TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF HOW THE USE OF PEER EVALUATION COULD IMPROVE THEIR TEACHING PRACTICE
Farrell, Dale Patrick
Richardson, Patricia M
McLaughlin, Margaret J
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As the method, instrument, and reliability of teacher and principal evaluations has come under extreme scrutiny since the Education Reform Act of 2010, school systems across the nation have examined and refined the evaluation process for teachers and principals. Studies have shown the integration of peer evaluation as a model of teacher evaluations can have a positive impact on the teachers and their performance that participate in peer evaluation as well as the potential for an increase in the academic achievement of students. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ overall perceptions of peer evaluation and of how the use of peer evaluation could improve their teaching practice. The goals of this study were to determine the level of sharing of instructional practices among their peers currently, and whether or not they perceived an increase in the amount of time spent sharing of best practices would occur as a result of incorporating peer evaluation into the current model of a formative evaluation. Further, teachers were asked to identify potential benefits as well as any potential challenges they see as a result of implementing peer evaluations. This study used an online survey to gather data from participants. This study was conducted in a suburban school district in Maryland. A total of 34 teachers participated in the survey questionnaire. One elementary, one middle, and one high school were selected to participate in the survey. Data were collected through an online survey conducted in September 2017. This study provides some evidence that teachers do welcome the possible integration of peer evaluation and perceive that peer evaluation may result in an increase in the amount of time spent sharing instructional strategies among other teachers. The findings also reported potential benefits such as increased sharing of best practices of instructional strategies, more timely and relevant feedback, and reduced feelings of isolation could potentially occur as a result of incorporating peer evaluation in the current model of formative evaluations. This study further identified potential challenges such as lack of time to complete peer evaluations, personal bias, and a perceived feeling of needing to add yet another task to the busy professional day of a teacher.