Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Barbara Cruz

Co-Major Professor

Howard Johnston


Evaluation, Observation, Rating, Reform


As the evaluation of teachers becomes prominent in the current climate of educational reform, the details of teacher evaluation systems become important. The goal of the research was to gain perspective about a little-studied group key in education reform efforts to improve teacher evaluation--the peer evaluator. Teachers serving as peer evaluators were interviewed to reveal their perceived lived experiences before undertaking the role, benefits and challenges they perceived during the role, and their perception of how the experience will impact their future as educators. Extensive profiles of three peer evaluators were crafted based on in-depth interviews. The themes revealed from phenomenological reduction analysis included Idealism, Non-Collegial Reality, Valued Experience and Residual Optimism. The study found common elements in the backgrounds and interests of the participants, including previous leadership roles and a shared a sense of idealism entering the role. The study also found that participants' perceived expectations of being able to help fellow teachers were not fully met as they progressed in the role. Among the perceived challenges and benefits of being a peer facilitator, the study found that time constraints and dealing with non-receptive teachers were perceived as the most challenging for participants, while they valued seeing a "bigger picture" beyond a single classroom as beneficial. As such, the ability to see the bigger picture, along with being a good time manager and communicating well with teachers were perceived by the participants as being most useful in performing their jobs. Finally, the study found that the participants predominantly found their experiences as peer evaluators to be affirming of their previously held educational perspectives, and that the overall experience would impact their future performance as educators in positive ways.