Collaborating for preservice teacher assessment.Abstract
Teacher education programs are responding to increased accountability, data reporting measures, and performance-based assessment requirements for certification. This article describes a university-PDS collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software. to create a performance-based instrument to capture teacher candidates' emerging competencies. The collaborative effort served both the institution's goals of a commitment to Professional Development Schools and data reporting for accreditation accreditation,
n a process of formal recognition of a school or institution attesting to the required ability and performance in an area of education, training, or practice. purposes as well as serving asa prototype for other institutions seeking models for collaboration with colleagues in P-12 contexts.
Institutions involved in the complex endeavor of preparing future educators find themselves in a milieu mi·lieu
n. pl. mi·lieus or mi·lieux
1. The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.
2. The social setting of a mental patient.
[Fr.] surroundings, environment. of massive reform. In addition to increased accountability and data reporting measures, teacher education programs are responding to new standards and performance-based assessment requirements for teacher certification. Designed to provide coherency co·her·en·cy
n. pl. co·her·en·cies
Noun 1. coherency - the state of cohering or sticking together
coherence, cohesion, cohesiveness and quality in program structure, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was founded in 1954 to accredit teacher certification programs at U.S. colleges and universities. NCATE is a council of educators created to ensure and raise the quality of preparation for their profession. (NCATE NCATE National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ) standards serve as one example of outside accountability. Performance data needed for both state and national accrediting bodies must be captured both in on-campus on-campus adjective Referring to an on-site site of a medical complex with multiple buildings. Cf 'Off campus.'. courses as well as in K-12 school contexts. Therefore, meeting these accountability measures is inextricably in·ex·tri·ca·ble
a. So intricate or entangled as to make escape impossible: an inextricable maze; an inextricable web of deceit.
b. tied to partnerships with P-12 schools and teachers. Partnerships can take many forms, some informal and others more structured. For the purpose of this article, we reference our long-established consortium of partner schools as Professional Development Schools (PDS (1) (Processor Direct Slot) A single expansion slot on certain, early Macintosh models that was used to connect high-speed peripherals as well as additional CPUs. Providing a channel directly to the CPU, the PDS coexisted with NuBus slots on some models. ). These Professional Development Schools provide a real-life real-life
Actually happening or having happened; not fictional: a documentary with footage of real-life police chases. context for preservice students to learn the skills of effective teaching and bridge the cultural gap between schools and higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. (Beardsley Beards·ley , Aubrey Vincent 1872-1898.
British illustrator whose black and white, often erotic drawings were both highly individual and typical of the art nouveau style. & Teitel, 2004).
Capitalizing on a university-PDS partnership, this article describes the collaborative process utilized to create a performance-based instrument to capture teacher candidates' emerging competencies. Achieving both the institution's goals of a commitment to Professional Development Schools and data reporting for accreditation purposes, this collaborative effort also serves asa prototype for other institutions seeking models for collaboration with colleagues in P-12 contexts.
Professional Development Schools
The Professional Development School (PDS) concept emerged in the mid- mid-
Middle: midbrain. 1980s with the Holmes Group (1986) report Tomorrow's Teachers. Four years later, Tomorrow's Schools: Principles for the Design of Professional Development Schools (Holmes Group, 1990) emerged providing principles to guide the design of Professional Development Schools. Professional Development Schools provide (1) mutual deliberation deliberation n. the act of considering, discussing, and, hopefully, reaching a conclusion, such as a jury's discussions, voting and decision-making.
DELIBERATION, contracts, crimes. on problems with student learning and their possible solutions; (2) shared teaching in the university and schools; (3) collaborative research on the problems of educational practice; and (4) cooperative supervision of prospective teachers and administrators (Holmes Group, 1990). The vision for PDS partnerships involves creating, implementing, evaluating, replicating, and disseminating dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. a model for teacher preparation that is powerful in improving the quality of both preservice and inservice teachers. In an attempt to provide rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. to school/university partnerships, NCATE created standards for Professional Development Schools. In the rationale rationale (rash´nal´),
n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action. for the creation of these standards, NCATE (2001) writes:</p> <pre>
PDSs are important because they bring together these two streams of reform. They support that necessary alignment and they go beyond
it. For a long time, educators have sought ways for P-12 and professional education to effectively work together to the benefit
of both sectors. Educators in both schools and universities point
to the gap between research and practice, and to the poor articulation articulation
In phonetics, the shaping of the vocal tract (larynx, pharynx, and oral and nasal cavities) by positioning mobile organs (such as the tongue) relative to other parts that may be rigid (such as the hard palate) and thus modifying the airstream to produce speech between professional preparation and the real world of school reform. P-12 and university educators seek to develop the linkages that allow universities and schools to benefit from the relationship that is created between them. (p. 1) </pre> <p>The PDS emphasis on collaboration between university and school-based professionals assumes critical importance when developing instruments for tracking, evaluating and documenting preservice teacher performance. As required by NCATE, assessment and evaluation processes must be data driven and require significant allocation The apportionment or designation of an item for a specific purpose or to a particular place.
In the law of trusts, the allocation of cash dividends earned by a stock that makes up the principal of a trust for a beneficiary usually means that the dividends will be treated as of time and resources to accomplish. Each year units are expected to implement their assessment systems--collecting, compiling com·pile
tr.v. com·piled, com·pil·ing, com·piles
1. To gather into a single book.
2. To put together or compose from materials gathered from several sources: , and analyzing performance data; developing rubrics or criteria for decision making; and testing performance assessments. Capitalizing on the collaborative nature of Professional Development School relationships supports achievement of these goals.
An active member of the Holmes Partnership, Ball State University is heavily involved in the development of its PDS network. Currently, BSU BSU Ball State University
BSU Boise State University
BSU Black Student Union
BSU Bemidji State University
BSU Bowie State University (Bowie, Maryland)
BSU Baptist Student Union (college religious organization) is engaged with 25 school sites including eight high-need schools, a parochial school parochial school (pərō`kēəl), school supported by a religious body. In the United States such schools are maintained by a number of religious groups, including Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and , and perhaps the only early childhood PDS in the nation. These schools provide sites for enhanced field experiences and initial professional induction induction, in electricity and magnetism
induction, in electricity and magnetism, common name for three distinct phenomena.
Electromagnetic induction for teacher candidates as well as opportunities for simultaneous professional development and renewal for university faculty and P-12 teachers. The PDS network is currently the primary vehicle through which Ball State University engages in joint activities with P-12 schools that increase the involvement of classroom teachers and school administrators in the design, improvement, and implementation of teacher preparation and induction programs.
Enrollment in professional education programs is 3,812, making Ball State University one of the largest producers of teachers and school professionals in the region. As an institution, BSU is committed to simultaneous educational renewal among university, school, and community partners through collaborative transformation of teacher preparation.
In response to state and national reform mandates, Ball State University recently implemented a new teacher education program that incorporates state academic standards for students and teachers based on content and developmental standards approved by the Division of Professional Standards and performance-based assessment via digital portfolios (Mullen Mul´len
n. 1. (Bot.) See Mullein. , Bauer Bauer is a German family name. It translates to peasant or farmer (agricola in Latin).
Notable people of this name include:
(lī´snsh and then uses the data generated from that assessment to engage in systematic and comprehensive program review on an on-going basis (Division of Professional Standards, 2002). In the next section we outline the process undertaken to engage a variety of stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. in developing and implementing a rubric RUBRIC, civil law. The title or inscription of any law or statute, because the copyists formerly drew and painted the title of laws and statutes rubro colore, in red letters. Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 8; Diet. do Juris. h.t. for evaluating teacher candidates' performance in content classrooms during two practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship. courses.
Collaboratively Developing the Rubric
Traditionally, cooperating teachers with whom teacher candidates were placed evaluated the teacher candidates' performance in the practicum classes. The original evaluation form completed by the classroom teachers used a Likert evaluation tool with a 1-5 rating scale. Classroom and university teachers voiced strong dissatisfaction with this evaluation indicating that it was outdated out·dat·ed
old-fashioned or obsolete
Adj. 1. and not representative of the complexity of current classrooms or the learning to teach process. This sentiment, in addition to national and state mandates for performance-based assessment, resulted in the creation of a more comprehensive evaluation instrument for the practicum experiences.
Initially, a university faculty member assumed responsibility for drafting a performance-based rubric designed specifically for the brief, but intensive, practicum experiences. An instrument for evaluating student teachers, the Evaluation of Student Teachers Guidebook (2000), served as an initial framework for design. Based on the ten principles defined by the Interstate in·ter·state
Involving, existing between, or connecting two or more states.
One of a system of highways extending between the major cities of the 48 contiguous United States.
Noun 1. New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC INTASC Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium ) as essential for professional educators, student teachers are assessed throughout their student teaching on their competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. levels in each of the INTASC principles. The revised rubrics for the junior practicum were designed to reflect developmental levels of teacher candidates at this pre-student teaching stage of preparation.
The initial draft was shared and revised with seven other university faculty teaching the practicum courses. However, it became clear that a number of important stakeholders, such as classroom teachers and preservice teachers, had not been involved in the process. Consequently, fifteen teachers from our secondary PDS network along with four teacher candidates were invited to join a Focus/Work Group.
In the first focus group meeting, participants reviewed the rubric, made suggestions regarding revisions, and made arrangements to pilot the rubric during the fall semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s . Extensive conversation occurred regarding exactly what could be expected of a teacher candidate developmentally in the four-week practicum field experience as opposed to the sixteen-week field experience completed during student teaching.
Working from the student teacher rubric, focus group participants approved a reduced number of INTASC principles included in the practicum rubric to six (Principle 1-Understands Content; Principle 4-Designs Instructional Strategies; Principle 5-Manages and Motivates; Principle 6-Communicates, Principle 7-Plans and Integrates, and Principle 8-Evaluates) based on what they agreed could legitimately be expected of teacher candidates in a four-week field experience. Within these INTASC principles selected for inclusion on the rubric, expectations were revised to be developmentally appropriate. Focus group participants also approved a category entitled en·ti·tle
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: "Professional Dispositions" as a way of capturing potential problems for success in the field during student teaching. Items included under the "Professional Dispositions" category included attendance and promptness, preparation, professional dress, and interactions with student, teachers, and administrators.
The focus group wanted to insure Insure can mean:
* Provide cooperating teachers with information, guidance, and suggestions as to how to work with early field experience students. What is and is not appropriate to ask of a participant? While the focus group recognized "one size does not fit all," providing an array of suggestions with the caveat that choices be based on the cooperating teacher and teacher candidate's judgment, would be a useful tool for cooperating teachers.
* Provide an overview of acceptable/appropriate models of engagement.
* Provide the completed practicum rubric assessment to the cooperating teacher working with the participant during student teaching.
* Conduct a meeting between university faculty and cooperating teachers prior to the entrance of participants into the field to provide an overview of expectations, further explicate ideas for how to work with participants, and provide guidance with the use of the rubric.
* Develop avenues of communication between cooperating teachers and participants. A difficulty mentioned by several focus group participants involved finding time to actually sit down and talk with their participants. One suggestion was to communicate via e-mail.
* Make the rubric Web-based.
Before concluding the work of the first focus group meeting, participants also designed Cooperating Teacher and Participant Instructions and created an on-line feedback survey. Since the new instrument was such a departure from the previously used 5-point scale and because not all dimensions evaluated on the rubric might apply to all field experience contexts, Cooperating Teacher and Participant Instructions were to accompany the rubric for guidance in using the rubric appropriately. An on-line survey was also developed to elicit e·lic·it
tr.v. e·lic·it·ed, e·lic·it·ing, e·lic·its
a. To bring or draw out (something latent); educe.
b. To arrive at (a truth, for example) by logic.
2. information from cooperating teachers and participants piloting the document.
Piloting the Rubric
An on-line evaluation survey was implemented to elicit the perceptions of participating teachers regarding the rubric usability How easy something is to use. Both software and Web sites can be tested for usability. Considering how difficult applications are to use and Web sites are to navigate, one would wish that more designers took this seriously. See user interface and usability lab. . The data reported in this article emerge from rubric use in two sections of the practicum course in Professional Development Schools. Both cooperating teachers and teacher candidates were asked to complete the on-line survey at the conclusion of the field experiences.. Respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. were asked to identify whether they were at the middle school or high school level, approximately how long it took to complete the rubric, and whether they were able to actually discuss the rubric with the cooperating teacher or participant. In addition, the on-line surveys received after the pilot semester have shown remarkable consistency in the feedback provided. Verbal feedback provided to the two university teachers piloting the rubric was also recorded.
Analyzing the Data and Refining refining, any of various processes for separating impurities from crude or semifinished materials. It includes the finer processes of metallurgy, the fractional distillation of petroleum into its commercial products, and the purifying of cane, beet, and maple sugar the Rubric
A second Focus Group of university and PDS faculty took place approximately six weeks after the conclusion of the pilot semester. In addition to analyzing data collected via on-line surveys and the comments informally collected by the two university teachers, focus group members also reviewed copies of the cooperating teacher and participant rubrics completed for fall semester field experiences. Based on the analyses of cooperating teacher surveys, verbal feedback, and completed rubrics, the following conclusions were reached:
* Cooperating teachers reported the rubric to be extremely effective in providing a picture of the teacher candidates' proficiencies.
* There were no complaints regarding the length of the instrument of how long it took to complete the evaluation. In fact, several comments indicated approval of the comprehensiveness of the document.
* Cooperating teachers definitely approved of the comment lines provided below each of the categories. They appreciated the opportunity to comment on a specific aspect immediately following that aspect as opposed to some general area for comments at the beginning or the end of the document. In almost all cases, cooperating teachers wrote comments throughout the rubric document. Only a very few rubrics had comments written only on the first page.
* Cooperating teachers expressed great support for the "Professional Dispositions" category.
* The rubric might actually influence the opportunities teacher candidates were afforded in the field. One teacher's response indicated that, based on the rubric, s/he was reconsidering what opportunities should be provided participants during the practicum.
From their analyses of rubrics, focus group members also determined that cooperating teachers needed further assistance in understanding the developmental needs of the teacher candidates with whom they worked. It was clear from information provided on the rubrics, that some preservice teachers were asked to do too much teaching too quickly, while others were not given any opportunity to teach. To address this, the focus group recommended the creation of some sort of a survey or inventory to be forwarded to the cooperating teacher prior to the practicum. The focus group felt that this type of document would provide information that would enable the cooperating teachers to design field experiences that met the needs of the teacher candidates. They also felt that such a survey would further the cause of making field experiences across sites more consistent.
Another strong theme that emerged across the two focus group meetings involved using the rubric as a way to chart preservice teacher growth. Specifically, focus group participants recommended that teacher candidates share a copy of the rubrics with their cooperating teachers and university field instructors during student teaching. Focus group members suggested that this information could further support the teacher candidates' growth during student teaching by being able to "pick up where they left off" from their practicum experience.
The Implications of Collaboration
To meet the increasing demands for performance-based assessment in teacher education, collaboration among all stakeholders involved in the process of preparing new teachers is essential. Without collaborative efforts, expectations from the university perspective may not be understood or supported by school-based professionals. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , without the input of school-based professionals, university-defined expectations may be misaligned mis·a·ligned
misa·lignment n. with the realities of the classroom contexts. Furthermore, including preservice teachers in the collaborative creation and revision of a key assessment instrument provides an important perspective further ensuring that the instrument was developmentally appropriate.
Involving stakeholders in the process of reform increases the possibilities of a higher level of engagement and commitment to furthering the goals of the reform initiatives. The new data collection requirements will require teacher education institutions to work closely with our colleagues in the P-12 arena. Performance assessments take place in traditional campus classrooms, however, equally as important are the assessments accomplished in schools and classrooms where teacher candidates work. Meeting these reporting requirements requires cooperation and collaboration with our P-12 colleagues. As evidenced in this report, P-12 teachers have a vested interest Vested Interest
A financial or personal stake one entity has in an asset, security, or transaction.
For example, if you have a mortgage, your bank has a vested interest on the sale of your house.
See also: Right in this process. In our particular case, moving to an instrument that more comprehensively evaluates preservice teachers' performances in the field clearly requires a commitment by the cooperating teachers to thoughtfully and critically evaluate the preservice teachers' performance on the numerous domains reflected in the rubric. This process takes a great deal more time than quickly circling numbers and writing a one or two sentence summary. Yet, as our work reflects, no resistance was reported by cooperating teachers to the more time-consuming process required by the rubric. This lack of resistance may, in part, be attributable to the culture of collaboration engendered through the Professional Development School partnerships. In addition, the rubric instrument also resulted in encouraging cooperating teachers to reconsider re·con·sid·er
v. re·con·sid·ered, re·con·sid·er·ing, re·con·sid·ers
1. To consider again, especially with intent to alter or modify a previous decision.
2. the opportunities they provide to participants during the practicum. For example, several cooperating teachers indicated a clearer sense of how much actual planning and teaching could or should be expected of a participant.
The powerful result of collaborative efforts such as those detailed here is reflected in the simultaneous renewal that can occur. University faculty benefit from the "real-world" perspective of their school-based colleagues. School-based colleagues benefit from the "best practices" perspective of their university colleagues. In attempting to define developmentally-appropriate expectations, cooperating teachers involved in the rubric development took a critical look at their own practices in their specific classrooms. In some cases, cooperating teachers were heard to remark "if that's what is considered distinguished, I'm not even there!" This opportunity for reflection on practice for the inservice teacher is a clear benefit of the mutual growth that can occur in projects such as this.
With increasing demands for performance-based, data-driven assessments of teacher candidates, it becomes increasingly imperative to invite all stakeholders in the process to participate in the development of evaluation instruments. When important voices are left out of these conversations, it weakens the possibilities of successful implementation. By optimizing the power of collaboration, all stakeholders--university teacher educators, school-based teacher educators, and preservice teachers--benefit.
Ball State University. (2000). Evaluation of student teachers guidebook. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Phi Delta Kappa is an international professional organization for educators. Journal
The Phi Delta Kappan is a professional journal for education, published by Phi Delta Kappa. International.
Beardsley, L. V., & Teitel, L. (2004). Learning to see color in Verb 1. color in - add color to; "The child colored the drawings"; "Fall colored the trees"; "colorize black and white film"
color, colorise, colorize, colour in, colourise, colourize, colour teacher education: An example framed by the professional development school standard for diversity and equity. The Teacher Educator, 40(2), 91 - 115.
Division of Professional Standards. (2002). Article 3. Performance-based process for accreditation of teacher preparation programs. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/title515.html on October 31, 2005.
Holmes Group. (1986). Tomorrow's teachers. East Lansing East Lansing, city (1990 pop. 50,677), Ingham co., S central Mich., a suburb of Lansing, on the Red Cedar River; inc. 1907. The city was first known as College Park, but was renamed when it was incorporated. , MI: The Holmes Group.
Holmes Group. (1990). Tomorrow's schools: Principles for the design of Professional Development Schools. East Lansing, MI: The Holmes Group.
Mullen, L., Bauer, W., & Newbold, W. (2001). Developing a University-Wide Electronic Portfolio System for Teacher Education. Kairos Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the "right or opportune moment". The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. : A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Available at: http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/6.2/coverweb/ assessment/mullenbauernewbold/main.htm
National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). (2001). Standards for Professional Development Schools. Washington, DC: Author.
Cathy J. Siebert, Ball State University, IN
Laurie Mullen, Ball State University, IN
Cathy Siebert, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Secondary Education in Educational Studies Department and Laurie Mullen, Ph.D., is Associate Dean of Teacher Education in Teachers College.