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Practicing What We Preach: An Authentic, Standards-Based Assessment Model for Teacher Education
Unformatted Document Text:  Description: Faculty often preach authentic assessment in their courses for candidates in Schools of Education, yet this model is rarely used by faculty. This presentation focuses on a comprehensive model of authentic assessment incorporating case studies and rubrics aligned with program area standards enabling candidates to experience the tenets behind authentic assessment and faculty to evaluate programs. Section I: ContentA. Statement of Issue Many institutions of higher education (IHEs) face the challenge of meeting state and national teacher performance standards in a manner that demonstrates applied professional growth on the part of their students, and increased achievement among the K-12 students they are (or soon will be) charged to teach (Blackwell & Diez, 1998, 1999; Diez & Blackwell, 2001; Elliott, 2003). Since September 2001 when the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) shifted the emphasis of accreditation criteria from what the IHEs offer to what the students (hereafter referred to as candidates) receive, the burden of proof has rested on the IHEs to demonstrate that their candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach effectively, the dispositions to teach, and the ability to apply these qualities so that all students learn (Elliott, 2003). Additionally, NCATE calls for assessments of these teacher qualities to be aligned with standards, contain multiple measures, and evaluate a wide range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Traditional assessment measures commonly used within IHEs (i.e., standardized tests, comprehensive exams, etc.) provide only a glimpse of candidates’ abilities (Kaiser, 2000; Meadows, Dyal & Wright, 1998). Authentic assessment on the other hand, is based on several theoretical constructs that are aligned with current theories of teaching and learning (McLaughlin & Vogt, 1996). The authors of this proposal have developed an assessment model to bridge national teaching standards (International Reading Association, 2003) and teach ing practice, as well as classroom applications via case methods. The focus of this presentation, therefore, would be meeting NCATE standards using cases, standards-based rubrics, candidate-led conferences, and electronic portfolios as a system of authentic assessment. This approach allows faculty to see beyond the scope of traditional assessments to a perspective that promotes what we as teacher educators strive to develop within our candidates’ philosophical orientations, that is constructivism (Brooks & Brooks, 1993), reflective practitioners (Schon, 1987), progress beginning within individuals’ zones of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1987), and schema-based learning theory (Anderson, 1994). B. Literature ReviewIHEs have customarily evaluated candidates by measuring discrete learning outcomes and disintegrated learning skill using traditional or standardized testing models (Diez & Blackwell, 2001). Traditional assessment has required no experiential basis on the part of the learner for successful outcomes, and most questions have been those that have one “correct” answer (Liebars, 1999; Meadows, Dyal & Wright, 1998; Tellez, 1996). According to McLaughlin and Vogt (1996) there are many issues related to standardized testing: “1) They are based on an outdated model of literacy; 2) they frequently promote achievement, but exclude development; 3) they lack coordination with instructional goals and are easily misinterpreted and misused; 4) they prohibit the use of learning strategies; 5) they serve as poor predictors of individual performance; and 6) they categorize and label students” (Winograd, Paris, & Bridge, 1991; Wolf, 1989;

Authors: Avalos, Mary., Shaver, Annis., Pazos-Rego, Ana Maria., Massey, Susan. and Cuevas, Peggy.
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Description: Faculty often preach authentic assessment in their courses for candidates in
Schools of Education, yet this model is rarely used by faculty. This presentation focuses
on a comprehensive model of authentic assessment incorporating case studies and rubrics
aligned with program area standards enabling candidates to experience the tenets behind
authentic assessment and faculty to evaluate programs.
Section I: Content
A. Statement of Issue
Many institutions of higher education (IHEs) face the challenge of meeting state
and national teacher performance standards in a manner that demonstrates applied
professional growth on the part of their students, and increased achievement among the
K-12 students they are (or soon will be) charged to teach (Blackwell & Diez, 1998, 1999;
Diez & Blackwell, 2001; Elliott, 2003). Since September 2001 when the National
Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) shifted the emphasis of
accreditation criteria from what the IHEs offer to what the students (hereafter referred to
as candidates) receive, the burden of proof has rested on the IHEs to demonstrate that
their candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach effectively, the
dispositions to teach, and the ability to apply these qualities so that all students learn
(Elliott, 2003).
Additionally, NCATE calls for assessments of these teacher qualities to be
aligned with standards, contain multiple measures, and evaluate a wide range of
knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Traditional assessment measures commonly used
within IHEs (i.e., standardized tests, comprehensive exams, etc.) provide only a glimpse
of candidates’ abilities (Kaiser, 2000; Meadows, Dyal & Wright, 1998). Authentic
assessment on the other hand, is based on several theoretical constructs that are aligned
with current theories of teaching and learning (McLaughlin & Vogt, 1996). The authors
of this proposal have developed an assessment model to bridge national teaching
standards (International Reading Association, 2003) and teach ing practice, as well as
classroom applications via case methods. The focus of this presentation, therefore, would
be meeting NCATE standards using cases, standards-based rubrics, candidate-led
conferences, and electronic portfolios as a system of authentic assessment. This approach
allows faculty to see beyond the scope of traditional assessments to a perspective that
promotes what we as teacher educators strive to develop within our candidates’
philosophical orientations, that is constructivism (Brooks & Brooks, 1993), reflective
practitioners (Schon, 1987), progress beginning within individuals’ zones of proximal
development (Vygotsky, 1987), and schema-based learning theory (Anderson, 1994).
B. Literature Review
IHEs have customarily evaluated candidates by measuring discrete learning
outcomes and disintegrated learning skill using traditional or standardized testing models
(Diez & Blackwell, 2001). Traditional assessment has required no experiential basis on
the part of the learner for successful outcomes, and most questions have been those that
have one “correct” answer (Liebars, 1999; Meadows, Dyal & Wright, 1998; Tellez,
1996). According to McLaughlin and Vogt (1996) there are many issues related to
standardized testing: “1) They are based on an outdated model of literacy; 2) they
frequently promote achievement, but exclude development; 3) they lack coordination
with instructional goals and are easily misinterpreted and misused; 4) they prohibit the
use of learning strategies; 5) they serve as poor predictors of individual performance; and
6) they categorize and label students” (Winograd, Paris, & Bridge, 1991; Wolf, 1989;


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