School principals’ perceptions and requirements of school evaluators

Published date08 October 2018
Date08 October 2018
AuthorYael Cohen-Azaria,Sara Zamir
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
School principalsperceptions and
requirements of school evaluators
Yael Cohen-Azaria
Ashkelon Academic College, Ashkelon, Israel, and
Sara Zamir
Department of Education, Achva Academic College, Shikmim,
Israel and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Eilat Campus, Eilat, Israel
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of school principals of the evaluators
role and to learn abouttheir requirements of school evaluators.
Design/methodology/approach The current study is based on the qualitative paradigm of data
collection andanalysis. This paradigm provides a profound a description of the phenomenonin the context in
which it takes place, based on the respondentsperceptionsand how they interpret their experiences. In the
course of the study,the authors used semi-structured in-depth interviews.
Findings Findingsindicated that principals had regarded the roleof the school evaluator mainly as that of
an expert, a managerialpartner and an implementer of school evaluationculture.
Research limitations/implications The interviewerswere the teachers who had been trained for the
school evaluatorsposition.
Practical implications The school evaluatorand the principalsbear the complex task of evaluation
on their shoulders, and their success in fullling it depends on their insights about how to delineate and
implement the evaluators role. The paperoutlines some crucial benchmarks for resolving the issue of role
denitionsbetween them.
Social implications As a relatively new profession, derivedfrom other professions and research areas,
evaluation has no solid, historical occupational legacy in schools. This paper broadens the merit of school
evaluatoras the facilitator of quality assurance.
Originality/value The increased responsibilityplaced on schools, the demand of accountability as well
as transparency,have obliged the schools to broaden and deepen the internalevaluation activities. This paper
revealsthe essence of school evaluators role and suggestssome key points for his/her valuable work.
Keywords Schools, Educational administration, Assessment, Management education
Paper type Research paper
In the past two decades, the Israeli education system has become more and more aware of
the need to train expert educational evaluators with broad theoretical and professional
knowledge, who can function as internal school evaluation experts. The increased
responsibility placed on schools, a product of the autonomy granted to the Education
Ministry districts and schools, and the demand for accountability as well as transparency,
have obliged them to broaden and deepen the internal evaluation activities (Levin-Rosalis
and Lapidot, 2010;Kliger,2009).
The State of Israel was stunned when the exam results of the PISA international 2000
were published. In the reading discipline, Israel was positioned in the 30st place out of 41
countries; In literacy, math and science, Israel was positioned in the 31st place. Like many
of school
Received15 January 2018
Revised15 May 2018
Accepted25 June 2018
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.26 No. 4, 2018
pp. 489-501
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-01-2018-0006
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