Evaluation and assessment in teacher education : an analysis of the assessment culture of an Ontario initial teacher education program
Caldwell, Kimberly D. I.
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The Ontario Ministry of Education, with the shortest teacher evaluation programs in the nation, is proposing changes to the two-semester teacher education "Professional Year" in favour of a longer program. Rather than looking at either the semester length or the number of semesters of a program, an evaluation of the assessment culture and curriculum of the teacher education program may be more appropriate to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of Ontario's pre-service teacher education. This is one such audit. This mixed method analysis uses a course syllabus review, teacher candidate surveys and semi-structured interviews to identify the assessment culture of the initial teacher education program. The creation and comparison of ethnographic profiles of course assignments allow for a deeper analysis of the assessment protocols associated with the Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate, and Intermediate/Senior divisions. Initial results show that the teacher education program at the Faculty in this study uses summative assessment through in-class presentations, lesson and unit plans, and reflective essays. Also, teacher candidates exhibit characteristics of both achieving and deep achieving learners. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that students would benefit from having all assignment information upfront on the first day of class with the course syllabi containing not only the assignment weight, name, and due date, but also all information required to complete the assessment of the course.