The introduction of new assessment strategies in South African schools underscores the need to improve the quality of education. Currently, many teachers are beginning to comprehend Outcomes Based Education (OBE) curriculum or its streamlined version, the National Curriculum Statement (NCS), moreover teacher quality needs are assuming centre stage. Teachers also perceive the necessity to embrace ongoing professional development. In the past, teacher evaluation was viewed with suspicion by educators who found it an advent of fault finding by district officials. There are still many teachers who resort to isolation in their classrooms than expose their classroom practice to “outsiders” including their colleagues. Among the intents of new assessment (that is linked to the NCS) are to: i. Identify specific needs of educators; ii. Provide support for continued growth; iii. Promote accountability; iv. Monitor a school’s effectiveness and v. Evaluate educators’ performance. This article focuses on the results of a case study and an investigation that was conducted to determine some of the factors that really impact on teacher quality in schools. For a period of 10 months the researcher observed the influence of peer evaluation on teaching in a secondary school. During the study it became apparent that peer evaluation needs to be taken seriously as a strategy of enhancing teacher quality. Professional development is strengthened immensely when teachers share their classroom experiences. Teachers never stop discovering. Discovering new skills, attitudes with peers and setting aside time for self-reflection are among the most crucial in moulding effective teachers.
|Keywords:||Peer Evaluation, Effective Practice|
Senior Lecturer, Advanced Studies in Education, University of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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