Predicting Performance: A Comparison of University Supervisors’ Predictions and Teacher Candidates’ Scores on a Teaching Performance Assessment

Jan. 03, 2012

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, 63(1), p. 39-50. January/February, 2012.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between university supervisors’ predictions and teacher candidates’ performance on a summative assessment based on a capstone teaching event, part of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT).

The study addresses the following questions:
(a) To what extent do university supervisors accurately predict candidates’ total scores on a performancebased teaching assessment?
(b) On which questions and categories of the assessment do university supervisors most accurately predict their candidates’ scores? and
(c) Do university supervisors predict scores more accurately for highand low-performing candidates?

The data for this study were drawn from records for candidates in a public university’s teacher education program over a 2-year period, 2007-2009.

The analysis included data from 337 candidates.


The findings indicate that university supervisors’ perspectives about their candidates did not always correspond with outcomes on the PACT teaching event, a summative performance assessment.

Most of the candidates with the highest and lowest scores on the assessment were not those for whom the supervisors anticipated outstanding or poor performance.
In the high-performing group, the supervisors correctly predicted that candidates would pass the assessment. However, the supervisors did not provide closer predictions for those candidates.
Most supervisors underpredicted their candidates’ performance.
In the low-performing group, the majority of supervisors overpredicted their candidates’ total scores.

The authors posit that the primary reason that predictions did not match performance is not lack of knowledge about the assessment or the state’s teaching performance expectations but rather differences in the roles of supervisors and scorers.


This study highlights issues that hold implications for practice, policy, and research on assessing preservice teachers’ qualifications.

The increasing emphasis on performance assessments is changing the role of the university supervisor in evaluating candidates’ qualifications.
Concerns about the validity and reliability of student teaching observations suggest that reliance on supervisor’s evaluations of candidates for making summative judgments is problematic.

Performance assessments and supervisor perspectives may provide different, yet equally valuable, information for overall assessments of candidates.

In making classroom visits, supervisors gain a firsthand and in-depth view of the specific school context in which preservice candidates are teaching, and they observe student teachers’ improvement and progress over time in this context.

During follow-up discussions with supervisors after observations, candidates can discuss specific challenges, receive prompt feedback from supervisors, and engage in immediate reflection on their teaching.

The findings also underscore the value of using multiple methods in assessing the qualifications and competence of preservice candidates.

Updated: Jul. 02, 2013