Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A validity study of the National Dance Education Organization's Dance Entry Level Teachers' Assessment (DELTA)
by Schmid, Dale Walter, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2015, 415; 3721067
Abstract (Summary)

Dance education is the only arts discipline without a national entry-level teacher readiness examination, which serves as a proxy for subject matter competency demanded by the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act. Consequently, the absence of a qualifying examination has been a barrier to K-12 dance licensure in several states. Additionally, lack of commonly held expectations for what entry-level dance teachers should know and be able to do have led to great disparity in teacher preparation programs nationwide. In response, the National Dance Education Organization engaged dance education experts from thirteen states to create the Dance Entry Level Teachers Examination (DELTA) as an indicator of Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK) deemed crucial for K-12 entry-level public school dance teachers by an expert group.

This dissertation chronicles the development of DELTA and focuses on the psychometric analysis of field-test results of two draft forms of DELTA, administered to approximately half of the nation’s graduates hailing from 19 of the 58 Colleges and Universities that conferred dance education degrees in School Year 2013-14. The objectives of this study are to ascertain how well the test items discriminated among examinees; to assure the items are free from inherent bias and sensitivity issues; and discern the psychometric validity of DELTA as a measure of teacher readiness in dance. The quantitative analysis of DELTA field tested items relies heavily on the tools of Item Response Theory, and more specifically on a subclass of the logistic model, the one-parameter logistic (Rasch) model and other related models from Classical Test Theory to measure PCK as a result of exposure to dance pedagogy in a codified teacher education program. Additionally, survey instruments were employed to gauge the level of consensus among university pre-service dance education program coordinators regarding the importance of and relative degree of current alignment to ten PCK Skills Clusters embedded within three Domains of Knowledge comprising the DELTA Conceptual Framework. Given the lack of cohesion among pre-service dance education programs, DELTA represents a first step toward reaching national consensus on crucial baseline PCK and skills for beginning dance teachers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Porter, Andrew C.
Commitee: McDermott, Paul A., Phillip, Frank
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Dance, Educational evaluation
Keywords: Assessment, Dance, Delta, Entry-level, Teacher, Validity
Publication Number: 3721067
ISBN: 978-1-339-02323-6
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