Tuesday, 21 Oct 2003

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 21 October 2003 Assessing teacher performance reliably and validly Teacher performance can be assessed reliably and validly and the assessment process can be a powerful form of professional development for teachers, evidence from the United States shows. Professor Lloyd Bond, Senior Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the United States, will demonstrate this during his presentation at Research Conference 2003 hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in Melbourne today. Professor Bond will reflect on his 12 years working closely with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBTS), the US body responsible for certifying teachers, and present evidence from a US study that showed certified teachers outperformed non-certified teachers against a number of criteria. Professor Bond’s presentation will provide food for thought for the current debate in Australia on the value of teacher certification in this in country says Dr Lawrence Ingvarson, research director of ACER’s Teaching and Learning research program. Dr Ingvarson is an advocate of teacher certification and performance-based salary increases and believes that the work done by the NBPTS shows that this could be done successfully in Australia. “Many Australian educators and policy makers see processes such as teacher certification or performance-based salary increases in this country as being ‘too hard’. Professor Bond’s research and the work of the NBPTS in the United States shows not only that it could be done but it could have a positive impact on student learning outcomes and be a rewarding experience for the teachers involved.” The Accomplished Teaching Validation Study, led by Professor Bond, was conducted by a team of researchers based at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2000. The study found that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) scored higher on all of 13 dimensions of teaching expertise than did teachers who had sought but not obtained National Board Certification. The dimensions of teaching assessed included attributes such as: having an extensive knowledge of subject matter; the ability to adapt and improvise instruction; formulating lessons that are challenging and engaging; and promoting academic achievement by emphasising both personal accomplishment and intellectual engagement. An overview of the effect of initial teacher education on teacher quality in the US will be presented by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University via video linkup. Dr Ingvarson will present a concurrent session today in which he will review recent work undertaken by a team of ACER researchers into ways of improving evaluations and professional development programs for teachers. Professor Darling-Hammond’s address will take place at 9.00am, Dr Ingvarson’s concurrent session will take place at 11am and Professor Bond’s plenary address takes place at 1.30pm on Tuesday. ******** ENDS ******** Further information regarding the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards can be found at www.nbpts.org