Source: Action in Teacher Education, v. 32 no. 1, (Spring 2010) p. 73-81.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this study, the authors administered two instruments designed to assess and predict teacher effectiveness, the Teacherinsight Interview (TI) and the Renaissance Teacher Work Sample (TWS).TWS is a performance-based demonstration of teacher skills, and the TI taps into teaching dispositions.
Because both assessments were developed to be predictors of future teacher effectiveness, the authors hypothesized that a significant positive relationship would exist.
Therefore, in this study the authors examined this relationship by first exploring what teacher candidate demographic and academic variables are related to TWS scores.
The authors then explored what teacher candidate demographic and academic variables are related to TI scores.
Finally, using stepwise regression that included any identified significant demographic and academic relationships, the authors sought to answer whether teacher candidates' TWS performance predicts their TI scores.
The participants were 396 teacher candidates enrolled in a student-teaching seminar at a large comprehensive institution in the Southeastern United States.
In the sample, 313 candidates were female, and 83 were male. Most candidates (n = 370) were Caucasian; 11 were African American; 4 were Hispanic; 2 were Asian; 1 was an American Indian; and 7 were other or unknown.
Teacher candidates in the sample represented seven certification levels: early childhood / birth to primary, elementary (P-5), middle school (Grades 5-9), Grades 5-12, secondary (Grades 8-12), all grades (P-12), and exceptional education.
This study showed that ACT scores are significantly correlated with TWS.
Furthermore, Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching scores are also significantly correlated with TWS score, which seems logical.
The Praxis PLT assessment measures teachers' ability to apply pedagogical knowledge to classroom scenarios. The TWS also requires teacher candidates to apply their knowledge to a real-world scenario -- to design and implement instruction, to differentiate for diverse student needs, and to assess student learning of students.
In addition, Praxis PLT scores are also significantly correlated with TI score. Because both assessments focus on characteristics that affect a teacher's potential to be effective in the classroom, such a relationship seems logical. The Praxis PLT assessment measures general pedagogical knowledge, and items are constructed using a case study approach where teacher candidates apply their knowledge of pedagogy to classroom scenarios. The TI is an in-depth assessment of teacher dispositions that reveal attitudes and beliefs about students and learning environments.
Finally, certification level was significantly related to both TI and TWS total scores.
All these relationships were noteworthy as the authors sought to answer their central research question: whether the TWS could serve as a significant predictor of the Tl score. However, a stepwise regression revealed only two variables -- certification level and Praxis PLT score -- as significant predictors of TI scores.
In conclusion, the various components of effective teaching assessed by the TWS and TI instruments reflect the overall multidimensional nature of teacher effectiveness.
The authors argue that most selection criteria for university teacher education programs typically include variables that are easily quantified, such as grade point averages and ACT scores, but are poor predictors of teacher performance and effectiveness (Heller & Clay, 1993; Peterson & Speaker, 1996).
Heller, H. W., & Clay, R. J. (1993). Predictors of teaching effectiveness: The efficacy of various standards to predict the success of graduates from a teacher education program. ERS Spectrum, 11(1), 7-11.
Peterson, G. J., & Speaker, K. M. (1996, October). An examination of admission criteria to programs of teacher education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association, Chicago.