Measurement of the quality of content preparation of post-secondary elementary-level teacher candidates participating in student teaching experiences during the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006: a pilot of the Iowa Department of Education Student Teacher Evaluation (IDESTE)
This dissertation research investigated the validity and reliability of the Iowa Department of Education Student Teacher Evaluation (IDESTE) instrument and has provided initial comparisons of the IDESTE to other measures in the system. A team of experts, including staff members from the Department of Education, the K-12 system, and teacher preparation programs, developed the IDESTE. The initial form of the IDESTE was administered to every student teacher in the state in 2005-06 and results were aggregated by the Department of Education. A subsample of this overall sample was identified, and additional data were collected on this subsample to compare with IDESTE performance. The IDESTE was found to have good reliability, face validity, and construct validity. Concurrent validity was solid as well, despite the lack of variability of the IDESTE sample. Predictive validity could be determined through subsequent administrations of the IDESTE;Findings from analysis of the IDESTE results indicate that cooperating teachers generally believe student teachers to have adequate content area preparation. In fact, roughly 60% of the scores submitted were "5" (highest score) on a 5-point range. While the other measures examined (ACT, Praxis I(TM), grade point average, and C-Base) all correlated more highly with each other, low to moderate correlations existed between these measures and the IDESTE results. This could mean that the instrument simply does not add value to this measurement of content competency, but that conclusion runs counter to the results of construct and face validity and of reliability. It is more likely that the IDESTE measures the construct of content adequacy in a different way than do the other measures, which makes sense given that the IDESTE is more performance-based than any of the other measures (except for grade point average);The pilot of this assessment suggests several implications for future practice, research, and development that should be considered for future programming and policy efforts. Attention to these implications and recommendations, described above, will contribute to moving the body of research forward and should help to ensure the provision of quality teachers in every learning environment in Iowa.