360-degree feedback in schools in India is a very new concept. While the schools in Europe and America have been following these for decades, the prestigious international schools in India affiliated to International Baccalaureate and CIE (University of Cambridge) have been also doing this for some time. However, the mass schooling boards like CBSE, ICSE and the state boards have not really advocated this. The National Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 has indicated that the teacher development and feedback mechanism is also going to be a focal point once the policy hits the floor and is implemented.
“Our teachers deserve better feedback.” – Bill Gates, Founder Microsoft
360-degree feedback includes direct feedback from teacher’s immediate superior, fellow teachers, students, parents as well as a self-evaluation. The number of feedback providers could be determined by the size of the organization, the process to be followed by the school, the time constraint, the level of seriousness in the organization about the feedback etc. They essence of 360-degree feedback is that the anonymity of the feedback should be intact. In some cases, the feedback can also be from external sources like external trainer or non-teaching staff. Others’ opinions are as vital as self-evaluation, for it leaves individuals to reflect on the gap between what they think of their work performance and how others rate them. It gives them a realistic picture of their strong and weak areas.
Principal’s/Vice Principal’s/ Coordinator’s appraisal have been there in the traditional system; student’s, fellow teachers and parents rating gives an overall view of the teacher’s teaching skills, communication skills, behavioral skills, learning curve and her/his other abilities that is needed to be a progressive teacher. Review from fellow teachers can help identify a teacher’s teamwork, collaboration, coordination, and sensitivity towards colleagues. These are important traits that a teacher shall have because these are the skills we need the teachers to pass on to the students. A teacher can only give what she/he has.
|The 360-assessment process helps schools increase awareness of their team’s strengths and areas where there is a scope of improvement. This also helps the school’s leadership team to develop long term improvement plans. When the results of a function or team are consolidated, it provides invaluable input about organizational opportunities and build leadership ability, enhance teacher engagement and improve school’s performance.|
It helps give an overall picture of an employee’s performance, his or her behavior expected at the workplace. Once the opinions have been compiled and analyzed, the tool also helps in tracing how efficient and productive a certain faculty is. Analogous to the multiple points on a compass, 360-degree feedback provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback. 360-degree performance appraisal proves to be one of the most credible forms of employee assessment. When conducted at regular intervals, it is a boon for developmental activities for teachers and majorly enables the schools to fulfill their vision. Greater amount of learning and parents’ satisfaction can be achieved via 360-degree feedback mechanism.
Highlights of the Survey Conducted by LIFE EDUCARE
As per a survey done by team LIFE EDUCARE in January 2019, nearly 57 percent teachers said that they do not clearly understand what the Principal/Management expects from them, they just say that “there ae complaints from the parents and you need to perform better”.
Nearly 72 percent Principals said that they changed their previous job because there was persistent pressure to improve the school’s performance and the board of management kept saying that we need to do better, but no one told me in which areas to improve in.
A 360-degree feedback mechanism will minimize the ambiguity in the organization and will help people set their personal goals and the areas where they need to improve upon.
To run a successful 360-degree feedback program, it is important that the data gathered via the feedback is actionable. The gathered data should come productive in improving the teacher’s skills.
The ten steps LIFE EDUCARE 360-degree feedback programs:
- Define the objectives
- Benchmark the existing status
- List out the key focal point of assessment
- Design the survey questionnaire
- Design the rating scale,
- Run the feedback collection drive
- Analyze the data collected via appropriate statistical tools
- Design the constructive feedback plan
- Apply the feedback outcomes
- Audit and compare the outcomes with the status at the beginning of the process.
This complete cycle can be done in a month’s time or it can also be planned as a yearlong activity and can be made as a part of school’s calendar. We at LIFE recommend that this should be imbibed in the school’s working style and should be a yearlong process and the appraisal of all the staff members shall be done based on the scores of the feedback process. The schools should carefully design the questionnaire for each category of teachers. The feedback criteria for an Early Years Educator will be different from someone who is teaching in high school. Likewise, activity teachers cannot be assessed on the same criteria that is set for a middle school teacher. The last but the most important aspect of this process is to give an unbiased and harmonious feedback to the teachers. The application and monitoring/auditing of the feedback is another important key to a successful feedback program. There are software available to do the same, however, a neatly done excel sheet with google forms and/or a credible survey site can be the cost-effective way to do the same.
Doing the above is no doubt a time-consuming process, but that is for the first time. The corresponding benefits of having a 360-degree feedback mechanism are immense. The schools that follow this improve a great deal on their overall functioning. The gaps identified during the data collection and analysis, if are addressed well without bias, will provide tangible benefits. This also helps in better coordination among the team members, better rapport with each other and visible difference in overall performance of the school.
P.S. We are a team of progressive education professionals and on a journey to discover, share, and co-construct knowledge. Please feel free to share your feedback and thoughts on the topic.
If you require any further information / assistance, please feel free to write to us at Priya@lifeeducare.com