Using global observation protocols to inform research on teaching effectiveness and school improvement: Strengths and emerging limitations

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An essential feature of many modern teacher observation protocols is their “global” approach to measuring instruction. Global protocols provide a summary evaluation of multiple domains of instruction from observers’ overall review of classroom processes.  Although these protocols have demonstrated strengths, including their comprehensiveness and advanced state of development, in this analysis we argue that global protocols also have inherent limitations affecting both research use and applied school improvement efforts.  Analyzing the Measures of Effective Teaching study data, we interrogate a set of five potential limitations of global protocols.  We conclude by discussing fine-grained measures of instruction, including tools that rely on automated methods of observation, as an alternative with the potential to overcome many of the fundamental limitations of global protocols.



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How to Cite
Kelly, S., Bringe, R., Aucejo, E., & Cooley Fruehwirth, J. (2020). Using global observation protocols to inform research on teaching effectiveness and school improvement: Strengths and emerging limitations. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 62.
Policies and Practices of Promise in Teacher Evaluation
Author Biographies

Sean Kelly, University of Pittsburgh

Sean Kelly is a Professor in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.  He studies the social organization of schools, student engagement, and teacher effectiveness.

Robert Bringe, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Robert Bringe is a graduate student in the department of Economics as the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  A former high school teacher, he is interested in studying policies related to teacher pay, teacher accountability and heterogeneous teacher effects

Esteban Aucejo, Arizona State University

Esteban Aucejo is an Associate Professor in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and a research associate at the Centre of Economic Performance.  He studies economics of education, labor economics and human capital development. 

Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Jane Cooley Fruehwirth is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a fellow of UNC’s Carolina Population Center. She studies teacher effectiveness, social context, educational inequality and mental health.