Teacher Educators Evaluation Model

Aliasghar Ahmadishokouh, Gholamreza Kiyani, Parvaneh Shayestehfar

American Journal of Educational Research

Teacher Educators Evaluation Model

Aliasghar Ahmadishokouh1,, Gholamreza Kiyani1, Parvaneh Shayestehfar1

1Applied Lingiustics, Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, Tehran

Abstract

This study was an attempt to shed light on the requirements of components of a teacher educator evaluation model. To this end, 6 branches of Farhangian University, which is the mother University for training pre-service and in-service teachers in Iran and has some branches in different parts of Iran, were randomly selected. A number of 545 teacher educators and student -teachers from these centers were participated in this study. They were both males and females. They were asked to fill a five-Likert scale with 68 items, which was designed based on the American Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) standards, for teacher educators in 2009. To answer the research questions the model went through the process of validation. Expert and content validity of the model were proved. For the process of standardization, data gathered from 5-likert scale questionnaires was given to Amos 18 and SPSS 22. The result from the SEM showed that the goodness of fit for the proposed model was very high. Furthermore, all items showed very high loadings on their latent factors. And the model was confirmed satisfactorily and none of the items was removed. Moreover the result showed that major does not play a significant role in Iranian teacher educators' attitudes toward the evaluation model.

Cite this article:

  • Aliasghar Ahmadishokouh, Gholamreza Kiyani, Parvaneh Shayestehfar. Teacher Educators Evaluation Model. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp 210-220. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/4/2/10
  • Ahmadishokouh, Aliasghar, Gholamreza Kiyani, and Parvaneh Shayestehfar. "Teacher Educators Evaluation Model." American Journal of Educational Research 4.2 (2016): 210-220.
  • Ahmadishokouh, A. , Kiyani, G. , & Shayestehfar, P. (2016). Teacher Educators Evaluation Model. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(2), 210-220.
  • Ahmadishokouh, Aliasghar, Gholamreza Kiyani, and Parvaneh Shayestehfar. "Teacher Educators Evaluation Model." American Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 2 (2016): 210-220.

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1. Introduction

Competence in teaching, as in all professions, is shaped significantly by on-the-job experiences and continuous learning. Prospective teachers gain a foundation of knowledge about pedagogy and subject matter, as well as early exposure to practical classroom experience during their learning time as student-teachers. Therefore, the quality of people, who prepare these student-teachers namely teacher educators, can be the early and important contributor to the quality of teachers and their students. So, evaluating the quality and effectiveness of teacher educators is a necessary ingredient to improved teaching and learning [25].

Although much has been done in the area of teacher education assessment and different models have been proposed for evaluating Iranian teachers, but, to the best of my knowledge there is no comprehensive and localized model for evaluating Iranian teacher educators. Therefore this study is an attempt to develop a model for evaluating Iranian teacher educators in general and ELT teacher educators in particular.

A thorough review of literature indicates that the first phase for every teacher evaluation model is determining the standards for teachers. As Darling-Hammond [16] puts it, standards are based on the shared understanding of a good teacher, so they eliminate the problem of subjectivity in evaluation. At the same time they are comprehensive enough to include all aspects of teaching profession [19]. Another merit for standard is precision. They are developed precise enough to be clearly used for the evaluation and education purposes.

Teacher educators are teachers of teachers and students of teaching. Therefore what applies to teachers is equally relevant to teacher educators. So, the starting point for this research is making decision about a set of standards for teacher educators.

Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) in 2009 proposed nine standards for teacher educators namely: Teaching, Cultural Competence, and scholarship, professional Development, Program Development, Collaboration, Public Advocacy, Teacher Education Profession and Vision. The present study used these nine standards as its starting point, and tried to develop and validate a model for evaluating teacher educators based on these standards.

1.1. Significant of the Study

The significant of the study is a two-fold one. First the proposed model provided a base for teacher educator evaluators to have a broader perspective while evaluating teacher educator's knowledge and abilities. This is the first and the most important step toward designing an evaluation system in our country. Second it is hoped that the present evaluation model provide proficient teacher educators who are competent and aware of various aspects of teaching so that more favorable outcomes can be achieved that satisfies student teachers, institutes, families, and society.

1.2. Research Questions

In order to conduct this study the following research questions were raised:

1-What are the components of a standard-based teacher educators' evaluation model?

2- Is there any significant difference between the attitudes of Iranian ELT and none ELT teacher educators regarding this model?

2. Review of Related Litrature

Teaching is a multifaceted profession collaborating with psychology, sociology, critical issues, and many other factors at the same time. So if a teacher evaluator wants to have a broader view while evaluating a teacher, s/he should provide him/herself with a comprehensive checklist that encompasses various aspects of a teacher. The notion is that whenever a teacher acquires standards for teaching he/she can be called a qualified teacher that is capable of teaching a subject in a specific context [18].

Navidinia [26] states that the nature of teacher evaluation serves two important purposes. First being assured of the quality of instruction and the second is providing opportunity for teachers for further professional development.

Teacher educators share the responsibility of helping pre-service and in-service teachers to understand the rules of teaching and to apply them. So, it seems that evaluation of teacher educators is equally, if not more, important for educational organizations. Therefore providing a standard base for rating and ranking teacher educators is strongly needed.

The intended audiences for this research are teacher educators and those who work in teacher education. The main feature of the present exploration is to help evaluators and assessor to evaluate teacher educators with this standard-based evaluation model.

2.1. The Role of Evaluation in Education

Making evaluative judgment is a feature of social life. And it is not limited to education. But education plays a central role in human life, so it is essential to come up with a comprehensive evaluation model in education [31].

For evaluation of different aspect of the teaching and learning process it is quite important to make explicit the criteria used in our judgment, and to make them principled in our evaluation. Ill-prepared evaluations are likely to be unreliable, unfair and uninformative. So, we need to know why we wish to evaluate, what evaluation is for and how to organize it [18].

Evaluation may be planned for two main reasons. One motivation is its use as a means of explaining and confirming existing procedure. In this case, evaluation is used to obtain feedback about classroom practice. A second motivation for evaluation is to gain information to bring about innovation and change. Evaluation and innovation are therefore closely related concepts [20].

Evaluation makes teachers aware of the parameter in which they are working. Raising awareness in this way helps them to analyze the context for possible innovation [14].

2.2. How to Develop an Evaluation Model?

Designing a comprehensive teacher evaluation model is a difficult process, especially when there are few research-based models to consider. Identifying areas in which teacher practice can be improved and providing targeted professional learning opportunities to teachers should go a long way toward addressing the persistent achievement gaps in every society. Too often, teacher evaluation is seen as a mechanism for enforcing personnel decisions rather than cultivating effective teaching. To further the development of direct links between teacher evaluation and instructional improvement, countries need to nurture an educational climate in which evaluation is considered a fair and transparent appraisal, and teachers are highly invested in the process. The core of evaluation reform efforts should be human capacity building at all levels so that societies and schools can identify and learn from top-performing teachers, support discouraged and less successful teachers, and continue to develop all teachers toward their full potential (American Center on great teachers and learners,2014).

Danielson [9] asserts that an effective teacher evaluation system is more than a set of forms. It needs to be comprised of a clear definition of each domain of teaching, including clear and public decisions about what is acceptable performance, techniques and procedures that are capable of assessing all aspects of teaching, and trained evaluators who can make fair and consistent judgments based on evidence.

At the center of evaluation system are professional teaching standards that are linked to student learning standards, curriculum, and assessment, creating a seamless relationship between what teachers do in the classroom and how they are prepared and assessed. A productive evaluation system should consider teachers’ practice in the context of curriculum goals and students’ needs, as well as multi-faceted evidence of teachers’ contributions to student learning and to the school as a whole [11].

Darling-Hammond [11], proposed five key elements that are essential for designing an evaluation model:

1) Common standards for teaching that are related to meaningful student learning and are shared across the profession,

2) Performance assessments, based on these standards, guiding state functions such as teacher preparation, licensure, and advanced certification,

3) Local evaluation systems aligned to the same standards, for evaluating on-the-job teaching based on multiple measures of teaching practice and student learning,

4) Support structures to ensure trained evaluators, mentoring for teachers who need additional assistance, and fair decisions about personnel actions,

5) Aligned professional learning opportunities that support the improvement of teachers and teaching quality.

Berkley [4], provides a framework for establishing new systems of educator evaluation across four major elements:

A. Establish foundations for action. Effective educator evaluation systems are grounded in clear goals, a well-defined vision, sufficient legal authority, a well-developed capacity to gather and use data, strong processes for stakeholder engagement, effective communications strategies, and rigorous professional standards for teachers and leaders.

B. Design evaluation instruments

C. Establish systems for use of the evaluation.

D. Ensure effective implementation and continuous improvement.

As it can be seen in all above proposed ways for developing an evaluation model for teacher education, standards for teachers are the essential parts for every evaluation model for teachers. What applies to effective teachers is equally relevant to teacher educators. Therefore it is safe to say that for developing a teacher educator evaluation model we need to look for some standards which are supported by literature and expert in the field of teacher education.

As Darling-Hammond [16] puts it, standards are based on the shared understanding of a good teacher, so they eliminate the problem of subjectivity in evaluation. At the same time, they are comprehensive enough to include all aspects of teaching profession [19]. Another merit fort standard is precision. They are developed precise enough to be clearly used for the evaluation and education purposes. They have the ability to be useful for teachers at any level and provide them with areas that need to be improved. As Yinger and Hendricks-Lee suggest teaching standards can enhance the status of the profession by providing consensus on a shared knowledge base for practice that brings a basis for the professionalization of teaching and the provision of quality assurance and accountability to those outside the profession. Standards may be viewed as the engine that pulls along the knowledge base of the profession (Darling-Hammond, 2003, cited in [28]).

What goes for effective teachers is equally relevant to teacher educators. So developing an evaluation model for teacher educators, needs to be based on some international standards. As mentioned earlier, to the best of researcher's knowledge there is no localized and comprehensive model for teacher educators in Iran. So, based on the standards for teacher educators, determined by Association of Teacher Edccators [2], this research is an attempt to develop an evaluation model for teacher educators.

3. Methodology

3.1. Participants

A number of 545 Farhangian teacher educators and student- teachers' prticaped in this study. They were both males and females.they were asked to fill in a questinaire containing 68 items, which was developed based on ATE standards for teacher educators.

3.2. Results
3.2.1. RQ1: What are the components of a teacher educators' evaluation model?

The first question of the study dealt with the development of teacher educator evaluation model based on the standards for teacher educators.

As mentioned earlier in this study, standards are sine qua non of each assessement instrument. So, developing and promoting teacher educator standards is a key factor which works as a benchmark to which all teacher educators can aspire and by which they can measure their practice. Moreover, setting the standards of teacher educators paved the way for developing a model for evaluating teacher educators. Because evaluation, can be defined as an observed value compared to some standard (Stake, 1975).


3.2.1.1 Validity of the model

The existing nine standards (here taken as model constructs or factors) for teacher educators, therefore, can now be regarded as the theoretical basis for the teacher educator evaluation model. To examine how well the factor model and the empirical data match one another, it is essential to run a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). To this aim, the present study used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) procedures to specify its confirmatory factor model.

Figure 1 Standardized Model obtained from the Model Fit Assessment.

Figure 1. presents the measurement model for the variables of the proposed model

3.2.1.2. Goodness-of-fit of the model

A summary of the results of Goodness of Fit Indices are given in the Table 1

The detailed information of goodness-of-fit statistics related to the hypothesized model is presented in the following tables (Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4). In these tables, we observed that the overall χ2 value, with 2175 degrees of freedom, is 6062.287, and p-value=.000 which means that there is a significant difference between the hypothesized model and the real world. But Chi-square is very sensitive to sample size. If we have a very large sample size, the chi-square will certainly be significant. So, with large sample size we always reject our model, even if the model describe the data very well. Conversely, with a very small sample size, the model will always be accepted, even if it fits rather badly. Given the known sensitivity of this statistic to sample size, however, use of the χ2 index provides little guidance in determining the extent to which the model does not fit [7]. Thus, it is more reasonable and appropriate to base decisions on other indices of fit. Primary among these in the AMOS Output are the CMIN/DF, CFI, and RMSEA values.

CMIN/DF as one of the indices of goodness of fit, should have a value between 1 and 3(1< CMIN/DF<3). In this model based on the above table (Table 2), CMIN/DF=2.78 which observes the assumption of acceptable model fit.

Another index for "goodness of feet" is the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) which is equal to the discrepancy function adjusted for sample size. CFI ranges from 0 to 1 with a larger value indicating better model fit. Acceptable model fit is indicated by a CFI value of 0.90 or greater. It could be seen in the above table (Table 3), that CFI=0.91. Therefore it meets the criterion for acceptable model fit.

Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) is related to residual in the model. RMSEA values range from 0 to 1 with a smaller RMSEA value indicating better model fit. Acceptable model fit is indicated by an RMSEA value of 0.06 or less. The above table (Table 4) showed that RMSEA=.05 which means that the assumption of acceptable model fit is observed.

Inspecting the most important indices for Goodness-of-Fit showed a significantly fit model (CMIN/DF=3.183, CFI=0.988., and RMEAS=0.05). Better put, as all of these indices are considerably significant, the model is very good fit for the data.

In order to make decision about keeping the items of a model, we need to check Standard Error (S.E), Critical Ration (CR), and P-value. If the values of these three parameters meet the criteria (S.E. <1, CR>1.96, P-value (<0.05)), then we can keep the items. If the criteria are flouted for an item we need to remove it. The following table (Table 5) provide us with the above mentioned values:

Table 5. Selected AMOS Output: Parameter Estimates (regression weight)

As it can be shown in the above table (Table 5) and its relevant figure (Figure 1), all the criteria for keeping an item are met for all items. Meaning, for each indicator Standard Error (S.E) is less than 1, Critical Ration (CR) is greater than 1.96, and P-value is less than0.05. Therefore, statistically speaking, we are in a safe ground to keep all the items. And our proposed model is confirmed completely.

Table 6. Estimated factor loadings (Confirmatory Factor Analysis)

The results of the above table (Table 6) showed that none of the items of the proposed model has been removed from the instrument and all items showed very high loadings on their latent factors.

Based on the above result from SEM, it can be concluded that the popposed model is statistically a very fit evaluating model to be generalizable to the population of teacher educators. Therefore, this standar-based model which includes the nine standards namely, teaching, cultural, competence, scholarship, collaboration, program development, professional development, teacher education proffesion, public advocacy, and vision ,with 68 indicators (appendix A) is the standardized model for Iranian teacher educator evaluation.


3.2.1.3. Reliability of the model

The reliability of the instrument was calculated using Cronbach Alpha and the obtained reliability was 0.98, which is a high reliability index. The following table (Table 7) gives the reliability of the model in the pilot stage.


3.2.3. RQ2: Is there any significant difference between the attitudes of Iranian ELT and none ELT teacher educators regarding this model?

In order to answer this research question and test the relevant hypothesis, Independent sample T-test was used. The result of this statistical procedure are as follows:

The descriptive statistics of the two groups, presented in Table 8 revealed that the mean scores of the ELTs is 59.34, and that of None ELTs is 60.35. However, in order to check whether the observed differences could reach statistical significance, the data from the following table (Table 9), which is the main table of a T-test, was interpreted.

As it could be seen in the above table (Table 9), there is no significant difference between the mean scores of the ELT and None ELT teacher educators regarding their attitudes toward the proposed model for teacher educator evaluation. [t= -1.38, DF= 130, p= 0.16> 0.05]. So the first null hypothesis of the study is accepted. It can be found that there is no significant difference between the attitude of ELT and None ELT teacher educators toward the proposed model [t (130) =-1.38; p>05)].

4. Discussion

The results obtained in the three phases of the present research are in line with the purposes of the study. As for the first and second research questions which dealt with the validation phase of the model, it was concluded that Iranian teacher educators believe in this framework to be a model for evaluating teacher educators. Statistically speaking, more than 87.8 percent of teacher educators participated in this study agreed with the model.

The result from the confirmatory factor analysis showed that the goodness of fit for the proposed model was very high. Furthermore, all items showed very high loadings on their latent factors. And the model was confirmed satisfactorily and none of the items was removed. In the following section, standards and their indicators based on the valid and standardized version of teacher educators' evaluation model are discussed separately, and the rational and theoretical justification for each standards is provided.

4.1. Concluding Remarks

As it was shown in the previous sections, the proposed model for teacher educator evaluation was regarded as a fit model to be used as an instrument for evaluating Iranian teacher educators. Further it was concluded that ELT and None-ELT teacher educators have the same attitude toward this framework which means that this model could be a standardized model for all Iranian teacher educators. A final consideration is that teacher educators, as the outstanding elements in education system, must be evaluated and educated in a way that guarantee the prosperity of student-teachers and community.

4.2. Implications of the Study

The findings of this study have some implications for educational bodies and organizations.

Teacher educators would be the first group who can get the benefit from the finding of this study to evaluate their performance and abilities with these standards. Heads of universities, as the second beneficial group of this research, can use this framework for assessing their teacher educators' performances and selection of a "distinguished teacher educator of the year".

Also, both ministry of science and ministry of education can use this evaluation model as a reference to collect data on the performance, expectations, and working conditions of teacher educators for the following purposes:

1. Design a doctoral program for the preparation of teacher educators

2. Guide to the development of programs that are designed to prepare teacher educators.

3. Promoting dialogue among their members about the issues of teacher education.

4. Consider certification or assessment of the performance of teacher educators.

5. Selection of a Distinguished Teacher Educator of the Year

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Appendix A

Appendix A: The standardized questionnaire for teacher educator evaluation.

Dear reader,

Current literature indicates that, to help teacher candidates and so enhance student learning, accomplished teacher educators should meet the following nine standards (American Association of Teacher Education, 2009). This questionnaire was developed based on the above mentioned standards.To what extent your teacher educators have the followig features.Please put check marks in appropriate boxes for your answers.

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