FIP for Pre-Service Teachers: Kent State University, Stark

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FIP isn’t just for practicing teachers. Pre-Service teachers are getting an accelerated look at the same materials that districts across the state are using, preparing them for their own classrooms in the near future.  As a part of this month’s focus on FIP and pre-service teachers, we spoke with Claudia Khourey-Bowers, Ph.D. professor at Kent State University, Stark. Although many higher education faculty members hear about formative instructional practices exclusively through education conferences, Claudia found out that Plain Local, a partner school district, had adopted FIP training for their teachers and leaders. Her KSU pre-service teachers were hearing about formative assessment in their extended-teaching experiences with the district.

The Foundations of FIP modules have been a part of the KSU Stark Curriculum and Instruction in Middle Childhood course for two years now; it is a senior-level undergraduate course. These students are in class with Claudia through the entire year, but she noted that assessment is a huge part of the spring semester. The videos embedded in the modules have clarified the difference between formative and summative assessment; and the time invested in the modules is paying off. Students are no longer confused by the two assessment types and have been able to explain while providing clear examples of each. Her students’ involvement has been incredibly positive, with a 100% completion rate for her class in the first three modules. Claudia recognized how students have been able to apply what they are learning from the Foundations of FIP modules and apply it to what they see in the classroom, as well as connect with their mentoring teachers as many of them are going through the same PD.

Claudia specifically noted that within the modules, there are explicit connections between different types of formative assessment and the benefits of formative assessment, matching up what you want to happen as a result of using formative instructional practices. This aligns with her use of the teaching backward curriculum— beginning with the end in mind. Her students are challenged to establish goals and determine their assessment plans, writing lessons only after they have done both tasks. Each Fall, the pre-service teachers focus on goal setting before transitioning to the spring, when they focus on connecting those goals to assessment. “With FIP, students are able to see how exit slips, interviews, and drawings fit into the broader teaching environment. They are understanding its role in the classroom. FIP does a great job of focusing on the meaning and why it’s important. FIP is not just an instrument”. Claudia didn’t just stop at her own word; before we spoke, she surveyed her entire class for feedback on the modules. Take a look at some of the feedback that her pre-service teachers gave her.

How can you integrate formative instructional practices into your pre-service programs? Learn more on our Higher Education Access Page.