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Performing the performance assessment

Stephanie Anne Schmier (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Staten Island, New York, New York, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 8 October 2019

Issue publication date: 16 October 2019




In this paper, the author extends the current research on standardized performance assessments in preservice education by moving with novice teachers from their student teaching experiences into their first years as fully certified classroom teachers. Here, the author draws on scholarship that conceptualizes literacies as performative (Alexander, 2005; Youdell, 2010) to examine how engaging in a standardized performance assessment process shaped the teaching identities that participants carried into their first years of teaching in the field.


Through a qualitative case study, the author investigates the experiences of a group of six novice elementary educators in their first years in the classroom after completing the standardized performance assessment Educative Performance Assessment as a major component of their certification program. Data, which included focus group and individual interviews and artifacts (instructional handouts, teaching videos, lesson plans, written reflective commentaries), were analyzed through a performance lens.


Findings highlight how engaging with a standardized performance assessment shaped the meanings that participants made of their teaching practices, including lesson planning and implementation for and with students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.


This paper offers insights that can support teacher educators working toward preparing teachers for work with diverse students in public school classrooms that might produce more equitable policies, practices and transformative reforms, particularly for historically marginalized groups.



The author would like to thank Ms. Gail Rosenberg for her collaboration in designing this research and Ms. Samantha D’Angelo for support with data collection.


Schmier, S.A. (2019), "Performing the performance assessment", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 382-396.



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