Evaluating music teachers: a comparison of evaluations by observers with varied levels of musical and observational background
Hirokawa, Joy Ondra
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The purpose of this research was to examine the differences in the evaluations of music teachers conducted by individuals with varying backgrounds in music and observation techniques. Part I compared evaluations completed by school administrators and music department leadership. Part II utilized the findings of Part I to create focused and specific training in the observation of music teachers, and examined the effect of this training on the evaluations completed by participants with little or no musical background. In Part I, Pennsylvania public school administrators and music department leadership (N = 63) utilized a Teacher Observation/Evaluation Instrument (TOEI) for which they watched a 14-minute video of a teacher leading an ensemble, evaluated the teacher utilizing the Teacher Observation Rubric (TOR), and completed an attitudinal/demographic survey. No statistically significant differences in the evaluation scores were found. However, there were numerous subtle differences that suggested individuals with musical background were more attentive to aspects specific to the music classroom that may have influenced their evaluations. These included acknowledgement of Content Knowledge and Instructional Strategies specific to music, and Context Specific Teacher Characteristics. In Part II of the research, administrators without musical background (N = 5) participated in a pretest-posttest quasi-experiment. The pretest and posttest utilized the same TOEI as Part I of the study. The intervention consisted of 75 minutes of training in the observation of music teachers using information identified and found important in Part I of the research. A comparison of the means and SD pre- and posttest showed a positive increase in their scoring, with trends present in four categories. While not statistically significant, this suggests that some factor, potentially the training, influenced a broader approach to responses on the posttest. Comments by the participants support the evidence that posttest, they were more attentive to music specific attributes.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University