Learning Sciences International Blog Updates

Keep up with news about Dr. Marzano’s Teacher and Leadership Evaluation Models -- articles, state launches, and more.

Use the archive menu on the right to view previous releases.

Oct. 21, 2011

Celebrating Teaching through a Comprehensive Evaluation Model

By: Chris Kingsbery, M.S; M.Ed - Senior Staff Developer

Finally, a teacher evaluation model that recognizes the complexity of the teaching and learning process and focuses on the development of expertise over time! Dr. Robert Mazano’s Causal Teacher Evaluation Model is such an instrument and system. It moves away from the once-and-done obligatory and periodic classroom visit as the basis for teacher evaluation to ongoing constructive feedback over the course of a school year, which results in professional growth and documented positive summative evaluation.

Teachers I have worked with are heaving a sigh of relief about the movement to this formative evaluation system focused on professional growth. In districts across the country, teachers are telling me that focused feedback helps them improve practice and makes a difference for the success of their students.

The Causal Model is based on four decades of research into effective pedagogy and professional practice by Dr. Marzano and others. The research focuses on how teachers can design effective instruction to better ensure success for all students. It encourages teachers to examine their practice for areas of strength and areas of need, advocating that areas of strength be shared with others and areas of need be the focus for improvement over time.

The Causal Model encourages collaboration to improve teaching practice for all teachers and ultimately success for all students. This collaboration is both vertical and horizontal. In this model supervisors collaborate with teachers and provide frequent, meaningful and actionable feedback. Educators support one another’s growth and development by visiting each others’ classrooms and working together on lesson and unit design.

In many districts that I support, teachers welcome the opportunity to share lessons and collaborate on successes and failures without retribution. Teachers I have worked with in Florida and several states in the Midwest are embracing the opportunity to collaborate to improve results. They are finding ways to meet and working with administrators to reconfigure schedules to find common planning time.

This is truly job-embedded professional learning that will make a difference not only to teachers, but to the students in their care.  The Causal Model provides teachers with unprecedented control over their own evaluation. It allows teachers, supervisors, and instructional support professionals to work together to determine specific areas on which to focus professional development, leading to systemic support for differentiated professional learning.

Administrators tell me they are very excited about the potential of this model to help them target support for individual teachers and utilize the talent in their own schools for modeling best practices. Several districts have set up mentoring systems for new teacher induction as a result of the increased collaboration the Causal Model stimulates.

Teachers I work with appreciate the collaboration and communication inherent in the model. Teachers in districts from North Dakota to Colorado and many districts on the East Coast are suggesting that having a say in their evaluation is a refreshing change.

The model identifies 60 elements of professional teaching practice that, when intentionally implemented, will develop expertise over time. Each of these elements has a scale of performance that outlines four levels of practice ranging from beginning to innovating. The focus is on growth over time and recognizes and respects teaching for the profession that it is.

It encourages development of expertise in four main categories or domains of practice: Classroom Strategies and Behaviors, Planning and Preparing, Reflecting on Teaching, and Collegiality and Professionalism. Teachers I work with recognize that this model honors the comprehensive nature of their chosen profession.

As I work with teachers and administrators across the country I sense an appreciation for an evaluation model that respects teachers and gives them a chance to contribute to their evaluation. Teachers are very grateful for specific feedback they can act upon to make a difference. They are also grateful to know that.

The Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model recognizes the link between teacher expertise and student achievement and provides an opportunity for all teachers to become experts over time. This model invites teachers to the evaluation table and creates conditions that open the evaluation process to the stakeholders most affected…the teachers.

It is refreshing to examine a model that is a testament to the complexity of the job teachers are asked to perform and provides the means for support that will make a difference to professional practice, and ultimately, the academic success of children.

Visit MarzanoEvaluation.com and learn more about his Causal Teacher Evaluation Model

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Use the Archive menu to select and view previous releases.

    -Nov. 2, 2012: Teacher Evaluation: What’s Fair? What’s Effective?
    -Jul. 10, 2012: Oklahoma State Board of Education Approves Marzano School Leadership Evaluation Model
    -May. 8, 2012: Education Reform & Student Achievement: Learning Sciences Marzano Center Announces National Marzano
    -Apr. 12, 2012: Learning Sciences Marzano Center Launches as School Leadership and Teacher Evaluation Resource for N
    -Jan. 31, 2012: Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model Recommended by Oklahoma Department of Education
    • Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model Recommended by Oklahoma Department of Education

    -Jan. 11, 2012: Dr. Marzano Discusses Research Base and Insights from New Studies
    • New Live Webinar with Dr. Marzano 1/18 at 3pm EDT

    -Dec. 8, 2011: Informal Observations – It’s not a “Gotcha” Tactic
    -Nov. 10, 2011: Building Inter-rater Reliability and Accuracy into a System of Teacher Observation
    -Nov. 2, 2011: Teacher Evaluation with Dr. Robert Marzano and Boone County
    -Oct. 31, 2011: Dr. Marzano Webinar: Measuring and Improving Teacher Effectiveness Through Teacher Observation
    • Dr. Marzano joins us as a co-presenter to provide an overview of the Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model

    -Oct. 21, 2011: Celebrating Teaching through a Comprehensive Evaluation Model
    -Oct. 10, 2011: Dr. Marzano’s Evaluation Model alignment to Arizona’s Framework for Measuring Educator Effectiveness
    -Aug. 17, 2011: LSI Welcomes Washington Districts Seeking to Pilot the Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model
    -Aug. 15, 2011: Technology Platform Supports Two NYSED-Approved Rubrics
    -Jul. 21, 2011: NYSED Approves Dr. Robert Marzano’s Teacher Evaluation Model
    -Jun. 20, 2011: New Jersey Department of Education Approves Dr. Robert Marzano
    -Feb. 16, 2011: LSI Selected by the Florida DOE to Implement a Statewide Teacher Evaluation System