During school placement, student-teachers tend to feel anxiety towards their supervision visits as part of their summative assessment to obtain the teaching qualification (Capel, 1997). Part of the student teachers’ anxiety is due to a lack of clarity or interpretation of the school placement tutors’ expectations (Kyriacou & Stephens, 1999; Steadman and Brown 2011; Clarke et al. 2012; Hall et al. 2018). To overcome this, it is essential that there is an instructional program coherence (Newman et al, 2001), expressed among other things in aligned formative assessment practices between different placement supervisors towards a common frame of reference provided by the summative assessment process (Hewitt & Smith, 2007).
Given the paucity of research in teacher education focusing this alignment, our study aimed at examining the formative assessment provided by a sample of placement tutors during the first supervision visit to student teachers in the last year of a B.Ed programme.
The data sources include the first visit proforma given by the placement tutors to their student teachers and the summative assessment rubric to cross-analyse the alignment of the comments provided for the three core dimensions of Pedagogy, Reflection, and Professionalism.
A deductive data analysis strategy is employed to identify the elements of the visit comments directly related to the assessment rubric dimensions and descriptors, followed by an inductive strategy to identify “outlier” comments relative to the rubric descriptors. This data is being treated quantitatively to “measure” the degree of alignment (more alignment refers to a greater percentage of comments connected to the rubric). Afterwards, an analysis on the type of comments will be conducted to classify them as: 1) retrospective (feedback) or prospective (feedforward); 2) supportive (focusing on the development process) or evaluative (focusing on the learning product); and 3) constructive (building towards success) or de-constructive (highlighting the error).
Although data is being analysed at the stage of the abstract submission, full data will be presented and discussed as regards to the process underway in the B.Ed programme and future directions for practice and research of school placement assessment in teacher education.