Two new reports on teacher evaluation were launched this week. The first is a global literature review of teacher evaluation, which examines different ways of evaluating teachers and makes recommendations for teacher evaluation in ELT. One interesting insight from this report is that while the literature on teacher evaluation is vast, detailed accounts of its implementation in state sector ELT contexts is limited. What happens on the ground, then, remains somewhat of a mystery (in some cases, even to teachers themselves!).
The second report is an analysis of teacher evaluation in India. It provides an overview of some of the approaches to teacher evaluation which exist in the country and discusses the factors that need to be in place to make teacher evaluation work effectively in this context.
This attention to teacher evaluation in ELT is timely. Teacher quality affects learning outcomes and so improving teachers is key to improving learning. However, we cannot really help teachers improve without some sense of their current levels of competence, which is where teacher evaluation comes in. The challenge is to make teacher evaluation a positive and motivating experience for teachers and to use it in a way that both provides quality assurance and helps teachers improve.