10 SES 10 D, Reflections and Considerations from the Practice
Rationale: Lately, teacher evaluation has been subject to great deal of attention due to the emphasis placed on the quality of teachers and the demand for accountability. The internship process (induction) provides the teacher trainee with emotional and professional support at the induction phase of teaching while at the same time, the trainee experiences during the first year a process of evaluation, following which, a decision as to whether to award the trainee a teacher’s license or not will be made. The determining factor in a teacher’s evaluation is the school principal.Exploring the basis according to which the principal evaluates new teachers is a complicated endeavor. In most cases, this evaluation is not systematic and is based on beliefs, gut feelings, partial information and informal procedures.
Theoretical background: In many countries around the world, Israel included, much effort is being made to improve the quality of candidates requesting to study education - mainly by means of evaluation systems (Oplatka, 2007; Harris, Ingle & Rutledge, 2014) - but less so of the issues pertaining to the selection process in preparation towards obtaining a teacher’s license. The internship process (induction) is unique in that it provides emotional and professional support for the trainee teacher (Nasser abu-Alhijat, Fresco and Reichenberg, 2011). However, at the same time the trainee is subject to a high-risk evaluation, as the ensuing decision will determine whether s/he will receive a teacher’s license or not. A trainee’s successful integration during the first year of teaching depends highly on the principal’s positive outlook on his/her internship (Wynn, Carboni & Patall, 2007), leadership, on his/her awareness of, and involvement in the internship process (Watkins, 2005; Wynn, Carboni & Patall, 2007; Youngs, 2007; Nasser abu-Alhijat, Fresco and Reichenberg, 2011). His/her attitude towards the trainee’s evaluation is especially important as it can significantly and directly affect the trainee’s future as well as the quality of teachers, and education indirectly. Exploring literature in this field, it is apparent that teacher evaluation is sorely lacking (Harris, Ingle & Kennedy, 2008; Rutledge, 2014). Thus, it seems, that despite the fact that there is no doubt that principals are the key factor in teacher evaluation, research in this field points out that principals’ evaluations of trainee teachers is unsatisfactory (Hoz, Keynan & Assaf, 2003; Ingle, Rutledge & Bishop, 2011; Master, 2014). The recommendation that arises from the literature is unequivocal. It is incumbent upon the principal to provide reliable and trustworthy information regarding their worldview, and to divulge what their considerations are when evaluating their teachers and how this information can serve as a catalyst in improving teaching personnel.
The objective of this study is to elucidate what the considerations of the principals are, as they are preparing to evaluate a trainee teacher, in order to obtain a better understanding of why principals operate as they do and to examine how to transform the principal’s evaluation into a catalyst for improvement of trainee-teaching personnel. The importance of this study lies in the possibility of arriving at various insights regarding principals’ expectations of the trainees, insights regarding the process and content of training, and examining the importance of evaluation and the tools that it serves.
What are school principals’ considerations when evaluating trainees?
What aspects are important for school principals when evaluating trainees in education?
Is there a difference between the principals’ evaluation of the trainee teacher as opposed to new teachers who are pending tenure?
Do they use an existing evaluation tool? What evidence do they rely on for their evaluation and why?
References: Arar, K., & Oplatka, I. (2011). Perceptions and applications of teachers’ evaluation among elementary school principals in the Arab education system in Israel. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 37(2-3), 162-169. Corland, H. (2010), Managers appreciate teachers - from conception to perform. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 31, 271 – 323 (in Hebrew). Hallinger, P., Heck, R. H., & Murphy, J. (2014) Teacher evaluation and school improvement: An analysis of the evidence. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 26, 5 – 28. Maskit, S., Liebman, T., & Ackerman-Asher, H. (2015). From trainee to teacher: What can we learn from evaluation processes of trainees at the end of the first year in the teaching profession? Studies in Educational Evaluation, 34, 81-110 (in Hebrew). Master, B. (2014). Staffing for success: Linking teacher Evaluation and school personnel management. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(2), 207 – 227. Schwabsky, N., Goldenberg, J., Schatz-Oppenheimer, O., Basis, L. (2012). Involvement and Responsibility of Principals and Mentor Teachers in the Process of Training New Teachers. Published by Mofet Institute Tel-Aviv (in Hebrew). Zilbershtrom, S., (2011). From the Director of the Teaching Internship and Induction Department. In Shaz-Openheimer, A., Maskit D. and Zilbershtrom S. (eds.). Being a Teacher - In the Teaching Induction Lane (p.p. 9-12). Published by Mofet Institute and Ministry of Education, Teacher Training and Professional Development Administration, Internship and Induction Department (in Hebrew).
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