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Task II: Contextual Information

Objective: Candidates gather contextual information and discuss factors that may influence the teaching and learning process.

Resources: Use a variety of resources to gather contextual information including Census data for the community, school Improvement Plan, cooperating teacher, Title I/SPED teachers, principal, school counselor, Infinite Campus, student files (with administrative approval), school data available online.

**The below information and resource is taken from Educational Testing Service Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) Candidate and Educator Handbook, copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Contextual Information: This chart is designed to help you understand the many factors that affect teaching and learning. Such factors include the community, classroom procedures, student demographics, and the physical environment in which teaching takes place. Understanding these factors as they relate to your teaching will help you determine the instructional strategies and approaches that will support your students’ learning. In this chart, address any factors listed as they pertain to your teaching assignment. The subcategories listed under each category are just suggestions; there may be other subcategories that you would like to address, or there may be a subcategory listed that does not apply to your situation.

Categories of Contextual Factors

Description of the Contextual Factors

General Context of Your Students

-10th grade Biology -15 to 16 year olds

(All subcategories listed in this box are required.)

Students’ grade and developmental levels; the age range of students; the content area being taught; any other factors that are pertinent to understanding your class assignment

-Developmental levels: Of the 14 students, there are about 3 boys who have some maturing to do. Developmentally everyone is at grade level

- Foreign student: A Philippine student who is new to the country this year. So far, we can see she feels a bit uncomfortable in the classroom setting. She has great work ethic to make her family proud, but we keep an eye on her to make sure that she is feeling more comfortable in the classroom and not struggling. I'm currently researching ways that we could incorporate some of her culture into the classroom to make her feel more at home.

-Students were placed in assigned groups so that the boys who need more supervision couldn’t discourage other student and their learning. The first lab I did the groups were chaotic, and I mentioned something to the teaching, and we agreed that


assigned lab partners would be beneficial for everyone in the classroom.

Community (e.g., whether the area is urban, suburban, or rural; socioeconomic information; census data for the community)

-Urban because it is in city, but rural because of the size of the school

Socioeconomic information:

Ethnicity- Whites 91.3%, African American 0.8%, American Indian 3.9%, Asian 1.1%, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.50%, Other 1.8%.


Population: 27,333 Median age: 36.80



Median household income: $47,540 Persons in Poverty: 12.3%

District (e.g., enrollment; percent of students receiving free or reduced-priced lunches; graduation rates; ethnicities; percent of students with IEPs; percent of students who are ELLs; per-pupil expenditures)

-Enrollment: 573 students -Students receiving free/reduced lunch: 57* -Graduation rates: 99%

-Ethnicities: White- 522, Black- 8, Asian- 10,


American- 17, 2 or more races- 16

-Hispanic- 16, Non-Hispanic- 557


Students with IEPs-29 (Title I: 13 students) ELL students: none Per-pupil expenditures: $6,700

*data is for the district not broken into schools

School (e.g., enrollment; percent of students receiving free or reduced-priced lunches; ethnicities; percent of students with IEPs;

Enrollment: 135 students -Students receiving free/reduced lunch: 57* -Ethnicities: Whites- 123, Black- 0, Asian- 4,


-Hispanic- 0, Non-Hispanic- 135

American- 3, 2 or more races- 2

percent of students who are ELLs; teacher-to-student ratio)

Student to teacher ratio- 11-1 ELL: 0 Students with IEPs-29 (Title I: 13 students) *

* data is for the district not broken into schools

Classroom Demographics (e.g., ethnicities; gender ratios; special needs, including those of gifted students, those of students’ physical needs, and those due to cultural characteristics).

-Ethnicities: White-12, Asian- 2 -Boys: 10 -Girls: 4

Cultural characteristics: One student came from the Philippines another student spent time in China before coming to the school.

Knowledge of Students (in terms of the whole class and individual students)

-For the student from the Philippines, we could try tie in her culture to get her to open and feel more at home. She works very hard to work to make her family proud of her accomplishment. Her English is very good.

-One student has behavioral issues and requires a lot of supervision in the labs. We assigned groups for projects so that we could give him a lot of supervision. The assigned groups help a lot with giving him the supervision that he needs.

(e.g., language needs; approaches to learning; prior learning and experiences; academic proficiencies/behavioral differences; areas of interest).