Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Joseph Shedd


Mixed Methods Research, Performance Evaluation, Teacher Evaluation

Subject Categories



Teacher performance evaluations can serve two purposes: summative/accountability and formative/professional development. The current perception in the field is that performance evaluation systems predominantly focus on fulfilling a summative agenda over formative, which blurs the lines between the two purposes of evaluation (Popham, 2013). As a result, how evaluators and teachers react to evaluation ratings creates a disconnection between the summative and formative purposes and creates critical tensions between personnel being evaluated and evaluation systems. When this tension is felt, teachers and some evaluators feel that evaluation ratings cannot be used effectively for either purpose.A way to lessen the tension would be for evaluators and teachers to focus on the part of the evaluation process within their control, the evaluation-feedback conferences. During feed-back conferences, the evaluator and teacher discuss observations of the teacher’s practice. This discussion, in theory, should be formative and summative for helping teachers at “improving instruction, … assisting teachers to achieve their full potential, and improv[e] school culture and climate” (Willis & Ingle, 2015, p.71), and having teachers account for their own teaching decisions and the impact of their decisions on student learning (Peterson, 2004). The issue between which purposes feedback conferences serve raises questions about the impact of evaluation conferences over-all. A body of research literature focuses on educational performance appraisal and observation process/protocols, but most of this literature focuses on how administrators should conduct classroom observations, approach evaluation conferences, and assign evaluative ratings. There is a paucity of studies that consider or explore teachers’ experiences with how evaluators provide specific feedback from observations of practice, and how that feedback affects their practice. There is a small body of literature that uses feedback theory to explain teachers’ reactions to feedback, but that literature still shows a gap in understanding how teachers perceive the approaches evaluators use within the evaluation context when providing feedback on observations. The purpose of this study is to describe teachers’ experiences with evaluation feedback conferences and their perceptions of the impact those experiences have on their practice using a mixed-methods design. Analysis from qualitative data from interviews included in a Research Apprentice Project, quantitative data from an online survey on the dimensions of evaluation feedback conferences, and hybrid data (objective quantitative-subjective qualitative) from focus groups, all representing public school teachers who had an observation feedback conference with an evaluator, revealed teachers have complex, yet similar, perceptions of the evaluation conference experience. The data from this study has provided theoretical and practical considerations on how to conduct feedback conferences as part of an over-all evaluation system for teachers and evaluators that will have an impact teaching and learning, while also revealing the need for further research with a larger sample of teachers on the current directions evaluation feedback conferences across and between school organizations and districts in New York State.


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