The Teacher Education component of the project found a common ‘sister’ project also awarded under the priority field of Academic standards, assessment practices and reporting with a particular focus on the practicum component in Teacher Education.
This project was known as Project Evidence (see http://teacherevidence.net) and from the shared collaboration of both projects, the teacher education component in this report was named Project Assessment.
The two projects consisted of academics whose research and practice is well known in the fields of teacher education; professional experience and assessment and it was agreed that wherever possible and practical the work would be shared so that the resources aligned. The collaborative approach of the project also recognised and valued the experiences and knowledge of the field based practitioners (teachers and teacher educators) who contribute to the teacher education process and assessment in school sites. Like our ‘sister’ project – the teacher education component shared similar stances.
We framed our work based on four shared views (Sim, Allard, White, Le Cornu, Carter and Freiberg, 2012) that:
- the practicum assessment is not an individual responsibility – it is a professional one, informed by a regulatory body.
- the standards are to be used as a framework for learning and assessment in school-based learning placements, they will need to be adapted according to the stage of the development of the pre-service teacher, that is, whether they are being assessed against standards at the end of their first, second or final practicum.
- the impact of different school-based learning contexts and the types of learning experiences the pre-service teacher is exposed to should also shape and limit the particular standards and/or foci that could be taught and validly assessed on any practicum.
- part of the complexity surrounding the (assessor) role is that teaching itself has changed, as has the context within which teaching occurs – both at schools and universities. Consequently, the multiple, interlocking roles of teacher, mentor and assessor involved in supervising are changing and expanding as the current context for teaching becomes more challenging and focused on performance-based assessment against national professional standards.