Evaluating teacher

Evaluation has been a natural thing to do since human beings started their civilization. In different branches of disciplines, various evaluations changed spontaneously to cater to the need of development. In the college education, evaluation of professors has been based on the reflection of students for hundreds years. However, student evaluation has become very high-stakes for professors in recent decades, because the evaluation result is highly related to professors’ future career. Many scholars start to worry that this situation may lead to some serious problems. Firstly, evaluation of student may directly determine the employment of a professor. At the end of each academic term, students complete the evaluations of their course instructors. These evaluations are sent to the department of college administration; then, administrators will rank the professors based on the evaluation results and the lowest position of professor may be fired. This kind of evaluation system is called “ lowliest place elimination system” and widely used among colleges. Besides, some colleges relate professors’ bonus to the evaluation outcome. According to Jeff Sandefer, a co-founder and master teacher at the Acton School of Business in Austin, Texas, they tie professor bonuses to the student evaluations and each professor need to sign an individual learning covenant with each student. Secondly, professor may need to modify his or her teaching style, content even purpose to cater to students because of the high pressure from college. This is indeed dangerous that education become a business. Treating student as customers rather than learner has become a common phenomenon since student evaluation was able to strongly influence the career of professors. It goes against the original intention of education that teaching content, grading method, and even purposes of the course depend on the students’ interests or degree of happiness. If this situation continuously spreads, education may lose its meaning. Thirdly, unreliable data from student may lead to wrong evaluation of a professor. Not every student is a qualified evaluator that their emotion and personal preference are easily involved in the evaluation. Students usually give a higher evaluation to the professors who grade easily, require little work, are glib and chatty, wear nice suits, and are physically attractive; in the contrary, professors who give a perfect instruction but grades rigorously may receive a terrible evaluation. A study showed that students confuse course grades with long-term learning, and reward those professors who hand out the A’s. In conclusion, student evaluation plays such an influential role in evaluating professors that need to be treated cautiously. Evaluating professors which is over relied on the student may bring immeasurable consequences. It is an arduous way to improve or promote the evaluation system. However, the evaluation method will vary along with the development of education approach and model. It is expectable to solve these problems.