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Title: eacher evaluation policies and practices in Kuwaiti primary schools
Authors: Aljenahi, Nadia Bader E. A.
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Governmental reform of Teacher Evaluation (TE) policies is a currently global phenomenon. Evidence indicates that evaluation of teachers can be the catalyst to improving the professional standards of staff. Working within the critical realist paradigm, this research investigates the causal power that can enable, or constrain, teacher agency and professional development through teacher evaluation mechanisms in primary schools in Kuwait. An examination of current teacher evaluation policies from two perspectives is provided: policy as ‘text’ and policy as ‘discourse’. In the analysis of policy as text, the research includes a critical comparative analysis of the operation and conceptual basis of teacher evaluation in Kuwait and England. Allied to evidence from literature on existing teacher evaluation practices, it can be concluded that cultural and economic factors are the most important variables to be considered in any comparative review of systems. This research adopts a mixed methods approach to examine the contribution of teachers’ evaluation policies to the improvement in the professional levels of primary schoolteachers. The empirical quantitative and qualitative data was collected through a questionnaire administered to a sample of 475 primary school teachers, from 19 schools, in four districts. Interviews were conducted with 12 primary school teachers, from 4 schools, and 4 supervisors, all from one district. The research findings revealed similarities between certain conceptually based policies in England and Kuwait. Both identified the purpose of TE as being to improve and evaluate teachers’ performance, through classroom observation. In both countries, the line-manager is considered to be the main player in the process. Teacher effectiveness is judged on the basis of a pre-determined set of criteria. Finally, each has a commitment to an annual evaluation cycle ending with a summative report. However, the major difference between the two countries lies in the interpretation of what constitutes an effective teacher and how the summative report is used. The empirical findings highlighted the perception by teachers of their marginalisation from the TE mechanism in the Kuwait. Nonetheless, approximately 67% of the teachers in the sample felt that the evaluation process was fair and useful, and 55% considered it led to an increase in job satisfaction. The research concludes with recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the TE mechanism in Kuwait, based on an analysis of participants’ responses ii and the conclusion that teachers, and those working directly with them, are best placed to identify strategies for improvement.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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