Teacher Educators' Approaches to Assessment

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Coombs, Andrew
Classroom Assessment , Teacher Educators , Approaches to Assessment , Assessment Literacy , Teacher Education , Assessment Education
Teacher educators have the potential to wield tremendous influence in shaping educational reform through the education of teacher candidates. Brookhart, a leading assessment researcher, argues that a primary influence on teacher candidates’ assessment capability involves teacher educators’ approaches to assessment: “teacher candidates’ repertoire of effective teaching practices depends on the beliefs about learning and the approach to assessment espoused by the respective teacher educator” (2016, p. 17). This study examines Canadian teacher educators’ approaches to assessment, with particular attention to the relationship between instructional focus (e.g., assessment, curriculum, professional studies) or assessment education model on teacher educators’ approaches to assessment. A quantitative design was used to examine teacher educators’ approaches to classroom assessment. Through completion of the Approaches to Classroom Assessment Inventory, teacher educators from nine provinces shared their approaches to assessment in relation to five classroom assessment scenarios. They also reported the degree to which assessment content was integrated into the teacher education courses they instructed. Results of this study showed that teacher educators’ approaches to assessment within discrete themes (i.e., Assessment Purpose, Assessment Process, Assessment Fairness, Measurement Theory), were highly consistent. However, when considering teacher educators’ approaches to assessment across Assessment Themes, there was a high degree of variability. Differences in how assessment and curriculum/professional studies educators integrated assessment content into the teacher education courses they instructed were also noted. Findings from this research serves to inform the development and delivery of teacher assessment education. As this study provides the first examination of Canadian teacher educators’ assessment literacy, teacher educators are provided the opportunity to compare their assessment literacy to that of K-12 classroom teachers and teacher candidates. Findings from this study begin to lay the foundation for future studies into the impact of Canadian teacher educators’ assessment literacy on teacher education.
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