‘Try walking in my shoes’: teachers’ interpretation of student perception surveys and the role of self-efficacy beliefs, perspective taking and inclusivity in teacher evaluation

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    Abstract

    For decades, policymakers deliberated whether student perception surveys (SPS) should include a component of teacher evaluation programmes in schools. However, much research has focused on SPS’ reliability and validity, and little is known about teachers’ interpretation of SPS or what preparation should be instituted before administering such surveys. Guided by a qualitative descriptive/interpretive approach, this paper draws upon 20 teacher interviews from different public schools in 14 US states. Teachers’ understanding of SPS appeared to provide insight into their self-efficacy beliefs in accountability-driven systems. Taking the perspective of principals illustrated teachers’ valuing SPS mostly as formative assessment. SPS also stood as isolated voice-based forms of evaluation, offering limited understanding of the educational processes when disconnected from an inclusive 360-degree feedback culture, grounded in principles of reciprocity and even-handedness. The paper holds promise for policymakers, implementers and educators seeking to buttress support for the use of voice initiatives in schools.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)747-769
    Number of pages23
    JournalCambridge Journal of Education
    Volume50
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Keywords

    • Teacher evaluation
    • student perception surveys
    • student voice
    • perspective taking
    • 360-degree feedback
    • teacher self-efficacy

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