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NBPTS-Certified Early Educators Say They're Better Teachers

Early-childhood educators certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards believe they are both better at choosing developmentally appropriate teaching materials and imparting knowledge to their classes than those without such certification, new research asserts.

A study of 382 Louisiana educators with NBPTS certification who teach pre-K through 3rd grade found they see themselves as better at developing meaningful teaching methods and imparting knowledge than their peers who are not certified. The study was written by University of New Orleans Adjunct Professor Ellen Nancy McKenzie and published in the April edition of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

"Significant differences were reported in regard to teaching pedagogy and curricular content," McKenzie wrote. She added, however, that "further study to comprehend the differences is warranted."

McKenzie said that she wants to know whether these perceived differences actually impact student performance. She added that, to date, the research on NBPTS effectiveness is mixed.

The head of NBPTS, however, disagrees.

"This study supports what we already know: National Board Certified Teachers have strong instructional practices and a positive impact on student achievement compared to their peers," NBPTS and CEO Ron Thorpe said in an e-mail.

He added that "the reflective abilities of National Board Certified Teachers manifest themselves in practices that address the developmental needs of the diverse learners that you'll typically find in an early-childhood classroom."

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