Using evaluation to promote change in language teacher practice
Rosemary Erlam, The University of Auckland
Volume 5, Issue 1, 2016
Abstract: Recent literature in teacher education has argued for a shift away from the development of teacher cognitions as a goal of teacher education, to the development of core practices which would make a difference to students’ lives in the classroom (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Kubanyiova & Feryok, 2015; Zeichner, 2012). Hiebert and Morris (2012) propose that these key practices would be embedded into instructional contexts and preserved as lesson plans and as common assessments. This paper focuses on the evaluation tools developed for an inservice professional development programme for language teachers (the Teacher Professional Development Languages (TPDL) programme: http://www.tpdl.ac.nz/). TPDL is a year-long programme for teachers of foreign languages in NZ schools. Programme participants are visited by TPDL In-School support facilitators four times during the course of the year. The facilitators observe their teaching practice and then use two key documents, the ‘Evidence of Principles and Strategies (EPS) portfolio’ and the ‘Progress Standards’ to assist teachers to evaluate their practice against key criteria. As the year progresses the teachers are increasingly encouraged to take ownership and control of the use of these tools, so that by Visit 4, the evaluation is conducted as a selfassessment. This paper evaluates these tools and considers evidence for their validity. Data is presented from the case study of one teacher, to further demonstrate how the tools are used and to document evidence for any change in teaching practice.
Keywords: Language teacher education, validation, foreign language teaching, self-assessment