Novice Study of Teacher Learning Progressions in Posing, Pausing and Probing Practices: A Multi-Dimensional IRT Analysis

Research on teachers and teaching has shown that formative assessment can improve student learning more than most instructional practices (Hattie 2009, 2012). A robust body of empirical evidence spanning over two decades indicates that thoughtfully implemented formative assessment practices improve students’ learning, yet little empirical work has been done on teachers’ developmental trajectories with these so-called high-leverage moves.

Employing a teacher learning progressions lens (Duckor & Holmberg, 2017, 2019), we have relaxed assumptions regarding the presumed content-specific features of high-leverage moves and argue instead for developmentally appropriate “footholds” and “fixed lines” to help beginning teachers in pre-service settings with formative assessment practices. Using Wilson’s Constructing Measures (2005) framework, we hypothesize a set of multi-dimensional trajectories of FA practice--moves that are broader, more actionable, and more accessible to novices in a trans-disciplinary framework.

We present empirical results from a collaborative study of 93 novice preservice teachers drawn from multiple and single subject credential programs at San José State University and UC Santa Cruz. Based on video evidence gathered from diverse California K-12 classrooms that included English learners, we calibrated item difficulties and estimated person proficiencies with posing, pausing, and probing practices using MIRT methods. An examination of the internal structure of these practices using Wright Maps and fit statistics shows strong evidence for construct and content validity (Testing Standards, 2014). Validity evidence based on relations to other variables related to subjects’ performance on the CalTPA demonstrated a strong, positive degree of correlation (.89). Video clips were scored by two raters. Inter-rater reliability was moderately positive; within one step, there was 85% agreement (Posing), 87% agreement (Pausing), and 56% (Probing).

For diagnostic and formative uses to improve teacher learning, our study points the way towards new, more fine-grained instruments that focus on substantive differences among novices to better support their growth and professional development for pre-service and induction years.

Brent Duckor is an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education at San José State University. He taught government, economics, and history at Central Park East Secondary School in New York City in the 1990s before returning to the University of California, Berkeley, to study education measurement, testing, and assessment with the passage of No Child Left Behind. Duckor's research on teachers' understanding and use of formative assessment in the K–12 classroom and validation of teacher licensure exams in state, national, and international contexts seeks to integrate a developmental perspective on teachers' growth in the profession. His book, Mastering Formative Assessment Moves: 7 High-Leverage Practices to Advance Student Learning, with Dr. Carrie Holmberg is available with ASCD (2017).

Carrie Holmberg earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from SJSU (2017) while conducting her dissertation research on teacher learning progressions in formative assessment with middle school mathematics teachers in multilingual, high needs contexts. Her scholarship has appeared in Educational Leadership, California English, The Handbook of Research in Middle Level Education, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and Phi Delta Kappan. A nationally board certified teacher, Carrie lectures in the Department of Teacher Education at San José State University.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 2:00pm
Berkeley Way West
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