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Assessment, teacher education and the emergence of professional expertise

Ellis, Sue and Smith, Vivienne (2017) Assessment, teacher education and the emergence of professional expertise. Literacy, 51 (2). pp. 84-93. ISSN 1741-4350

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This paper describes a new assessment tool that situates school literacy as a specific cultural, social and emotional practice. It reports evidence of the extent to which this tool seems to have helped student teachers to broker and balance different kinds of data and knowledge flows. The study shows that the tool was helpful in encouraging student teachers to deepen their understanding of individual domains and orchestrate across domain knowledge to account for why some children experience difficulty in learning to read. However, it also indicates that engagement in impactful, dynamic teaching situations helped the assessment tool to generate situated, meaningful knowledge and pedagogical understanding. This suggests that initial teacher education might need to re-think the range of student teachers’ practical experiences. The study suggests benefits in considering assessment tools and data that attend explicitly to the evidence of the wider learning context.