Meghan Kessler, assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been honored with the 2020 award for Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education from the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).
Her dissertation, “Teaching for the Test: Social Studies Student Teacher Perceptions and Enactments of High-Stakes Performance Assessments,” examined secondary social studies teacher candidates’ perceptions and enactments of teacher evaluation during one student teaching semester. The qualitative, multi-case dissertation study provides a new perspective on the complex and dynamic negotiation of preservice teacher learning and evaluation during the student teaching semester.
“I’m extremely honored to have my dissertation recognized by the Association of Teacher Educators,” said Kessler. “This organization plays an important role in teacher education research and practice in the U.S., and has been instrumental in establishing high quality teacher preparation. Winning the Distinguished Dissertation Award from ATE truly inspires me to keep pursuing new lines of inquiry in teacher education practice and policy in Illinois.”
Kessler earned a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Augustana College, a master’s degree in teaching and leadership from St. Xavier University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to working in higher education, she taught high school social studies and speech.
Kessler will present her dissertation and receive the award at the Association of Teacher Educators annual meeting Feb. 15-19, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.