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Perceptions on the effectiveness of teacher appraisal: a case study of two-state funded academies

Pawson, M. (2019) Perceptions on the effectiveness of teacher appraisal: a case study of two-state funded academies. EdD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00086315


The aim of this investigation was to explore the effectiveness of appraisal within two state-funded secondary schools by comparing the perceptions of appraisal leads to that of teachers. The reason for a study of this nature arises from the researcher’s own experience of appraisal within a diverse range of school contexts, which has subsequently led to a feeling that schools are not benefitting from appraisal as they should. The researcher also believes that this study is uniquely placed amongst other studies on appraisal because of its ability to capture and systematically compare the perceptions of appraisal from the vantage point of teachers and those who have responsibility for its implementation. The literature review describes why and when appraisal was introduced in schools and identifies its presumed two-fold purpose: teacher accountability and teacher development. This investigation illustrates the prevalent nature of accountability within appraisal, a description of the sources of information used to assess teacher performance and its reliability. What follows is a discussion around the impact of appraisal and suggestions about adding value to the process. The conceptual framework in Chapter 3 explores appraisal, and particularly accountability, within a neoliberal perspective, and investigates issues of trust and identity. Nine teachers were interviewed alongside two who lead on appraisal. In addition, 16 teachers across both schools completed a questionnaire which provided important supplementary information despite the low return rate. The main findings from the data highlighted a disparity between how those with responsibility for appraisal perceived the overall effectiveness of appraisal compared to how teachers viewed it. Appraisal was presented in a positive light by appraisal leads, with a significant emphasis placed upon teacher development. The teachers appeared to agree that it was about development, but neither could evidence this. On the contrary, actual evidence was for accountability. The reliability of the methods and strategies that were used to evaluate teachers proved contentious with a general feeling amongst teachers that the system of appraisal was insufficient in capturing an accurate account of their performance. The lack of appraiser training and an understanding of what it should comprise of did not help. Finally, the shortage of evidence to suggest appraisal was having a positive impact calls into question how effective appraisal is in its current format

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Curtis, F.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:86315


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