Evidence LibrarySystematic reviewsAssessment of trainee teachers
What is known about successful models of formative assessment for trainee teachers during school experiences and what constitutes effective practice?

What do we want to know?

The emphasis of much scholarly debate on assessment has been on its processes, aims and outcomes. A number of issues dominate the topic and are central to this review. They include gender, the emphasis on fair testing, the new idea of multiple assessments, the tension between standardisation and individualisation, the demands for replicability and for non-discriminatory practice and so forth. A division between formative assessment and summative assessment has been drawn, which is often awkward to uphold; the former is championed by some as a fairer, more personalised form of assessment than the latter. The aim of this review is to explore and examine models for formative assessment of student teachers within the context of school-based experience, focusing on specific locations within the English-speaking international community.

Who wants to know?

Policy-makers; those involved in initial teacher training; student teachers

What did we find?  

  • Portfolios are a collection of work and reflection which student teachers compile during their training.  They were found to increase personal and professional growth and development; allow teachers to express themselves creatively; provide an unprecedented insight into the mind of the student teacher; create a strong bond between the assessed and the assessor; and increase the confidence, reflective capacity and self-awareness of the trainee. 
  • However, excessive use of the portfolio may cause the education community to lose sight of pedagogical ability and focus too much attention on cognitive ability and clarity, as well as reflective capacity. In addition, there is a tension between the time needed to undertake the portfolio well and its ultimate worth.
  • The quality of the studies reviewed was generally low, and more high-quality research is needed.

What are the implications?

  • Evidence suggests that the trend in the UK towards the incorporation of portfolios within ITT courses might have benefits. They appear to increase professional and personal growth and allow teacher educators further insight into the depth of their trainee teachers’ pedagogical knowledge.

  • The introduction of portfolios may have positive implications for the transition from good studentship to good practice in the classroom.

How did we get these results?

Two studies were synthesised; both focused on portfolios.

This summary was prepared by the EPPI-Centre

This report should be cited as: Moyles J, Yates R (2003) What is known about successful models of formative assessment for trainee teachers during school experiences and what constitutes effective practice? In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

  
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