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    The Experience and Effect of External Evaluation on Teachers’ Practice

    Mescal, John (2022) The Experience and Effect of External Evaluation on Teachers’ Practice. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Limited research exists on the effects of evaluation on primary teachers’ teaching practices in Ireland. This research seeks to fill this gap. It focused on external evaluation in a sample of Irish primary schools. Using a mixed-methods approach, this research aimed to understand how teachers experienced evaluation, and to what extent, and, for what reasons evaluation brought about changes in their practices. This research combined two overarching theories of adult learning theory and social cognitive theory to bridge the gap between the two phenomena in this study; evaluation and teacher growth and development. Analysis of quantitative data provided contextual information regarding the evaluation process. Surveys and qualitative data from interviews with principals and teachers captured their experiences, providing nuanced and wide-ranging accounts of their experiences of evaluation and its effects on their practices. Sample schools made good progress in implementing inspectors’ recommendations regarding teaching practices. Data suggested teachers had mixed experiences of evaluation, especially regarding the nature of recommendations and the consistency and balance of feedback in identifying teaching strengths and deficiencies. Factors that affected the teachers’ respect for evaluation included the degree of partnership between teachers and inspectors; the inspectors’ personality and style and how far they considered school context factors in their evaluations. Teachers reported varying levels of trust in the process, largely due to the perceived paucity of time inspectors spent on the evaluation and their professional experience, especially in specialised areas. Although the teachers experienced heightened emotions before and during evaluation, and some found the experience negative, it nonetheless enabled them to reflect on practices they had ignored. The findings provide a new and valuable insight into how teachers experience evaluation and how it affects their teaching practices. The study makes many practical, and some novel, recommendations on how evaluation might be improved in Irish primary schools.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Experience and Effect; External Evaluation; Teachers’ Practice;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 16584
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2022 11:06
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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