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Rutgers Alternate Route Awards inaugural Reflective Teaching badges

Rutgers Alternate Route is excited to be piloting a micro-credential process in partnership with Acclaim-Credily and awarding their first badge, Reflective Teaching.

Rutgers Alternate Route has awarded nearly 200 non-credit teaching candidates a micro-credential that allows them to showcase their proficiency as Reflective Teaching Practitioners. This badge recognizes candidates for successful completion of a year-long professional self-study experience during which second-year provisional teachers examine their instructional practices and the effects of their decision-making on student learning.

Coursework for the micro-credential requires candidates to reflect on video-recordings of teaching experiences along with artifacts and student work samples demonstrating their effectiveness as facilitators of learning.  Candidates also conduct an analysis of their instructional practices, citing research that supports their pedagogical choices. In addition, candidates enlist and coordinate a team of educational leaders and distinguished peers as thought partners in their reflective teaching practice work.  Adeptness in these areas increases the likelihood that new teachers advance their careers with a mindset of continuous improvement.

Candidates who successfully complete the course requirements earn a digital badge which they are able to display as part of their LinkedIn profiles or other social media platforms supporting badge integration. Once displayed, others can easily click on the badge to obtain details about the conferring institution and associated criteria for earning the credential. This is an ideal way for teachers to provide evidence of their accomplishments when interviewing for new positions and seeking promotions or other recognition.

A rising trend in education, micro-credentials for educators are gaining traction as an alternative to traditional professional development where seat-time in workshops rather than demonstrated-competency is the focus of such experiences. Micro-credentials personalize learning for teachers, enabling them to focus on their specific content area, to arrange their learning experiences at their own convenience, and to complete them as job-embedded performance tasks.

Rutgers Alternate Route is excited to be piloting this promising opportunity to improve professional learning for teachers and congratulate its first cohort of digital badge recipients.

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.