Publication Date



The practice of assessing and grading students on their ability to demonstrate proficiency related to a standard has grown significantly in K–12 settings over the past decade. This article invites teacher educators to consider how to respond to this trend by examining an approach for preparing teacher candidates to participate effectively in proficiency-based systems. The process of integrating a proficiency-based grading strand into one undergraduate assessment course for elementary teacher candidates is described to illustrate how an approach advocated in the K–12 environment may be adapted to a higher education setting. Reflections on both the challenges and the benefits of the adaptation suggest that approaching course design from a proficiency-based perspective, while perhaps most valuable in a course that builds candidates’ assessment literacy, can also enhance teacher educators’ efforts to design purposeful course experiences in other arenas.

Author Supplied Keywords

Assessment, Preservice teachers, Proficiency-based grading, Teacher preparation


Competency-based education; Grading and marking (Students)

Publication Information

AILACTE, 2014, Volume 11, 19-36.

© 2014 The Author

Archived version is the final published version.



Document Type

Journal Article

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Education Commons