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The Five Core Propositions

In 1989, the National Board published What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, a document that articulated the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for Teaching — comparable to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath — setting forth the profession's vision for accomplished teaching. The Five Core Propositions form the foundation and frame the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs that characterize National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).

All National Board Certificates are based on the Five Core Propositions. All NBCTs in all grade levels and subject areas share their commitment and understanding to these Propositions. Therefore, the Five Core Propositions represent what all accomplished teachers share in their expertise and dedication to advance student achievement.

Proposition 1: Teachers are committed to students and  their learning.

Proposition 2: Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

Proposition 3: Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

Proposition 4: Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

Proposition 5: Teachers are members of learning communities.

Five Core Propositions

Five Core Propositions (PDF)