British Council launched a publication showcasing the results of research recently conducted on teacher evaluation policies and practices in India.
The research involved an analysis of current policies and tools, drawing on the experience and knowledge of representatives from over 20 organisations and government agencies, all involved in teacher education projects and programmes in India. Four focus groups with teachers in Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were also conducted, ensuring that their voices and concerns were also represented in the summary report.
The report concludes that there are a variety of different evaluation tools and processes being followed across the India, but there is a lack of consistency around the quality of their implementation. Furthermore, there is limited use of clear criteria to assess teaching quality: the first step to identifying these criteria is to have a shared understanding of what good teaching looks like. The tools and processes used for evaluating teachers need to be agreed with the teachers themselves, with those who conduct evaluations carefully trained to ensure fairness, transparency and useful feedback. The results of teacher evaluations need to be linked to professional development opportunities to ensure longer term development of the quality of teaching. Finally, using learner outcomes as a measurement of teaching quality is logical but problematic, given the many factors that can influence test scores. It is recommended that this is therefore used as just one of several sources of evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher.
The report Exploring teacher evaluation practices in India – A case study was launched by Shri Sanjay Awasthi – Member Secretary National Council of Teacher Education, along with representatives from the British Council, the National University of Educational Planning and Administration and other education-focused organisations.
This case study follows on from a detailed review of the literature around teacher evaluation practices that are employed globally, written by Professor Simon Borg – Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, UK, and Bergen University College, Norway. As Professor Borg states, ‘The quality of education that students receive is influenced by several factors, but key among these is the quality of their teachers. A significant concern for educational institutions and organisations, therefore, is how to assess and improve the quality for the teachers they employ.’
Mr Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India, said, ‘providing a unique summary of current initiatives, tools and processes used in teacher evaluation in India, we hope to contribute to the growing conversation around this important area. By supporting teachers to reflect on current practices and continue learning and improving, we can ensure better learning outcomes from young people across the country, leading to prosperity and development for all.’