10 SES 11 D, Research on Teacher Educators
Since the Lisbon Council (2000), major efforts have been made in order to implement the Competence-Based Approach (CBA) in higher education institutions. However, the levels of implementation, as well as the results vary greatly not only between countries, but also between institutions within the same country (Olsen, 2005; Stryven & De Meyst, 2010).
In the field of teacher education, some works have tried to identify and develop teachers’ key competences, since it is believed that an educational system cannot exceed its teachers’ education (Barber & Mourshed, 2007; Darling-Hammond et al., 2017). In this line, several competence-based frameworks of teachers’ key competences have been developed. Some of these frameworks are specific of each country, while others have a wider scope (Caena, 2011). Independently of the diversity of frameworks, there is a general agreement that teachers’ competences have to be developed throughout the whole teaching career (Bokdam, Van Den Ende & Broek, 2014; Caena, 2011; 2014). That is, there needs to be an alignment between initial teacher education, early career and ongoing development. Consequently, initial teacher education has to develop the necessary competence level of each key competence to ensure that novice teachers will have the sufficient skills to carry out their profession efficiently (Conner & Sliwka, 2014; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005). Early career and ongoing development have to establish some paths in order to ensure that teachers keep developing their competences throughout their professional career.
Within the framework of lifelong learning, not only it is important to identify teachers’ key competences and training to develop them, but also that teachers take ownership of their competence development. For teachers to take ownership, they need to be aware of the competences they should develop, as well as what their current competence level is. However, teachers’ key competences and their implications are not always clearly presented, probably, because there is not a single understanding of education and teaching (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Olsen, 2005). Some actions have been undertaken in order to develop some teachers’ key competences. This is the case, for instance, of the European portfolio for student teachers of languages (Newby et al., 2007), the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to foster Technology-Enhanced Teaching (TET) (MENTEP project) or the DigCompEdu Check-in a tool created within the European Project Digital Competence Framework for Educators (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/digcompedu).
Self-assessment is believed to be a good strategy to become aware of the current level and the actions that need to be undertaken in order to achieve the established goals (Tai et al., 2018). Self-assessing the own competence level can be done with the support of different instruments, such as portfolios, rubrics, tools… However, the core point of self-assessment processes is that both pre- and in-service teachers establish some learning goals, plan their actions to develop these competences, as well as assess and reflect how these actions have contributed to the development of their competences. To this end, teachers need to know their current competence level. For this reason, self-assessment tools that are framed within a competence-based framework and graded along the different stages of teachers’ career appear to support this process, as the examples from England (Department of Education, 2011) and Scotland (The General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2019) seem to foster.
The aim of this contribution is to present the process followed to design and validate some self-assessment tools of teachers’ key competences aligned to the Global Framework for teachers’ Key competences design within the European project XXX.
This contribution presents the design and validation of self-assessment tools of teachers’ key competences. These tools were designed within the European Project XXX. The creation and validation of these tools followed different steps. First of all, a systematic review was conducted in order to identify teachers’ key competences. The aim was to identify those competences that were not context-embedded, but key for the teaching profession. This systematic review ended with the identification of 9 competences of which 5 of them were defined as specific of the teaching profession and 4 cross-curricular. These competences were defined within the framework and their descriptive elements were also established. This framework was validated by three experts and adjusted accordingly. The second step was to grade in rubrics these competences along the teaching career. Four developmental levels were established: in development (during initial teacher education), basic (at the end of teacher education), competent (early career), and expert (ongoing development). The descriptive elements of a competence were graded in each rubric. These rubrics were also validated by eight experts and adjusted accordingly. Finally, the last step was to design the self-assessment tools of teachers’ key competences. A separate tool was created per each competence. Therefore, 9 self-assessment tools were designed. All tools accomplished the same criteria: 1. The descriptive elements of each competence were rephrased and constituted the statement users have to rate. 2. Each statement includes four possible answers, which are aligned to the four developmental levels established in the rubrics. 3. A mark was given to each possible answer according to the developmental level it represented (in development, basic, competent, and expert). 4. A general feedback was written in order to help respondents to know what competence level they have, depending on the mark obtained, and what they can do in order to move to the next level. These tools were applied online for validation in the teacher trainers’ training conducted within the aforementioned European Project, in which a total of 132 answers were obtained. These tools were used as pre- and post-test. The validation was both quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative data collected enabled the analysis of the tools’ consistency, which was calculated with Cronbach’s Alpha. Additionally, a factorial analysis was conducted. The tools were also validated in terms of intelligibility and relevance. The wording of some statements and items was modified accordingly.
One of the main challenges to foster the Competence-Based Approach (CBA) is the need for a consistent coordination between the different training institutions, to ensure the consistency between the sequence initial, basic, early career, and ongoing development in teacher education. In the field of lifelong learning, it is necessary to develop processes and tools that allow teachers to have control over their competence development. Competence development is carried out throughout life. Consequently, people need to be aware of where they are in terms of competence level continuum. The aforementioned ATKC-tools are instruments that intend to offer this consciousness by helping teachers to identify their own level of key competences development, compared to the established levels in the rubrics, as well as orientate teachers to move to the next level. The focus of this contribution is the design and validation of some self-assessment tools of teachers’ key competences. This validation is extremely important for several reasons. On the one hand, the validation process allows ensuring that these tools are consistent and, therefore, assess what they intend to measure: teachers’ key competences level. On the other hand, the validation provides evidences to state that these tools assess all the descriptive elements associated to each competence and that there is coherence between these dimensions. Finally, the validation of these instruments encourages their use in future studies and research. In conclusion, this contribution is an instance of how to design some self-assessment tools that are framed within a pedagogical framework and their validation.
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