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Two Women Talking

For Teacher Evaluations, Just Press Play

by Miriam Greenberg

eSchool News

Article excerpt

The benefits of adding video to teacher evaluations

One of the biggest challenges in K-12 education is finding an effective and productive way to evaluate teacher performance. In a world where technology is rapidly reshaping the classroom, it’s natural to look to its potential, especially considering that many schools now have the technology to do classroom observation via video.

Our take

Teachers: Now On Candid Camera!

The Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard has piloted a Best Foot Forward Project (BFF) to study how video might be used in teacher evaluation. Their work suggests benefits for both teachers and principals. Is this something you could incorporate in your school system?

The evaluation process can be stressful for even the most experienced and accomplished instructors. This study, though, through the use of a treatment and a control group to evaluate the efficacy of video in teacher assessment, revealed better results for those in the treatment group. Specially, teachers reported less adversarial conversations, more actionable feedback and greater insights into student responses and behaviors during their instruction. Teachers from smaller districts, though, reported less satisfaction with video observations, likely due to more frequent person-to-person observation. Still, the use of video observation seems to hold promise and is a relatively inexpensive option to adopt.