Panel: Evaluating Student Teaching and Evaluating Student Teachers

Saturday, November 10, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Wilson C - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  James Cowan, American Institutes for Research
Discussants:  Lesley Lavery, Macalester College and Aliza N. Husain, University of Virginia

Effective Like Me? Does Having a More Productive Mentor Improve the Productivity of Mentees?
Dan Goldhaber, University of Washington, John Krieg, Western Washington University and Roddy Theobald, American Institutes for Research

Identifying Promising Clinical Placements Using Administrative Data: Preliminary Results from Isti Placement Initiative Pilot
Matthew Ronfeldt1, Dan Goldhaber2, James Cowan3, Emanuele Bardelli1, Joy Johnson1 and Christopher Tien2, (1)University of Michigan, (2)University of Washington, (3)American Institutes for Research

Do Student Teaching and Pre-Student Predict Future Teacher Quality?
Kristine West1, Chantal McMahon1 and Soomin Lee2, (1)St. Catherine University, (2)University of Minnesota

Student teaching, often the culmination of educators' pre-service preparation, represents the first sustained opportunity for many prospective teachers to practice teaching in real classrooms. A growing, but nascent literature, has begun to identify features of clinical preparation that are positively associated with prospective teachers' workforce outcomes. This panel contributes four papers that consider the student teaching internship's potential as a site to improve prospective teachers' practice and as a source of information about their potential as classroom teachers.

The first two papers in this panel assess how the selection of student teaching sites influences prospective teachers' future performance as classroom teachers. Goldhaber et al.'s paper "The Benefits of Mentorship? Exploring the Relationship Between Cooperating Teacher Effectiveness and Future Teacher Effectiveness" uses data from a partnership with 21 teacher education programs in Washington State to study the relationship between the instructional effectiveness of the mentor teacher -- the classroom teacher who supervises the student teaching internship -- and the effectiveness of student teachers once they enter the profession. The paper builds on an earlier literature that has found mixed evidence on this relationship using a larger sample of student teachers. In the second paper, "Identifying Promising Clinical Placements Using Administrative Data: Preliminary Results From ISTI Placement Initiative Pilot," Ronfeldt et al. revisit this literature using an experimental design. They worked with teacher preparation programs to randomize student teachers to more or less promising placement sites. Based on an analysis of survey data following the internship, they find that candidates in more promising sites reported better feedback and more opportunities to practice teaching.

The third paper, "Do Student Teaching and Pre-student Predict Future Teacher Quality?" by West et al., broadens the focus to look at a set of practices, including the location and duration of student teaching. They also study the benefit of completing student teaching experiences in the same district teachers eventually find employment, finding that teachers who did more student teaching in their employment district score significantly higher on student surveys. Based on these results, the authors consider how school districts might improve teacher hiring by hosting student teacher placements.

In the final paper, "Do Performance Assessments Predict Teachers’ On-the-Job Performance? Early Evidence from North Carolina," Bastian provides additional evidence about the promise of evaluating student teachers' performance. He examines the edTPA, a new assessment of teacher candidate performance used in several states. These new assessments use information collected during the internship and are meant to provide a more authentic measure of teacher candidate performance. States and teacher preparation programs use these performance assessments to determine candidates’ readiness to teach and as a source of evidence for program improvement. However, there is little evidence as to whether performance assessment scores go on to predict the effectiveness of early-career teachers. In this paper, Bastian finds that the assessment predicts teacher value-added and evaluation ratings.

Collectively, these papers will shed light on best practices for designing student teaching internships to support effective teacher preparation.

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