This mixed methods action research project focused on improving external teacher evaluators’ self-efficacy for providing effective feedback during teacher evaluation conferences. More specifically, this project explored how and to what extent an intervention of a professional development model influenced external teacher evaluators’ self-efficacy for providing effective feedback during teacher evaluation conferences and how the intervention influenced external evaluators’ perception of effectiveness when providing feedback during pre- and post- evaluation conferences.
Self-efficacy theory, sociocultural theory, and the community of practice framework informed the intervention. Six external teacher evaluators participated in the study from July through December of 2017. The professional development model consisted of cycles of community of practice meetings, buddy shadowing experiences, post-buddy shadowing reflective conversations, and personal reflection. Data were collected in the form of pre- and post-intervention surveys, pre- and post-intervention interviews, reflective journal entries, and Wordles.
The results from this study indicated an increase in the evaluators’ self-efficacy for providing feedback during teacher evaluation conferences and an increase in perceived effectiveness. Successful experiences of providing feedback during teacher evaluation conferences, experiences of observing and listening to other evaluators, and engagement in reflective conversations influenced external evaluators’ self-efficacy for providing effective feedback during teacher evaluation conferences. The external evaluators expressed value in the professional development experience. During the intervention, evaluators gained ideas and strategies to apply in their practice and engaged in high levels of reflection. Outcomes from the research project suggest two main implications for practice: professional development in the form of social learning and reflection as a process for growth.