction and demonstrate what they know.
Professional practice goals challenge educators to continually reflect and improve on their practice in order to better serve their students. For educators in inclusive settings, it is especially important that professional practice goals advance their capacity to implement accessible instruction and positive behavior supports. To create professional practice goals that reflect progress toward more inclusive classroom settings, educators will need a clear understanding of how the standards and indicators outlined in the Framework can support professional growth and development related to inclusive practice.
When developing a professional practice goal focused on aspects of an educator's practice related to inclusive settings, educators should consider the following:
Goal identification. The guiding principles of accessible instruction and positive behavior supports create a foundation of support for diverse learners. Self-assessing one's practice in these areas will allow for a more focused goal development process that targets the skills educators need to improve their classroom environment and promote learning among all students.
Collaborative goals. In inclusive settings with a diverse range of learner abilities, it is important to leverage the skills and expertise of all educators to serve students. Therefore, when appropriate, educators should consider setting professional practice goals as a team. Collaborative instructional models require clear identification of roles and responsibilities as well as shared responsibility for planning, delivering, and assessing instruction.
Rationale of focus. Professional practice goals should advance educators' capacity to support accessible instruction and positive behavior supports. Educators must be able to connect their professional practice targets with outcomes that support improvement in the classroom environment and promote learning for all students.
Relevant resources and supports. After educators have developed their professional practice goals, they should consider instructional and behavioral resources that they can employ to help them achieve their goals. Educators should discuss among their team and with their evaluator necessary resources and how support will be provided by colleagues and school leaders.
Student learning goals are an important opportunity for educators to demonstrate their impact in the classroom. Through student learning goals, educators in inclusive classrooms set high expectations for all learners and then differentiate the type of support that will help learners achieve those targets.
The process of creating a student learning goal enables educators to reflect on ways in which their professional practice, including the incorporation of accessible instruction and positive behavior supports, directly contributes to student learning. In conjunction with the required professional practice goal, the student learning goal promotes professional growth and continuous improvement by connecting educator professional practice to the needs of students.
When developing a student learning goal, educators in inclusive settings should consider the following:
Goal identification. Student learning goals should reflect an inclusive classroom setting in which all students are held to high expectations. Educators in inclusive settings should consider how a student learning goal creates an inclusive attitude toward diverse learners and promotes appropriately differentiated teaching and learning so that all students can access core curriculum and demonstrate growth.
Learning targets. Educators must consider multiple data sources when determining learning targets for students in an inclusive setting. Meaningful learning targets reflect high expectations for all students while taking into account differences in the growth trajectories for students with a wide variety of learning needs.
Collaborative goals. Educators working in collaborative teams to serve students in an inclusive environment may consider a team goal that reflects shared responsibility for the success of all students in the inclusive setting. For example, co-teachers may choose to write and pursue together a shared student learning goal for all students in the class.
Identifying strategies. Accessible instruction and positive behavior supports provide entry points for students with a variety of learning needs to access the core instruction. Strong student learning goals identify specific strategies aligned with accessible instruction and positive behavior supports that meet the needs of students and support their attainment of the learning goal.
Measuring progress. Educators should use student data to frequently monitor progress toward attainment of the student learning goal and to inform instructional and positive behavioral adjustments to the strategies that will promote learning and social-emotional success in an inclusive environment.
The following tools will help educators develop professional practice and student learning goals that leverage inclusive instructional strategies to support the success of all students.
Last Updated: August 14, 2015
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