Mary Beth Lehmanowsky
Date of this Version
Walker-Arnold, E. R. (2019). Student Perception Data And Its Impact On Teachers (dissertation).
For as long as there have been teachers, there have been efforts to determine the most constructive way to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Research has shown that traditional administrator evaluations do little to improve struggling teachers and that most teachers nationwide are able to earn satisfactory ratings even when they are not performing in a satisfactory manner. This study aims to determine whether using student perception feedback as part of a comprehensive teacher evaluation process would lead to improved practice and targeted professional development. The following questions were investigated in this research: 1. Does student perception feedback drive teachers to reflect and improve their practice; 1a. How do teachers perceive student feedback for personal growth and administrative evaluation; 1b. Do teachers’ perceptions of student feedback change after receiving the data; and 1c. Does student feedback help teachers with targeted goal setting? For the purposes of this study, student perception feedback refers to survey results collected from students regarding teacher practices and classroom environments.
Study participants agreed to allow their students to provide feedback using a student perception survey. Before and after receiving the data from their students, participants answered survey items about how they perceive the use of student perception data, and at the end of the study, each participant took part in an interview. Researchers studied the pre- and post-surveys to determine whether teacher perceptions changed once they received the data from their students, and interview responses were analyzed to uncover themes and answer the overarching question: Does student perception feedback drive teachers to reflect and improve their practice? The study research shows that teachers were reflective when presented with their students’ feedback, and the majority of participants were willing to make instructional changes based on the data, even when they did not necessarily agree with their students’ responses. Implications from the study reveal that increasing teacher knowledge and understanding of the reliability and validity of student perception feedback instruments is an important step in order to gain teacher confidence and trust in this process.
Advisors: Mary Beth Lehmanowsky and Nicholas Pace