The dilemma of field experience assessment: Enhancing professional development or fulfilling a gate-keeping function?

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Abstract

The field experience component in a teacher education programme serves both a gate-keeping function and a formative purpose that supports student teacher development. The authors were members of a research team which took care of the re-design of the assessment instrument for the field experience component of a teacher education programme, as well as conducting a pilot implementation test. The new assessment instrument, referred to as a Professional Development Progress Map, was developed with reference to the professional standards formulated by an official teacher education policy advisory body. This paper looks into the comments of the users, that is the supervisors and the student teachers (or participants, as in-service teachers were involved in the pilot implementation test) after the pilot implementation test. Findings suggest difficulties in using the Progress Map as a summative assessment instrument regarding the determination of grades and levels, making judgements based on observable performance and collection of evidence, and difficulty in assessing the domain 'Involvement in Education Community'. The discussion highlights the dilemma related to the use of professional standards as summative assessment instruments, and how users may be re-orientated to enhance the formative purpose. The paper concludes with suggestions on prudent use of the Progress Map. Copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
JournalTeacher Development
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Citation

Cheng, M. M.-H., & Tang, S. Y.-F. (2008). The dilemma of field experience assessment: Enhancing professional development or fulfilling a gate-keeping function? Teacher Development, 12(3), 223-236.

Keywords

  • Teacher education
  • Assessment of field experience
  • Professional standards

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