Entities Evaluating Teacher Preparation Programs:
Teacher Preparation Program Self-Study
TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAM SELF-STUDY
The term “self-study” is used in different ways in the context of teacher education. Here we are not referring to the initial self-study reports that TPPs are often required to submit for national accreditation or state approval. Although these reports are supposed to be used for institutional self-improvement, more often they are completed mainly to fulfill reporting requirements. We are also not referring to the literature on teacher education self-study practices, which deals with reports that individuals make about their own teacher preparation practices rather than reports that institutions make to study the effectiveness and operations of their programs. Rather, we focus on program self-studies for which the audience is the TPP itself—that is, a TPP gathers information about its own program to decide how to improve.
Evidence used by Teacher Preparation Program Self-Studies to assess TPP quality:
- Varies by study. Some use: course syllabi, student teaching observations, candidate work samples
- Varies by study. Some use: candidate performance assessments, hiring and retention, VAM
An evaluation is intended to produce information that can be used to draw reasonable inferences about the quality of programs. By inferences, we mean interpretations or findings based on the above evidence.
- Program strengths and weaknesses, aspects of program that need improvement
INCENTIVES FOR TPPs
Incentives for TPPs are tangible or intangible reward or sanction tied to the results of an evaluation.
- Strengthen the program
Each type of TPP evaluation system relies on somewhat different evidence that can be used to draw different inferences. Each system also creates different incentives and consequences for TPPs.
- Program improvement
- Culture of evidence within a program
Mapping the Approach to Purposes
Each type of TPP evaluation system relies on somewhat different evidence that can be used to draw different inferences. Each system also creates different incentives and consequences for TPPs. Thus, instead of asking which TPP evaluation approach is best, the more appropriate and important question is, how well does each approach serve a particular purpose?
Accountability and Monitoring
Lacks independence/objectivity so
not used for this purpose
+ Faculty and staff are in the best position to provide detailed information (e.g., via website) about program content, etc., that can be useful to prospective students or other “consumers”
+ Faculty and staff know the most about their TPP and can identify and discuss areas where improvement is needed
– Does not provide a basis for performance to be benchmarked to a defined set of objective standards