The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 425–443 | Cite as

Authentically assessing graduate teaching: outside and beyond neo-liberal constructs

Article

Abstract

In this paper, we challenge the current focus on ‘best practice’, graduate teacher tests, and student test scores as the panacea for ensuring teaching quality and argue for ways of thinking about evidence of quality beginning teaching outside and beyond the current neoliberal accountability discourses circulating in Australia and other countries. We suggest that teacher educators need to reinsert themselves as key players in the debates around quality beginning teaching, rather than being viewed as a source of the problem. To enable teacher educators to assume accountability for quality beginning teachers, we propose the framework of a capstone teacher performance assessment—a structured portfolio called the Authentic Teacher Assessment (ATA)—and examine examples of these assessments through the lens of critical discourse analysis. As a measure of ‘readiness to teach’, the ATA is compared with supervising teachers’ assessments of preservice teachers. We argue that structured portfolios that include artefacts derived from preservice teachers’ practice in classrooms along with graduate teacher self assessments provide a stronger accountability measure of effective beginning teaching and demonstrably address the current anxiety regarding ‘evidence’. We suggest that such an approach should be reliable enough to be ‘read’ by external assessors (and moderated across other teacher education institutions). Rigorous research on a national basis is called for in order to develop and implement a structured portfolio as rich evidence of graduates’ quality and readiness to teach.

Keywords

Authentic teacher assessment Capstone assessment Graduate teaching professional standards Initial teacher education Quality teaching 

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Copyright information

© The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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