Every school and university requires the employment of competent teachers who are capable of guiding students to a successful future. It is with this intention that teacher evaluations should be compulsory by students at all levels.
While some say that the teacher evaluation by students must be done when a student is mature enough to participate in evaluating teachers, others say it must be made compulsory among all kids, irrespective of their age and maturity.
Let us examine what is the idea behind the teacher evaluation by students and whether there is a right age for this assessment.
Types of teacher evaluations
Education has identified the need for teacher evaluations and it is mandatory in many states in the USA. Some of the common approaches for evaluating the success of a teacher are measured through student achievement test scores, student assessment of teacher classroom performance, and tests for measuring teacher characteristics. In most cases, the teacher evaluation by students is highly unorganized making the whole process a failure.
For a successful evaluation, the tools adopted must be formative and summative. While the formative tool strives to enhance the teaching style of the teacher, the summative evaluation provides answers to the personnel decision. Irrespective of the age and maturity of the student, the evaluation criteria introduced must be measurable and easily identifiable by the student. It has to be effective and reliable, incorporating the changes in the educational system to be successful.
Appropriate time (and way) for evaluations
Is the teacher evaluation by students reliable? When is the student mature enough to participate in evaluating the teacher or should it be at all ages?
For the assessment of the general teacher, behavior like whether the teacher is partial, fair, autocratic or democratic, alert, impressive, harsh or kindly, understanding, etc., can be evaluated by the students irrespective of their maturity levels as these qualities are easier to understand. But some other general teacher behavior like whether the teacher is adaptable, narrow or broad-minded, uncertain or confident, stereotyped or original might call for greater levels of maturity.
Assessment modifications and clear criteria are two ways to adjust the teacher evaluation process so that students can participate.
- Introduce modifications into process
Depending on the level of student maturity, modifications can be introduced into the assessment system for the teacher evaluations. The students must be given the opportunity to judge the teacher based on their level of performance, individually and in a group.
- Prepare students with clear criteria
The next question is how to work with students to teach them about evaluating others. Understanding the different aspects mentioned in the evaluation form is essential to bring about successful assessment. If the essence of the criteria mentioned remains unclear, it will result in ineffective judgment.
Teacher evaluation by students can go a long way in enhancing the professional performance of teachers. Following an effective assessment tool is inevitable for the right analysis.