Educator Capability Assessment Tools (EdCAT)

Educational Capability Assessment Tools logo

The Centre for Program Evaluation (CPE) is developing a set of online tools to support the continual evaluation of teacher skills and capabilities, from the time a prospective teacher candidate first applies for entry into a teacher education course through to the advanced levels of professional practice.

These integrated tools form the Educator Capability Assessment Tools (EdCAT) suite, for use by teacher accreditation authorities and teacher education institutions to assist them in the selection, evaluation, monitoring, and development of classroom teachers.

Each tool has been designed with reference to the most compelling research into what competencies and personal dispositions are needed to be an effective classroom teacher, both vital elements for the improvement of student learning outcomes.

Two tools in the EdCAT suite:

  • the Teacher Capability Assessment Tool (TCAT), and
  • the Teacher Exit Capability and Assessment Tool (TEXCAT)

are now available under licence from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Further tools will be released in 2016–17.

The EdCAT objective

The integrated EdCAT tools are designed to provide a continual evaluation of the competencies, characteristics, and attributes of individuals applying for entry and advancing through all levels of training and a teaching career. Evaluation is based on research-based indicators of teacher readiness, capabilities, and effective teaching.

The information provided by TCAT and TEXCAT can also be used to assess the development of core professional competencies against the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching.

Teacher Capability Assessment Tool (TCAT)

Teacher Capability Assessment Tool logo

An online tool to facilitate an evidence-based approach to the selection and development of teacher candidates.

The TCAT tool assesses a range of cognitive and non-cognitive domains associated with successful completion of initial teacher education programs. The assessment is undertaken at the time a prospective teacher candidate first applies for entry into a teacher education course. TCAT is underpinned by contemporary research of quality teaching.

TCAT considers previous experience and reflections on teaching as a career while including a series of questions related to disposition, motivation, and social interaction. Its multi-faceted approach provides feedback that benefits the educational institution and the teacher candidate as well as research into effective teachers.

How does TCAT work?

The model of teacher candidate selection is comprised of two core and two extended components. The two core components are Informed Self-Selection and Skills Assessment (Cognitive and Non-cognitive). The extended components are comprised of a Structured Behavioural Interview module and a Teaching Demonstration module.

The core components are completed online. As prospective teacher candidates complete the web-based Informed Self- Selection and Skills Assessment, data are collected on a number of their individual personal attributes and capabilities related to ability, self, social interaction, experience, and readiness to enter pre-service training.

The collected data is then analysed and assessed by a team of trained coders. Written responses are assessed against general teacher traits, including knowing the students and how they learn, planning for effective learning, and creating a supportive environment, among others. The data is aggregated to provide a profile of the candidate as well as a profile of the cohort.

Teacher Exit Capability and Assessment Tool (TEXCAT)

Teacher Exit Capability and Assessment Tool logo

An online tool to assess graduating teacher candidates’ teaching capabilities.

This online tool allows teacher accreditation authorities and teacher education institutions to assess a graduating teacher candidate’s pedagogical knowledge and skills. TEXCAT is also able to demonstrate the impact of initial teacher education programs on the development of a teacher candidate’s professional competencies.

Grounded in research on teacher readiness and effective teaching, TEXCAT provides a profile of each graduating candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in the professional competencies that underpin effective teaching, including the motivation to teach, work habits, non-cognitive profile, and cognitive ability (including numeracy).

At the cohort level, administrators can use TEXCAT data to assist them in planning and fine-tuning course offerings to help better prepare teacher candidates for classroom teaching.

TEXCAT can also be used by graduating teacher candidates to inform their professional development pathway.

How does TEXCAT work?

Graduating teacher candidates undertake an individually administered TEXCAT assessment via a secure web-based platform. TEXCAT meets the needs of training organisations, teaching professionals, and government by evaluating four primary content areas:

  • Attitudes Towards Teaching
  • Cognitive Ability (including numerical ability)
  • Non-cognitive Profile (e.g., disposition, resilience, self-regulation, and communication style)
  • Situational Judgement.

Two supplemental modules are available that measure:

  • Teaching Self-efficacy
  • Occupational Satisfaction and Coping.

Conclusion

The EdCAT tools are for use by teacher accreditation authorities and teacher education institutions. They provide integrated, continual, and evidence-based approaches for the selection, evaluation, monitoring, and development of classroom teachers through all stages of a professional career.

Several tools are in development and two are available now under licence from the Graduate School:

  • TCAT provides in-depth information that allows for a tailored selection procedure because scores can be variously combined, considered, and weighted to suit the needs of any initial teacher education program. Importantly, it provides access to data for longitudinal analysis and comparative research relating to initial teacher education.
  • TEXCAT enables assessment of a teacher education candidate’s development of professional teaching competencies and readiness to teach upon completion of
    a teacher education course. TEXCAT provides administrators and teacher candidates with rich data to critically assess the candidate’s areas of strength and weakness in the professional competencies that underpin effective teaching. The TEXCAT summary can be used to assist graduating teacher candidates to set learning goals and to help employers support early career teachers in the workplace. Concurrently, it provides administrators with vital information about each graduate’s attributes that can be used to make strategic decisions about course content that will in turn better prepare pre-service teachers for classroom teaching.

The EdCAT tools have been developed by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s Centre for Program Evaluation and is part of the Graduate School’s educational software suite.

Contact

For more information, please submit an enquiry.

Contact details for the relevant Melbourne Graduate School of Education staff members are also available in the EdCAT brochure (4.2mb PDF)