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Research and Teacher Evaluation

Research and Teacher Evaluation

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, students analyze the research behind teacher evaluation

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Welcome, I'm Tricia Fyfe, and in today's video lesson we will look at the lesson titled Research and Teacher Evaluation. As we learn about this topic together we will work towards one main learning objective in this lesson. And together we'll use the following question to guide our learning, what is the research supporting teacher evaluation?

Let's start off by discussing the impacts of teachers. Specifically, what is the research that touches on these impacts? Teachers have such an important role, and research shows that we as teachers offer the most impact on our students levels of achievement when comparing achievement and other factors.

This is just one of the many reasons that ensuring all students have exposure to highly effective teachers is one of the most influential strategies in helping our students succeed. Essentially highly effective teachers lead to students that are supported. When we implement teacher evaluations we help this process.

We've already discussed in previous lessons the many benefits of teacher evaluations. Evaluations lead to highly effective teachers, which lead to higher achievement levels. It's a win-win for all of us, teachers, students, and school systems.

Let's take a few minutes to dive into the research. We'll start by looking at Teaching for America's Future, a report by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. In this report, it was implied that the greatest impact on student achievement is the content knowledge and skills that the teacher possesses. When schools consistently and effectively recruit and retrain teachers that are effective, and empower teachers and support them with resources that they need and a positive, supportive school environment, school improvement as a whole is more likely.

John Hattie's work is also influential in research that impacts teachers. Hattie's international meta-analysis on student achievement influences found that teachers have one of the greatest effect sizes in terms of impacting student achievement. Hattie uses the term effect size to measure relationships. An effect size of 1.0 means that student growth is increased by 50%, which is a very significant. Anything above 0.40, or 40%, is identified as being a positive and substantial impact.

Using some of the data from this analysis, we can see that teachers giving feedback to students has an effect size of 1.13. And instructional quality has an effect size of 1.0. These are both well above the 0.40, and substantial impacts according to Hattie's research.

Next we'll look at measures of effective teaching, MET. This is a project study. And their findings reiterate that teachers are in fact the number one impact on student achievement. This research dives into teacher evaluation and the fact that evaluating teachers can help us define and determine what it means to teach effectively. Teacher evaluations focus on factors such as observations in the classroom, surveys that students provide, and student achievement gains.

So what exactly is the significance of teacher evaluation? Because we're striving to better our teachers and create exposure for all students to highly effective teachers, evaluations are becoming more and more essential. There are several goals of teacher evaluations, and models for teacher evaluations.

First, improving the quality of teachers by supporting them through coaching, mentoring, and forms of professional development and growth is key. These models all focus on the positives and building teachers up, not punishing them. One of the most important jobs of the teacher evaluation is to assist teachers in improving practices. Sometimes this might mean that teachers are required to form and use improvement plans. But overall the goal is access for our students to those teachers that are effective.

Another goal is to align the actual number of highly effective teachers to the data. There are many reports across the nation that are reporting very high numbers of highly effective teachers, even when teachers in those districts are not trained and lack certification. For this process to work it must be consistent.

We also need evaluations that are honest. It's essential for evaluations and feedback to be consistent, timely, measurable, and we must be able to use it to create plans and improve practices as teachers. If this feedback is not honest, as teachers we don't know what the missing pieces are.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following question, what is the research supporting teacher evaluation? In this lesson we discussed some research that indicates the many benefits of teacher evaluations.

We discussed John Hattie's effect sizes, and how teachers and their feedback and instructional quality are at the top as far as the impact that they have on students achievement. We discussed other influential pieces of research that showed the benefits of implementing teacher evaluations. And we talked about the significance of these teacher evaluations.

Why do they matter? When teachers receive timely, measurable, and honest feedback from our reflections, they're able to reflect and apply this feedback, and continue to better themselves as teachers. In turn this leads to greater levels of student achievement.

Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect for a moment. Do you feel that teachers have the greatest impact on student achievement? Why? What can you do to become a highly effective teacher?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson Research and Teacher Evaluation. I hope you found value in this video lesson, and you're able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching. Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be super helpful. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description so you can easily target the resources that you want.

Notes on “Research and Teacher Evaluation”


(00:00- 00:19) Introduction/Objectives

(00:20- 01:10) Impacts of Teachers and Research

(01:11- 01:44) Teaching for America’s Future (1996)

(01:45- 02:36) John Hattie (2011)

(02:37- 03:07) Measures of Effective Teachers (MET) (2013)

(03:08- 04:34) Significance of Teacher Evaluation

(04:35- 05:21) Recap

(05:22- 06:03) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Title II Reports on the Quality of Teacher Preparation and States' Requirements and Assessments for Initial Credentials

This USDOE report highlights individual states' data regarding teacher qualifications.

Preparing and Credentialing the Nation's Teachers

This USDOE document is the Secretary's Ninth Report on Teacher Quality.