Ed Eval Week: Evaluation Capacity Building of Pre-service Teachers by Garima Bansal

My name is Garima Bansal, a faculty member at University of Delhi, India where I teach a course on Assessment Education to teacher candidates enrolled in the Bachelors of Education (B.Ed) program. By reading DeLuca, Chavez, Bellara, & Cao’s paper featured in the journal The Teacher Educator in 2013 on pedagogies that inform assessment education, I was able to better understand the teaching and learning experiences in my own class. In particular, their four pedagogical activities – 1) Perspective-building conversations, 2) Praxis: connecting theory and practice, 3) Modelling: Practice what you preach, and 4) Critical reflection and planning for professional learning – reflected the teaching that occurred in my class. Drawing on these four pedagogical activities, in this article I articulate how I worked to develop assessment literacy of teacher candidates enrolled in the B.Ed program.

Lessons Learned:

  • Multiple perspective conversations: Teacher candidates were provided prompts, such as newspaper items and media reports which spoke about the side-effects of formal testing on various stakeholders (such as, “India’s examination system is only focussed on exam. Knowledge is not a priority” from the magazine Outlook India etc.) to reflect upon.

They shared their own experiences to build a diverse yet coherent vision about various school related evaluation issues.  They spoke about how shifts in evaluation policy came as a surprise to them in the year 2009 when Continuous and Comprehensive evaluation replaced class X formal examination and others.

  • Collaborative assessment projects: Collaborative projects between school teachers, University faculty, teacher candidates were initiated on different themes relating to student assessment. These projects enabled them to prepare differentiated assessment tasks for multiple ability learners studying in the same class, collecting samples of formative assessments tasks and critically analysing them for the nature of learning etc. Undertaking these projects and analysing them provided them with both a global as well as local perspective on different evaluation issues.
  • Modelling: All the formative assessment components were embedded across different courses of the teacher professional development program –Bachelors of Education (B.Ed), which is a two year program. This program had a specific paper on teacher assessment education – Assessment for Learning, which was taught to teacher candidates in the second year. Though teacher candidates were taught specific tools and techniques to create and conduct formative assessments in this course yet they were continually given practice in taking formative assessments themselves through other courses of the program as well. 
  • Addressing Assessment Dilemma: During internship in schools, teacher candidates were made to explore various assessment dilemmas faced by in-service teachers– between formative and summative, stressing on competition or cooperation etc. and propose their possible solutions.
  • Educational Evaluation Policy Analysis: Teacher candidates were made to reflect upon the shifts in educational evaluation policy across the world. They made projects in groups of four explicating the causes of shifts, strengths and weaknesses of the existing policies.
  • Reflections: They were constantly encouraged to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses on their assessment plans made for school students. I simultaneously sought their feedback on my assessment pedagogy used in this program. (Rad Resource: TCrunch App to get instantaneous feedback and for managing assignments is freely downloadable from Apple and Google Play store.)

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Ed Eval TIG Week with our colleagues in the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our Ed Eval TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “Ed Eval Week: Evaluation Capacity Building of Pre-service Teachers by Garima Bansal”

  1. Hi Garima,

    I’m a Grade 1/2 teacher currently taking a course in Program Inquiry and Evaluation as part of my Professional Master of Education at Queen’s University. I enjoyed reading your article and about the four pedagogical activities you read about in the DeLuca, Chavez, Bellara, & Cao (2013) paper as it caused me to reflect on my own experience as a teacher candidate four years ago. The pedagogical activities of perspective-building conversations, connecting theory and practice, modelling, and critical reflection were very much a part of my teacher education program, and to be honest, I didn’t initially see the value in all aspects of these activities. I went into my teaching program thinking that I would learn about topics such as behaviour management strategies, scheduling, and how best to “teach” each academic subject, so I was surprised when these topics were hardly touched upon.

    You wrote about reflections and how the teacher candidates in your course were encouraged to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their assessment plans. Our program focused heavily on reflection and we had to write and submit reflections after many of the lessons we taught and identify one area of strength, one area of growth, and one area of future improvement. We also had to relate each of these aspects of our lesson to one of our 10 program goals and explain how they were connected. Along with many of my classmates, I remember feeling like these formal reflections were a waste of time and weren’t helping me “learn how to be a teacher”. It wasn’t until I began teaching in my own classroom that I realized how important those reflections truly were. I noticed that I was constantly reflecting on my lessons, teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, and everything in between. Now, in my third year of teaching, I look forward to reflecting on my teaching and trying to think of ways I can make improvements or adjustments to better suit the changing needs of my students.

    I appreciate how you mentioned that reading the DeLuca, Chavez, Bellara, & Cao paper helped you to better understand the teaching and learning experiences in your own class, as I find that the more I learn about assessment and evaluation the more I understand my own teaching pedagogy. As teachers we are always learning and reflecting on our practice! Thanks for your insight into this topic.

    Tara

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