Editor's Column

By Behar-Horenstein, Linda S. | Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

Editor's Column


Behar-Horenstein, Linda S., Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy


In this issue, the authors describe timely issues for a nation that is gripped by the beliefs that standards can uniformly guide instruction and accountability measures are indicators of students' progress. In the first article, Ian Clark explores the promises of formative assessment (FA). FA can provide teachers and students with insight about what and how much students understand, and their ability to translate instruction into meaningful demonstrations of change. However, as Clark cautions, it is only when FA is used for learning rather than solely of learning, that its promise as a teaching tool can be realized. Many US school systems continue to advocate a single way of teaching and learning without giving credence to individuals' past experiences with certain local or situational practices. Their concomitant failure to contextual educational practices, to recognize student individuality and unique learning needs mitigate the use of FA as a cultural responsive teaching tool. To challenge the myth that standards and teaching practice can be uniformly formulated and practiced, Clark presents 16 FA teaching strategies that support culturally responsive teaching by making the most of individuals' unique experiences.

Next, Dayle Peabody explores the relationship between beliefs and practices among teachers of 10th grade (secondary) at-risk urban students. Using interviews and observations, Peabodyunderscores how beliefs drive instructional practices and may impact test scores. The findings show that teachers at high performing schools emphasized student-centered (SC) teaching although teachers at low performing schools emphasized teacher-centered (TC) behaviors. As the findings show there is a positive relationship between SC instructional practices and the Florida Comprehensive Reading Assessment Test performance, and a negative correspondence between the Florida Comprehensive Reading Assessment Test emphasis and TC instructional practices. …

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