Title

The role of the head teacher in teacher evaluation: a case of a public secondary school in Kenya

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nicholas Wachira

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Marriote Ngwaru

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Joseph C. Oonyu

Department

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa

Abstract

One major emphasis in the educational arena in the 21st century has been decentralization of teacher management roles. Centralized structures have proven to be particularly weak in day- to – day teacher management roles such as teacher evaluation. As a result, teacher evaluation in schools has evolved into a primary role for head teachers who are instructional leaders. The objective of this study was to explore how the head teachers are fitting into this role. This study explores “the role of the head teacher in teacher evaluation”. The study was carried out in a public secondary school in Kenya and adopted a qualitative research approach. Methods of data collection included semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis. Research participants included a head teacher, eight heads of departments and three teachers. The findings of the study indicated that the head teacher employs various strategies and relies on a variety of sources to obtain data for teacher evaluation such as teacher professional documents, students’ reports, and classroom observation. However, several challenges hinder her efforts. These challenges include lack of time, lack of expertise, lack of funds and teachers’ resistance to change. It is therefore suggested that if teacher evaluation is to enhance professional practice and increase students learning outcomes, it must comprise three essential elements; a clear definition of good teaching (the “what”), multiple, fair, and reliable methods to elicit evidence of good teaching (the “how”) and trained evaluators who understand the purpose of evaluation (the “why”).

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