Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Hlebowitsh, Peter

First Committee Member

Haack, Marcus

Second Committee Member

Fehn, Bruce

Third Committee Member

Hamot, Gregory

Fourth Committee Member

Bills, David


The use of assessments and assessment results is critical to classroom instruction. Teachers use the information gathered from assessments to guide instruction within their classrooms and to otherwise inform their judgment in areas of the curriculum requiring individual and group-based responsiveness and differentiation.

Much time and care go into preparing teachers to be able to instruct from the standpoint of a specific content area and age level. Unfortunately, this preparation does not always extend itself to understanding various assessment practices. The teaching of assessment practices should be a common experience in teacher education programs. This study aimed to determine what one large scale teacher education program situated in a large public university did to advance the skills of assessment knowledge among its elementary pre-service teachers. The focus was on the perceived exposure and attained knowledge levels of pre-service teachers on assessment topics. The perceived levels of exposure and knowledge were compared to the beliefs that elementary principals held on the importance of the same assessment topics. Surveys were given to student teachers and principals in a way that allowed the information to be compared.

The analysis of the survey results found that the exposure levels reported by the pre-service teachers was lower than the importance levels placed on the respective topics by the principals. However, the pre-service teachers reported higher levels of knowledge on key assessment topics than the levels of knowledge that principals believed beginning teachers should possess on respective assessment topics.

Principals felt strongly that it is important for beginning teachers to enter their teaching careers with knowledge of various assessment topics and skills. In many cases, there were misalignments between what principals identified as important and what pre-service teachers were exposed to. The schisms have implications for teacher education, as they speak to a potentially different way to design what assessment knowledge gets taught and how it gets taught at the pre-service level.


assessment, literacy, pre-service, principals, teachers


ix, 204 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 199-204).


Copyright 2012 Martin Swen Moe