Title page for ETD etd-04132010-181503

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Barringer, Tina M.
URN etd-04132010-181503
Title Teacher Growth in the Evaluation Process
Degree PhD
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Earthman, Glen I. Committee Chair
Cash, Carol S. Committee Member
Odom, Winston O. Committee Member
Twiford, Travis W. Committee Member
  • staff development
  • teacher growth
  • professional development
  • evaluation
  • teacher evaluation
  • purposes of teacher evaluation
  • formative evaluation
Date of Defense 2010-03-31
Availability unrestricted
Teacher evaluation has a history of challenges, from disagreement over its fundamental purpose to questions of its significance to teachers. Studies (Barnett & McCormick, 2004; Frase & Streshly, 1994; Machell, 1995; Milanowski, 2005; Milanowski & Heneman, 2001; Ovando & Harris, 1993; Stiggins & Duke, 1988) have consistently identified poor feedback, a lack of credibility, and an absence of trust as key issues that impact the effectiveness of an evaluator in the process. The purpose of teacher evaluation may be seen on a continuum from accountability, summarizing the progress of a teacher for the year, to improvement, motivating a teacher on to growth throughout the year and beyond. With the continually-expanding knowledge base on learning principles, a commitment to improvement and growth is essential to optimally meeting the needs of learners. There is a need to better understand the connection between principal practices in the evaluation process and teacher openness to professional growth.

In this qualitative study, data from interviews and assorted artifacts were examined to ascertain what an elementary principal can do in the teacher evaluation process to promote the professional development of teachers. Elementary principals and teachers from a school division in Virginia were interviewed. The sources of data for this study were interview records, field observation notes, and archival data in the form of written observation summaries and professional growth goals, year-end evaluations, and the evaluation handbook and policies of the school division.

The data in this study supported the conclusion that elementary principals do not use the evaluation process to promote professional growth. It was apparent in the interview data, however, that the belief that evaluation should foster growth was very strong in this school division. From the study emerged principles of practice that could indeed encourage a climate of growth in the elementary setting.

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