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Using Multiple Measures of Teaching Quality to Improve the Preparation of Urban Teachers

By: , & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Teaching is a complex construct, and there is near-universal consensus, in the literature in the United States and internationally, that capturing this complexity requires collecting multiple measures from multiple sources. Yet, what measures to use and how is a contentious area of education policy research. In practice, there is little specific guidance available to districts and states in the United States interested in using multiple indicators to gauge and improve teacher performance. Teacher education programs that combine field- and university-based training have many built-in opportunities for data collection and offer an ideal context for exploring the productive use of different methods and measurement tools for collecting information about teaching practice. This case presents the experiences of a team of researchers and teacher educators working in one teacher education program to develop measures and understand how these may be used in combination to monitor and improve the instructional practices of teacher candidates. The program drew complementary information from seven measures aligned to a framework that includes content rigor, discourse, classroom ecology, and equitable access. The measures developed included observation rubrics, teaching artifacts, instructional logs, standardized tests, surveys of teachers and mentors, and portfolios, along with teacher value-added estimates. The case outlines the challenges and benefits of using multiple measures within teacher preparation programs.

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