Study Guide

Field 130: American Sign Language CST
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Directions for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

For the Pedagogical Content Knowledge section of the test, you will write a response of approximately 400–600 words in English to an assignment.

Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your response. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response to the assignment. Your final response must be typed in the on-screen response box presented with the assignment.

Your response will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Your response will be evaluated on the criteria above, not writing ability. However, your response must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of your knowledge and skills. Your response must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic. Remember to review what you have written to ensure that you address all aspects of the assignment and make any changes you think will improve your response.

Select the Next button to continue.

Sample Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

Competency 0005
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Use the information below and the exhibit provided to complete the assignment that follows.

You are planning instruction for an American Sign Language class. Your instruction includes a specific learning goal aligned to the following New York State Learning Standard for Languages Other Than English.

Standard 1: Students will be able to use a language other than English for communication.

You will use the exhibit provided as part of your instruction. To view the exhibit, click the "Exhibit" button on the right above the response box.

Using your knowledge of American Sign Language and your pedagogical knowledge related to teaching modern languages, write a response in English of approximately 400–600 words in which you:

[The examinee will see the Exhibit button on screen: exhibit button]

To view the exhibit, the examinee will click the Exhibit button. The pop-up window can then be resized and/or repositioned on the screen so that the examinee can access the information while completing their response.


[NOTE: Exhibit material may be EITHER a video OR a work of art on the actual test. A video on the actual test may be replayed multiple times during the preparation time allowed.]

oil painting of mother and daughter


Susan Dupor's Our Private Genesis, oil on canvas, 26" x 36", 2005 © 2005 Susan Dupor

Sample Strong Response to Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

Discussing a work of art is a fairly rich and potentially complicated topic so I would use this exhibit, which looks like a painting, in a high school ASL class at checkpoint C. There are 8 students in this fictitious class and since presentational skills are part of Standard 1--using ASL for communication, I will assume that students have been working on presentational skills previously in this class. The specific learning goal I would address with this lesson would be that students will express the possible interpretations of the artwork using ASL. This painting has multiple possible interpretations and students at this level should be able to determine and describe a possible interpretation of the painting. This goal is appropriate as it addresses Standard 1, which requires using ASL for communication, and the learning goal of expressing complex ideas. Incorporating culture into this activity is important since language and culture are such intertwined concepts.

I would begin the lesson by eliciting from students the meaning of the signs that the figures in the painting are using to ensure that everyone has that knowledge as common background. For example, the girl is signing MOTHER and then FUTURE. The woman is signing DREAM and then what looks like maybe VALUE. I would also remind students to look at facial grammar and notice the woman’s furrowed or raised brows and what that communicates in ASL. These elements are only pieces of the overall meaning, however, and the goal will be for students to put the pieces together and interpret a possible meaning of this painting.

For the activity, I would ask students to work in pairs to create a 2-minute presentation in ASL in which they describe their interpretation of the painting. This activity will involve the students practicing the expression of complex ideas as they need to discuss what is being communicated by the figures in the painting. I will give the students 20 minutes to discuss the painting and its meaning and prepare what they want to present to the other students. Both students will need to actively participate in the presentation and the presentation time should be fairly equally shared.

I will provide a four-point rubric to the students in advance of the discussions to focus their preparation of the presentation. I will be looking to see that students:

-- provide an introduction to their presentation describing the overall meaning they derived from the painting,
-- support their interpretation with details from the painting; and
-- express their ideas clearly in grammatical ASL.

I will be looking for the students’ ability to present their own ideas and express these complex ideas effectively at this level of proficiency, meaning that the students should have good control over commonly used grammatical and morphological constructions but they may still have some errors in their signing, especially as more complex ideas and constructions are attempted.

Performance Characteristics for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the Pedagogical Content Knowledge assignment.

COMPLETENESS The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
ACCURACY The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
DEPTH OF SUPPORT The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning

Score Scale for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

A score will be assigned to the response to the Pedagogical Content Knowledge assignment according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
3 The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
2 The "2" response reflects a partial command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
1 The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
UThe response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
BNo response.