Date of Award

Winter 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Dwight W. Allen

Committee Member

Wolfgang Pindur

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


The current study was a utilization-focused implementation evaluation of the 2 + 2 for Teachers: Alternative Performance Appraisal Program (2 + 2). The 2 + 2 program is an experimental appraisal program designed to support substantial instructional reform in the Norfolk, Virginia based PRIME (Public school Restructuring through Innovative Mainstream Education) systemic reform project. Through frequent classroom observations by administrators, peers, and students, who offer two compliments and two suggestions for improvement at each observation, the 2 + 2 program provides a framework for teacher collaboration and professional growth. Ultimately, improved instruction is an expected outcome, but was not evaluated in this study. The formative evaluation of the initial 1996-97 implementation of 2 + 2 focused on adaptive program improvement, implementation processes, and how the 2 + 2 program made a difference to teachers. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed.

Research on school restructuring efforts of the last decade indicates that a collaborative culture among teachers can have a positive impact on teacher efficacy (certainty) and on systemic reform efforts. General agreement also exists in the education field that traditional teacher performance appraisal systems are largely ineffective in bringing about improved instruction, and are a source of anxiety for teachers.

The evaluation found overwhelmingly positive participant response to the 2 + 2 program. Most teachers reported they experimented with new strategies, experienced improved interaction with colleagues, were greatly encouraged by positive feedback, and preferred 2 + 2 as an appraisal system. Barriers to program implementation included uneven administrative support and time constraints. A need for a systemic perspective was indicated to sustain both the growth of 2 + 2 and the entire PRIME project.


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