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