Assessment Literacy Overlooked: A Teacher Educator's Confession

Published: 
Sep. 01, 2011
Source:The Teacher Educator, 46(4), p. 265–273, 2011
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

 
The article presents a reflection and a confession of an American teacher educator who claims assessment illiteracy, "more than is recognized, had led us to our current no-winners-possible approach to educational accountability."
 
What is ‘‘assessment literacy’’?
 
Assessment literacy consists of an individual’s understandings of the fundamental assessment concepts and procedures deemed likely to influence educational decisions:
 
First, it focuses on someone’s understandings of assessment concepts and procedures. An assessment literate educator must comprehend the essence of, what actually constitutes a test’s reliability and how it is that different reliability coefficients can represent a test’s measurement consistency in several distinctive ways.
 
Second, the understandings involved should be associated with fundamental assessment concepts and procedures. An assessment literate educator need to possess deal with main-line content.

Finally, assessment literacy requires that an educator understands only those concepts and procedures thought likely to influence educational decisions.
 
Why Do Preservice Teachers Need Assessment Literacy?
 
First, today’s educators are being evaluated primarily on the basis of students’ scores on accountability tests, "hence it is flat-out folly for new teachers not to understand the tools being used to judge them and their colleagues."

Second, we now possess compelling evidence to show that educational tests, when properly constructed and skillfully employed, can play a prominent part in substantially improving the quality of students’ learning.
 
How can teacher educators promote their candidates’ assessment Literacy?
 
This can be provided to prospective teachers in many forms, but the author argues it is certain that would-be teachers’ assessment literacy cannot be promoted with an abbreviated dip into the topic. Preservice assessment literacy needs to be promoted at a reasonable degree of depth.
He suggests that educational tests, especially those used in the classroom, can become instruction-enhancing tools and a course in assessment with an appropriate text is necessary to bring a more complete understanding of assessment to beginning teachers. 
A course in assessment with an appropriate text is necessary to bring a more complete understanding of assessment to beginning teachers.
Updated: Aug. 25, 2013
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