By R.P. Chamberlin
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Extra resources for Failing Teachers?
Their criticisms may be justified, but coming after years of neglect or praise, they diminish the teachers’ confidence and lower their self-esteem. He claims: The possibility of future legal action stimulates administrators to withhold the kind of support that might facilitate improvement. It also prompts them to take actions (for example, extensive documentation, criticism and behavioral specification) which are apt to intensify the teacher’s anxiety and defensiveness. (pp. 72–3) Bridges quotes several administrators with views similar to those quoted below: ‘Do we really want to spend a great deal of time and money on improving a teacher who will be at best just one cut above mediocre.
The process of dealing with complaints is retrospective, and though barristers may be called on to recompense a client for past poor practice, they are not set targets or given time scales in which to improve the service they give. Nor is their practice in other court cases observed or evaluated. It is assumed that barristers who frequently gave inadequate professional service would not bring much business to their chambers and might attract unfavourable comment or action from the Head of Chambers, but as long as they do not engage in serious professional misconduct they can continue to practise their profession.
36). Further developments The situation in the US is not static. Attempts are being made to find better ways of evaluating teachers and helping them to develop as well as of imposing stricter standards and overcoming the obstacles to dismissing incompetent staff. DarlingHammond (1986, pp. 344–45) writes of the different policies being tried in different Districts, referring to one District in New York where teachers are involved in the drawing up of adverts for new teachers and in the selection process, which involves teaching demonstration lessons.
Failing Teachers? by R.P. Chamberlin