Key Points:

  • Teacher evaluation is central to both assessing and improving teacher quality. International research shows that teacher effectiveness is the most critical factor in determining student achievement.
  • South African teachers are near the bottom of world rankings for subject content knowledge, particularly in mathematics.
  • An integrated teacher evaluation model that combines teacher evaluations with productive feedback, student learning and professional learning opportunities can increase teacher effectiveness and thus student achievement.
  • Well-designed performance-based teacher evaluations, which assess on-the-job teaching based on multiple measures of teaching practice and student learning, are an excellent tool for measuring teacher effectiveness. By contrast, if teacher evaluations are poorly designed and implemented, they could prove detrimental to the most disadvantaged learners and produce a perverse incentive for teachers to avoid teacher low-performing students or in low-performing schools.
  • The need to improve learning achievement in South Africa is not in question, and the international research shows that an effective teacher evaluation system can help to achieve this – and more

Press Release: Teacher evaluation: lessons from other countries