- On 21-09-2012
In the previous blog post I shared that we need to develop new measurement and teacher development approaches that would actually lead to improvement in teacher performance rather than destroying it (as standardised test results appear to be doing).
In today’s posting I am going to explore the thinking behind the 3 rubrics I have co-created with one Australian school as an approach to supporting the development of teacher performance. A warning to you however, I am not saying this is THE ANSWER. This is one well-thought out approach. I invite you to learn what you learn from this!
Intention of the Performance Framework
The school had 3 major intentions for developing the teacher performance framework:
- To promote a culture of learning that considers the needs of the 21st century learner (our clients)
- To ensure that all staff are driven by a common pedagogy and pastoral care that is firmly rooted in their values.
- To provide a performance framework based on the Australian National Standards for Teachers that supports:
- teacher self-evaluation
- clarity around expectations, key work tasks and the necessary capabilities
- the identification, link to resources, and structured supportive coaching for areas requiring improvement
- the acknowledgement of excellence
- the development of a formal policy for managing unsatisfactory performance
- the alignment of employee behaviour with organisational behaviour
- the building of capacity that leads to outstanding performance
The Three Teacher Performance Rubrics
- Personal Capacity – Emotional Intelligence Rubric
- Relationships Capacity – Positive Relationships Rubric
- Pedagogical Practice – Curriculum Cohesion Rubric
As noted in the previous blog posting, a teacher can have some performance by being strong in one or two of the framework areas but the greatest performance will occur when all 3 are present.
Aspects to note in the Design of the Teacher Performance Rubrics
The rubrics are designed as behavioural rubrics. What they articulate is the behaviour the teacher would be displaying at different levels of development. We are still debating the naming of the differing levels (beginning, developing, capable, and exceptional) but we are clear we will have 4 levels.
The way the rubrics are laid out is in a progression of building behaviour. For example, a teacher at the Beginning Level would display a minimum acceptable level in a particular focus area (e.g. being a team member, etc.). We discussed that in any professional environment there would be minimum expected behaviours that would allow for an educational environment to function. A teacher demonstrating a Developing Level of behaviour in a focus area would demonstrate both the Beginning Level as well as the Developing Level behaviour, and so on.
Whilst the Beginning and Developing Levels are focussed on the individual’s capacity and behaviour, the Capable Level steps teacher behaviour into the sharing of their expertise, modelling, supporting others, etc. Exceptional Level behaviour involves the teacher leading and developing the focus areas in the school. We have deliberately designed it in this form so as to drive a team-oriented value-driven culture within the school. Research performed in a range of fields (including business management areas such as the Tribal Leadership work of David Logan et al, and Jim Collins’ Good to Great) all point to the importance of developing team-oriented value-driven cultures with organisations.
The final column in the rubric articulates the working party thoughts around some specific and measurable forms of evidence that teachers could use to demonstrate that they are at a particular developmental level in the rubric. Some of these proforma don’t exist yet. The idea is that the rubrics can be used in self-evaluation performance processes and the teachers would have to consistently be gathering evidence of their performance.
You will notice that two of the rubrics require two further publications:
- Common Practices for Powerful Learning: This is a curriculum guide that covers the school’s pedagogy focuses at the time (in this case Inquiry Learning, Differentiation, and ICT for Learning). This document would list the range of different practices with detailed examples, guides, and approaches teachers would use at differing expertise levels. This idea stemmed from a Powerful Learning Guide the Victorian Education Department in Australia has produced.
- Common Practices for Building Positive Relationships: The detail and practices of how teachers can go about building positive learning environments and relationships with students.
The intention of the 2 publications would be to collect all the appropriate documentation that may be in a range of places to have 2 powerful reference handbooks so teachers are consistent and clear about what the school values and will be focussed upon.
In Part 3 of this blog I will explore some of the thinking behind HOW the school is approaching implementing the rubrics. Also I will also address why we don’t include VAM, test scores, or specific student academic scores in the teacher performance framework. Finally I will explore how this performance framework relates to the body of research in other fields.
Feel free to give me feedback!