New Trends in Teacher Evaluation
In this article, Danielson reviews some of the most recently-developed (or revised) systems of teacher evaluation and shares certain important characteristics: Differentiated procedures for novices and experienced teachers. Typically, teachers new to the profession and/or to a school district, receive more intensive support and supervision than do experienced teachers. Multi-year evaluation cycles for experienced teachers. In many new systems, experienced teachers are formally evaluated only every three, four, or even five years. In the other years they engage in self-directed professional growth, frequently with colleagues in a study group. Required activities that promote professional learning. Whether discussing an observed lesson, or analyzing student work, or selecting samples of family communication to include in a professional portfolio, teachers engage in activities, as part of the evaluation process, that engage them in reflection and conversation about their practice. To the maximum extent possible, these activities also represent a "natural harvest" (to borrow a concept from the National Board) of teachers' work; that is, what they do for their evaluation is not extra work.