The Partners in Evaluation Study is an ongoing project that will be used as a pilot and a rationale for future grant funding. Dr. Linnea Rademaker, Assistant Professor at National Louis University, and I are investigating a partnership model between National Louis University and the Skokie School District.
A significant part of this partnership is their use of action research in teacher evaluation. Early conversations with school leaders have indicated many teachers are excited about action research, but many also have difficulty with using data from their projects to inform teaching and learning decisions. This has many implications, significantly about the training of teachers in the skills and use of action research. Teachers need contextually-based practice in the collection, analysis and use of data.
The central process of this new teacher evaluation system is an inquiry-based project designed by and for the teacher, either independently, or in collaboration with other teacher-colleagues. Significantly, this new system has promise to revolutionize teacher evaluation within the climate of teacher and school accountability. We hope to provide insight into the workings of this system via “real-time” feedback from the teachers and administrators of Skokie School District, eventually developing a model that could be replicated within other districts that will allow for individual tailoring for contextual differences.
In order for us to gain understanding of teacher and administrator perspectives, we will interview a select number of teachers (volunteer, and at the school administration’s prerogative) and administrators, and also observe and document processes via videotape in classrooms. In this study, we document this process.