Monday, April 16, 2012

Evaluating Teachers

Question: What criteria should be used in evaluating teacher quality?

Answer/Quote: “Defining teacher quality in terms of students’ scores on standardized tests is one way of emphasizing the importance of student achievement. It has the advantage of clarity and expediency. However, this definition does not take into account the body of research on teacher effectiveness or quality. Most  of this research portrays teacher quality as a complex phenomenon that can vary with context and includes manifestations of these observable dimensions:



Instructional practices


Question: What does “professionalism” mean?

Answer/Quote: “Professionalism includes varying combinations of communication with community members, self-evaluation, reflective practice, record-keeping…. One aspect of professionalism that merits special attention in relation to teacher quality is self-reflection. Recent studies have established strong relationships between self-reflection and effective teaching. Researchers have identified three types of reflection effective teachers practice: reflection-for-action (before teaching), reflection-in-action (while teaching), and reflection-on-action (after teaching) that enhance instructional practices. Currently, however, only five states in the US explicitly include reflection as an important criterion in teacher evaluation, and a handful of other states include reflection as an optional or supplementary component of teacher evaluations.” P. 16.

Comment: Self-reflection is one characteristic I did not include in my teaching and I regret it. I consider self-reflection indispensable to effective teaching. I’ve noted that more articles are being published on self-reflection in teaching. I think that is great. If I were teaching now, I would put more effort into self-reflection on my teaching. RayS.

Title: “Evaluating English/Language Arts Teachers: A Policy Research Brief Produced by the National Council of Teachers of English.” National Council of Teachers of English. Council Chronicle (March 2012), 15-18.

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