Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Gary Houchens (chair), Marguerita DeSander, Kimberlee Everson

Degree Program

Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Research identifies two purposes for teacher evaluation: measurement and professional growth; however, the literature provides limited research on the impact of the post-observation conference in teacher evaluation on professional growth (Marzano, 2012). The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to examine the perceptions of Indiana public elementary school principals on the impact of the post-observation conference on professional growth of teachers. The study uses an Elementary Administrators’ Background Questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to gather an in-depth understanding of administrators’ perceptions.

Four research questions framed this study as I examined public elementary school administrators’ perceptions of post-observation feedback within the teacher evaluation model. The first question examined the importance of the administrator-teacher relationship on the impact of the evaluation process. Data collected identified the importance of the principal and teacher relationship in the evaluation process. In addition, principals also expressed concern over the ability of the evaluation process to identify strengths of the teacher.

The second research question examined how administrators prepare, conduct, and follow-up on evaluation conferences with teachers. Principals expressed a little more disagreement over their ability to provide effective feedback, resources, and professional development suggestions. The semi-structured interviews highlighted feedback focusing more on classroom management topics rather than curricular and instructional issues.

The third research question asked administrators to share their experiences with the post-observation conference and how it produced improvement in teachers. Data from the questionnaire and the semi-structured interviews demonstrated a concern over the inability of the evaluation tool to differentiate teachers’ abilities. The participants in the interviews shared examples of their personal stories of assisting teachers to improve their skills through professional growth, mentoring, and coaching.

The final research question explored principals’ perceptions on whether the teacher evaluation system impacted professional growth of teachers. Principals once again expressed their lack of comfort with providing effective feedback to assist teachers in professionally developing. Participants in the interviews shared they usually rely on mentoring from veteran teachers or coaching cycles from corporation instructional coaches. The final chapter examines how the study’s implications can impact educators and researchers to educate administrators and revise the evaluation system to improve the professional abilities of teachers.


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Teacher Education and Professional Development