Summative assessment of student teaching: a proposed approach for quantifying practice

  • Lee Rusznyak
Keywords: isolated criteria or general


A pass mark in a teaching practice module is a convenient way for universities to signal
confidence in students’ beginning teaching competence. However, assigning marks for
teaching competence is a fraught undertaking if marks are to be standardised across
different assessors and reflect teaching as a complex, coherent practice. This paper analyses
reports written by university tutors justifying the marks awarded to a cohort of final-year
student teachers for their teaching practice. The analysis shows that marks reflect an
interplay between the students’ pedagogical thinking (evident in the rationale for their
lesson design and written and verbal reflections on their teaching), and their ability to
deliver lessons effectively (from direct observation of their teaching). This finding
prompted the development of a Summative Teaching Practice Assessment Rubric which
considers both the cognitive and performance dimensions of student teaching. It potentially
enables a more coherent, holistic summative assessment of student teaching than had been
possible using lists of isolated criteria or general impressions of competence

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