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University of Vermont Theses & Dissertations

Longchamp, Juliette Cavanaugh
The Effect of Student Learning Objectives on Teachers and Teaching as Part of the Teacher Evaluation Process: A Grounded Theory Study
Teacher evaluation is changing in the United States, primarily due to federal policies requiring that measures of student growth be embedded within teacher evaluation systems. Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) emerged as one way to measure teacher effectiveness. SLOs are teacher-developed goals for student achievement that reflect student learning and growth over a specified time period. Each state or district utilizing SLOs in teacher evaluation implements SLOs in a different way, and the details of SLO implementation affect the extent to which teaching is improved. This grounded theory research study investigated the influence of SLOs on teachers and teaching. The researcher interviewed 20 teachers from six regions of the United States. This research identified three dimensions of SLO implementation that influence SLOs’ effect: School Leadership, School Climate and Teacher Agency. These dimensions are explored in this research, resulting in recommendations that would serve to enhance the benefits of SLOs on teachers and teaching. Additionally, future research suggestions are noted to add to the growing body of research on SLOs.

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