Assessment Challenge

The list below has been compiled from recurring assessment challenges faced by teachers and teacher educators across Australia.

Selecting and expanding a challenge from the list will display the array of tools that have been developed to address that challenge.

Challenge: Equity and Validity of Assessment Judgement

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Experienced teachers (as assessors in the professional experience/practicum period) identify that making judgments about and assessing the performance (according to criteria or graduate standards) of preservice teachers can be a difficult and lonely task. Teachers recognise that this is a process often done in isolation and may have expressed concern when making judgments about their own personal bias or ‘subjectivity’ impacting on their decision making.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Assessment incorporating Explicit Feedback Steps

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Have you ever heard the term "They just don't have it". Many pre-service teachers hear this about their practice but what does 'it' mean and what does it look like? Providing explicit feedback is a challenge for both university based and school based teacher educators alike.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Assessing According to the Professional Teaching Standards

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There is increased pressure on assessors to make explicit assessment judgements that align with prescriptive professional teaching standards and that can be supported by documented authentic evidence.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Continuity Between Placements

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For many pre-service teachers when they complete one professional experience and their assessment form is filed at the PE office - they never look at it again. Ensuring pre-service teachers link their assessment from one placement to the next is important.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Guiding and Assessing 'At Risk' Students

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Guiding and assessing ‘at risk’ pre-service teachers is frequently the most stressful and potentially challenging aspect of supervising teachers’ work in professional experience. Placements need to be supportively managed with early identification, clarification of key issues, action plans put into place and clear communication protocols.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Promoting Quality Supervisory Relationships

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Challenges that arise within the complex dynamics of relationships within professional experience (pre-service teachers, supervising teachers, tertiary mentors) can lead to tensions across personal and professional dimensions - maintaining professional relationships is important and mentor teachers need to allow pre-service teachers to develop their own teacher identity.

Tool: Strategy

TOP

Challenge: Time Pressure

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For all teachers and schools the added work of guiding and assessing pre-service teachers in professional experience comes on top of their existing school/teaching commitments – time pressure frequently affects the quality of mentoring provided to pre-service teachers

Tool: Strategy

TOP

Challenge: Linking universities and schools around professional experience

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Teacher education institutions need to work closely with schools and teachers regarding communication about guidelines, expectations, and responsibilities relevant to the assessment process.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Diversity of Preservice Teachers

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The teaching profession needs to better reflect the diversity of the student population. With this increasing diversity and with increasing diverse needs there emerges the need for greater communication and clarification of these needs at the beginning of the professional experience.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Placement Site Limitations

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Each placement site has restrictions on the experiences and opportunities it can provide to a pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers thus need a range of professional experiences to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and aptitudes.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: Accessing Sufficient Number of Placements

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Ensuring all schools (inner city, outer uran, regional, rural and remote have the opportunity to participate in initial teacher education could help address the issues of sufficient numbers of placements - but the costs associated with students participating in schools away from home also need to be factored.

Tool: Strategy

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Challenge: School & Community Relations

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Pre-service teachers need to have opportunities to engage with parents and caregivers and have professional experiences that involve learning about the broader school community and participating in building effective school-community partnerships.

Tool: Strategy

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