In order to gather assessment data at a national level the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) employs practicing teachers to work as teacher administrators. These teachers spend a week training for this role and then work over a five week period in at least five different schools, implementing assessment tasks in specified curriculum areas.
This research investigates the perceptions of a group of teachers as they assume this new role, which requires changes in their interactions with students, teachers and other educational professionals. Data for this study was collected through a series of questionnaires, interviews and journal entries. The data revealed that although their training helped them with many aspects of their new role, some issues, such as working collaboratively with a partner, being flexible and transforming new knowledge into practice, caused difficulties for many teachers. The data indicated that perceptions of a role can affect the success with which a new role is adopted. These findings may have implications not only for NEMP but also for other professional development programmes that require teachers to take on new roles.
- How do teachers initially perceive the role of teacher administrator?
- How does NEMP administrator training affect these initial perceptions?
- How does the administrating process affect teacher perceptions of their role?
- Does observing other teacher administrators, whilst marking NEMP assessment data, affect the teacher's perception of the administrator role?
- What does NEMP require from the teacher administrator?
- How can any discrepancies between the requirements of the administrator role and the preparation for this role be resolved?
The impact of teachers' perceptions on their ability to assimilate aspects of this new role is difficult to quantify. However it is possible to ascertain the initial perceptions of teachers when assuming a new role and monitor their perceptions as they participate in the training process, and again when they implement this role. This research offers insights into the changing perceptions of a group of teachers and addresses the implications and challenges that arise for trainers when preparing teachers to assume a new role or adopt a different approach to their teaching practice.