Teacher evaluation as a tool to support on-going teacher development and improvement within the context of IB PYP schools

  • Sandra Mulligan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


Commonly, teacher evaluations function as summative appraisal mechanisms of teacher performance and effectiveness, as accountability measures and assurances of quality instruction to educational stakeholders. Recently, greater interest in the potential for evaluations to contribute to improvements in teaching and learning has emerged. The use of professional teaching standards and evaluation rubrics represents a significant advance in the design of evaluation tools and procedures. Continuing implementation challenges however, means the potential for evaluations to notably enhance teachers’ professional development is far from realized within many educational contexts. The traditional focus on the individual within evaluations also fails to recognize the collaborative work of teaching teams and to capitalize on the potential of teachers to support improvement in each other’s practice. This inquiry explored the circumstances under which evaluations might promote professional development at the individual level and within teaching teams. The study is located within an international school, which utilizes the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program curriculum. The research question driving the inquiry was; how can teachers and principals within IB PYP schools achieve a focus on professional development and systematic learning within teacher evaluation?An Instructional Rounds protocol was employed to promote a focus on professional development within this qualitative case study. Fullan’s Change Theory guided the implementation and analysis of change in the form and function of evaluations within the school.Findings suggest viable and valuable professional learning can be incorporated into and supported during evaluations. A structured process, incorporating greater frequency of feedback, check-ins, dialogue and collaborative work between supervisors and teachers is needed to produce the monitoring mechanism and sustained gentle pressure necessary to support on-going professional learning. Redefining and broadening concepts of improvement, of involved leadership and professional development is important. Limited focus on specific goals and connecting peers with similar goals encourages commitment to improvement efforts.
Date of Award29 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorElisabeth Barratt Hacking (Supervisor) & Susan Martin (Supervisor)


  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Leadership for Teacher Evaluation and Development

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