Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Studies

Committee Director

Dwight W. Allen

Committee Member

Maurice Berube

Committee Member

Linda Bol


This dissertation examined the effectiveness of the 2+2 Alternative Teacher Performance Appraisal System that has been implemented as one of the educational reform efforts in Shanxi province in China. All 78 teachers in Grade One in the six schools participated in the study. The outcomes investigated in the dissertation included teachers' pedagogical beliefs and attitudes, the teachers' professional performance, teachers' collaboration, and the 2+2 feedback. A mixed research design incorporating both quantitative and qualitative approaches was used to evaluate the program. Data triangulation was achieved through varied data sources including focus group meetings, 2+2 feedback forms, observations, and questionnaires. Six high schools (13 teachers in each school) in Shanxi province were selected for the research. Three of the schools participated in the 2+2 program while another three served as the comparison. The researcher conducted focus groups with the teachers in the 2+2 program to explore their perceptions of the program.

The results showed that 2+2 program significantly improved teachers' professional performance, enhanced teachers' collaboration, and increased the feedback between the peers, though no similar impact was found on teacher's beliefs and attitudes. After exposure to the program, the teachers in the 2+2 group performed better in all of the nine in-class instructional performance functions that were measured by the evaluators. Teachers felt overwhelmingly that 2+2 helped them with their professional growth. The quality of feedback was perceived as high quality by the teachers themselves and the researcher. The teachers in the 2+2 group had far more classroom observations than the comparison group. At pre-test, the teachers in the 2+2 group conducted observations on an average of 1.5 times per month, while at post-testing, they reported observing others teaching about nine times a month. The comparison group teachers observed one another only about twice a month. It is interesting to note that teachers produced more compliments than suggestions, which may indicate that unlike professional evaluators, teachers tend to be more willing to offer compliments rather than suggestions in the 2+2 setting. Over 60% of the respondents characterized 2+2 feedback as encouraging. The productive and constructive feedback made the collaboration in the 2+2 program more frequent and successful.