A hammer looking for a nail? 360 degree feedback and teachers

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John passed me an article in HR Magazine - http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1073499/performance-management-changes-teachers-aim-classroom-observations-prescriptive – which talked about using 360 feedback for teachers.  The article is well written and covers the new performance appraisal process introduced for teachers in the UK.  It was passed on to me with a "something is wrong here but I can't work out what".

I think the issue is that 360 degree feedback is generally a good way of gaining a broader perspective on how a person behaves or performs in the workplace but there are a few fundamentals.  And one of those fundamentals is that the people giving feedback must be in a place to regularly observe the performance/behaviour.

So, for head teachers and heads of department I can see 360 feedback from a range of teachers, support staff, and others working perfectly.  But 360 feedback on the teaching of the children/classroom performance has me concerned.  The only regular observers of the lessons are the children…and I'm not knowledgeable or qualified enough to understand whether getting children to give that sort of feedback is likely to improve classroom performance.  Any other contribution to feedback on the classroom performance is likely to be anecdotal or based on limited evidence such as lesson observation.

While I would advocate getting feedback on a teacher from more than one source (Head, Department head, etc.) it feels like using classic 360 feedback is a case of owning a hammer and seeing every problem as a nail.




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