Turning Conventional Teacher Education Clinical Practice Assessment on its Head: A COVID-19 Inspired Response to Practicum Assessment
Teacher education, like any other professional preparation programme, requires that its candidates be engaged in authentic learning and assessment experiences that represent what they will do when they enter the real world of practice while gauging their level of readiness for the field. This paper examines the use of two strategies already available to us as a part of our pedagogical toolkit in teacher education programmes – microteaching and demonstration teaching – which were co-opted as our ‘remote emergency response’ to the need for an alternative approach to the assessment of the practicum following the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of these taken-for-granted and sometimes misunderstood pedagogical tools allowed me to critically revisit and rediscover their purposes, potentials, and possibilities as assessment strategies in the practicum. The paper concludes with a recommendation for diversifying the methods used for assessing the various competencies targeted in the practicum.