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Teacher Evaluation: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review

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  • Marlène Isoré

Abstract

This paper discusses the most relevant issues concerning teacher evaluation in primary and secondary education by reviewing the recent literature and analysing current practices within the OECD countries. First, it provides a conceptual framework highlighting key features of teacher evaluation schemes. In particular, it emphasises the importance of clarifying the purposes of teacher appraisal, whether summative when designed to assure that the practices enhancing student learning are undertaken or formative when conducted for further professional development objectives. It also encompasses the diverse criteria and instruments commonly used to assess teachers as well as the actors generally involved in the process and potential consequences for teachers’ professional life. Second, it deals with a number of contentious points, including the question of the use of student outcomes to measure teaching performance, the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches given the purpose emphasised and resource restrictions, the implementation difficulties resulting from different stakeholders’ interests and possible ways to overcome these obstacles. Finally, it provides an account of current empirical evidence, pointing out mixed results stemming from difficulties in assessing the effects of such evaluation schemes on teaching quality, teachers’ motivation and student learning. It concludes by considering the circumstances under which teacher evaluation systems seem to be more effective, fair and reliable. Developing a comprehensive approach to evaluate teachers is critical to make demands for educational best practice compatible with teachers’ appropriation of the process as well as to enhance the decisive attractiveness and recognition of the teaching profession. Ce document examine les principales questions relatives à l’évaluation des enseignants du primaire et du secondaire en passant en revue la littérature récente et en analysant des pratiques actuelles au sein des pays de l’OCDE. Premièrement, il fournit un cadre conceptuel mettant en évidence les éléments clés entrant dans les processus d’évaluation des enseignants. En particulier, il souligne l’importance de clarifier les objectifs de l’évaluation, qu’ils soient de nature sommative lorsqu’ils visent à assurer que les pratiques favorisant l’apprentissage des élèves sont à l’oeuvre ou de nature formative lorsqu’ils sont conduits à des fins de formation professionnelle continue. Il comprend également les différents critères et instruments communément utilisés pour évaluer les enseignants ainsi que les acteurs généralement impliqués dans le processus et les conséquences potentielles sur la vie professionnelle des enseignants. Deuxièmement, il traite d’un certain nombre de points conflictuels, parmi lesquels la question de l’utilisation des résultats des élèves pour mesurer la performance des enseignants, les avantages et inconvénients de différentes approches compte tenu de l’objectif mis en exergue et de ressources limitées, ou encore les difficultés de mise en place résultant de divergence d’intérêts et les moyens possibles d’y remédier. Enfin, il examine l’évidence empirique sur le sujet et explique en quoi ses résultats nuancés tiennent aux difficultés d’estimer les effets de tels processus sur la qualité de l’enseignement, la motivation des personnels et l’apprentissage des élèves. Pour conclure, il considère les circonstances dans lesquelles l’évaluation des enseignants semble plus efficace, équitable et fiable. Développer une approche d’évaluation compréhensive est cruciale pour concilier les exigences d’enseignement et l’appropriation du processus par les enseignants, tout en recherchant une nécessaire amélioration de l’attractivité et de la reconnaissance du métier d’enseignant.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/223283631428
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Education Working Papers with number 23.

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Date of creation: 20 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:23-en

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