Excavating theory in teacher evaluation: Implementing evaluation frameworks as Wengerian boundary objects





teacher evaluation, social learning theory, communities of practice


The purpose of this paper is to begin to excavate the unstated theoretical underpinnings of teacher evaluation systems as they exist in policy and practice and to explicitly consider how these evaluation systems might intersect theoretically with social learning theory. Research suggests that organizational leaders believe growth-based evaluation practices have yet-untapped potential to support teacher learning within teacher communities. However, models of teacher evaluation, as defined in federal and state policy and developed and implemented in practice, rarely make explicit the theoretical and conceptual frameworks upon which they are based. Further, evaluation models do not explicitly intersect with the conceptual frameworks for such learning, e.g., communities of practice (CoPs) and social learning theory. Rather, the role of teacher evaluation in social learning within and across educational organizations remains under-theorized. We argue for research examining potential connections in theory and practice between two existing conceptual frameworks: 1) social learning theory and 2) teacher evaluation systems (understood as policy, models, and practices).


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Author Biographies

Kelley M. King, University of North Texas

Kelley M. King is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant Department Chair for Initial Certification Programs at the University of North Texas. Her research interests include the history and politics of schooling and education reform, with particular focus on the lives of teachers and education for democratic citizenship. Prior to coming to UNT, she worked for ten years as a public school teacher in Texas.

Noelle A. Paufler, Clemson University

Noelle A. Paufler is an Assistant Professor -P-12 and the Program Coordinator for the Ed.D. in Education Systems Improvement Science at Clemson University. She has experience as a high school social studies teacher, district administrator, and applied researcher in high-need districts and schools. Her research interests include K-12 educational policy, specifically how educational leaders enact accountability policy into practice and its impact on teachers and students.




How to Cite

King, K. M., & Paufler, N. A. (2020). Excavating theory in teacher evaluation: Implementing evaluation frameworks as Wengerian boundary objects. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 57. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.5020



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