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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 543. Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia

8VAC20-543-130. Middle education 6-8.

The program in middle education 6-8 with at least one area of academic preparation shall ensure that the candidate has demonstrated the following competencies:

1. Methods.

a. Understanding of the required knowledge, skills, and processes to support learners in achievement of the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades 6-8;

b. The use of appropriate methods, including direct instruction and inquiry-based instructional methods, to help learners develop knowledge and skills, sustain intellectual curiosity, and solve problems;

c. The ability to plan and teach collaboratively to facilitate interdisciplinary learning;

d. The use of differentiated instruction and flexible groupings to meet the needs of preadolescents at different stages of development, abilities, and achievement;

e. The ability to utilize effective classroom and behavior management skills through methods that build responsibility and self-discipline and maintain a positive learning environment;

f. The ability to modify and manage learning environments and experiences to meet the individual needs of preadolescents, including children with disabilities, gifted children, and children who are English learners;

g. The ability to use formal and informal assessments to diagnose needs, plan and modify instruction, and record student progress;

h. A commitment to professional growth and development through reflection, collaboration, and continuous learning;

i. The ability to analyze, evaluate, apply, and conduct quantitative and qualitative research;

j. The ability to use technology as a tool for teaching, learning, research, and communication;

k. An understanding of how to apply a variety of school organizational structures, schedules, groupings, and classroom formats appropriately for middle level learners;

l. Skill in promoting the development of all students' abilities for academic achievement and continued learning; and

m. The ability to use reading in the content area strategies appropriate to text and student needs.

2. English.

a. Be proficient in the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary for teaching writing, including the domains of composing and written expression, usage and mechanics, and the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing;

b. Possession of the skills necessary to teach the writing process, to differentiate among the forms of writing (narrative, descriptive, informational, and persuasive), and to use computers and other available technology;

c. Understanding of and knowledge in grammar, usage, and mechanics and its integration in writing;

d. Understanding and the nature and development of language and its impact on vocabulary development and spelling;

e. Understanding of and knowledge in techniques and strategies to enhance reading comprehension and fluency;

f. Understanding of and knowledge in the instruction of speaking, listening, collaboration, and media literacy;

g. Knowledge of varied works from current and classic young adult literature appropriate for English instruction of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; and

h. Skills necessary to teach research techniques, including evaluating, organizing, crediting, and synthesizing information.

3. History and social sciences.

a. Understanding of the knowledge, skills, and processes of history and the social science disciplines as defined by the Virginia History and Social Sciences Standards of Learning and how the standards provide the foundation for teaching history and social sciences, including in:

(1) United States history.

(a) The evolution of the American constitutional republic and its ideas, institutions, and practices from the colonial period to the present; the American Revolution, including ideas and principles preserved in significant Virginia and United States historical documents as required by § 22.1-201 of the Code of Virginia (the Declaration of American Independence; the general principles of the Constitution of the United States; the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom; the charters of The Virginia Company of April 10, 1606, May 23, 1609, and March 12, 1612; and the Virginia Declaration of Rights); and historical challenges to the American political system, including slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and civil rights;

(b) The influence of religious traditions on the American heritage and on contemporary American society;

(c) The changing role of America around the world; the relationship between domestic affairs and foreign policy; and the global political and economic interactions;

(d) The influence of immigration on American political, social, and economic life;

(e) Origins, effects, aftermath and significance of the two world wars, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and the post-Cold War era;

(f) Social, political, and economic transformations in American life during the 20th century; and

(g) Tensions between liberty and equality, liberty and order, region and nation, individualism and the common welfare, and cultural diversity and civic unity.

(2) World history.

(a) The political, philosophical, and cultural legacies of ancient, American, Asian, African, and European civilizations;

(b) Origins, ideas, and institutions of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism, and Shinto, Buddhist, and Islamic religious traditions;

(c) Medieval society and institutions, relations with Islam, feudalism, and the evolution of representative government;

(d) The social, political, and economic contributions of selected civilizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas;

(e) The culture and ideas of the Renaissance and the Reformation, European exploration, and the origins of capitalism and colonization;

(f) The cultural ideas of the Enlightenment and the intellectual revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries;

(g) The sources, results, and influence of the American and French revolutions;

(h) The social consequences of the Industrial Revolution and its impact on politics and culture;

(i) The global influence of European ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries; and

(j) The origins, effects, aftermath, and significance of the two world wars.

(3) Civics and economics.

(a) Essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments;

(b) Importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good;

(c) Rights and responsibilities of American citizenship;

(d) Nature and purposes of constitutions and alternative ways of organizing constitutional governments;

(e) American political culture;

(f) Values and principles of the American constitutional republic;

(g) Structures, functions, and powers of local and state government;

(h) Importance of citizen participation in the political process in local and state government;

(i) Local government and civic instruction specific to Virginia;

(j) Structures, functions, and powers of the national government; and

(k) The structure and function of the United States market economy as compared with other economies.

b. Understanding of the nature of history and social sciences and how the study of these disciplines helps students go beyond critical thinking skills to help them appreciate:

(1) The significance of the past to their lives and to society;

(2) Diverse cultures and shared humanity;

(3) How things happen, how they change, and how human intervention matters;

(4) The interplay of change and continuity;

(5) Historical cause and effect;

(6) The importance of individuals who have made a difference in history and the significance of personal character to the future of society;

(7) The relationship among history, geography, civics, and economics; and

(8) The difference between fact and conjecture, evidence and assertion, and the importance of framing useful questions.

4. Mathematics.

a. Understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning and how curriculum may be organized to teach these standards to diverse learners;

b. Understanding of a core knowledge base of concepts and procedures within the discipline of mathematics, including the following strands: number and number sense; computation and estimation; geometry and measurement; statistics and probability; and patterns, functions, and algebra;

c. Understanding of the mathematics relevant to the content identified in the Virginia Standards of Learning and how the standards provide the foundation for teaching mathematics in the middle grades. Experiences with practical applications and the use of appropriate technology and manipulatives should be used within the following content:

(1) Number systems and their structure, basic operations, and properties;

(2) Elementary number theory, ratio, proportion, and percent;

(3) Algebra: fundamental idea of equality; operations with monomials and polynomials; algebraic fractions; linear and quadratic equations and inequalities and linear systems of equations and inequalities; radicals and exponents; arithmetic and geometric sequences and series; algebraic and trigonometric functions; and transformations among graphical, tabular, and symbolic forms of functions;

(4) Geometry: geometric figures, their properties, relationships, and the Pythagorean Theorem; deductive and inductive reasoning; perimeter, area, and surface area of two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures; coordinate and transformational geometry; and constructions;

(5) Probability and statistics: permutations and combinations; experimental and theoretical probability; data collection and graphical representations, including box-and-whisker plots; data analysis and interpretation for predictions; measures of center; spread of data, variability, range, standard deviation, and normal distributions.

d. Understanding of the sequential nature of mathematics, the vertical progression of mathematical standards, and the mathematical structures inherent in the content strands;

e. Understanding of and the ability to use the five processes - becoming mathematical problem solvers, reasoning mathematically, communicating mathematically, making mathematical connections, and representing, modeling and describing mathematical ideas, generalizations, and relationships using a variety of methods at different levels of complexity;

f. Understanding of the contributions of various individuals and cultures toward the development of mathematics and the role of mathematics in culture and society;

g. Understanding of the major current curriculum studies and trends in mathematics;

h. Understanding of the appropriate use of calculators and technology and the ability to use graphing utilities in the teaching and learning of mathematics, including virtual manipulatives;

i. Understanding of and the ability to select, adapt, evaluate and use instructional materials and resources, including professional journals and technology;

j. Understanding of and the ability to use strategies for managing, assessing, and monitoring student learning, including diagnosing student errors; and

k. Understanding of and the ability to use strategies to teach mathematics to diverse adolescent learners.

5. Science.

a. Understanding of the knowledge, skills, and practices of the four core science disciplines of Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics as defined in the Virginia Science Standards of Learning and how these provide a sound foundation for teaching science in the middle grades.

b. Understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry, including:

(1) Function of research design and experimentation;

(2) Role and nature of the theory in explaining and predicting events and phenomena; and

(3) Practices required to provide empirical answers to research questions, including data collection and analysis, modeling, argumentation with evidence, and constructing explanations;

(4) Reliability of scientific knowledge and its constant scrutiny and refinement;

(5) Self-checking mechanisms used by science to increase objectivity, including peer review; and

(6) Assumptions, influencing conditions, and limits of empirical knowledge.

c. Understanding of the knowledge, skills, and practices for an active middle school science program, including the ability to:

(1) Design instruction reflecting the goals of the Virginia Science Standards of Learning;

(2) Implement classroom, field, and laboratory safety rules and procedures and ensure that students take appropriate safety precautions;

(3) Conduct research projects and experiments, including applications of the design process and technology;

(4) Conduct systematic field investigations using the school grounds, the community, and regional resources;

(5) Organize key science content, skills, and practices into meaningful units of instruction that actively engage students in learning;

(6) Adapt instruction to diverse learners using a variety of techniques;

(7) Evaluate instructional materials, technologies, and teaching practices;

(8) Conduct formative and summative assessments of student learning;

(9) Incorporate instructional technology to enhance student performance; and

(10) Ensure student competence in middle school science.

d. Understanding of the content, processes, and skills of the four core areas of science, including Earth sciences, biology, chemistry, and physics supporting the teaching of middle school science as defined by the Virginia Science Standards of Learning and equivalent to academic course work in each of these four core science areas.

e. Understanding of the core scientific disciplines of Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics to ensure:

(1) The placement of science in an appropriate interdisciplinary context;

(2) The ability to teach the skills, practices, and crosscutting concepts common to the natural and physical sciences;

(3) The application of key principles in science to solve practical problems; and

(4) A "systems" understanding of the natural world.

f. Understanding of the contributions and significance of science to include:

(1) Its social, cultural, and economic significance;

(2) The relationship of science to mathematics, the design process, and technology; and

(3) The historical development of scientific concepts and scientific reasoning.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-298.2  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 24, eff. August 23, 2018.

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