ERIC Number: EJ1047572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 27
How Should We Evaluate Student Teachers?
Critical Questions in Education, v2 n2 p66-73 Sum 2011
In this article, Thomas Deering addresses possibly the most written about component of teacher preparation: "student teaching." Deering states that a cursory examination of literature databases identified some 4000 articles on this topic, spanning the last three decades. An issue often related to Professional Development Schools (PDSs) that is attracting increasing interest is action research in the student teaching experience, so the purpose of this investigation was to look into the accuracy of the evaluation process for student teachers. Two questions guided this research: (1) How valid are letter grades assigned to student teachers?; and (2) How accurately does a letter of recommendation identify a student teacher's strengths and weaknesses? The research showed that letters of recommendation written by individuals who have been trained in writing letters of recommendation as a component of a course in the supervision and evaluation of student teachers offer a more accurate assessment of the student teacher than does a traditional letter grade. Based on this research, the author has come to the conclusion that teacher education institutions should do away with the traditional letter grade as the method of evaluating the student teacher and adopt a pass/fail system supported by letters of recommendation written by cooperating teachers who have been trained to write letters that are clear and specific as to the student teacher's strengths and weaknesses.
Descriptors: Student Teachers, Student Teaching, Student Teacher Evaluation, Professional Development Schools, Grades (Scholastic), Schools of Education, Pass Fail Grading, Referral, Letters (Correspondence), Job Applicants, Classroom Techniques, Principals, Cooperating Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Grading, Supervision
Academy for Educational Studies. 2419 Berkeley Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Tel: 417-299-1560; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://academyforeducationalstudies.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A