This research uses oral history narratives to examine the professional choices and trajectories of Teach for America participants over a twenty-year period, attending especially to individuals’ perceptions of their urban teaching experiences, their beliefs, and their reasons for staying in or leaving the urban classroom, with the aim of better understanding the experiences of such teachers and the implications for staffing urban schools.
As a set, these chapters represent various attempts to develop guidance for teachers on how to better integrate curriculum and assessment practices to improve student learning. Two are based on broad views of the organization of curriculum and assessment (Forster & Masters, Smithson & Porter) and three are based on micro studies of teachers (Black & Wiliam, Frederiksen & White, Wilson & Draney). I will first comment on how each chapter contributes a research basis for applying assessment methods to classroom-level instruction, and then I will provide summary comments on the set.
In this chapter, we first look at the history of administrative evaluation and instructional supervision within education. Then we review the current context of teacher accountability and the present uses of administrative evaluation and instructional supervision in efforts to improve teacher quality. Finally, to restore a balance between administrative evaluation and instructional supervision that will better ensure teacher quality, we recommend empowering the teaching profession by 1) actively including teachers’ unions as partners in systemic efforts to ensure teacher quality; 2) more fully embracing and expanding a graduate-level medical model of preparation to develop a generation of teachers who are highly qualified in both academic knowledge and pedagogical skill; and 3) adopting national “opportunity to teach” standards to uniformly improve teaching conditions in all schools so that highly qualified teachers remain in the profession.
This commentary describes some of the logistical issues that have such a profound negative effect on the accreditation of teacher training programs. Of special concern is the very short timeline used to phase in new standards.
This study focuses on the compatibility of the measurement and pedagogical goals of evaluation in the context of national standards. Using stories of secondary school teachers as a basis, it shows the value of classroom evaluation, since classroom evaluation allows the two goals to be reconciled, albeit to a limited extent. We argue that for a professional application of classroom evaluation, the frame of reference used is historical, and that the content of such a framework is closely related to the teacher's pedagogical content knowledge.
This analysis and discussion of program evaluation is based on my
experience with the evaluation of education programs. My observations
suggest that these experiences can be generalized to a considerable
degree to evaluations of other social programs, such as the
Poverty Program of the Great Society in the 1960s.
The difficulty of evaluation of staff development programs is examined in terms of the goals of staff development, the individual and contextual goals, and structural properties inherent in staff development programs. Several guidelines for evaluation are offered.
The 1960s saw the widespread adoption in this country of early education pro¬grams aimed at counteracting the effects of poverty on human development. This article is an analysis of seven early education program studies.
Develops a conceptual framework which views the school as a subsystem of both the local community and of the larger society.
In the preceding chapter Gordon identified similarities and differences
across a number of current innovative programs for early
childhood education as drawn from their descriptive materials. Description
of some of these same programs in terms of observations
of actual classroom behavior is one of the objectives of this chapter;
the other is to report relations between these observational measures
of the intellectual growth of pupils.
The practices and technologies of educating can be described in terms of models for solving curricular and instructional problems. These models constitute the technology of education and from them training programs for teachers, curriculum-makers and materials-procedures can be selected.
A criticism of the Tyler approach to learning which states that one must set up goals and rigidly work toward them. The author feels setting objectives restricts the curriculum; predetermined behavior should be the only acceptable kind; ends should arise from teaching activity.
The research design commonly used by educational researchers is not inappropriate for evaluative research. But narrow or rigid adherence to traditional experimental design can lead to inadequate curricular evaluation.
Two fairly speculative models presented in this paper illustrate some less restrictive techniques of economic model-building. The first model is the micro-economic type. It suggests that if a school district wishes to maximize student learning, there may exist an optimal teacher salary-level it should pay, given the student ability to learn, the distribution of abilities in the population of teachers currently "in-the-market," and certain other conditions of supply and demand. The second model is macro-socioeconomic, and suggests possible relationships among higher education curriculum, economic and technological change, and social change.
The first purpose of this paper is to examine a range of types of evaluation studies, the circumstances in which they are appropriate, and the information and techniques needed. The second purpose of this paper is to propose that certain programs be instituted by educational institutions.
This chapter begins with a general discussion of evaluation, including
the important problem of stating the objectives of mathematics
education in an organized fashion. This discussion is followed by
brief reviews of a number of projects which have been concerned in
one way or another with the evaluation of mathematics programs.
The final portion is a detailed discussion of the variety of evaluation
procedures used by the School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG),
the largest of the mathematics curriculum projects in this country.
The author’s description of the infinitesimal impact of scientific research on action programs is certainly as accurate today as when it was first written, as are his pictures of administrators in search of justifications and teachers fearful of evaluations. Research and evaluation have been welcomed, he says, only by those compelled to submit reports to the Feds. If research programs are ever to have local impact, researchers must cease to be outsiders and become involved with the systems they are attempting to serve.
Evaluative behaviors are discussed as to the need to establish what constitutes admissible evidence for a given evaluative undertaking.
The American Council on Education in its role as a spokesman for higher education is discussed.
The author continues The Record's discussion of curriculum evaluation. He confronts the problems of how specific statements of objectives ought to be, what sorts of indicators might help in the judgmental process, and how better instructional methods might be revealed.
At a time of increasing interest in community involvement with education, the author's account of a program for training non-professionals to do tutoring work in homes holds many important implications.
This chapter discusses the problems involved in the empirical development
of instructional materials. It takes as its point of departure
a definition of programed instruction as the application of quality
control to the design of instructional materials. Three distinct
phases of empirical testing are isolated and discussed: (a) the developmental
testing phase, (b) the validation testing phase, and (c) the
field testing phase.
The purpose of this chapter is to present a description and a critique
of one city school system's approach to evaluating the social
studies in its elementary schools. The experience of the public schools
in Denver will be presented as a case study.
Most programs of in-service education in schools exist for the
dual purpose of helping the members of the staff become more competent
to deal with their professional roles as teachers and administrators
and of improving the quality of the educational program of
the school system. It follows, therefore, that the evaluation of
change in programs of in-service education should consider the nature
and quality of changes in people as individuals and as professional
persons and the nature and quality of the changes made in
the educational program itself.
A program for evaluating the progress being made in learning is inherent
in any intelligently planned teaching-learning situation. Educational
evaluation is a matter of passing judgment on the learnings of
pupils and is done for the purpose of aiding in pupil growth. As such, it is
an integral part of the process of learning and teaching. Without it, both
teacher and student work in the dark, and ineffective learning will surely result. The issue is not one of whether we should evaluate; it is one of how
best to do it.
The reorganization of a school system, large or small, by which the industrial and commercial aspects of life are given adequate provision, is not a simple problem. This problem involves many factors, all of which must be taken into account or disappointment and even serious and costly errors will follow.
Many of the subjects taught in the elementary schools of today lack worth and interest to boys and girls because they fail to see in these subjects anything worth having or doing, or anything which supplies a felt need either of their own or of the society of which they are a part.
Sixteen states require their Departments of Education to assign a single performance indicator such as a “letter grade” to schools within those states. We take a look at the relationship between school grades and poverty in one of these states. Our analysis indicates that there is a moderate negative correlation between poverty and school performance indicators. We discuss the implications for communities and structural poverty and make a plea to reconsider the manner in which single performance indicators are determined.
With this commentary, we add our voices to the rising tide of dissent and resistance to the edTPA. As teacher educators we want to highlight the ways that the edTPA and its proponents represent academic oppression against vulnerable teacher candidates. Additionally we provide resistance in the battle to define good teaching.