A descriptive study of policy and implementation issues regarding supervision and evaluation for English to Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) teachers in Georgia
Miles, Beth-Anne Wallace
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Several lines of inquiry have been developed during the past two decades to study aspects of supervision and evaluation of classroom teachers. Few studies have been conducted that focus on supervision and evaluation of specialty area teachers such as those teaching in ESOL programs. This study addresses the need to explore, in a comprehensive manner, the unique and varied contexts for ESOL teachers in schools. A historical examination of bilingual education is presented in the study to trace past events, beliefs, laws, and court cases that helped mold the current implementation of ESOL polices in Georgia’s public schools. This study addresses policies and practices that are related to supervision and evaluation of ESOL teachers in two counties in Georgia. The study focuses on administrators’ perspectives of supervision responsibilities and evaluation practices for teachers in ESOL programs. ESOL teachers’ beliefs concerning important components of supervision and evaluation processes in the schools are also noted and compared with administrators’ perspectives. Results of the study suggest that the use of more comprehensive frameworks for analysis of policy rather than classical models is needed in interpretation of environments in schools. Such frameworks, as the one suggested in this study, illustrate and guide analysis of the multidimensional personal, organizational, and contextual factors affecting implementation of specialty area programs, such as ESOL programs. Of particular importance in the framework are the complex interactions that are illustrative of how teachers adapt their practice in reaction to problems arising from both internal and external alternating presses for action. Such adaptations define for them the manner in which they are able to complete their professional duties in the particular environmental situation. Findings of the study suggest the value of using qualitative methods to enhance description of context variables related to policy implementation in schools. Discussion and implications for future research and policy are suggested as they relate to ameliorating teaching and learning environments in schools to accommodate perspectives of multiple actors, such as ESOL teachers, supervisors, future mentors, principals, but most importantly ESOL learners.