National Board Certification Background Information
Why National Board Certification?
National Board Certification, offered through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), is an assessment process designed to certify accomplished teachers so that they, like professionals in other fields, can achieve distinction by meeting rigorous standards of performance. This process is shaping reforms that build quality assurance into the teaching profession. While Illinois’ mandatory state licensing system sets requirements to teach, National Board Certification establishes high and rigorous advanced standards for experienced teachers to demonstrate accomplished teaching practice. National Board Certification is a voluntary system based on the National Board’s Five Core Propositions and Standards in each teaching field describing what teachers should know and be able to do.
Does National Board Certification really recognize accomplished teaching?
According to research conducted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) significantly outperformed their peers on 11 out of 13 key dimensions of teaching. For example, NBCTs were better at understanding why students succeed or fail on a given academic task, engaging students without overwhelming them, anticipating difficulties students might have with new concepts, and improving when faced with the unexpected. The NBCTs were compared to teachers who had pursued National Board Certification but hadn’t achieved the credential. In addition to evaluating the teachers against the 13 dimensions, researchers examined samples of collected from students taught by NBCTs in the study reflected a high level of comprehension of the concepts being taught, compared to three in 10 of the work samples of students taught by a teacher who hadn’t achieved National Board Certification. Based on student work samples, the study’s authors wrote that National Board Certification “is identifying and certifying teachers who are producing students who differ in profound and important ways from those taught by [non-National Board Certified] teachers.” The answer often asked question is a resounding YES! For other research studies please click here.
Why is National Board Certification the highest credential in the teaching profession?
Certification is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes two or more years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers, librarians, and school counselors should know and be able to do. The total number of teachers, librarians, and school counselors certified by NBPTS now stands at more than 130,630, including more than 2,400 in Chicago. The National Board Certification process not only identifies accomplished teachers, librarians, and school counselors; it is also a profound professional development experience. It forces teachers and school counselors to demonstrate how their activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, improve student learning. National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) have demonstrated conclusively, that they possess advanced knowledge of their subjects and how to teach those subjects to students. Teachers and school counselors who pursue National Board Certification – whether they have achieved or not – continue to identify this process as the most rigorous professional development of their careers and one that transforms their practice.
The Five Core Propositions
- Teacher are Committed to Students and Their Learning
- Teachers Know Their Subjects and How to Teach Them to Students
- Teachers Manage and Monitor Student Learning
- Teachers Think Systematically and Learn From Experience
- Teachers Are Members of Learning Communities