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Introduction PART I: Toward An Effective Teacher Evaluation Policy - A Review of the Literature What is Teacher Evaluation? Why Should Teacher Evaluation be Conducted? How to Deal with Incompetent Teachers How Could Teacher Evaluation be Performed? The Development and Revision of a Teacher Evaluation Policy PART II: Where Are We Now? - An Analysis of 47 Saskatchewan Rural School Divisions PART III: Looking Ahead Implications for Administrative and Board Action The Common Problems
• • • •
Teacher evaluation systems are deemed by most school administrators and teachers to be extremely stressful, of little or no value, and a barrier to high staff morale. This report provides a review of the literature with a list of criteria and recommendations for an effective teacher evaluation process.
The Goal and Focus Problem The Problem of Differential Evaluation Ideologies The Expertize Problem The Problem of Hierarchy and Control
Critical Attributes of Effective Teacher Evaluation Programs Criteria for Effective Teacher
Evaluation Policy Recommendations for Further Research Recommendations for Practice Concluding Remarks
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Ineffective teacher evaluation systems are more costly than effective ones. Shoddy teacher evaluation programs, because they neither improve teachers' instructional skills nor permit the dismissal of incompetent teachers, rob children of the achievements, when well-taught, they have the potential to obtain (Stanley & Popham, 1988). Conventional teacher evaluation, warns Barth (1990), often resembles a meaningless ritual. "Or even worse, it becomes a recurring occasion to heighten anxiety and distance between teacher and administrator, and competition between teacher and teacher" (p. 56). In short, it minimizes dialogue, reinforces institutional hierarchies, and risks poisoning otherwise productive working relationships among school professionals. The appraisal of teaching performance is as old as the education profession (Rehore, 1991). Few issues in education have the potential to generate as much heat for educators as the evaluation of teachers (Gitlin & Smyth, 1989). These points bring into clear perspective the need for effective teacher evaluation policy, and the need for boards and administrators to examine policies with a
view to improving learning opportunities in their various classrooms. This document provides a summary of the research literature associated with teacher evaluation. It also reports a study (Saw, 1994) in which teacher evaluation policies of 47 rural Saskatchewan school divisions were analyzed on the basis of 17 criteria for effective teacher evaluation policy generated from a variety of literature sources. The effectiveness of these policies is discussed and implications for administrative and board action are presented. This document concludes with a teacher evaluation policy assessment categorization instrument (Appendix B) that a Board of Education could utilize to assess the effectiveness of its policy on evaluating teachers or to refer to if the Board was interested in developing one. Also, included in the appendices, are other practical applications for teacher evaluation.
TOWARD AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER EVALUATION POLICY: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
What is Teacher Evaluation?
Teacher evaluation is a complex process. It is a series of activities and actions that are interconnected and relate to a specific purpose. Since teachers deal with complex problems, they should be evaluated as professionals which means that their standards should be developed by their peers and their evaluation should focus on the degree to which they solve professional problems competently (Soar, Medley, dk Coker, 1983). The emphasis of their evaluation should be on their teaching and not on them as individuals (Findley & Estabrook, 1991) and take into consideration the involvement and responsiveness of others involved in the education process (Weade & Evertson, 1991).
DarlinB-Hammond. The division of labour between those who determine what is to be taught and when and how it is to be taught and those who teach must be addressed. the quality and variety of materials employed. or the appropriateness of any of these things for individual students and for the classroom context as a whole. 1989). pedagogy.The evaluation process usually involves preparation. and classroom characteristics of the teacher being . warns: They reveal little about the coherence of the curriculum. 158) Teacher evaluation should be a small but significant part of the larger strategy for school improvement (Mitchell et al. the range of teaching techniques used. because teacher-proofing curriculum and instructional strategies is in direct opposition to treating teachers as professionals. the kinds of feedback students receive an their work. The utilization of formal observations does not mean informal observations are ignored. and follow-up. the depth and breadth of content covered. 1990) which would see staff development take place prior to evaluations (Wood & Lease. observation. data collection. & Plake (1990). there are limitations to classroom observations as an assessment method. (p. Wise. the types and frequency of students ' assi gnments.. Many unannounced visits usually prove to be more effective than a few announced visits. the quality of instruments used for student assessment. reporting. However. Teacher evaluations should be dialogical rather than hierarchical (Gitlin & Smyth. Data collection normally entails a formal observation which is preceded by a pre-conference and followed by a postconference. Evaluators should know the subject matter. in Mitchell. 1987).
1992). 1991) and peer assistance. l. It should strive to improve instruction by fostering self-development (Rebore. p. 1987). 2. that will inspire teacher educators to aim higher in creating their curricula and designing their pro grams. and that will. Consequently. These risk-takers and innovators must be encouraged not stifled. 1987. introduce new forms of mentoring. as well as take into consideration the fact that experienced and excellent teachers are capable of pedagogical performances that educational theory and research can neither explain nor predict (Shulman.evaluated (McGeachy. in the very process of being implemented through supervised residencies in the schools. According to the literature there are six main purposes of teacher evaluation. collaboration. Therefore. and collegiality. (Shulman. any effort to define standards for teaching and to operationalize them in an evaluation must reach beyond the judgment of academic experts. 1988) so boards must provide a process that allows and encourages supervisors and teachers to work together to improve and enhance classroom instructional practices. we need a form of evaluation that will reflect a more enlightened view of teaching.44) Why Should Teacher Evaluation Be Conducted? The general purpose of teacher evaluation is to safeguard and improve the quality of instruction received by students (Kremer. Staff development activities can be rated and identified (Stanley .
1988). multiple indicators must be utilized to identify marginal teachers (Bridges.dk Popham. 3. tenure. When found. The selection process can be validated (McGreal. properly functioning teacher evaluation process provides a major communication link between the school system and teachers (Walsh. 1986). and dismissal can be enhanced through an effective evaluation process (Kremer. demotion. promotion. A well-designed. 1988).) How To Deal With Incompetent Teachers Although incompetent teachers may constitute only 2-3% (Fullan dk . Personnel decisions such as retention. 1988). transfer. Since there are no clear-cut standards for judging incompetence. 5. 1987). 6. 1983). marginal teachers should be required to enter an intensive assistance program as found in Appendix A. Teacher evaluation is capable of protecting students from incompetent teachers by bringing structured assistance to marginal teachers (Stanley 2 Popham. 4.
Bridges (1986) further states that there are four different means to identify incompetent teachers: Incompetent teachers tarnish the reputation of the entire profession. 2. 4. 2. excessive manifestations of poor judgment. 1986) . 1. the diKculties which incompetent teachers experience in the classroom often stem from multiple causes: 1.15). However. 2. excessive absence from school (p. non-job related influences. the personal shortcomings of the teacher. p. Poor performance is marked by excess 1. (Bridges.Hargreaves. excessive lack of preparation. and 5. excessive problems of student control. supervisory observations. 3. and engender parental dissatisfaction with the public schools. 1986. shortchange many students.16). short-change many students. excessive deficiencies of teaching skills. 1986). Administrators are obligated to confront poor teacher performance (Dennis. complaints from parents or students. the limitations or failings of supervisors (Bridges. 1990). and engender parental dissatisfaction with the public schools (Bridges. they tarnish the reputation of the entire profession. 1991) of the teaching force. and 3.
consequently. 1990): 1. Dennis (1990) further claims that confrontation is a process rather than a single event. The following twelve steps are recommended (Dennis. Help the teacher to improve 11. It requires thought. student test results. complaints from other teachers. Cangelosi (1991) describes a marginal teacher as an experienced teacher whose instruction is deemed by a supervisor to constitute malpractice and. and planning and should not be rushed. preparation. Wait for a specific incident 5.letter to teacher summarizing the meeting 8. 1991). he or she should enter an intensive assistance program (Dagley & Orso. Demonstrate your on-going concern 12. Write the meeting up . Talk to others 3. and 4. Work with your teacher union If a teacher does not meet minimal accountability standards. whose dismissal from his or her position should be considered. the reliance on multiple measures appears to represent a sound practice.3. Organize your information 4. Gather information 2. Develop a file 10. Meet with the teacher 7. Given the limitations of each indicator. An . Schedule a meeting with the teacher 6. Monitor the situation 9.
Cangelosi (1991) best sums up the serious consequences of the practice of retaining incompetent teachers: Teaching malpractice continues to victimize students by wasting their opportunities to learn. should be the first step of the intensive assistance program. Product.188) How Could Teacher Evaluation be Performed? Various models of teacher evaluation have been offered. (p. with Walsh (1987) calling them participative and controlling. Gitlin dk Smyth (1989) neatly package them into two main categories: educative and dominant. society by failing to provide a service for which it paid.agreement between the teacher and supervisor. Conley (1987) states that the dismissal mode is reached only after effort has first been made to remediate the individual's performance because unemployment detrimentally affects the welfare of an employee and his/her dependents (Rebore. . Goal Setting. teachers by perpetuating their failures. Gitlin and Smyth (1989) would classify McGreal's Common Law. in which the teacher agrees to improve and the supervisor agrees to provide resources to help the teacher improve. and Artistic or Naturalistic. and Product models as dominant and Walsh (1987) would classify them as controlling because they are individually focused. contaminating its ranks. and tarnishing its image. thus causing it to lose its political power. 1991). and the teaching profession by diluting quality. McGreal (1983) categorizes them into four main models: Common Law. Goal Setting.
hut it just wasn't working" (Rooney. and political hierarchies that maintain and perpetuate inequality and injustice" (Smyth. controlling models and their educative. institutional. 70). they divert attention away from "an analysis of the economic. Critlin & Smyth (1989) and Walsh (1987) would also catalogue McGreal's Artistic or Naturalistic model as a transitional stage Bergen the dominant. Processes of evaluation like those promoted by people like Madeline Hunter. teachers will continue to be "blamed for problems that more accurately reflect the priorities and failings of oar economic system" (Gitlin dk Smyth. The educative and participative model. p. and goals of schools. 1993. developmental. 1989. accountability forms of teacher evaluation (Gitlin & . "I tried to follow the letter and spirit of 'The Hunter Model' as we trudged through each part of our teacher evaluation system. 1991. and cooperative. commodified view of teaching. that make lavish claims to being scientific and research-based. are really nothing more than ways of "bolstering corporate. 70). social. if used wisely. and hierarchical.judgmental. could reduce the need for dominant. 43). debating. 1991. participative model which they claim is collectively focused. norms. Moving involvement in teacher evaluation beyond individual teachers means that the evaluation of teachers can be shifted from one of blaming the teacher for educational problems to a circumstance in which the wider community begins to accept its legitimate responsibility and role in setting. p. By concentrating exclusively on the technical aspects of good teaching. p. p. 25). Unless methods of teacher evaluation explicitly challenge the authoritarian. and monitoring the agenda. and bureaucratic interests" (Smyth.
The Development or Revision of a Teacher Evaluation Policy In an examination of the literature relating to teacher evaluation. can be found in Appendix B. The true test of approaches to evaluation will be whether or not they contribute to the needed reforms of teaching and teacher education. in order to determine the degree to which aspects of effective teacher evaluation policy were reflected in specific system contexts. the educative. The ratings. Twenty-first century conceptions of school reform and the professionalization of teaching cannot co-exist with early twentieth-century models of evaluation. 1989. A convenient policy assessment categorization instrument. If evaluation does not become part of the solution. As mentioned previously it is advisable to include all stockholders in the process of developing or reviewing a policy.Smyth. 1987). devised for this purpose. It is no longer acceptable to judge teaching ability according to a set of predetermined criteria. Saw (1994) identified 17 criteria. Walsh. against which existing policies could be assessed. illustrated in Figure 1. participative model cannot be mandated from above. then it surely will become part of the problem (Shulman. especially when these afford unacceptably simplistic notions of teaching (Shulman. Where Are We Now?: An Analysis of 47 Rural Saskatchewan School Divisions The Saw (1994) study subjected the teacher evaluation policies of 47 rural Saskatchewan school divisions to assessment via the criteria in Figure 1. However. 1988). 1987). simply based upon .
11 per cent specifically earmarked financial support for teacher evaluations. are summarized in Table 1. 11 per cent provided training for evaluates. In addition. The extent to which the policies met the established criteria for effective teacher evaluation policy is reflected in Table 2. emphasis on self-development (57%). 85 per cent distinguished between tenured and non-tenured teachers. For example. it can be seen that 98 per cent of the responding divisions provided clear identification of who was responsible for teacher evaluation. several characteristics were not addressed by significant numbers of policies. No policies scored perfectly. while 79 per cent of the policies provided a statement of teacher standards and 70 per cent articulated the philosophy of the board regarding teacher evaluation. From the data in Table 1. but one policy met 16 of the 17 established criteria. only 9 per cent of the policies had provision for evaluator training. Further. However. . policies were fairly evenly split. and 17 per cent addressed a grievance process for evaluates. and allowance for written responses for evaluates (60%). 25 percent of the policies failed to meet more than seven criteria. As illustrated in this table. 83 per cent stated the purpose(s) of teacher evaluation. Another revealing categorization is shown in Table 3 according to the broad areas of teacher evaluation into which the seventeen criteria ware grouped. When it came to such provisions as assistance for marginal teachers (404/%).a reading as to whether or not the policy met each criteria. the alignment of the evaluation process with staff development was clearly enunciated in only 34 percent of the policies. only 30 per cent of the policies met 11 or more of the 17 criteria.
for accountability 72. The success rate for meeting criteria was. Of the 30 policies that distinguished between growth and remediation tracks. Only 22 (47%) policies clearly dealt with both self-development and accountability and 10 (21%) of them made no reference to either.6 per cent. When it came to teacher rights provisions in policies. teacher improvement. and six (13%) supported both criteria. and one policy was considered to have met all of the desired criteria.2 per cent. 30 (64º/o) policies had six or more of the criteria. account-ability. compared to 29 (62%) policies which clearly possessed both criteria for accountability.namely. Twenty (43 % ) policies had six of 10 criteria for technical effectiveness. Of the teacher improvement area. Only five (11%) policies made reference to all three criteria necessity to foster teacher improvement. for technical effectiveness 53.6 per cent. six policies made reference to self-development without mentioning accountability. Of the 15 policies that dealt with only one aspect. 27 (57%) policies addressed less than two of the three criteria. and for teacher rights 38. Further investigation revealed a relationship between provision for assistance for marginal teachers and provision for placement in growth or remediation tracks. 17 (36º/o) policies made no mention of it. 19 (63%) did so only after a teacher was found to be experiencing serious problems. 24 (5 1 % ) stated one of the criteria. These results are illustrated in Table 4. technical effectiveness.3 per cent. or considered to be marginal or . for teacher improvement 45. Policy emphasis on self-development was compared with the emphasis placed on accountability. and teacher rights.
made recommendations for improvement. and experience was elusive when it came to the policy and practices of one rural school division.incompetent. it was discovered that congruency in terms of intent. Other elements of teacher evaluation policies such as dates for adoption and revision(s) of policy. it was agreed that more resources. . and whether or not policies were gender friendly were also looked at. Table 5 shows the degree to which these elements were addressed in policy. Thirty-six of the 47 policies submitted indicated the year in which the policy was adopted and/or revised. who. Although the existing policy was considered by the administrators and teachers to be a worthy beginning. Three (6%) policies stated that a collaborative effort was responsible for the existing policy. as well as distinguishing the difference between those on formative and summative evaluation tracks. Encouraging and supporting self-development was another area considered to be in need of improvement. but. The other 11 (37%) stated that evaluators pointed out problems for evaluates. did not offer assistance. For example. such as time. according to policy. and provided them with a certain length of time to improve. were necessary if evaluations were to effectively aid teachers to improve and to be held accountable. implementation. and with assisting one another. was involved in determining policy. Teachers showed a strong preference for becoming more involved with policy revision. according to policy. Through interviews conducted with evaluators and evaluates as part of the Saw (1994) study. it was concluded by all that it could he improved in several respects. Thirty-eight (38) policies were gender friendly.
1987). 1988). 1. 1991) in spite of the fact that these results reveal little about the qualitative aspects of what teachers actually say during instruction (Herrmann. The Goal and Focus Problem There is a temptation to attempt to reduce evaluation to a numerical basis for ease of making some quantitative assessment (Findley & Estabrook. without reference to the appropriateness or effects of the teaching behaviours being measured. serious problems which pose an ever present threat to the well-being of professional relationships and.Looking Ahead: Implications for Administrative and Board Action The Common Problems Educators at all levels and members of the public would probably agree that teacher evaluation is fraught with numerous. Some of the most widely adopted forms of teacher evaluation in current use rely on behavioural indicators to assess teaching. in turn. Teacher evaluation systems based on whether teachers exhibit behaviours consonant with research-supported instructional principles are conceptually flawed because they presume that research-derived principles. They seem to cluster around four "problem types". It is noteworthy that the same problems have recurred in research findings and in literature related to teacher evaluation for many years. Most accountability-oriented evaluation systems are not accounting for the right things. adhered to by a specific teacher. will . Consequently. to the effectiveness of the educational system as a whole. they are less effective than planners hoped in bringing meaningful oversight to the schools (McLaughlin dfc Pfeifer.
(p. p. argue Weade R Evertson (1991). independent of the context in which they occur. If the intent of evaluation is to help teachers improve their instructional practices. 1989).invariably lead to successful results. may not be true in the case of individual teachers. "Teacher evaluation is a profoundly particular undertaking" (Stanley & Popham. Worse yet. 163). the categories and descriptors may become "obstacles to seeing. Furthermore. ."a means of portraying a false consensus about the ends of teaching. can add up to a description with limited utility. These authors claim that the alleged supremacy of technique within evaluation should be seen for what it is . By default. however. they continue: It can suggest that isolated behaviours make a difference in and of themselves.711). Simply itemizing what a teacher possesses or demonstrates. 41) Reductionist teacher evaluations actively ignore the overwhelming importance that teachers' personal and pro fessional histories play in the construction o f meaning about classroom events (Gitlin & Smyth. 1992. rather than aids to better vision" (Wood. p. and a denial of the debate that should ensue about what the nature of these desired goals might be" (p. the roles played by students and materials get left out of the picture. 1988. 63). What tends to be ~e for large groups of teachers and students. Duke (1993) states that "policies that mandate that all teachers must grow according to a fixed schedule and in similar ways are mindless" (p. 55).
The Problem of Differential Evaluation Ideologies Although agreement on a clear set of criteria on which a teacher's performance in class can be assessed has been elusive (Walsh. an educative approach encourages a critical orientation linking what ought to be with how it will be. p. 1987). while little or no consultation with the teacher or reflection on the teacher's and students' interpretations of their classroom experiences. as espoused by Gitlin dk Smyth (1989). Additionally.56). One such barrier is the "artificial division of labour between those who are reported to hold educational theories and those who engage in teaching" (Gitlin & Smyth. 3. On the other hand. While a technocratic view of schooling focuses attention solely on "how to" questions. whose background may . This. 1989. Administrators. amounts to a misplaced faith in the capacity of scientific forms of research on teaching to deliver definite knowledge about the nature of teaching. 1990). an educative approach.2.. 1992). claim Gitlin k Smyth (1989). 1987. In this approach. the observer's judgment of teaching behaviours takes precedence. The Expertise Problem Evaluator competence is probably the most difficult aspect of the evaluative process (Mitchell et al. facilitates the breaking down of barriers that stand in the way of dialogical relations. McNeal. is considered. it attempts to focus upon the school and its place in the community rather than upon the individual teacher. most current evaluation methods seem to be characterized by an allegiance to a rational/technical or scientific approach to inquiry (Wood.
1992. Miner (1992) found that "some principals gave outstanding evaluations to teachers who dozed in class because the teacher was a friend" (p. or admit to. 56) exacerbates the problem of expertise. as was documented in Miner's (1992) study. therefore. 4. p. 1988). Often those responsible for evaluating teachers are not sure of the rules or the procedures for conducting the evaluation. The Problem of Hierarchy and Control . that according to Medley 8c Coker (1987). Questions are sometimes raised about the extent to which an observer's account is an adequate match for what usually occurs in a classroom (Weade & Evertson. or they overrate the teachers they do evaluate (Langlois & Colarusso. School executives often fail to observe and evaluate teachers. especially when. the teacher and students take on "artificial roles that they believe to be appropriate to the occasion" (Weade Ee Evertson. Further. studies have found no appreciable agreement between administrator judgments of teaching effectiveness and the amount students learn. Also. are forced to rely on simplistic measures such as checklists. 1991). 1992). This also drastically affects the soundness and fairness of the evaluation (Rieck. some principals make evaluations after only 20 minutes of observation. the manner in which their own attitudes and experiences may tend to slant what they see and hear (Wood. 41). p. In fact. states McNeal (1987). It is little wonder. The degree to which administrators "slip into mindless activity by allowing the structure of the (evaluation) instrument to control their sight and awareness" (Wood. 3). 1991. 19S9).be in widely different fields. when a class is being observed. the level of objectivity of evaluations is lowered because administrators are either not cognizant of.
164) This feeling is echoed by Walsh (1987) when he writes: "The notion of teachers as independent. 1990). p. time-stealing ritual. In dominant forms of teacher evaluation. or involved with. 1989. autonomous professionals has been eroded. that educational hierarchies are necessary and just. rather than intellectuals involved in questioning and interrogating their own teaching and the context in which it occurs (Smyth. what they end up doing is reinforcing the notion that teachers are not the experts. and that teachers do not have to enter into educative dialogue with one another about their work (Gitlin dc Smyth. According to Duke (1993): To conduct yearly evaluations of competent teachers for purposes of accountability conveys distrust . yearly evaluations have been more a matter of pride than of job security (McNeal.hardly the . 1987) which causes evaluation to become an empty. and the importance of management and hierarchical accountability emphasized" (p. therefore. Teachers are disgruntled by the number of administrators not directly concerned about. 1991). For many experienced and tenured teachers. 148). improving instruction (Wareiag. where the teacher's intentions are not considered.While dominant forms of teacher evaluation might be designed with the very best of intentions to institute a necessary form of "quality control". the teacher is effectively silenced Teachers. become technicians concerned with implementing the ideas of others.
traditional notions of teacher evaluation serve conservative interests by reinforcing authoritarian school relations which ultimately run counter to the idea of an active. 1965). The idea of evaluating all competent teachers every year according to a common set of performance standards that. (p. informed citizenry. One requires a process of control and surveillance which is hierarchically performed. Critical Attributes of Effective Teacher Evaluation Programs There is general agreement among education writers that teacher evaluation must satisfy two competing individual and organizational needs. at best. the other utilizes educative relationships in which the educational community creates self-knowledge.stuff of which professional cultures are built. . it would be hard to find. represent minimum or basic expectations is little short of an institutionalized insult. They also run counter to the demands of the profession for self-regulation and autonomy and in this regard they highlight a basic tension which naturally accompanies the professional and the bureaucracy as they attempt to occupy the same organizational space (Corwin. "By separating accountability-driven and growth-oriented evaluation. (p.7033 Gitlin dk Smyth (1989) claim that far from being value-free.704) and If there is a less meaningful ritual for The vast majority of experienced teachers.
school systems remove a number of obstacles to professional development" (Duke. and comprehensive evaluation system offers what is often an unprecedented opportunity to learn and develop in a situation which benefits the individual and the school. The evaluation process holds great potential as a means to push toward improvement of pedagogical skills and instruction it our schools. must first and foremost be faithful to teaching. and indicate when a teacher can or will teach effectively (Wise et al. non-threatening. Any system of teacher evaluation. tenure. p. promotion. p. (p. 250).. 1987. improve the quality of the teaching-learning process" (p. Personnel decisions of retiring. 704). The cornerstone of evaluation schemes should be the belief that teachers wish to improve their performance in order to enhance the education of their pupils. Teacher evaluation can determine whether new teachers can teach. demotion. however reliable. and meets the prime aim of evaluation which is to improve the quality of teaching and learning. and dismissal are greatly influenced by it. 19S4). Its potential as a "positive. ultimately. valid. help all teachers to improve. 64). 194) Wareing (1990) echoes this feeling when she writes that an effective evaluation process "will serve to minimize fear and maximize Hunan potential and. growth-inducing process has been long overlooked" (Conley. 1993. Montgomery & Hadheld (1989) claim that a fair. While it is obvious that some form of accountability in education is imperative. this does not mean it has to be .
2. . See for yourself . Teacher evaluation.Information gleaned from students. Teacher evaluation is judgmentally based and. and dialogical and less directive. behaviours. and parents should be checked out before used as part of an evaluation report. p. although in many instances still dominated by inspection and control. Daresh (1992) suggests the following to help an administrator provide colleagues with feedback that will enhance positive. is becoming more concerned with assisting teachers to improve instruction. professional self-images and encourage more effective performance: 1. therefore. methodologies. and pedagogies of teachers and not just what is taught.impositional We need practices that highlight the tensions. 563 Teacher evaluators should be concerned with words. The need for better trained evaluators is more evident as they are being required to be collaborative. contradictions. varies according to an evaluator's conception of teaching. other teachers. ethical. 1989. and moral implications of schooling. but that they do so on the basis of a joint assessment of the political. Stick with facts . (Gitlin dc Smyth.Evaluation should be based on facts not rumour or gossip. and distortions in schooling g and that permit alternatives to be debated and adopted. This implies that teacher evaluation tends to be as effective as the people who carry it out. collegial. Accountability of this kind means that teachers not only acquire a voice in the determination of educational aims.
. 5.no single source of data is sufficiently problem-free that it can form the cornerstone of a defensible program. 4. Do observations correctly . Ask teachers for self-evaluations. Plan classroom visits wisely .effective evaluation depends on trust and communication that should exist in the organization. 6. Be honest . Don't try to be funny . 4.longer visits at different times of the day. Take accurate notes . 6. Consider video-taping teachers.The goal of evaluation is to improve performance not to attack individual teachers.discuss possible solutions to problems and complement strengths. Be confidential . 8. Talk about problems not people . Read union contracts and board policies and abide by them. Don't limit yourself to ratings .crucial for marginal teachers. 3. 7. Alkire (1990) states that teacher evaluation is an essential element in attempts to improve instructional programs and that teachers and students deserve nothing less than the best. 2. He offers the following suggestions for effective evaluations: 1.Evaluation comments and feedback should be shared in private by the evaluator and the person being evaluate 5.make unannounced visits.3. Make sure post-evaluation conferences mean something .Evaluation is a serious business and the use of sarcasm in tense settings usually backfires.
10. written teacher competency tests (Medley and Coker. offer teachers a chance for a rebuttal .proof that the evaluation actually occurred. Furthermore. several practices can be identified from the literature which over the past decade or so has reported successful practices. videotaping (Ellis. documentation portfolios (Shulman. 1991).hire substitute teachers to free teachers for post-evaluation conferences to be held during school hours. school systems must consider the purposes that each serves. teacher evaluation processes should be continually monitored for consistency and fairness as they address organizational and individual interests. Systems where effective. They reduce to the following prescriptions: 1. students' standardized test scores (Findlay and Estabrook. to ensure that teacher evaluation goals and processes do not conflict (Mitchell et al. Lawton. 1988). Toward this end. There is no recipe or template for a successful teacher evaluation program (Hickcox. 1987). 1991). well-operated procedures for teacher evaluation are in place ensure that the previously mentioned problem areas are considered in policy and practice. 1990). 1988). dk Musella. 1988). Some currently in use.compromise and change can result. 1987. While multiple methods should be used for evaluating teachers.9. Get the teacher's signature on the report . 1987). Leithwood. albeit some more than others. judgment-based teacher evaluations (Stanley and Popham. 11. Show that you take evaluations seriously . are: performance assessment centres (Shulman. Rebuttals are attached to the report. self-evaluation (Montgomery .
Bather data regarding curriculum implementation. and Blazer (1992). administrators can reinforce and praise good teaching. Teacher evaluation should be part of staff development programs with the intention of enhancing performance (Montgamery & Hadfield. Marginal teachers must be identified and assisted. McLaughlin. Teacher evaluation processes are more appropriate and valuable when they take account of the context in which teaching occurs (Shulman. peer evaluation (ERS Staff Report. and culture. many visits are required for a better understanding of a teacher's performance (Stein. There is a professional and. 1988). 5. not merely what teachers do. language. 1991) because it is capable of a) providing information for determining the extent . These include such matters as the characteristics of the learners and aspects of the community. 1989. 1992). Dagley & Orso. horizontal coaching (Gitlin and Smyth. Rather than relying on the "annual" formal visit. claim Gray. and head off instructional problems before they become critical.and HacKeld. and university-teacher partnerships. By making frequent informal visits to classrooms. Therefore. 3. 1987). obligation to improve inservice education to assist teachers (Wood & Lease. 1990). parent involvement (McGreal. often times a legal. 1989. in part at least. 1983). Defensible teacher evaluations must be based. 4. 2. 1989). on the growth that teachers bring about in students. an evaluator must also be attentive to what students become. 1987). Millman and Darling-Hammond.
probably on the assumption that both parties will "learn the ropes" as they grapple with the evaluation process year by year. 1988). Ideally. to interpret results. At best it is represented in sporadic inservice training for administrators. . 6. Training for both evaluators and teachers is crucial McLaughlin R Pfeifer. Teacher evaluation should also foster the self-development of each teacher (Appendix D). it should be part of a larger strategy for school improvement. 1988) because evaluates. as well as evaluators. should know how to use evaluation instruments to acquire useful objective data. It should not be an ancillary service. and to use those results to advantage (Hickcox et al.of knowledge and skills gained during staff development activities. at worst it allows no orientation for teachers or administrators. It is noteworthy that this provision is under-emphasized in school systems. b) judging the degree of maintenance of the acquired skills and knowledge. c) providing a basis for teachers' and administrators' career planning and professional development. and d) helping to identify staff development needs.. according to Wood dk Lease (1987). a school's instructional program should begin with staff development followed by evaluation.
2. Perhaps most important of all. evaluation procedures should be taken seriously and supported. more commonly teachers will become better instructors if boards expend resources to help them improve.7. Therefore. and opportunity to share viewpoints and perspectives. one . right to second opinion. 1987) as evidenced by a clear articulation of board philosophy of evaluation and budgeted financial support. Although improving instruction sometimes requires removing a teacher. Evaluation processes and criteria are developed with the rights of the teacher and the nature of the professional in mind. 3. Some possibilities are to: 1. knowledge of criteria. Hire substitute teachers to free teachers for post-evaluation conferences to be held during school hours and to permit them to visit each others' classrooms. 8. Hire substitute teachers to enable in-school administrators to visit classrooms. Criteria for Effective Teacher Evaluation Policy To determine what constitutes an effective teacher evaluation policy. evaluation is clearly and obviously of high priority in the school system (Conley. 9. These imply involvement in the development of procedures. Train both evaluators and teachers in all aspects of teacher evaluation. A clear distinction is made between tenured and non-tenured teachers and teachers placed on growth or remediation tracks.
Effective policy development. & Thurston. The length of the written text and the language used are also important features of effective policy. and directors. principals.. open to phased implementation. An evaluation policy should also contain a repeal of any prior policies and procedures and a statement of how it will be applied as well as identify the individuals to be evaluated and the personnel who will be doing the evaluating (Frels et al. (1988) lucidly espouse the importance of evaluatee involvement in policy development by suggesting: An appraisal system developed jointly between supervisors and subordinates has a better chance of incorporating diverse . is comprehensive. participatory. Policy. First and foremost. Burlingham.must relate principles of effective teacher evaluation measures to effective policy development. 1982). 359) Teachers. should be free of technical language of a kind teachers use in the course of their professional work. according to Walberg (1982). should be intimately involved in the policy making and implementing processes (Sergiovanni. 1986). 1980). Effective policy has a statement of purpose which is usually derived from the philosophy of the school division and guidelines that allow the implementors the opportunity to use their professional judgment from situation to situation (Walberg. teacher evaluation at its best is guided by principles of good policy. (p. and long range. internally consistent with its goals. parents. and community members. Hickcox et al. Coombs. as well as students. and indicative of the commitment of time and resources that it requires for success. according to Walberg (1982).
. (p. McLeary. Provision should be made for any person or group in the school community to initiate review of a policy (Caldwell and Spinks. 338). through his study and literature review. Recommendations for Further Research 1. Such a policy would ensure that a working party. comprised of experts and stockholders. warns Orlosky. 1988). Finally. concluded were areas which need to be addressed. Sc Webb (1984). if no one complies with a new policy. The duplication of this study in other school divisions would offer a broader perspective of congruence among policy-in-intent. must be introduced thoughtfully only after sufficient preparation in terms of informing or. Holmes. Walberg (1982) maintains that "the policy must be accompanied by the technical assistance and resources necessary to support its implementation" (p. the greater the potential for acceptability of the decision. 124). is appointed to explore an issue and prepare at least three viable options. It is recommended that a policy be developed to facilitate suggestions for change. better yet. it has accomplished little. 66) Policies that might alarm the community. involving the community because.but relevant points of view than a system developed by top management alone. The greater the opportunity for participation by parties affected by a decision. What follows in the next two sections are recommendations for further research and practice that the author. Leithwood. Shapiro. & Musella. (1989) write that policy makers must realize that efforts and outcomes will vary from setting to setting and that "the effective school of this year may not be so effective next year" (p.
3. A comprehensive study of the relationship between teacher evaluation practices and teacher accountability may help to provide a clearer picture of this timely concern. Research in the area of teacher evaluation practices and job satisfaction for evaluators and evaluates would yield useful information about teacher evaluation focus. . and policy-in-experience of other crucial policies. policy-in-implementation. 5. would lead to a better understanding of the effect of the degree of congruence on schools and school systems. that would explore congruence of policy-in-intent. Research in the area of policy making would help bring to light the relationship between policy formulation and collaborative policy making. 2. Studies focusing on the relationship that exists between staff development activities and teacher evaluation results would enhance both practices. 6. 7. Whether or not gender plays a part of teacher evaluation treatment would seem vital given the emerging significance of equity in personnel issues.policy-of-implementation. and policy-in-experience. An exploration of the effect of training evaluators and evaluates on the success of teacher evaluation would shed light on the importance of such an initiative. 8. The replication of this style of study. 4.
Inservice should be provided for teachers so that they are cognizant of the purpose(s) and practices of teacher evaluation. for example. The assessments should provide feedback to individual evaluators and input into the continuing evaluator training process. conception of teaching. management style.Recommendations for Practice 9. 13. providing a substitute teacher on a mandated regular basis. including reporting. particularly when it adopts a new teacher evaluation process. This may mean. 11. unburdened by competing administrative demands. It should not adopt an evaluation system simply because that system works in other contexts. diagnosis. 12. School divisions should regularly assess the quality of evaluation. School divisions should train evaluators in observation and evaluation techniques. . School divisions should grant evaluators sufficient time. for evaluation activities. and clinical supervision skills. If a division changes its purpose(s). purpose(s) they serve well. School divisions should examine their educational goals. 10. including individual and collective evaluator competence. if any. it should change the process of evaluation. and community values and adopt a teacher evaluation system compatible with them. School divisions should examine their existing teacher evaluation systems to see which.
20. 22. particularly beginning teachers. for different levels of jobs in the hierarchy. and for different levels of experience within a system 21. 17. teachers nearing retirement. School divisions should involve teachers in the assistance of their peers. Teacher evaluation should be closely aligned with staff development. 15. Self-development should be encouraged and facilitated by school division teacher evaluation 19. 16. School divisions should make a concerted effort to assist marginal teachers and initiate a legitimate process to deal with incompetent teachers. School divisions should involve teacher organizations. School divisions must allocate resources commensurate with the number of teachers to be evaluated and the importance and visibility of evaluation outcomes. However. and effectiveness. and those in need of special assistance. 18. . School divisions should hold teachers accountable to standards of practice that compel then to make appropriate instructional decisions on behalf of their students. fairness. such as local and provincial teachers' associations. individual school and teacher concerns must continue to be considered. Different approaches to teacher evaluation may have to be used for different stages of individual career cycles.14. School divisions should ensure that evaluates have the right to appeal their evaluation report. in the design and oversight of teacher evaluation to ensure its legitimacy.
1989. p. seemed to prefer to concentrate an accountability (72. souls. 1990. thinking critically and actively planning improvements to their teaching" (Glickznaa. and the contesting forces of reflection.23. Concluding Remarks There is tension between the two major competing paradigms of teacher evaluation based largely upon a silent struggle between ideological forces that support surveillance. A weeding approach would see an evaluator "focus upon the presumed deficits of individuals" (Gitlin dk Smyth. energy ought to be expended in protecting teachers' self-esteem and enhancing professional development. 1989).6%). collegiality. "support and encouragement have much more effect than criticism however thinly veiled under the guise of .3º/o) as opposed to teacher improvement efforts (43. According to Rooney (1993). according to their written policies. and bureaucracy. School divisions should adopt a policy that states how policy is to be formulated and how and how often policy is to be reviewed and revised. In the school divisions involved of the Saw (1994) study. and collectively (Gitlin R Smyth. policy makers. 162). Since incompetent performance is very much the exception rather than the rule. p. The dilemma faced by policy makers and implementors is whether or not the emphasis in teacher evaluation should be placed on cultivation or weeding. Conversely. 162) while ignoring their potential for growth. hierarchy. a cultivation approach would emphasize the overall development of teachers by encouraging them to "open their hearts. and minds to one another.
Gitlin & Smyth (1989) emphasize the importance of encouraging dialogical relations among teachers because "schools are much more vibrant and reflective places in which to live and to work" (p. 44). Jr.supervision" (p. evaluators of the future will require training to ensure . Teacher unions must become more involved in teacher evaluations by working closely with administrators in devising and monitoring intensive assistance programs for teachers experiencing instructional difficulties. Peers. Jr. more importantly. the education of children and the well-being of society.. Follow-up interviews in this study clearly indicated that the preferred approach for teacher evaluation was to utilize a system of peer assistance (Appendix E).observation and input by one or more teachers to another teacher for the specific purpose of assisting that teacher in improving instruction. uncertainty. Therefore. and loneliness that characterizes a great deal of teaching (Walsh. 1987). This method of evaluation can not take place unless there is a willingness to provide resources and to assist teachers in reaching their goals (DePasquale. This is not to suggest that the incidence of incompetence is to be ignored. This would help to overcome the sort of isolation.. 156) if this support is forthcoming. Adversarial relations between management and unions should give way to what is best for students. It is a crucial area for policy because of the implications for the reputation of the profession and. 1990) as well as open-mindedness and trust among colleagues (McGreal. according to McGreal (1983). 1990). 1983). You can learn more about teaching by watching peers teach than you can by having someone observe you and write an evaluation (DePasquale. can be used in instructional improvement efforts . Respondents in this study clearly indicated their desire for this distressing concern to be addressed.
Although this is heavily supported by the literature. Caldwell dk Spinks (198S) recommend that a policy be developed to facilitate suggestions for change and that policy making should be "all-over-at-once" rather than "top-down" or "bottom-up" thereby releasing the energy in the system rather than keeping it harnessed. Another recurring theme in the interviews was the importance of involving evaluates in teacher evaluation policy formulation and revision. regardless of their place in the hierarchy. Educators should take every opportunity to engage in dialogue. and dialogical fashion. only 6% of the policies analyzed in the Saw (1994) study stated that a collaborative approach was utilized to develop their policy.they are capable of working with teachers in a collaborative. collegial. .
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