Date

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Comparative and International Education

First Adviser

Wiseman, Alexander W.

Abstract

A teacher quality discourse has emerged, disseminated globally by a network of international organizations. Reform efforts, therefore, have become institutionalized in the global sphere, making it increasingly likely that educational systems adopt similar models to improve the quality of their teaching force. Although the accountability functions of individual teacher evaluation have often been given primacy in policy documents, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and development-oriented principal observation and feedback are increasingly promoted as means by which to develop teacher quality. Despite the diffusion of these policy strategies, there is little international research to determine their effectiveness.The purpose of this study is to examine global trends in the relationships between social capital reforms and teacher self-efficacy (TSE), as a proxy measure of teacher quality, in an international model of 31 countries. Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM) is used to test a normative policy logic that two reform strategies, conceptualized in this study as horizontal and vertical social capital reforms—PLCs and principal observations and feedback, respectively—impact TSE in instruction, student engagement, and classroom management. Teacher and principal survey data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 were used in the analyses. Results indicated a significant and positive relationship between PLC components, including reflective dialogue, collective focus on student learning, and collaborative professional activity and TSE. No relationship, however, was found between principal observation and feedback and TSE. Findings suggest that investing in the development of teachers’ social capital, in policy and practice, is a worthwhile endeavor, and that PLCs may be a sustainable model of supervision that promotes the collective capacity of teachers to provide all children with quality learning opportunities.

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