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Teacher Educators Rethink Self-Assessment in Higher Education

A Guide for the Perplexed


Edited By Judith McVarish and Catherine Milne

This edited book provides readers with a guide for implementing self-assessment and self-evaluation that is based on a model implemented successfully in a diverse range of teacher education courses. Educators from disciplines as diverse as theater arts, early childhood, psychology, mathematics, and science education have adopted a model of self-assessment and self-evaluation that supports the individual ongoing assessment of learning throughout a course as well as the final synthesis of individual learning in the course. Self-assessment and self-evaluation are presented here as a means to help students and teachers reinvent the learning process as co-constructed, powered by evidence and agency in order to lift thinking beyond the mere attainment of an end-point grade; to help students own their learning in new ways they may not have experienced before; to think about teaching and learning that will carry them beyond their formal schooling years; and to value new questions as evidence of learning.


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Preface: So Why Self-Assessment? (Judith McVarish)


Ours has been called The Age of Accountability. In education, the ways in which we have defined this arena have garnered terrific pressures on stakeholders and created an atmosphere of negativity and a truncated version of how education at all levels should best serve its constituents and how such results are best measured. Both Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and new teacher certi- fication requirements have a goal of helping teachers think deeply about what they teach, what the learning will look like if the objectives for the learning are met, and what evidence they have to prove whether or not learning has occurred. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed by lead- ers from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and are grounded in cognitive development theory about how learning progresses across grades and how college- and career- readiness emerge over time. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Teachers are expected to understand a student’s learning needs, check for misconceptions and to Preface So Why Self-Assessment? Judith McVarish a_fm_T4.qxd 1/15/2014 8:37 AM Page vii provide evidence of progress toward learning goals. One goal of the CCSS is to ensure that assessment and instruction ensure that all stu- dents, regardless of disability, language or subgroup status, have the opportunity to learn and to show what they know and can do. The edTPA (AACTE, n.d...

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