We have conducted teacher selection research with over 20,000 teacher education applicants around the globe (in UK, Europe, Africa, and Australia). Our research on teacher development and teacher recruitment is currently taking place in the UK and in Australia. The foundation of high-quality research and our strong links to teachers and teacher education puts us in a unique position to address key needs in the field.
Research and development process
Our tools and methods are characterised by high-quality research, a context-rich approach, and strong links to practitioners. New methods and tools are developed through close collaboration with teachers and teacher educators in a range of settings. We test our prototypes in multiple contexts, and revise our tools in an iterative cycle to ensure optimal reliability, validity, and fairness.
Grounded in research. Connected to practice.
Situational judgment tests for screening and selection (SJTs)
SJTs are used for screening and selection. They provide an assessment of candidates’ non-academic attributes (e.g., empathy, adaptability) using context-rich classroom scenarios. We have been conducting research on SJTs for screening and selection of teachers since 2013, with a solid foundation of evidence supporting their use in screening and selecting prospective teachers.
Our research in multiple countries shows that SJTs are reliable, significantly related to preservice teaching, perform similarly in video and text versions, and may reduce gender differences typically found in other selection activities (e.g., Klassen et al., 2020; Bardach et al., 2020).
Multiple mini-interviews for selection (MMIs)
MMIs use structured and systematic individual interviews to assess the personal characteristics of prospective teachers. Used widely for selection into medical education, MMIs consist of multiple, independent stations that target a range of non-academic attributes. We use a research-informed approach to develop and test bespoke MMIs for teacher education programmes.
Our recent pilot studies in England and Scotland show that MMIs are well-received by applicants who describe the approach as ‘fairer’, ‘more interesting than traditional interviews’, and allow applicants to ‘start fresh in every station’.
Hear Professor Rob Klassen explain more about MMIs:
Scenario-based learning for development (SBL)
We have developed online ‘scenario-based learning’ (SBL) tools to provide preservice teachers with the opportunity to engage with realistic classroom scenarios and to reflect on real-time feedback provided by experienced teachers. Our SBL approach provides a low-risk exposure to classroom experiences that can be delivered remotely via personal device and/or used as the stimulus in guided seminars.
Our recent research in the UK and Australia shows that preservice teachers reported an increase in teaching confidence and classroom readiness after completing SBL activities, and felt a stronger sense of identity with the teaching profession.
Teacher attraction and recruitment
In this strand of work we are developing a new online approach to attract and recruit teachers into the profession. Using a ‘person-vocation fit’ approach, we are conducting research on a new ‘attribute-based’ recruitment strategy that uses ‘realistic job previews’ to identify high-quality teaching candidates and to encourage their consideration of a teaching career.
Our current research in this area uses a person-vocation fit approach to develop and test interventions designed to increase potential applicants’ interest in pursuing a teaching career. Our recent review of teacher recruitment strategies (Klassen et al., 2020) and messages suggests that recruitment approaches in education lag behind what is done in other fields; we are striving to improve teacher recruitment practices in England and internationally.