Date of this Version
Assessment of Teaching: Purposes, Practices, and Implications for the Profession, edited by James Y. Mitchell, Jr., Steven L. Wise, and Barbara S. Plake; Series Editor Jane Close Conoley (Hillsdale, New Jersey, Hove & London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1990)
The Buros-Nebraska annual Symposia on Measurement and Testing are aimed at providing a forum for discussing important issues in the field of measurement and testing. The topic for the 1987 Symposium was "Assessment of Teaching: Purposes, Practices, and Implications for the Profession." This topic was selected because of the current interest in developing, designing, and implementing accountability programs for teaching that are present in many states and education programs. The complex nature of teaching, combined with the unique measurement issues for assessing outcomes in the teaching context, provided the basis for identifying the topic of teacher assessment for the 1987 symposium.
As is the tradition for the Institute, after each annual symposium a volume is prepared that contains written versions of the presentations from the symposium as well as additional chapters, invited by the editors, to complement the collection of chapters representing the symposium presentations. During the editorial process, each chapter for the current volume has external review by one or two professionals in the field in order to provide comments and suggestions for improvement of the chapter. We are very grateful to the dedicated efforts of the following persons who served as external reviewers for this volume: Peter Airasian, Jerrilyn Andrews, David Berliner, Carol Dwyer, Stephen Dunbar, Kim Hoogeveen, Ronald Joekel, Michael T. Kane, Steven Murray, Michael Rebell, Carol Robinson, Robert Stalcup, Charol Shakeshaft, Kenneth Strike, James Sweeney, Gary Sykes and Herbert Walberg. We also extend our gratitude to Jane Close Conoley, who as series editor provided the advice, oversight, and continuity necessary for an enterprise of this kind.
This volume provides a comprehensive look at the assessment of teaching, covering dimensions of assessment techniques, validity concerns, legal issues, application and implementation considerations, utility of assessment information, and views of the process of teacher assessment from the perspective of both an administrator and a teacher advocate. Therefore, this volume will focus on many related and vital facets of assessment of teaching.
The first chapter in the volume is authored by W. James Popham and is titled "Face Validity: Siren Song of Teacher-Testers." As the keynote speaker of the Buros-Nebraska Symposium on Measurement and Testing, Dr. Popham sets the stage for concern for validity in teacher assessment programs. The concerns raised by Dr. Popham are echoed by many authors in subsequent chapters in the volume.
Dr. Edward Haertel is the author of the second chapter, "Teacher Performance Assessments: A New Kind of Teacher Examination." As a member of the team involved in developing an instrument to credential teachers, Dr. Haertel is in a unique position to provide insights into the assessment methods for teaching. The methods identified give an overview for upcoming chapters in the volume on paper-and-pencil assessment instruments (Mehrens) and performance assessment techniques (Stiggins).
"Improving Teaching Through the Assessment Process" is the title of the next chapter authored by Dr. Donald Medley. Most practitioners agree that improvement of teaching should be the primary goal of teacher assessment programs. This chapter provides examples of teacher assessment programs that attempt to realize this critical goal for teacher assessment programs.
Dr. William Mehrens' chapter, "Assessing the Quality of Teacher Assessment Tests," provides an important continuation of the discussion on assessment methods identified by Dr. Haertel in Chapter 2. Focusing on paper-and-pencil assessment instruments, Dr. Mehrens addresses many critical psychometric issues related to the development and use of instruments for assessing teaching.