Teacher Evaluation: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review


What the resource is:
This resource is one of a series of OECD Education Working papers disseminating the results of studies to a wider readership. Here the focus is on analysing current practices regarding teacher evaluation together with a review of recent literature. The field examined covers both primary and secondary sectors. The study begins with a survey of the key features of teacher evaluation schemes in use and then proceeds to a more discursive and comparative approach looking at the challenges, advantages and effectiveness of the different schemes. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are employed to reach conclusions which provide a general overview as well as recommendations for future development.   


The aims of the resource:
The resource aims:


  • To present a survey of the key features of teacher evaluation schemes across the OECD education systems. This will also serve to update and expand  the corresponding Section in Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers published by the OECD in 2005
  • To compare different approaches to and purposes of teacher evaluation
  • To examine the quantitative and qualitative evidence regarding the impact of teacher evaluation schemes
  • To discuss the challenges of implementing effective evaluation programmes
  • To present a conceptual framework for teacher evaluation.


Key findings or focus:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey of current teacher evaluation schemes indicated a wide variety of approaches, purposes and methods. Differences are found in relation to the roles of key stakeholders, possible links to promotion, and what is meant by ‘good' teaching. The process of teacher evaluation is often fraught with controversy and debate. A clear distinction is presented between those programmes that were bureaucratic in origin and philosophy and those that were integrated with wider ambitions regarding professional development. Evidence indicates that successful outcomes at least partly depend upon the involvement of teachers through the development of the evaluation process, but it is recognised that such a complex approach is costly in both time and resources. This is partly due to the need for arriving at a definition of ‘good teaching' through a diverse set of evaluators and criteria. The paper concludes that real enhancement of educational quality can only be arrived at through evaluation programmes that are complex, inclusive and part of a broader vision of professional development. Useful examples of country specific teacher evaluation systems as well as a proposed conceptual framework are provided as Annexes.


The quality, authority and credibility of the resource from your subject perspective in relation to ITE:
Although the substance of this resource is not specifically ITE, it does have some resonance in any consideration of how and why professional development takes place. The wide range of evidence drawn from across the OECD countries is a strength of this paper although the author is a compiler rather than a knowledgeable expert per se. The comprehensive and rigorous exposition of the varieties of practice within the OECD area provides a reliable and valuable resource for the purposes of investigation and analysis.


The implications for ITE tutors/mentors - when and how it could have best impact:
This paper would be most useful as a resource that could be employed towards the end of the year when students are beginning to consider their future careers perhaps through the CEDP procedure. It would serve as a useful and interesting reference work in order to see how the performance management systems within the UK compare to programmes that are prevalent in other countries. The Annexes provide potential material for research and other enquiries in terms of international comparison as well as more discursive conceptualisation.


The relevance to ITE students - how and why it has importance:
This paper may be useful when you are about to move from your initial training into the Induction process as an NQT. The future experiences that you will have as a beginning teacher and the ways in which your performance will be developed and evaluated mean that thinking about the purpose and variety of such schemes across the OECD area will furnish you with an appreciation of shared concerns and challenges.


Reviewed by

Karl Cain


Related Resource:
The following might be useful to read in conjunction with this resource:

Institute for Public Policy Research (2008) Those who can? Executive Summary. London, IPPR



Fullan, M. (2007) The New Meaning of Educational Change (4th edition). London, Routledge

Van de Grift, W. and Houtveen A.A.M. (2006) Underperformance in Primary Schools School Effectiveness and School Improvement, No. 17 (3) pp. 255-273


Teacher evaluation, Teaching quality, Teacher motivation, Teacher performance, Recruitment and retention

Authors :

Marlene Isore

Source :


Publisher :

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Article Id :


Date Posted: