A case study of tenured teachers' experiences with a new evaluation plan in an urban school district
The purpose of this study was to investigate the transition of experienced teachers to a new teacher evaluation plan. The subjects in this study were nine public school teachers---three at elementary, three at middle school and three at high school---selected through purposeful sampling.
The study asked: (a) What impact did a new evaluation process have on the beliefs of experienced teachers? (b) How did experienced teachers react in response to a district's new teacher evaluation plan? and (c) How did experienced teachers participate in the process? Following constant comparison protocol, the data from all three interviews were combined for final data analysis. Using grounded theory, this qualitative case study employed an embedded single-case design in one urban school district, and utilized interviews, observations, administrative feedback, written teacher reflection and collected artifacts. The researcher served as an observer and also designed and directed this study.
As the data was reviewed and analyzed, several themes emerged: Teacher participants indicated that they found the domain design of the new evaluation plan to be representative of the fabric of teaching. Their self-reflection resulted in improved performance. Surprisingly, when changes in the classroom were implemented, those changes were exclusively the result of teacher reflection and not the outgrowth of conversation with administration. Teachers were critical of the evaluation's increased paperwork and their administrators' implementation of the new evaluation program. Regarding the latter, teachers voiced reservations about administrators' lack of knowledge about district content standards, their preoccupation with paperwork over process, their inability to give articulated feedback about teaching and the timing of their classroom observations.