Evaluating the work of teachers in Australian schools: Vision and reality

Year: 2002

Author: Kleinhenz, Elizabeth, Ingvarson, Lawrence, Chadbourne, Rodney

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Given the importance of effective teacher evaluation to successful teaching and learning, it is surprising that many of the research findings in this area are being ignored. Discredited procedures continue to survive and are even born again within reinvented systems of bureaucratic and managerial control

This paper argues for an approach to teacher evaluation that reflects the findings of contemporary research. It falls into three parts. The first part reviews the relevant literature and distils some features and principles that underpin successful policy and practice. The second part describes a case study that was part of a research project, begun in 2000 that is investigating teacher evaluation in Australian state education systems. The final part of the paper assesses the 'reality' of the situation observed in the case study against the 'vision' provided by identified features of good practice. In this way, an attempt is made to discover how well Australia is being served by methods currently used to assess the work of its teachers. Finally, some suggestions are proposed for the future.