Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 31, Issue 4, November 2008, pages 319 - 337
The participants in Boston College's 'Teachers for a New Era' Evidence Team designed a portfolio of assessments and studies, in order to make decisions about teacher education policy and practice that were informed by research and evidence.
This paper describes one project in the portfolio - a series of surveys that trace teacher candidates' experiences over time and track shifts in these experiences as respondents progress from students during the pre-service period to teachers in the first few years of work in the profession. The paper illustrates how various constituencies in the teacher education program and the larger university used survey data to guide practice, shape policies, and raise new questions about the curriculum, relationships with schools, and the performance of teachers and their students. The paper argues that these surveys helped to create a new 'culture of evidence and inquiry' within which decisions about local policy and practice were made in the teacher preparation program and the larger university.