Teacher appraisal: Perceptions of Barbadian teachers and administrators in primary and secondary schools

Marguerita Rosetta Alleyne

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of teachers and administrators at the primary and secondary level as they relate to teacher appraisal, as well as to investigate various areas of appraisal such as the frequency of appraisal and teacher participation in the development of the appraisal process. The dependent variables were teacher appraisal factors--professional development, formative appraisal, feedback and accountability--derived from the sample through the use of exploratory factor analysis using principal components with varimax rotation. The independent variables were age, gender, educational level, type of school, school size, number of years in education, current position, and number of years in the current position. The participants of the study were 641 educators currently active within the system. Four hundred and twelve (412) teachers and two hundred and twenty-nine (229) administrators completed the survey instrument--Teacher Appraisal Survey (TAS) during January to March 1999. The researcher used exploratory factor analysis to identify the appraisal factors for the sample after adequate data fit with an a priori theoretical model was not identified using confirmatory factor analysis. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to examine differences among the groups on the appraisal factors, then regression analysis was used to determine the set of independent variables with which there was a relationship between the groups and the appraisal factors. The results of the study revealed the following: (a) there were significant differences between teachers and administrators at their respective levels on the feedback and accountability factors; (b) there were significant differences between administrators at the two levels on the professional development, feedback, and accountability factors, with the administrators at the primary recording higher means for all three of the factors; (c) there were no significant differences between teachers at the two level on any of the appraisal factors, however, there was a significant relationship between educational level and formative appraisal among teachers; (d) there were significant relationships between the appraisal factors and the independent variables of educational level, school size, number of years in education, and number of years in the current position among administrators at the primary level; (e) there were no significant relationships between the independent variables and appraisal factors among administrators at the secondary level. Participants in the study identified as some of the weaknesses in the present system of appraisal, the lack of emphasis on formative appraisal, the limited opportunities for their involvement in the shaping of the process, and the absence of upward appraisal. Several recommendations were therefore appropriate from the findings of this study: (a) increased training in appraisal techniques and procedures for both teachers and administrators; (b) the urgent introduction of a formal appraisal system; and (c) upward appraisal should be introduced as soon as possible.