Introducing Performance-Based Assessment in Pre-Service Teacher Education in India: Why and How?

Introducing Performance-Based Assessment in Pre-Service Teacher Education in India: Why and How?

Pradeep Kumar Misra (Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8353-0.ch009

Abstract

The teachers in India are usually trained and assessed by age old practices and approaches. Following a simple definition that performance-based assessment measures teachers' ability to apply the skills and knowledge learned from a unit or units of study, it can be argued that introducing and applying this practice in teacher preparation programs will be helpful to emphasize, measure, and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need to succeed in the real classrooms. This chapter that is guided by these observations and arguments details teacher education scenario, discusses existing assessment policies and practices in teacher education, advocates the need and promises offered by introducing performance-based assessment for pre-service teachers, highlights the challenges of introducing performance-based assessment, and presents some useful strategies to introduce, practice, and popularize the performance-based assessment in pre-service teacher education in the context of India.
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Introduction

Modern society demands high quality teaching from teachers (Solheim, 2017). Academicians, politicians, parents, teachers and other educational stakeholders unanimously agree that quality teaching is important in order to improve pupil learning and teachers have to possess a great deal of knowledge and skills to meet the varying learning demands of learners and improve educational standards (Barber &Mourshead, 2007; Misra, 2014a; UNESCO, 2014). The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), a statutory body of the Government of India, is of the view that teachers play an important role in shaping the future of the country and hence it’s important that a lot of attention must be paid on the quality of teachers (NCTE, 2015).And teacher education is instrumental to produce quality teachers, as noted in a report from UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2016):

Every education system is only as good as the teachers who provide the hands-on schooling. Study after study has confirmed their critical role in improving education quality and learning outcomes, which is why SDG 4 [Sustainable Development Goal 4] calls specifically for a major increase in the supply of qualified teachers and more support from the international community for teacher training…(p.1)

Teacher education is generally perceived as any formal program that has been established for the preparation of school teachers. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2018) defines teacher education as: Formal teacher training (pre-service or in-service) designed to equip teachers with the knowledge, attitude, behavior and skills required for teaching at the relevant level. Teacher education can be divided into two stages, pre-service and in-service. Pre-service education includes all the stages of education and training that precede the teacher’s entry to paid employment in an educational institution. In-service stage includes all the education and training that a teacher receives after the beginning of his/her career (Taylor, 2018). According to Kasemsap (2017):

Teacher education is a continuous process, starting with preservice teacher education, followed by in-service education and continuing education. The aim of teacher education is to create a pedagogically thinking teacher with adequate amounts of theoretical background knowledge and a reflectively-critical attitude toward the challenges encountered in the teaching profession (p.307).

In addition, to fulfill the mandate of preparing qualified and humane teachers, the teacher education systems have also take into account the ever emerging changes and challenges emancipating from society, economy and technology, as observed by Townsend (2011):

The past 20 years has seen more changes in education than since education systems first became formalized in the mid to late nineteenth century. These changes have been brought about partly by technological developments, partly by increased globalization and partly by changed demographics (p. 373).

Summarizing these challenges, a report from Department for Employment and Learning (2010) in UK emphasizes that schools and teacher education providers are facing considerable challenges on a number of fronts, including: concerns over underachievement and the links between underachievement and social inclusion; the developing economic agenda; providing for special educational needs and inclusion; and dealing with the social issues facing young people and disaffection from education. Teacher education systems across the globe are expected to deliver in backdrop of all these expectations, changes and challenges. In other words, reforms, improvements, and new approaches in teacher education become imperative (Misra, 2014b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Performance-Based Assessment: Performance-based assessments are seen as a tool to provide feedback in terms of records of performance produced in actual classroom teaching events, such as lesson plans, video clips of teaching, and samples of student work.

Teacher Education Programs: All those programs that prepare a candidate to get entry to paid employment as a teacher in an educational institution.

Teacher Performance Assessment: Assessment of teacher’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and effectiveness in the classroom.

Performance: The accomplishment of a given task with application of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Assessment: The process of making a judgment about one’s action, activity or performance.

Pre-Service Teacher Education: Pre-service teacher education includes all the stages of education and training that precede the teacher’s entry to paid employment in an educational institution.

Teacher Education: Formal teacher training (pre-service or in-service) designed to equip teachers with the knowledge, attitude, behavior, and skills required for teaching at the relevant level.

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