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ERIC Number: EJ829191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1536-6367
Challenges of Simultaneously Defining and Measuring Knowledge for Teaching
Alonzo, Alicia C.
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v5 n2-3 p131-137 Aug 2007
Schilling et al. (this issue) have done a commendable job in illustrating a comprehensive process of validating assessments of teacher knowledge (and, more broadly, other types of tests as well). On one hand, the concrete illustration of a process that often remains murky and incomplete is profoundly heartening, as it provides a rigorous model for others addressing similar measurement challenges. On the other hand, some of the results are profoundly discouraging. The work described in this set of papers builds upon over a decade of effort--starting with Ball and Bass' original work (Ball, 1999; Ball & Bass, 2000) in the area of teacher knowledge--on the part of a highly talented and well-funded research team. Yet, at its core, strong validity claims about measures of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) seem limited to the measurement of common content knowledge (CCK), not necessarily the mathematical knowledge specific to teaching (specialized content knowledge--SCK--and knowledge of content and students--KCS). In this commentary, the author focuses on an inherent challenge in the type of work Schilling and his colleagues have undertaken: attempting to measure a construct which is still being defined and explored. Because the construct of knowledge for teaching is itself not well understood, important assumptions about the behavior of its measures may or may not be warranted. At this stage in the development of the construct, it is important to consider validity evidence from teachers with a range of backgrounds and teaching experiences, as well as to consider all possible implications of that evidence. Otherwise, the construct itself may be prematurely narrowed because measures do not behave as initially predicted with a particular group of teachers. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A