Implementation of Peer Observation of Teaching in ELT Tertiary Education System in Malaysia: A Social-constructionism View
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The present study primarily aims to explore the English language (EL) teachers’ current practices and their experiences of teacher evaluation, and how these are related to the introduction of peer observation of teaching (POT) in the Malaysian university system. Then, it aims to explore the possibilities and challenges faced by Malaysian universities in introducing peer observation. The participants of the study were determined by 2 stages of the research design. In Stage 1, from 10 different universities around Malaysia, 72 teachers completed the online questionnaire and eight semi-structured interview were conducted. In Stage 2, at the university where the study was conducted, 24 participants completed the after-workshop questionnaire and ten observations as well as eight semi-structured interview were carried out. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS descriptive statistics while qualitative data were transcribed and then analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings on teacher evaluation revealed that there was teacher evaluation in place at every university involved in the survey. However, there seemed to be some major shortcomings that need to be addressed. Shortcomings such as teachers were not reminded of the real purposes of each evaluation undertaken, some evaluations were wasted because they were not studied, and teachers were not given ownership in setting out the suitable methods for evaluation. The findings on peer observation revealed that teachers had different understanding about it. Through the intervention study, it was discovered that the tone of the discussion between teachers were sometimes calm and celebrating, whilst some were critical and judgemental. The findings also showed that introduction of peer observation may be possible at the university under study provided the purposes were for developmental. However, teachers still had the feeling of nervousness and being judgemental about the whole process because of the common top-down approach. The findings from the study have provided several implications for the improvement of the existing EL teacher evaluation in particular, as well as evaluation of teachers of other subjects in general. In addition, the findings have also provided several implications for the introduction of peer observation especially to the university managements and the teachers in particular. The current study also contributes to knowledge by proposing: i) a model for teacher evaluation, and ii) one plan for the procedure of peer observation of teaching; which can be adjusted according to the suitability of any given context.
PhD in Education