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Reconceptualizing Assessment in Teacher Education
Unformatted Document Text:  Preparing Highly Qualified Teacher Candidates: Reconceptualizing Assessment in Teacher Education Section I: Content Statement of the Issue: The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) requires that all teachers be highly qualified and be accountable for the annual yearly progress (AYP) of their K-12 students. Beyond the passing of required standardized assessments for licensure, such as Praxis I and II, how do schools and colleges of education demonstrate that candidates for future teaching positions are, indeed, highly qualified and able to positively impact K-12 student learning? Contexts of teaching and learning are highly diverse and will become even more so in the future. In addition, all teaching and all learning is shaped by the contexts in which they occur (Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 2000). How can the quality of teacher candidates be defined? Should the use of assessment in teacher education be reconceptualized to address issues of highly qualified teachers and K-12 AYP for students? Literature Review: A major challenge in teacher education is moving teacher candidates from intellectual understandings of teaching and learning, gained in the college classroom, to quality enactments in K-12 classrooms (Kennedy, 1999). Learning to teach is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it is situated (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989, Lave & Wenger, 1990). To become enculturated, teacher candidates typically begin to take on the beliefs and behaviors of the culture, and learn how to use the tools of the culture (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Teachers candidates’ knowledge about teaching and learning develops slowly as they become immersed in the context of a particular school during intensive clinical experiences such as student teaching. Teachers’ knowledge is understood as organized around characteristic features of their classrooms and motivated by specific problems of practice (Carter, 1990; Darling-Hammond, 1997; Hiebert, Gallimore, & Stigler, 2002; Leinhardt, 1988). To become highly qualified, teacher candidates must learn to effectively use the tools of the culture (e.g., a variety of research-based instructional strategies, teacher editions for student textbooks, manipulative materials for mathematics and science) in the particular ways that are embraced by the educational community. The act of teaching is a complex interaction between a teacher, students, content and a particular classroom setting within a larger context of the school (Airasian, Gullickson, Hahn, & Farland, 1995; Delandshere & Petrosky, 1994; Hiebert, Gallimore, & Stigler, 2002). The extent to which context influences teaching – and determines what kinds of approaches to teaching will be effective – is a factor that is increasingly acknowledged in research on teaching, in teacher education, and in the assessment of teaching (Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 2000). Assessment of highly qualified teacher candidates requires the construction of knowledge and diverse practices that are the result of principled actions in different contexts, rather than presuming one set of unvarying behaviors (Delandshere, 1996, Delandshere & Arens, 2003). The documentation of highly qualified teacher candidates should demonstrate a dynamic view of assessment (e.g., assessment of, for, and as learning) (Earl, 2003). Assessment of the qualities of teacher candidates should: sample the actual knowledge, skills, and dispositions desired of highly qualified teachers as they are used in teaching and learning context; require the integration of multiple sources of knowledge and skill, collected over time, as they are used in highly qualified practice; and be evaluated by individuals with relevant expertise

Authors: Combs, Martha.
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Preparing Highly Qualified Teacher Candidates:
Reconceptualizing Assessment in Teacher Education
Section I: Content
Statement of the Issue: The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) requires that all
teachers be highly qualified and be accountable for the annual yearly progress (AYP) of
their K-12 students. Beyond the passing of required standardized assessments for
licensure, such as Praxis I and II, how do schools and colleges of education demonstrate
that candidates for future teaching positions are, indeed, highly qualified and able to
positively impact K-12 student learning? Contexts of teaching and learning are highly
diverse and will become even more so in the future. In addition, all teaching and all
learning is shaped by the contexts in which they occur (Darling-Hammond & Snyder,
2000). How can the quality of teacher candidates be defined? Should the use of
assessment in teacher education be reconceptualized to address issues of highly qualified
teachers and K-12 AYP for students?
Literature Review: A major challenge in teacher education is moving teacher
candidates from intellectual understandings of teaching and learning, gained in the
college classroom, to quality enactments in K-12 classrooms (Kennedy, 1999). Learning
to teach is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it is situated (Brown,
Collins, & Duguid, 1989, Lave & Wenger, 1990). To become enculturated, teacher
candidates typically begin to take on the beliefs and behaviors of the culture, and learn
how to use the tools of the culture (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Teachers
candidates’ knowledge about teaching and learning develops slowly as they become
immersed in the context of a particular school during intensive clinical experiences such
as student teaching. Teachers’ knowledge is understood as organized around
characteristic features of their classrooms and motivated by specific problems of practice
(Carter, 1990; Darling-Hammond, 1997; Hiebert, Gallimore, & Stigler, 2002; Leinhardt,
1988). To become highly qualified, teacher candidates must learn to effectively use the
tools of the culture (e.g., a variety of research-based instructional strategies, teacher
editions for student textbooks, manipulative materials for mathematics and science) in the
particular ways that are embraced by the educational community.
The act of teaching is a complex interaction between a teacher, students, content
and a particular classroom setting within a larger context of the school (Airasian,
Gullickson, Hahn, & Farland, 1995; Delandshere & Petrosky, 1994; Hiebert, Gallimore,
& Stigler, 2002). The extent to which context influences teaching – and determines what
kinds of approaches to teaching will be effective – is a factor that is increasingly
acknowledged in research on teaching, in teacher education, and in the assessment of
teaching (Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 2000). Assessment of highly qualified teacher
candidates requires the construction of knowledge and diverse practices that are the result
of principled actions in different contexts, rather than presuming one set of unvarying
behaviors (Delandshere, 1996, Delandshere & Arens, 2003). The documentation of
highly qualified teacher candidates should demonstrate a dynamic view of assessment
(e.g., assessment of, for, and as learning) (Earl, 2003). Assessment of the qualities of
teacher candidates should: sample the actual knowledge, skills, and dispositions desired
of highly qualified teachers as they are used in teaching and learning context; require the
integration of multiple sources of knowledge and skill, collected over time, as they are
used in highly qualified practice; and be evaluated by individuals with relevant expertise


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