Using the Voice of Educators to Strengthen Teacher Evaluation: Implications for Improved Performance
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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Purpose: Our nation’s leaders view the quality of teaching as important; however, how legislators have influenced the importance of teaching quality is disputed. The nation’s focus on legislating teaching quality has been ineffective and has misconstrued the public’s view of quality education. Furthermore, there is little research on exemplary principals and the constructive side of the teacher evaluation process. As such, this study sought to understand exemplar teacher evaluation practices by exploring perceptions of teacher evaluation as described by triads of administrators, teachers, and district office administrators. Methods: After a double-nomination process, a multiple-case study approach was used with three triads of principals, teachers, and district office administrators in the state of Alabama, each representing a different school and school system (n=9). Data collection included interviews, classroom observations, and teacher evaluation artifacts. Guided by the study’s research questions, I discovered themes related to principals, teachers, and district-office members through within-case and cross-case analyses. Each participant group and case produced individual themes and answered the question, “How do perceptions of teacher evaluation vary within and across triads of administrators, teachers, and district-level administrators?” Findings: According to the participants, two out of the three schools positively influenced the teacher evaluation in ways such as leadership style, a focus on growth, and a focus on students. The last case, however, did not report the same information. Significance: Teacher evaluation in Alabama has the potential to impact student and teacher growth. Building relationships should be a focus of instructional leaders before they walk into classrooms to observe or complete paperwork as a result of that observation. This study sought to fill a gap in research by documenting what effective leaders do to increase the expertise of teachers, which, in turn, has the potential to influence student achievement.