Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Pauline Stonehouse


Research has shown that teacher effectiveness is the most significant school-level factor impacting student achievement (McCaffrey, Koretz, Lockwood, & Hamilton, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005; Rockoff, 2004), and yet little is known about teacher and administrator perceptions of teacher effectiveness. Through this qualitative case study, I explored the perceptions of elementary school teachers and their principal regarding teacher effectiveness. I examined the extent to which there was a shared understanding of teacher effectiveness, if teachers and their principal perceptions were the same or different, and how teacher perceptions aligned to the teacher evaluation system used at this school. Semi-structured interviews, observations of classrooms and team meetings, and an analysis of authentic school documents were used in this in-depth study of one single. Shared and divergent perceptions between classroom teachers, their principal, and the teacher evaluation system were revealed.

The perceptions of teacher effectiveness are critical in supporting teacher growth. Our ever-changing classrooms and the students within them require that we continually update what effective and successful teaching looks like. This research will impact education by enabling teachers and administrators to reflect on their own understanding and vision of teacher effectiveness and plan for successful school improvement. This study is vital for educators striving to become more effective in increasing student achievement and for the school systems supporting this effort.

Keywords: teacher effectiveness, teacher evaluation, teacher improvement, school improvement