Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Developing a Differentiated Model

Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Developing a Differentiated Model

Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Developing a Differentiated Model

Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Developing a Differentiated Model


How can we really evaluate teacher effectiveness? Systems of teacher appraisal and evaluation are being created across the world in order to monitor and assess teacher performance. But do the models used really give a fair evaluation? Based on international research, the authors argue that teacher effectiveness is too narrowly conceptualised and methods of measuring it are not attuned to the real contexts in which teachers work. They propose a model of differential teacher effectiveness which takes into account that: * teachers may be more effective with some categories of students than with others * teachers may be more effective with some teaching contexts than others * teachers may be more effective with some subjects or components than with others. Building on and developing previous research on models of teacher effectiveness and current theories, the authors open up possible new debates which will be of interest to academics and researchers working in this area throughout the world.


In writing this book we have tried to achieve two broad aims.

We are attempting to explore a theory of teacher effectiveness that is differentiated, rather than generic, along five dimensions: range of work activity; curriculum subject; pupil background; pupil personal characteristics; and organisational context of teaching. In this sense we are working within the established teacher effectiveness research paradigm, but with a strong revisionist ambition. We accept that the dichotomy between the generic and the differentiated is somewhat contrived, but we think that research investigating and testing a more differentiated model is needed to counterbalance, or to add dimensions to, the more conventional generic model.

We are also attempting to connect teacher effectiveness theory with more broadly based educational theorising, including studies of teachers' work, historical perspectives, the analysis of educational values, teacher evaluation and appraisal, and policy studies. Educational effectiveness has developed, almost as a field in its own right, within a very strong paradigm, but one that has become separated from-and not sufficiently influenced by-other kinds of educational research, analysis and theorising. To take three consequences only, effectiveness research has not drawn as much as it could on qualitative methods, has been somewhat ahistorical, and has tended to ignore value assumptions. We think that connecting broader educational theorising with educational effectiveness research could strengthen both.

These are ambitious aims, on which we hope we have made a start, but it is only a start. We see the book as containing something closer to a set of tentative hypotheses than a fully established theoretical model. We hope that it will encourage more research and theorising in the direction of differentiated teacher effectiveness and further empirical testing of the model we have explored here.

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