SOCIOLOGY AND TEACHER EVALUATION


Although technical questions of teacher evaluation are the most frequently addressed by researchers, still other concerns need to be examined. The most technically excellent teacher evaluation system can be installed in a school district, but be doomed to failure if the sociological dynamics are not addressed. Sociological problems concern the effects of the larger social structure (e.g., expectations, norms, power) on the behavior of individuals and subgroups within that structure (Goodman, 1992; Homans, 1950, 1961; Larsen, 1962; Parsons, 1937, 1964). Sociological dynamics often describe the real world fate of teacher evaluation programs better than a systems analysis flow chart, theoretical formulations about effective teaching behavior or duties, or exhortations to increased professional behavior. Educational sociologists, such as Cusick (1973), Jackson (1968), Lortie (1975), and Johnson (1990), have shown how workplace culture powerfully shapes educational and evaluation practice. Sociological interventions in teacher evaluation largely determine whether the organizational structure elicits compliance and support for the technical procedures, or actions contrary to the goals of the organization and participant efforts to defeat the evaluation program itself. Sociological perspectives are under represented in most research and development in teacher evaluation.


Selected Sociological Constructs Having Implications and Applications for School Teacher Evaluation

 Alienation Control Expectation Norm
Anomie Culture Function Power
Approval Emergent Gemeinschaft/ Relationship
Author/Pawn phenomenon   Gesellschaft Reward
Authoritative Endemic Information Role
reassurance   uncertainty  Influence Sanction
Authority Energy Innovation Sentiment
Charisma Entrepreneurship Investment Status
Coercion Equilibrium Justice Symbol
Contract Exchange Leadership Value