University of Minnesota Duluth (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4767-4777
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Department of Education, located in this university, places hundreds of pre-service education students in the field each semester as apprentices assigned to observe and practice in early childhood education, special education, and in elementary and secondary school classrooms. Each placement has always required supervision from the university, and from the cooperating professional classroom teacher via feedback protocol. However, in a series of periodic surveys, it was reported that the university’s forms of feedback were perceived as cumbersome and less than helpful by students, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers as well.

This project, initiated in 2007 through a research grant, attempted to address ineffective practices in utilization of observation forms by creating a common instrument, aligned with the progress of teacher candidates as they increased their understanding of their profession, and also aligned with the realities and expectations of cooperating professional classroom teachers as well. The three-year project has produced research-based, developmentally appropriate rubrics and clinical supervision processes that have provided platforms for substantive discourse and effective communication between institutions, and among stakeholders. In addition, the project has initiated language and awareness to increase inter-rater reliability and clarity of target performances for constituents through more clearly defined levels of competence and criteria.

According to assessment research in teacher evaluation, longitudinal evidence suggests that the use of standards-aligned models of supervision increase levels of teacher performance with significant correlation to increases in student performance. Therefore, the creation of this project’s evaluative observation instrument, which is aligned with the needs and realities of teacher candidates, program standards and expectations, and the context of the field, stands to assist all involved by providing feedback to address and improve university curriculum and instruction, school staff development and mentoring, and pre-service self-reflection and strategic intervention. The collection of data generated by the common instrument will be used to analyze the effects of intervention, and the efficacy of curriculum and professional development. In addition, the process itself, of creation, iteration, and training to utilize a common instrument has provided valuable experience regarding the obstacles, affect, and the practicality of such a venture.
Field experience, supervision, rubric, education, teacher education.