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What are the NBPTS Standards?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
NBPTS Standards go above and beyond what's required for state-issued teacher licensure. Read on to learn about these standards and what they require of teachers in different academic specializations.

Overview of NBPTS Standards

NBPTS Standards define the knowledge and skills expected of quality educators in the 25 certification areas available. Standards for all require that teachers:

  • Personally have a thorough understanding of the subject matter
  • Possess knowledge of student needs
  • Understand cultural diversity
  • Know how to develop effective learning environments
  • Properly use learning assessments
  • Advocate on behalf of students, the content area, and the profession
  • Engage in professional development and growth
  • Provide professional leadership to colleagues
  • Design and implement effective instructional strategies

Science Standards

NBPTS science standards outline that, to be certified, teachers should know how to:

  • Help students understand how science practically applies to their lives
  • Teach students how to utilize the many methods of gathering and interpreting scientific information
  • Encourage students to be inquisitive
  • Illustrate how science has developed, explore scientists who have made a significant impact in their fields, and show society's impact on scientific research and discovery

The NBPTS uses these standards in creating the certification exam for science teachers. For those preparing to take this exam, Study.com offers a National Board Science Certification Exam course. This comprehensive online prep resource features short video lessons, quizzes, and practice tests accessible 24/7.

Math Standards

Among the requirements detailed in the math standards are these educator competencies:

  • Understand and teach students how math applies to science and other academic subjects
  • Teach mathematical concepts through lessons to which students relate and can apply to their lives
  • Inform students how what they are learning applies to other mathematical subjects
  • Demonstrate knowledge of algebra, numbers and operations, discrete math, geometry, and calculus

For teachers interested in NBPTS certification in mathematics, Study.com's NBPTS Math course includes 35 chapters, each featuring multiple video lessons, covering everything included on the certification exam.

English Standards

Teachers can certify in the disciplines of English language arts and teaching English as a new language. The standards, by discipline, include the following competencies:

English as a New Language

  • Establish relationships with students' parents and community leaders
  • Demonstrate expertise in the English language and how to teach English
  • Understand the process of new language acquisition

English Language Arts

  • Develop comprehension in reading and viewing texts
  • Teach proper writing and delivery techniques
  • Establish students' listening and speaking skills
  • Guide students in proper communication and language use
  • Encourage critical and analytical inquiry

Study.com's National Board Certification Exam - English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood course offers educators pursuing certification to teach this subject a comprehensive review of both the content knowledge and pedagogy skills included on the exam.

Social Studies Standards

Social studies standards apply to teachers of history, economics, geography and civics and government. They require that teachers be able to:

  • Teach students what they need to know to become understanding, active, and engaged community members
  • Encourage students to develop their reasoning, problem solving, and communication skills
  • Educate students about their rights and important civic duties, such as voting and community involvement
  • Foster students' ability to think with a historical perspective

Other Knowledge Standards

The NBPTS has also created standards for the specific specializations listed below. To determine which standards apply to the area and developmental level you teach, see the NBPTS website (boardcertifiedteachers.org).

  • World Languages
  • School Counseling
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Library Media
  • Generalist
  • Exceptional Needs
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Health Education
  • Art
  • Literacy

Why NBPTS Standards and Certification Matter

While NBPTS certification is voluntary, research indicates that certified teachers are more effective educators. Therefore, many states and school districts offer certification incentives such as professional development credits for certification, salary increases, grants, and exam waivers.

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