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Trusting Schools and Teachers

Developing Education Professionalism Through Self

ISBN13: 9780820486383

ISBN10: 0820486388

Publisher: PETER LANG AG

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  • Trusting Schools and Teachers: Developing Educational Professionalism Through Self-Evaluation emerged from a series of studies undertaken with teachers at various stages of their careers exploring the impact of a range of evaluation systems on their personal and professional development. The book begins with a comparative analysis of the rise of school and teacher evaluation, charting the trends conceptual and political influences, and highlights how the concept of self-evaluation has come, for a variety of reasons, to play a surprisingly large role in the emerging approaches to school and teacher evaluation. This is illustrated by a detailed analysis of the emerging system of whole-school evaluation in Ireland. Research indicates that while self-evaluation looms large in the systems theoretical framework, in fact, there is strong evidence that neither schools nor teachers have the expertise required to systematically self-evaluate. This book identifies methodologies designed to empower schools and teachers to become genuinely self-evaluating through the development of research skills in the context of online communities of practice.

  • Gerry McNamara

    Joe OHara

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    This is an extremely important and groundbreaking work of scholarship. The authors adopt a low-key, dispassionate tone, recognizing the validity of different positions on what they refer to as a spectrum of approaches to school evaluation. Yet the values of the work are clearly located in a concept of enhanced teacher professionalism. Perhaps most important, the book provides a blueprint for development that can facilitate both professional autonomy and public accountability. This book is an important contribution to the international literature on evaluation. It uses the Irish context not just as a case study but as an exemplar of how a serious engagement with educational politics can provide professionally satisfying outcomes. In doing so, it elevates educational evaluation from the realm of fraught political tensions to a site of teacher empowerment and professional fulfillment.

    - Gary Granville, Head of Faculty of Education, National College of Art and Design, Dublin

    Trusting Schools and Teachers offers informative insights into the complexities of developing and implementing meaningful school evaluation in the European Union but more specifically in Ireland. For an experienced U.S. evaluator and aspiring evaluation scholar, this book echoes similarly noted challenges to establish school-based evaluation communities led by school principals and teachers. Gerry McNamara and Joe OHara do not attempt to disguise the blemishes that were evident in the critically important educational evaluation efforts undertaken in Ireland via its Whole School Evaluation and Looking at Our Schools initiatives. Rather, they present these blemishes as opportunities for increasing their understanding of this new phenomenon of school-based evaluation in Ireland for the purpose of refining their future efforts.

    - Stafford Hood, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Psychology of Education, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Arizona State University

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Trusting Schools and Teachers

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