10 SES 03 C, Learning to Teach: Competence, wellbeing and reflection
Assessment and evaluation are increasingly important in all educational sectors. In teacher education programmes, text-based self-evaluations are generally used to assess student-teachers’ competence as new teachers (Fox, White, & Kidd, 2011; Winsor, Butt, & Reeves, 1999). However, this kind of written self-evaluation does not give valid evidence of teacher competencies that are typically used to guide the curriculum of teacher education programmes. Consequently, observation of student-teachers’ performance are increasingly used for assessment, such as class observations, teaching materials and tests. Simultaneously, assessment is used for both formative and summative purposes: assessments are not only used to measure student-teachers’ competencies, but also to feed back student-teachers which competencies they possess, in what phase of development they are and how they can acquire teacher competencies. The objective of this paper is to provide insight into how multiple assessments of student-teachers’ competence as new teachers can be designed in an efficient and effective way.
In teacher education programmes, written portfolios or text-based self-evaluations are generally used to assess student-teachers’ competence as new teachers (Fox, White, & Kidd, 2011; Winsor, Butt, & Reeves, 1999). In their assessment portfolios, student-teachers can include, for instance: their ideas regarding teaching, summaries of relevant theories, samples of lesson plans, observational notes on their teaching, and reflections upon their teaching practices. While such documents cover a wide range of knowledge and competence, striking discrepancies are known to exist between the competencies reflected in a written portfolio and the competencies observed in actual classroom practice. That is, student-teachers can sometimes present excellent written portfolios while their teaching performance is evaluated by school and university supervisors as rather weak (cf. Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 2000) and vice versa (cf. Burroughs, 2001; Uhlenbeck, 2002). In contrast to such indirect sources of data, video recording allows direct teaching evidence to be included in an assessment portfolio. Compared to written portfolios, video portfolios are likely to provide information on a wider variety of teacher competencies and more specific information on the contexts in which the competencies are demonstrated.
However, performance in class is not the only competence student-teachers should acquire; they also learn to do research in their own practice. Moreover, knowledge of pedagogy, subject matter, classroom management and school organization are equally important for an accurate performance of teachers in school. This combination of teacher competencies asks for multiple assessment procedures in teacher education.
References Admiraal, W., Hoeksma, Kamp, M.-T. van de, Duin, G. van. (2011). Assessment of teacher competence using video portfolios: Reliability, construct validity and consequential validity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 1019-1028. Burroughs, R. (2001). Composing standards and composing teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 223-232. Darling-Hammond, L., & Snyder, J. (2000). Authentic assessment of teaching in context. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 523-545. Fox, R. K., White, C. S., & Kidd, J. K. (2011). Program portfolios: documenting teachers’ growth in reflection‐based inquiry. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 17, 149-167. Uhlenbeck, A. (2002). The development of an assessment procedure for beginning teachers of English as a foreign language. Leiden, the Netherlands: University of Leiden. Winsor, P. J. T., Butt, R. L., & Reeves, H. (1999): Portraying professional development in preservice teacher education: can portfolios do the job? Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 5, 9-31.
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