AbstractThe subject of the dissertation
This dissertation focuses on a controversial area of quality management in education: teacher-appraisal. The research is set in the Hungarian maintained sector secondary educational context but with an outlook on developments on the international scene.
The ultimate objective of the investigation is to examine and theorise how an appraisal system needs to be linked to a specific context and the norms which professional teachers have in that context. In order to achieve this I designed, piloted and critically analysed an internal secondary school teacher appraisal scheme which is based on (i) a systematic in-depth review of the relevant academic background and (ii) the comprehensive study of the specific context.
The nature and scope of work undertaken
The project consists of two closely related phases.
Phase 1 is a four-part preliminary study, which lays the theoretical foundation for the second phase of the investigation by exploring the distinctive features of the Hungarian context and surveying the available academic knowledge of the subject.
The first part is a review of the current context for teacher appraisal in Hungary, the second part is a comprehensive review of both the Hungarian and the international literature on the most controversial appraisal-related issues, the third part is a review of some selected earlier and existing models of appraisal, and the fourth part presents and evaluates a set of large scale surveys of the opinions of three key cohorts of stakeholders (teachers, pupils and their parents) in Hungarian secondary education.
Phase 2 consists of two overarching sections, which uses the knowledge acquired in Phase 1 in order to obtain direct experience of how this knowledge can be applied in a specific context. My purpose in this phase is to devise, analyse and evaluate a teacher appraisal scheme which is theoretically well-founded, reasonably practicable, and in full compliance with the norms and the specific legal and moral requirements of Hungarian education.
The first part, building on the findings and conclusions of the first phase of the investigation, draws up the general theoretical principles and practical details of a proposal for a pioneer secondary school teacher appraisal scheme. The second part describes in detail the piloting of this scheme on a small but typical population, and presents the analysis and discussion of the data from both the piloting proper and the follow-up review of the piloting process.
While findings from the pilot seem to have confirmed the validity of the proposed scheme, they have also revealed that the sociological-societal environment (lack of motivation and lack of resources) might prove to be a serious obstacle in the path of the introduction of appraisal in secondary schools in Hungary.
Contribution made to the knowledge of the subject treated
On the basis of empirical evidence from the research, it was possible to (i) establish a general theoretical framework that can provide a sound basis for a conceptual model for linking teacher appraisal to specific contexts and the norms stakeholders have in that context, and (ii) develop a practical methodology for a design process which can help administrators devise an appraisal scheme which conforms to the accepted norms of stakeholders in a particular educational context. This design process can be divided into two distinct phases: generalising a methodology for formulating a roughly-tuned national-level proposal on the one hand, and establishing a standard procedure for the local-level fine-tuning of this proposal to the specific contexts and norms of a particular institution on the other.
|Date of Award||May 2005|
|Supervisor||Norah Jones (Supervisor)|