ERIC Number: ED499187
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Developing Evidence & Gathering Data about Teacher Education Program Quality
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Linking teacher practice to pupil outcomes has proven challenging for teacher educators. Methodological problems occur when linking individual teacher actions with subsequent pupil performance, including substantial intervening variables, questions about appropriate measures of student learning, issues regarding the lack of test standardization between schools and districts, and problems in the mechanics of tracking candidates and accessing data. Alternate measures of student learning, such as whole school scores, or proxies for student learning, such as teacher behavior, add to the attribution complexity. Feeling the mounting pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs with solid evidence of pupil learning, university administrators and teacher educators are responding to growing expectations. AASCU leaders developed a project to discover what American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) campuses were doing to provide credible and persuasive evidence of the effectiveness of their programs to schools, parents, policy makers, and the public. The project was based on two premises: (1) That teacher education accountability was important and legitimate; public institutions have a public obligation to be accountable; and (2) The project was based on the premise that robust evidence systems must be in place to achieve educational outcomes, to guide program improvement, and to assure and protect the public. AASCU leaders developed a survey that asked how institutions assess the content knowledge, the classroom performance, and the P-12 student learning of their program graduates; how programs track the retention of graduates; what data collection and analysis procedures are used; what mandates institutions are under to collect and report information; and what issues exist in relation to accessing data. Results indicate that institutions feel besieged by demands for data and frustrated by the amount of time and energy devoted to the collection process. The array of data required by different groups makes it difficult for programs to build data systems that are useful for program development, teacher quality improvement, and the development of public trust. Results also indicate that institutions are using similar measures and instruments to collect effectiveness data, responding to mandates from their respective state education departments and from national accrediting agencies that they be accountable for the learning of both teacher candidates and the P-12 students they teach. They are aware of the need to demonstrate this accountability, but many are still conceptualizing what accountability means and what constitutes evidence of accountability, particularly for P-12 student learning. Many institutions are in the planning stages or involved in piloting systems to collect performance data. Others appear to be revising existing methods to conform to new expectations. (Contains 4 figures. The following are appended: (1) Detailed Examples; and (2) References.)
Descriptors: Schools of Education, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Education Programs, State Colleges, Educational Objectives, Program Improvement, Outcomes of Education, Graduates, Program Effectiveness, Accreditation (Institutions), Accountability, Data Collection
American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 1307 New York Avenue NW Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-7070; Fax: 202-296-5819; Web site: http://www.aascu.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC.