The Five Core Propositions

The following propositions form the foundation that characterize National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).  They can be found at:

  Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning


    • NBCTs are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They believe all students can learn.
    • They treat students equitably. They recognize the individual differences that distinguish their students from one another and they take account for these differences in their practice.
    • NBCTs understand how students develop and learn.
    • They respect the cultural and family differences students bring to their classroom.
    • They are concerned with their students’ self-concept, their motivation and the effects of learning on peer relationships.
    • NBCTs are also concerned with the development of character and civic responsibility.

Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students.

    • NBCTs have mastery over the subject(s) they teach. They have a deep understanding of the history, structure and real-world applications of the subject.
    • They have skill and experience in teaching it, and they are very familiar with the skills gaps and preconceptions students may bring to the subject.
    • They are able to use diverse instructional strategies to teach for understanding.


Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning.

    • NBCTs deliver effective instruction. They move fluently through a range of instructional techniques, keeping students motivated, engaged and focused. 
    • They know how to engage students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and how to organize instruction to meet instructional goals. 
    • NBCTs know how to assess the progress of individual students as well as the class as a whole. 
    • They use multiple methods for measuring student growth and understanding, and they can clearly explain student performance to parents.

Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience.

    • NBCTs model what it means to be an educated person – they read, they question, they create and they are willing to try new things.
    • They are familiar with learning theories and instructional strategies and stay abreast of current issues in American education.
    • They critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.


Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities.

    • NBCTs collaborate with others to improve student learning.
    • They are leaders and actively know how to seek and build partnerships with community groups and businesses.
    • They work with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development and staff development.
    • They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of resources in order to meet state and local education objectives.
    • They know how to work collaboratively with parents to engage them productively in the work of the school.
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