College of Education > C & I Field Experiences > Field Experiences > Student Teaching > Student Teaching Handbook > Appendix B: Guidelines for Using the Penn State Performance-Based Assessment of Student Teaching

Appendix B: Guidelines for Using the Penn State Performance-Based Assessment of Student Teaching

The Performance-Based Assessment of Student Teaching focuses on performances within four major domains included in the Penn State Model of Teacher Preparation Performance Framework:

Domain A: Planning and Preparing for Student Learning
Domain B: Teaching
Domain C: Inquiring and Analyzing Learning and Teaching
Domain D: Professionalism

Each of the four domains identifies critical understandings, abilities, and dispositions of Penn State teacher candidates. This mid-term and end-of-term assessment process are parts of your field experience assessment, as specified in Chapter 49 of the Pennsylvania School Code

This form involves three kinds of assessments:

  1. The student teacher’s performance on each standard of the performance framework is assessed.
  2. The student teacher’s performance in each domain of the performance framework is assessed.
  3. An overall assessment of the student teacher’s performance is made.

The level of candidate performance for each domain is determined by examining a sampling of the candidate’s work.

Success in reaching the goal of each domain is assessed using the following descriptors:


  1. EXEMPLARY: The candidate is highly sophisticated and insightful, unusually thorough and consistent in ability to draw on extensive knowledge of learners and teaching to create and adjust powerful learning opportunities; is highly aware of strengths and limitations; actively pursues professional growth.
  2. SUPERIOR: The candidate’s performance is of moderately high quality. In nearly all circumstances the candidate is able to adequately draw on knowledge of learners and teaching to create appropriate learning opportunities; can articulate strengths and limitations as well as plans for continued professional growth.
  3. SATISFACTORY: The candidate is performing at the minimum level expected of a new teacher. The candidate has limited but appropriate understandings of learning and teaching. Ability to be adaptive, creative, and innovative is limited; appears to be somewhat aware of limitations.
  4. UNSATISFACTORY: Candidate relies on a limited repertoire of routines, can perform only with coaching, relies on highly scripted procedures or approaches, and is generally unaware of limitations.

Each standard (within each domain) is assessed by considering the frequency that the standard has been met: Consistently, Often, Sometimes, Rarely, and Not applicable. Each individual standard includes “indicators” to guide this decision.

Mid-term Assessment: This form is used twice during the semester—once at the mid-point in the semester, and again at the end of the field experience. Supervisors are given the choice of assessing the candidate at the mid-point in one of two ways: Their assessment may reflect (1) whether the standards and domains reflect appropriate progress to the mid-point in the semester; or, (2) whether the assessment reflects the mark that the student would receive if no further progress is made in the second half of the semester—in other words, if the student were already finished with his/her practicum. The supervisor should make it clear to student teachers which approach was used.

The Final Assessment: This assessment presumes an indication of whether the student teacher, in the supervisor’s determination, successfully completed student teaching.

The Mid-term assessment and the Final Assessment are to be individually completed by the supervisor, the mentor teacher, and the student. The mentor teacher and the supervisor assess the student teacher. Student teachers assess themselves. All efforts should be made to have a three-way conference to discuss the assessment results at both the mid point in the semester and upon the end of the field experience. The student teacher, the mentor teacher, and the supervision should have access to these forms for their own records.