National Board Certification in North Carolina: Five Motivators for Pursuit

National Board Certification in North Carolina: Five Motivators for Pursuit

Teresa Petty, Amy J. Good, Laura K. Handler
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0204-3.ch001
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The purpose of this study is to report National Board Certified Teachers' (NBCTs) motivators for pursuing National Board Certification. The guiding research question for this study, “Why do teachers pursue National Board Certification?” was explored. A total of 496 NBCTs currently teaching in North Carolina public schools completed the survey questionnaire in which they responded to demographic questions, Likert item questions, and open-ended questions. Thematic analysis revealed several reoccurring themes that NBCTs revealed having influence on their pursuit of certification. These included impact on financial incentives, improved teaching, professionalism, challenge and encouragement from others.
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What is National Board Certification?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was created in 1987 following the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession released A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century (1986), a report that highlighted the crucial role teachers play in the education of youth and focused on the pressing need to revive the teaching profession. Members of the task force set forth a plan designed to develop, retain, and reward accomplished teachers through a system of advanced certification. The NBPTS was developed from the framework of these ideas.

In 1989, the National Board published What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do. This document elucidated the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for Teaching (NBPTS, 1989). The Five Core Propositions set forth the profession's vision for accomplished teaching and emphasize the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student achievement (NBPTS, 2014a). These propositions lay the foundation of all National Board Standards and those of National Board Certification (NBPTS, 2014a) and are as follows:

  • Proposition 1: Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

  • Proposition 2: Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

  • Proposition 3: Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

  • Proposition 4: Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

  • Proposition 5: Teachers are members of learning communities.

National Board Certification (NBC) is voluntary and consists of four components: 1) content knowledge, 2) differentiation in instruction, 3) teaching practice and learning environment, and 4) effective and reflective practitioner (NBPTS, 2014b). These components are demonstrated through a rigorous, performance-based portfolio process in which teachers evidence their accomplishments through reflection and analysis of their own instruction, including student work samples, video recorded lessons, and their own contributions for establishing a connection between the profession and the community. Candidates’ content knowledge is also evaluated at assessment centers across the United States, where they construct responses to prompts in a computer-based format. To begin the NBC process, candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree, a valid state teaching license for at least three years, and have taught in a public or private school for at least three years.

Key Terms in this Chapter

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: An independent, non-profit organization that works to recognize accomplished teaching.

National Board Standards: Standards created for teachers by teachers that identify what teachers should know and be able to do.

Core Propositions: Five propositions that form the foundation for National Board Certification.

National Board Certified Teacher: A teacher that has achieved National Board Certification.

National Board Certification: A nationally recognized certification for educators that identifies accomplished teaching.

Accomplished Teaching: Teaching that is considered exemplary and follows the core propositions of National Board Certification.

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