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Framing the Context: The History of Teacher Quality Assessment. Mary E. Diez Alverno College. The Puzzle of Teacher Quality: Two Paradigms. A Nation at Risk (1983) Credentialing Highly qualified A Nation Prepared (1986) Professionalism Highly effective.

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Framing the Context: The History of Teacher Quality Assessment

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Framing the context the history of teacher quality assessment l.jpg

Framing the Context: The History of Teacher Quality Assessment

Mary E. Diez

Alverno College


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The Puzzle of Teacher Quality: Two Paradigms

  • A Nation at Risk (1983)

    • Credentialing

    • Highly qualified

  • A Nation Prepared (1986)

    • Professionalism

    • Highly effective


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Wolf, Bixby, Glenn & Gardner (1991)

  • How do assumptions about what learning is and how to assess it make a difference in what we see as evidence?

    • The epistemology of intelligence and the culture of testing

    • The epistemology of mind and the culture of assessment


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Shepard (2000)

  • 20th century paradigm—Social efficiency curriculum, hereditarian theory of IQ, associationist and behaviorist learning theories, and scientific measurement

  • Emergent paradigm—Reformed vision of curriculum, cognitive and constructivist learning theories, and classroom assessment


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Baker (2007)

  • Concerned by an “evidential disconnect between test design and learning research”

  • “. . . We must augment our usual accountability tests with other qualifications that link accountability to learning, that tap deeper individual knowledge, and that measure ability to transfer to new contexts and applications.”


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Managing Polarities

  • Epistemology of intelligence vs. mind

  • Culture of testing vs. assessment

  • Credentialing vs. professionalism


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Hallmarks of Professionalism: The Traditional Three

  • Specialized training and knowledge in a codified field of knowledge

  • Public recognition of autonomy and self regulation*

  • Commitment to service and altruism beyond one’s own economic welfare*

    *Teaching as a semi-profession


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Hallmarks of Professionalism:A New Three

  • Collaborative and integrative skills in complex organizations (meaning-making, connecting, mentoring)

  • Knowing how to work in emergent social systems, like e-communities, temporary organizations like task forces and project teams (navigating and structuring)


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  • Seeing the work of the profession as for the larger group, with crucial social implications (civic awareness and stewardship mentality)


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Our challenge

Given PI 34’s vision:

  • To construct meaningful assessment of the complex performance of teaching

  • Through working in new ways as colleagues, rather than competitors


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Learning from each other

  • Making our understandings explicit

  • Sharing our assessments, criteria and rubrics

  • So far--baby steps

    • Student teaching instrument

    • Graduate follow up instrument


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To continue learning, we need to

  • Recognize we need to keep learning (overcome our “expert” identity)

  • Follow Carnegie: Make it public, critique it, improve it, pass it on


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Introducing Ray Pecheone

  • Advocate of professionalization

    • National Board assessments

    • Connecticut BEST assessment

    • PACT assessment in California

      • 30 institutions joining together to implement a set of assessments and learn from each other’s practice and data


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