Principals' perceptions of quality teaching

Masters Thesis

Eyre, Emma. (2021). Principals' perceptions of quality teaching [Masters Thesis]. Australian Catholic University Faculty of Education and Arts
AuthorsEyre, Emma
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMaster of Education (Research)

A plethora of research exists in the field of education with regards to what constitutes quality teaching. Tensions exist, however, within this body of research between notions of quality teaching as opposed to notions of quality teachers. This research project seeks to unpack this heavily nuanced notion of “quality”, specifically within the context of Queensland state high schools. The concept of quality is of serious concern for both practising teachers and those in leadership positions, particularly given student results are increasingly used to make determinations about the quality of teachers and of teaching.

Hence, while the research points to the need to interpret “quality” with caution, the research has inevitably been drawn into overlapping concerns that touch upon teacher evaluation methods, the role of professional standards for teachers, as well as the impact of socioeconomic factors on school and student success. Through the methodological approach of narrative analysis, the research aimed to elucidate from secondary school principals their perceptions of quality teaching, while also examining the impact of contextual factors within the individual principals’ schools. Data were collected from three Brisbane secondary school principals through face-to-face interviews and various school documents from each site.

This study’s findings show that determinations of quality teaching cannot be shaped without consideration of schools’ site-specific contextual factors. Disparity exists between what principals believe quality teaching to be. However, of greater significance is the revelation that principals rely on evidence of student engagement and teacher/student relationships as evidence of quality teaching.

KeywordsBourdieu; performance-based pay; policy; professional standards; quality teachers; quality teaching; school context; student outcomes; teacher evaluation; thematic analysis; three-dimensional space narrative inquiry
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range2-134
Final version
File Access Level
Supplementary Files (Layperson Summary)
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
CompletedJul 2021
Deposited01 Dec 2021
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