Teaching dispositions must be observable in behaviors for evaluation and coaching, but behaviors can be difficult to disentangle from their underlying cultural values, personal moral beliefs, and the professional stances that teachers take (Murrell, Diez, Feiman-Nemser, & Schussler, 2010). Teacher preparation programs must provide clear statements and rationales for the kinds of dispositions the program values and expects to see in teacher candidate performance, especially when they are interacting with students and colleagues. Arguments must be also be provided for particular stances that matter for defining effective teaching. We have few examples of instruments used across multiple institutions. However, one ongoing research project within NExT is the Minnesota Educator Dispositions System. This is a disposition assessment system that examines equity-based dispositions using rubrics as a tool for coaching teachers around developing productive dispositions for teaching (Beaton et al., 2016).
Measures of p-12 student impact
Just as there are many ways to measure teaching quality, there are many ways to measure the impact of teaching on students. Accounting for how students are learning is clearly at the heart of teaching, so we focus here on impact measures associated with student learning.
P-12 student achievement data typically rely on standardized measures of student achievement such as district or state-administered tests. These tests provide information about populations of students and their learning achievement at a single point in time and the learning outcomes can be fairly distant from a teacher’s particular learning goals within the classroom. Such data can be hard to obtain from school districts when links between the teacher and the student are not available, or when data sharing agreements between institutions are not in place. Even when such data are available, they must be used with caution. Educational and statistics researchers have advocated against the use of these forms of student outcome measures as the sole metric for measuring teaching quality, as standardized tests are intended as measures of student achievement, not as measures of teaching (Darling-Hammond, 2013).
Curriculum-based measures and pre-post assessments for courses are classroom-based measures of student achievement that tend to be most closely aligned with a teacher’s learning goals for the students. But these measures are difficult to compare across contexts. The complex instructional organization of today’s classrooms (e.g. flexible groups, Response to Intervention (RTI),
co-teaching) makes linking individual student data to a single teacher problematic. Data of this kind must be treated with attention to the local context.