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This chapter explores specific approaches to examining and measuring teaching practice as one dimension of teacher effectiveness.  This chapter includes discussions about the use of surveys and observation frameworks and protocols.
It also provides some strategies and tools for how to use these measures.

NExT Common Metrics Surveys as a measure of teaching practice

Many teacher preparation programs use surveys of both beginning teachers and school supervisors.  These surveys typically ask about the beginning teachers’ perceptions of how well prepared they were to begin teaching and ask supervisors to rate the beginning teachers’ teaching skills.

NExT has developed a suite of surveys for use by its members as well as other teacher preparation programs around the country.  These instruments, the Common Metrics surveys, include:

  • Entry Survey is administered as candidates begin
    their teacher preparation program.  This instrument
    asks potential candidates about their own educational backgrounds and what led them to pursue a
    teaching license.

  • Exit Survey is administered at the end of the teacher preparation program.  The purpose of this survey is to identify learning opportunities and practices candidates believe are effective teacher preparation strategies.
    The Exit Survey is designed to gather the candidates’ own perspectives on their teacher preparation programs as they leave their programs and prepare to enter the teaching profession.

  • Transition to Teaching Survey is administered at the end of the first year of teaching.  This survey asks beginning teachers how well their teacher preparation programs prepared them for their first year of teaching.

  • Supervisor Survey is also administered at the end of the first year of teaching and is completed by the supervisor (e.g., principal or mentor) at the school where the teacher works.  The Transition to Teaching Survey and the Supervisor Survey both address common questions within four domains: (1) Instructional practices;
    (2) Diverse learners; (3) Learning environment; and
    (4) Professionalism.

As a system, this set of four surveys allows multiple perspectives on the teacher preparation experience and the quality of beginning teacher instructional practice.  One commitment that we maintain in our work is to align instrumentation for teacher effectiveness to standards of practice.  The InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2011) describe teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the areas of learner development, learning differences, learning environments, content knowledge, application of content, assessment, planning for instruction, instructional strategies, professional learning and ethical practice, and leadership and collaboration.  Similarly, the InTASC Model Core Learning Progressions for Teachers (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2013) describe the learning progressions for teachers that relate to complex teaching practices.  The NExT Common Metrics surveys, specifically, the Transition to Teaching Survey and the Supervisor Survey have been aligned to InTASC teaching standards.