‘Appraisal for teachers must be based on evidence’

National 1 minute, 59 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

PERFORMANCE appraisal for teachers must be based on evidence to prevent bias, urged a British consultant from the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Maggie Farrar, who was recently in Brunei for the Sixth National Education Forum, said documented evidence should underpin the appraisal tool for teachers through recorded data, students’ outcomes and test results.

“Or if the peer reviewer has come in to observe the lessons, I would want to see that lesson observation with criteria and very clear evidence of what the peer reviewer saw,” she explained.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Education (MoE) introduced the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) to evaluate the competencies of teachers in public and private schools. The new appraisal tool mandates all teachers to undergo lesson observations.

Developed on the Brunei Teachers’ Standards (BTS), the TPA takes a comprehensive look into the quality of teaching, student learning and achievements of teachers nationwide.

While the appraisal tool plays an important role in the education system, Farrar cautioned it must be undertaken “very carefully” and based on evidence. She advised aspects of peer review in the TPA to be moderated in a bid to avoid bias.

“The results of the peer review should go to a senior who looks at it to make sure it’s fair. It has to be fair and it should be moderated,” she said.

However, she pointed out the performance appraisal could be a beneficial tool if conducted properly as teachers can improve and learn from each other through the lesson observations. She said it could also help to build closer ties between teachers.

“If it’s done well, it’s very powerful... Use the BTS, use evidence so that it’s consistent, it’s documented, it’s recorded,” she reiterated.

It was previously reported the TPA will be conducted by school leaders and management teams. School inspectors will also observe teachers’ lessons as a way of triangulating the findings of their respective school leaders and management teams.

The first appraisal cycle began in January with five lesson observations, but subsequent TPAs will likely use different appraisal cycles based on each teacher’s level of performance.

To ensure effective implementation and sustainability, the school inspectors will monitor the use of the appraisal tool, in addition to providing continuing support for cascade workshop facilitators as well as school leaders and management teams.

The Brunei Times