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Teacher Development and evaluation in Portugal - RIIMC




António Silva
Fátima Braga

Riga, Latvia – 27th September – 1st October
    1. Is Continuing Professional
    Development of teachers compulsory?

    Yes, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of
      teachers is compulsory, in Portugal, since 2007,
      although we have since 2001 legislation that
      prescribe it.
    2. Who is the organisational body of

       The Central and Local Administration;
       The Scientific Council for Teacher Evaluation;
       The Scientific Council for Teacher Lifelong Learning;
       Schools and Teacher’s Training Centres;

       The Inspectorate does not contribute to the extent
        it was asked for the government to the delivery of
        the teacher evaluation model.
    2. Who is the organisational body of
    In the first evaluation cycle – 2007/2009 -, the national
      framework provided guidance for schools to set local
      performance standards and criteria.
    The evaluation domains needed to be further specified, in
      schools, with definitions and indicators.
    The main risk was the lack of comparability among schools,
      because they had diverse interpretations about the meaning
      and relative importance of different aspects of teaching.

    In the present cycle - 2009/2011 -, the role of the Scientific
      Council for Teacher Evaluation has been increased, and they
      are now constructing national performance standards, criteria
      and guidelines to guarantee the equity among schools.

    2. Who is the organisational body of
    •   There is still a clear tension between school-level standards
        for teacher evaluation and national-level consequences of
        teacher evaluation.

    •   It has been problematic to create some consensus about
        National Standards on teacher development and evaluation. So,
        schools are still waiting for them, in the middle of this
        evaluation cycle.

    •   Some analysts still claim that evaluation for career progression
        may not be effectively handled within an entirely internal
        evaluation system, even with National Standards to be used by

    •   We have a quota system that increase the controversy between
        internalism and externalism.
    3. How often CPD does take place?

    Teacher professional development and evaluation as a
      central concern
    •   In Portugal, teacher professional development is closely related
        to teacher evaluation.

    •   Teacher evaluation in Portugal is a vital step to improve the
        effectiveness of teaching and learning and raise educational

    •   Portuguese schools have a lack of evaluation culture.

    •   It was difficult for the Government to place teacher evaluation
        at the core of school reforms, in 2007.
    3. How often CPD does take place?

    Teacher evaluation as a mechanism to improve
      professional development
    •   Till 2007 we had a teacher evaluation model that was not
        achieving its purposes of professional development and was not
        improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning and
        raising educational standards. A new model was needed.

    •   Since 2007, we have cycles of two years. The first cycle of
        this new teacher evaluation model took place in 2007-2009, and
        it has been very controversial.

    •    In this second cycle (2009-2011) there is some consensus
        within the teaching profession about evaluation as part of a
        professional development process.
                     3. How often CPD does take place?

                     These cycles prescribe mechanisms for evaluating teacher
                       professional development at nodal points in a teacher’s career.
                     Teachers are evaluated in five levels: Excellent, Very Good, Good,
                       Regular and Insufficient. Excellent and Very Good are only
                       possible when classroom observation takes place:

                      1st       2nd           3th       4th           5th       6th         7th       8th       9th       10th
                      step      step          step      step          step      step        step      step      step      step
    Probatory year

                      4 YEAS    4 YEAS        4 YEAS    4 YEAS        2 YEAS    4 YEAS      4 YEAS    4 YEAS    4 YEAS    ---

                                Classroom               Classroom               QUOTAS,
                                observation             observation             if no
                                compulsory              compulsory              Excelent
                                                        QUOTAS                  Very Good

                      1.518 E   1.709 E       1.864 E   1.982 E       2.137 E   2.277 E     2.473 E   2.718 E   3.091 E   3.364 E
    4. What kind of CPD is offered?

    Improvement and accountability in teacher evaluation

    •   Teacher evaluation serves a double purpose: improvement and

    •   Evaluation for professional development seeks to improve the
        teacher’s own practice by identifying strengths and weaknesses
        for further professional development.

    •   Evaluation follows also the principle of merit on career
        advancement. It is a basis for recognition of a teacher’s work.
     4. What kind of CPD is offered?

     Evaluation in the school context

     •   Teacher evaluation is organised at the school level, takes
         account of the school context, and is mostly a process internal
         to schools;
     •   Also frequency of Courses, Seminars, Workshops, Research
         Projects (25h year).

         •   This has the advantage of giving the school some ownership of
             the evaluation processes and ensuring that all aspects are
             carefully considered by the school.

         •   This has two main problems:
     4. What kind of CPD is offered?

            The lack of pedagogical and organisational leadership
     •   There is no tradition that school directors exert pedagogical leadership of the
         school and take ultimate professional responsibility for the quality of education
         provided by the school.

     •   Due to the limited attention paid to specific pedagogical evaluation and
         management skills in their training, school directors do not seem to be
         adequately prepared for their new role as educational and human resource
         managers with a prominent role in school (self-) evaluation, school improvement,
         teacher performance evaluation and teacher career development.

     •   We need to make large steps in establishing a sustained leadership culture.

     •   We need to include the results of the teacher development evaluation in the
         evaluation of schools. In the next cycle of school external evaluation process,
         that begins in 2011-2012, the evaluation of the schools will include the
         monitoring of the effectiveness of the quality of teaching and learning at the
     4. What kind of CPD is offered?

            The lack of «open door» climate
     •   The current teacher evaluation system provides the opening up of classroom
         practice to constructive professional scrutiny.

     •   To be effective, evaluation for professional development requires a culture in
         which there is developmental classroom observation, professional feedback,
         peer discussion and coaching opportunities.

     •   In the Portuguese education system schools have little expertise in devising
         evaluation instruments and none in the area of lesson observation and
         evaluation (except in initial teacher training).

     •   Very little training provided to teachers so they understand the objectives of
         teacher evaluation and how to make the best use of evaluation results.

     •   This is compounded by an incipient culture of evaluation among Portuguese
         teachers. Few opportunities exist for reflection and the sharing of practices.

     •   This requires an ‘open-door’ climate of willingness to share classroom practice.
     5. What is the content of CPD?

     We have four CPD dimensions:

          Ethical, social and professional dimension;
          Pedagogical dimension (teaching and learning process);
          Functional performance of the teacher within the school and
           community commitment;
          Lifelong learning process.
     5. What is the content of CPD?

     Tensions between improvement and accountability

     •   Combining both the improvement and career progression
         functions into a single teacher evaluation raises difficult

         •   When teachers are confronted with potential consequences of
             evaluation on their career and salary, the inclination to reveal
             weak aspects of performance is reduced;

         •   These risks are compounded in the Portuguese context of lack
             of maturity of teacher evaluation.
     5. What is the content of CPD?

     The teacher evaluation model is comprehensive, includes most
       domains of teacher performance, a wide range of sources of
       data, and has a peer-review element (this recognises the fact
       that the demands on schools and teachers are becoming more
       complex and teachers have their areas of responsibility

     Classroom observation has a pivotal role in teacher developmental
       evaluation model.

     Self-evaluation has a key role: teachers express their own views
       about their performance, and reflect on the personal,
       organisational and institutional factors that had an impact on
       their teaching.
     5. What is the content of CPD?

     Evaluation: a way to improve practice and reward

          Appropriately teacher evaluation is intended to identify
           areas of improvement for individual teachers, and lead to the
           preparation of individual improvement plans which take into
           account the overall school development plan.

          Teachers are asked to fallow a national plan of professional
           learning – a credit system - that includes:
             Methodological and scientific areas;
             Sciences of Education;
             Information and communication technologies.
     5. What is the content of CPD?

     A problem: the legitimacy of evaluators

     •   Often evaluated teachers did not recognise legitimacy to
         evaluators - there is widespread concern about the competence
         of some senior teachers who were identified as evaluators.

     •   Some senior teachers expressed their lack of motivation,
         competences and preparation to carry out evaluation.

     •   Against what would be good practice, evaluators do not have
         the experience of being evaluated.

     •   There has been limited training for evaluators.
                Important role     Peer discussion   The director is      Influence of       Can schools
                of the             and coaching      an evaluator?        students results   choose the
                Inspectorate?      opportunities?                         on teachers        teachers?


                  Only in school                       Only for head of
     Portugal                           yes            departments and         no*                no

                Important role     Peer discussion   The director is      Influence of       Can schools
                of the             and coaching      an evaluator?        students results   choose the
                Inspectorate?      opportunities?                         on teachers        teachers?


     Austria          yes                                  yes                 yes
     Cyprus           yes
     Spain            yes                                                      yes
     Germany          yes
     Greece           yes               yes                yes
     Poland                                                 sim                                  yes
                  Only in school                       Only for head of
     Portugal                           yes            departments and         no*                no

     Romania          yes                                  yes
     United           yes                                                      yes               yes

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