Teacher Observation Scale (TOS)™
A standardized instrument for obtaining fair, objective appraisals of teacher classroom performance
The Teacher Observation Scale (TOS) ™ represents a major departure from common methods of teacher evaluation.
The TOS ™ employs a behavioral checklist, consisting of a variety of statements describing relevant aspects - both positive and negative - of teacher classroom performance. The observer indicates on the TOS ™ scale which statements reflect the observed teacher’s performance, and which do not. This information is analyzed against predetermined ratings made by experienced educators, to yield a comprehensive, objective assessment of the teacher’s classroom performance.
The Teacher Observation Scale (TOS) ™ minimizes the chances of unfair, ambiguous, subjective, and distorted appraisals that can often occur when using traditional teacher evaluation methods.
The Teacher Observation Scale (TOS) ™ provides a concrete assessment of teacher classroom performance independent of observer bias, and independent of the academic performance of students.
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Imagine for a moment that you are a recently-hired police officer, assigned to a local neighborhood or “beat”. Further imagine that you are told by your superiors that your job performance will be assessed by the number of reported crimes on your beat over a certain length of time. Would you feel you’re your performance was being evaluated fairly?
Or suppose you were a physician working for a clinic or hospital, and you were told that your job performance was to be appraised by how many of your patients survived and for how long, regardless of age or severity of illness. Once again, would you regard this as a fair and valid assessment of your performance?
Your answer would almost certainly be ‘no’, for in both situations, you would be judged according to factors well outside of your control. Read more...
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Highlights of the Teacher Observation Scale (TOS)
The scale in no way uses student achievement in the evaluation of the teacher. Rather, it focuses on performance factors and behaviors that are completely within the control of the teacher.
developed by teachers
The items on the scale are written by experienced educators and focused on what comprises good teaching. The weights or ratings for the items, as well as the standards for performance, were determined by panels of highly experienced teachers and educators.
It employs a behavioral checklist, whereby the observer indicates what aspects of performance the teacher displays and does not display. There are no subjective value judgments or vague measures of degree (e.g., “fair”, “good”, “very good”) used in the scale.
The observer only indicates on the scale what behaviors and aspects of performance the teacher does and does not exhibit while conducting the class. It does not involve any computations of scores by the observer; instead all of the items are pre-weighted and scored by NMT, Inc. to determine overall performance on the scale.
The content of the scale is designed to measure and report on teacher performance along 22 critical dimensions of classroom teaching.
The scale is straight-forward and does not require extensive training to use.
The scale can be applied to nearly any classroom at the K-12 level. The scale yields an overall numerical score of teacher performance that can be applied and interpreted in any public or private school setting.
Order TOS ™ by toll-free (24/7) at 866-724-9600 or online
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