by Chelsea La Rue
The Iowa Legislature passed a law in May 2012 that affects nearly 20 percent of William Penn University’s students. Effective immediately after the New Year, all education majors will have to take exit exams before being certified to teach.
For elementary education majors, this is nothing new. For many years, all elementary education majors have been taking exit exams while secondary education majors were not required to do so. The elementary and secondary education majors now have two different tests to take before being licensed.
“I think it is kind of last minute, but it is fair,” junior elementary education major Terri Thompson said.
The first test that all education majors are required to take is a content knowledge test based on their age and area of study. The second test will be a pedagogy test focused on teaching strategies and skills. The two tests combined will cost each student upwards of $300.
“The U.S. population as a whole believes that education needs improvement,” Kathryn Roe, education professor and assessment coordinator, said. The soon-to-be teachers are being held to a high standard.
Many courses and majors at Penn now have to evaluate what their students are learning and what they are not.
“The university is looking at how they can give students the opportunity to learn what they need to know,” Roe said.
For help in preparing for the tests, students can log on to Moodle and scroll to the bottom of the Education Information page. There students can find detailed study guides designed to help prepare them for not only the pedagogy test, but also for nearly all subjects of the content exams.
(Read more about this story in the December 2012 issue of The Chronicle, William Penn University’s student newspaper–copies will be available on campus and in the Oskaloosa community on December 6.)