Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs


Douglas Wine

Publication Date



Teacher evaluation literature presents a history that reflects the increasing need to account for the role of the teacher in the classroom. Extensive research has identified a series of best teaching practices but not a means to know in what context they work best, nor why they do not work for some students. Recently, student surveys provide a snapshot into teacher practices as well. This study held student conversations with underachieving and high achieving students to seek answers to the following two questions: What perspectives can students provide about what influences their achievement in the classroom? How do students perceptions of their teachers' expectations, behaviors, and attitudes impact these students' success? The specificity of the responses shows thoughtfulness and depth from each student, whether high achieving or underachieving, and offers additional validation that students know effective teaching. The data from twelve interviews suggest structured interviews should occur if the process is focused as an exploration of continuous teacher improvement undertaken with the practitioner and the observer. Further, the data suggest that underachieving students focus on needs for task completion, the opportunity to pass the class, and extra time to finish work. In addition, they see themselves as accountable and responsible for their own achievement as opposed to partnering in learning and success with their teachers. Several questions arise from the dichotomies presented in the study which focus on understanding what students can be taught to close these achievement gaps. The study suggests structured student interviews provide data as accurate as a trained evaluator and the feedback and improvements students provide could improve teaching during a course. The data suggest that underachieving students have a different understanding of education than high achieving students do which points to a need for further research to determine how to target interventions or understandings to improve student achievement.'


Teacher Evaluation, Charlotte Danielson, NMTEACH Observation, Student Feedback, Student Interviews, Robert Marzano, MET Survey

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Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Advisor

Woodrum, Arlie

First Committee Member (Chair)

Florez, Viola

Second Committee Member

Paul, Linda

Third Committee Member

Gonzales, Angelo