EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF PEER ASSISTANCE AND REVIEW (PAR) ON TEACHERS' PRACTICE
Publication or External Link
Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers widely recognize teacher quality as the school-related factor that has the largest influence on a child’s academic performance. While research has documented the central role that teacher quality plays in promoting student achievement, studies have not yet yielded a consensus on the factors that enhance teacher quality. Understanding which professional development practices prove most effective in addressing district needs can potentially impact how district leaders look to improve both teacher performance and teacher retention. Districts must assess the degree to which existing teacher development activities are helping teachers attain key skills.
The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine the impact of Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) on the teaching practices of non-tenured teachers as assessed by the teacher observation tool, Framework for Teaching (FfT). This study sought to identify whether there was a statistically significant difference in ratings from a teacher’s first to last formal observation after participating in PAR. In this mixed methods study, quantitative methods were used to examine formal observation data in order determine whether participation in PAR impacted the performance ratings of teachers. Furthermore, qualitative methods, in the form of interviews, were used to gain insight on a teacher’s perception about their participation in PAR and how it has impacted their instructional practices.
Results from this study confirm that there was a statistically significant difference in first to last formal observation ratings recorded for all of the eight instructional components tested. Furthermore, data showed that participating teachers believe that their participation in PAR positively influenced the improvement of their instructional practices.
This study enriches the literature on Peer Assistance and Review and the impact the program can have on teachers.