Increasingly, efforts aimed at understanding why some teacher’s impact on students more than others, is on the rise. Determining what is effective teaching and how it can be evaluated is now a concern for educational policy makers. On the whole, proper teaching is directly related to performance of students. Regardless of this consensus, there is still a wide conflict on the effective strategies and design to assessing teacher’s effectiveness and how such should be used to advance learning. Therefore, this research paper aims to illuminate on the most effective methods to evaluate teacher’s effectiveness and performance (Butler, 2007)
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The formula for measuring teachers’ effectiveness has predominantly proved elusive over the years. Only traditional methods such as ability and educational qualifications have been considered in teacher selection, ignoring other important aspects. This is perhaps the reasons why the current educational curriculum has been producing half-baked graduates.
The study’s hypothesis is that there are other non-traditional methods that should be effectively applied to measure teacher effectiveness.
The overall objective of this study is reinforcing other non-traditional methods to evaluate teacher’s effectiveness with a view to influencing policy directions.
Significance of the Study
The study is significant as it outlines the existing gap in determine teacher effectiveness. In the end it will help in streamline policy intervention measures to choosing effective teachers able to prepare students for career and college education.
This section sets the theoretical framework upon which the study is grounded. It relates to the conceptual theoretical scheme within which to derive the studies literature gap. Various ontological issues have been discussed. On the whole, the tenets described offered the studies assumption that non-traditional methods in testing teachers effectiveness have not been adhered to.
Teacher Performance and Sensitivity to the Market Place
In recent times, issues regarding education in colleges and high school have attracted considerable debate in education policy agenda with regard to the market place (Mills, 2010). This has followed the realization by various national governments, particularly the United States that the states have been insufficiently preparing students and vulnerable/marginalized ones are bearing the greatest brunt.
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The preparations have been cited devoid of the necessary skills to choose a college discipline in this century. Butler (2007) notes that the concerns of long term socioeconomic as well as political implications that such portend have driven the debates in regard to teachers’ performance. He associates these to technology becoming a crucial component in education in the American schools. Thus performance improvement focusing on some schools not having the capacity to exploit or posses is a major issue.
This is more ingrained in the aims for the citizens to be able to maximize personal accomplishment, that is to say governments are now more focused in development of educational trainers who are more focused on promoting ‘‘socially cohesive democratic communities’’ that respond to the local and globally defined economic demands (Baker, 2000).
Moreover, governmental schooling reforms are today largely geared towards gratifying the needs of the universal marketplace (Mills, 2010). Regardless of these noble aims and assertions including opportunity to share technology, the challenge is that the methods that have been proposed or should be applied are either not well construed or half-baked when it comes to practical implementation on measuring teacher’s effectiveness (Butler, 2007).
Besides a number of legislations including the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) have been formulated to address teacher effectiveness. Sunderman (2010) notes that the act was proposed with the view to critically assessing high school crisis so that systems and structures are put in place to enable students graduating from high schools to be adequately ready to take on professional disciplines in colleges.
Broadly therefore, a number of federal policies are seen to play important role to ensure that policies are congruent with the changes and ‘‘common standards initiative’ to take the leading roles and facilitation of partnership with other players in the education sector. This promotes teacher effectiveness (Gay et al. 2000).
Breakthrough and Its Role in Developing Effective Teachers
While there is no one-stop formula to measure the effectiveness of teachers, there is a growing consensus among educational stakeholders that there are skills and attributes which are common to efficient teachers. These include ability, perseverance, critical thinking, responsibility, motivational skills, and organizational competence. Apart from the traditional features of a teacher like education, certification and experience, the issue of non-traditional teacher-traits have been explored in evaluating teachers’ effectiveness (Butler, 2007).
These include leadership, perseverance and the level of teachers’ consciousness as well as student achievement. These traits improve students’ performance. For instance, Mills (2010) notes that a teacher who is conscientious will likely be a context teacher when it comes to learning. He believes that many graduates are succeeding between the classroom lessons and the careers they need to pursue as an interest area in their careers because of large disobedience to contextual learning.
In this regard, many schools across the United States, for instance, are now training teachers and principals to be more concerned in counseling and teaching students in a more career oriented approach and adoption on integrative approaches to teach (Mills, 2010).
The more contextual a teacher is the better the students’ performance. This entails dedicating themselves to introducing avenues and opportunities that respond to contextual learning and seeking to ensure that appropriate ways that ensure that things change are adopted (Mills, 2010). Moreover, many leaders in the education sector are of the belief that many low achieving students are to mainly get benefits from instruction mixed ability groups–where performance in terms of expectations are often more demanding and in this case, students who perform better academically can aid the others and serve positively as role models (Fazal et al 2005, Mok, 2006).
Predicting Teachers Effectiveness
Mills (2010) reckons that in recent times, there has been a lot of enormous research on the predictability of teachers’ effectiveness. Some have been asking which appropriate certificates and academic groups would be relevant to teacher enrollment in colleges and hiring into the classroom. Appallingly, researchers have recently found out that some factors associated with a teacher’s knowledge and expertise, are not necessarily relevant to his/her performance.
The only exception to this rule is Mathematics and Science subjects. For instance, teachers who have advanced degrees in Mathematics are likely to perform better in class, and therefore improve student performance (Mills, 2010). Such teachers are often able to tune students to career orientation. Education, which was career focused, became a base for education reforms endeavors in what was dubbed ‘School to Work Opportunities Act in the Year 1994 (Hudis, 2001).
This was followed by a number of high schools in the entire United States of America retooling their curriculum to suit in or at least incorporating some hybrid form with regard to students’ career interests. Other Schools adopted Career Majors to this regard. The reasons for a career focused education are many and can be broadly summarized as enhancing academic achievements of Students in the market place, both locally and internationally (Dicken, 2007).
The research design shall employ quantitative data collection and analysis approach as the most appropriate way to determine high school teacher’s effectiveness. This will be the most valuable way to responding to and giving the best answers to the questions that seek to determine the relationship that exists in teacher’s choosing criterion and their effectiveness to the performance of learners. This method enables respondents to give information freely and with ease since it is very comfortable to undertake. On choosing the best design, several factors will be considered like the availability of resources in terms of finances and time.
An evaluative case study approach will be carried out in this research. Quantitative approaches to descriptive and non-experimental research methods will be used. Questionnaires designed and used to collect data on different personal views on various learning and teaching techniques will apply. A respondent’s name will not be requested and so they will be able to give independent thoughts and observations regarding the various methods of determining teachers’ performance and credibility measures. Questionnaires often provide a chance for collection of quantitative data due to their nature of asking close-ended questions that provide numerical data (Niglas, 2000).
Questionnaires also provide an avenue for testing and proving the hypothesis for the research. They will also investigate satisfaction levels of the respondents and finding possible preferences to make teachers’ more effective in the current world’s economy. Brief questions will be utilized to boost confidence of respondents and add value to their accuracy. These will be simpler and specific to particular matters being addressed. This ensures that more accurate and specific answers are given thus avoiding wasting of resources such as time and energy. Collected data will then be analyzed and comparisons made.
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The most notable possible constrain will be in data collection sample. The research will predominantly focus on teachers, some of whom might not be comfortable to give information on what constitute effective teachers especially if they are not effective themselves.
Baker, D (2000). Making the Special Schools Ordinary? Practitioners Changing Special Education. London: Routledge.
Butler, L (2007). Technology Integration in Three High Poverty High Schools. University of South Carolina.
Dicken, P (2007). Global shift: mapping the changing contours of the World Economy. Sydney: Sage.
Fazal E et al (2005). Globalization and Recent Shifts in Educational Policy in the Asia Pacific. UNESCO.
Gay, L. R., Mills, G. M & Airasian, P (2009). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications (9th edition.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 13-978-0-13-2338776.
Hudis, P 2001, Making Education Career Focused. Sydney, AESOC.
Mills, G (2010). Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher (4th edition). Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 9780137003143.
Mok, G (2006). Educational Changes in Asia Pacific. New Delhi: Wiley and Sons.
Niglas, K (2000). Combining Quantitative, and Qualitative Approaches to educational Research. NY: Sage.
Sunderman, G. (2010).The Federal Role in Education: From the Regan to the Obama Administration. Annenberg Institute for Schools.