Special and General Education Teachers’ Assessment of Their Participation in a Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Program Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Lopes, Alexandre

abstract

  • Traditional teacher evaluation systems have failed to (a) show variations in teacher effectiveness, (b) determine teachers’ professional development needs, and (c) align evaluation of teacher effectiveness with compensation, retention, and dismissal. Furthermore, traditional teacher evaluation systems have failed to establish teaching practices that positively affect student learning - an issue of critical importance for students with disabilities.

    The literature indicates that Peer Assistance and Review (PAR), grounded in social network theory, is regarded by many as a viable option to compensate for the disadvantages of traditional teacher evaluation systems. PAR has the potential to provide (a) frequent and meaningful observations, (b) adequate feedback, and (c) continuous assistance in the areas in which teachers need to improve.

    This dissertation study examined special and general education teachers’ assessment of their participation in a PAR program taking place in a large urban school district in the Southeast region of the United States. The research questions central to this study are the following: (a) How do special education teachers and general education teachers rate the extent to which their participation in a PAR program impacts their teaching?, (b) Is there a statistically significant difference between the manner in which special education teachers and general education teachers rate the extent to which their participation in a PAR program impacts their teaching in targeted areas? and (c) How do special education teachers describe their experiences as a participating teacher in a PAR program?

    A mixed-methods sequential explanatory design was selected to conduct this dissertation study. In order to answer the first two research questions, the researcher conducted a survey with special and general education teachers who participated in a PAR program. Furthermore, in order to answer the final research question, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with special education teachers who participated in the program. Descriptive statistics and t-tests for independent samples were conducted with survey responses, and a constant comparative method was used to analyze the interview data.

publication date

  • March 21, 2018

keywords

  • General Education
  • PAR
  • Peer Assistance and Review
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Evaluation

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)