Courtney Bell

Tradeoffs in the assessment of teaching: Validity considerations across common measurement modes


Researchers frequently want to have careers that impact school and classroom environments.  There are many ways to impact those environments.  One way is for researchers to use measurement tools that create information practitioners find trustworthy and useful.  Another path toward impact is to use tools that produce high quality information about classroom practices in empirically rigorous research.  These paths are not mutually exclusive, yet they do have tradeoffs.  This talk will articulate some of the tradeoffs researchers face when selecting common tools for measuring teaching quality in K-12 classrooms. These tradeoffs concern issues of use, definitions of teaching quality, burden on practitioners and researchers, and the quality of validity evidence along more traditional lines.

About the author

Image may contain: Smile, Outerwear, Sleeve, Gesture, Blazer.Dr. Courtney Bell serves as the Director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. A former high school science teacher, Courtney earned her doctorate at Michigan State University in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy and a B.A. in Chemistry at Dartmouth College. Courtney is passionate about understanding and improving teaching for historically underserved children. Her interdisciplinary collaborative work is situated at the intersections of research, policy and practice. It spans issues of parental choice, performance assessments of teaching, international comparisons of teaching, teaching quality, teacher learning, teacher education, and the measurement of teaching. Courtney was proud to lead the international development of two observation systems and serve as a PI on the OECD-organized TALIS Video Study (also called the Global Teaching InSights study). This ground-breaking study was the first of its kind to comprehensively measure teaching quality using observations, artifacts, questionnaires, and student outcomes in eight economies. She is currently engaged in both national and international studies of teaching, teacher education, and teacher learning.

Video - Professor Bell's keynote presentation at QUINT Conference 2022

Published Feb. 4, 2022 2:38 PM - Last modified June 24, 2022 12:26 PM