chapter  22
19 Pages

Evidential Reasoning and Decision Support in Assessment of Teacher Practice

Applications of evidential reasoning as an approach to assessment of teacher practices have gone unnoticed in education. Other sectors, such as law, use evidential reasoning methods for systematic interpretation of evidence to increase certainty and decrease doubt about events. Teaching is a complex series of events and it is difficult to explain what it means to enact effective teaching or standards-based practices, for example. Novice teachers, those who are preservice or in the induction phases, find it difficult to operationalize such global terms or understand what it means to enact standards-based strategies. Development of pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge requires substantive feedback from those who assess and guide growth. Evidential reasoning methods and tools bring forward to education an opportunity to overcome this and other challenges. Deconstructing practice into its constitutive elements allows the assessment to be focused and manageable. Thus, an instructional leader is able to discuss collaboratively with a teacher the extent to which a standard of teaching is present or absent.