Because wisdom can't be told: Using comparison of simulated parent-teacher conferences to assess teacher candidates' readiness for family-school partnership

Joan M.T. Walker, Benjamin H. Dotger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


This study used text-related, video-based case materials to assess teacher candidates' readiness to communicate with families. Participants (N = 141) rated their efficacy for home-school communication and then responded to a description of a classroom-based challenge regarding one student's behavioral and academic performance. Next, they evaluated two videos, each capturing how a teacher addressed the challenge in a parent-teacher conference. Cases offered contrasting models of communication effectiveness along two dimensions: structuring and responsiveness. Finally, candidates chose which model did the better job and justified their choice. Findings revealed that candidates had high self-efficacy for communicating with families but generated a small number and range of strategies for dealing with the situation; could discriminate between the models' effectiveness; and their reasons for choosing one model as best centered on their valuing of structuring or responsiveness and their conceptions of partnership. Content validity and reliability assessments of the research materials are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-75
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • case study
  • collaboration
  • professional development
  • teacher education/development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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