ERG SES D 09, Assessment in Education
Nazarbayev Intellectual schools (NIS) teacher attestation was developed in 2011 in light of existing Kazakhstani teacher attestation model and international practices of teacher assessment in such countries as United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, etc.(NIS annual report 2011).
Teacher attestation stimulates teachers’ professional development which creates opportunities for improvement of education quality in NIS. Teacher attestation offers a levelled qualification system for the pedagogic staff: teacher-trainee, teacher, teacher-moderator, teacher-expert, teacher-investigator, teacher-master; for equaled to the pedagogic staff: basic and first.
A range of instruments and information sources is typically used to appraise teachers (OECD report “Teachers for the 21st century: using evaluation to improve teaching”, 2013, p.33). In the NIS case teachers are evaluated by assessment sheets filled by teachers (teacher self-appraisal), reflective accounts (teacher portfolio) independently assessed by certified experts, individual presentations and individual interviews.
In 2015 NIS teacher attestation process was refined. The instruments of evaluating teachers were improved. Previously the main focus was more on quantitative and descriptive data of teachers' practice, whereas the updated teacher attestation involves teachers' understanding, deliberation of their practice which lead to further steps towards improvement. Teachers’ reflective accounts on their practice during the attestation period are worth to mention. During preparing the accounts teachers make sense of their work, actualize problems and determine ways of handling them.
For the purpose of revealing teachers’ perspectives of assessment procedures within teacher attestation and possible ways of improving them, this particular research will be undertaken.
In relation to the research purpose, three research questions are addressed:
- What are the teachers’ perspectives of assessment procedures within teacher attestation in NIS?
- What are teachers’ perspectives about the ways in which these assessment procedures can be improved?
- Based on these teachers’ perspectives in what ways can the assessment procedures be changed to improve the attestation process?
Attestation is the verification of a teacher’s ability to teach (Julian, 1997). This particular term is used in the Kazakhstani education context. Whereas the terms “accountability” and “appraisal” are commonly used in the world. They are all very close in meaning and tightly connected. “The purpose of appraisal are accountability and professional development (McKenzie, 2012). Appraisal and attestation are aimed at the improvement of teacher quality (McKenzie, 2005) and to raise professional standards (Julian, 1997). Taking this into consideration teacher attestation must be an integral part of professional development and professional development must be a key part of attestation in the evaluation of teacher’s performance.
Professional development is a key tool that keeps teachers abreast of current issues in education, helps them implement innovations, and refines their practice" (Darling-Hammond, 1990, p. 19). However "Linking evaluation and professional development is a difficult task for teachers, evaluators, and principals. Although there are few easy answers, evaluation can be used to work with teachers to set specific, achievable goals; provide constructive criticism and suggestions to improve weak areas and amplify specific strengths ..." (Boyd, 1989, p.3). Therefore, the importance of teacher’s developing their reflective accounts ‘as to reflect a “natural harvest” of the teacher’s work’ (Santiago, P., F.Benavides, C. Danielson, L. Goeand D. Nusche) is undeniable.
Reflection is always mentioned as one of the key competences (Iva Christodoulou, 2010). Vašutová (2001) cited in Švec (2005, p. 29) regards the ability of reflection and self-reflection to be a part of profession and personality cultivating competence; Slavík, Siňor (1993) understand the reflective competence to be a sign of “teacher’s preparedness to reflect and evaluate pedagogical actions” (Průcha, 2002, p.107).
OECD report, Teachers for the 21st century: using evaluation to improve teaching, 2013, p.33. Santiago, P., F. Benavides, C. Danielson, L. Goeand D. Nusche (forthcoming), OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Teacher Evaluation in Chile, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2013, p.11. Darling-Hammond, L. Teacher evaluation in transition: Emerging roles and evolving methods. In J. Millman and L. Darling-Hammond (Eds.), The New Handbook of Teacher Evaluation: Assessing Elementary and Secondary School Teachers, Newbury Park, CA: Sage publications, Inc., 1990, pp.17-32. Boyd, R. T. C., Improving teacher evaluations. Practical assessment, Research &Education, 1(7), 1989, retrieved March 24, 2009 from http://PAREonline.netlgetvn.asp?v= 1 &n=7. Bc. Iva Christodoulou Teacher self-reflection, BRNO 2010, p.11. Průcha, J., Učitel. Praha: Portál 2002, p.107. Richards, J. C., & Farrell, T. S. C. Professional development for language teachers – Strategies for teacher learning, New York. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp.100-102. Bailey, K. M., Curtis A., & Nunan D., Pursuing professional development: The self as source, Toronto: Heinle&Heinle Publishers, 2011, p.224. Schon, D. A., The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books, New York, 1983, pp.102-104 McKenzie J.D., Redefining appraisal: Giving teachers ownership of their practice, New Zealand, 2012, p.15. McKenzie J.D., The incompetent teacher: To aid or abet, unpublished master thesis, New Zealand, 2005. Julian R.D., Teacher Incompetency: An investigation into the procedures used to judge and deal with the issues of incompetency of teachers in New Zealand secondary schools, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1997.
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