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How current teachers in the Republic of Palau performed on a practice teacher certification examination

Region:
Pacific
Description:
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' performance on the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests® (PPST) in reading, writing, and math, and the relationships between test performance and selected teacher demographic and professional characteristics, in order to further the development and implementation of Palau's Professional Personnel and Certification System. The multiple choice sections of the practice Praxis I PPST tests of reading, writing, and math were administered and analyzed using descriptive statistics, along with cross-tabulations of test performance by teacher characteristics. Overall, the study found that while scores across subject areas were relatively low, teachers in Palau scored higher in reading than in writing and math. The performance of Palau test takers differed depending upon the language spoken in the home, English proficiency, level of education, years of teaching, and grade levels taught. In addition, respondents with better command of English performed better on the assessment. Level of education attained was significantly associated with a higher percentage of correct responses, and teachers with less than seven years of teaching experience answered slightly more questions correctly in reading, writing, and math than teachers with more years of teaching experience. Finally, teachers at the upper elementary and high school levels performed better on the assessments than teachers at the lower elementary level. The results of this study provide the Palau Research Alliance and Ministry of Education with information that may help establish appropriate passing scores on the Praxis PPST I reading, writing, and math subtests; may be used to create a multiyear plan of sustained improvement in the teacher workforce; may alert Palau leadership to the difficulties inherent in using English-based tests to assess the performance of those who do not have a strong command of the English language; and may be used to guide preservice curricular requirements and indicate the supporting professional development needs of Palau teachers at various grade levels.
Publication Type:
What's Happening
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Publication Date:
September 2016