Student Teacher Ratings: Males Are Brilliant, Females Are Bossy!

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

Many schools involve their students in teacher ratings. The question is if that’s a good idea.

For both teacher appointment and evaluations of their functioning, subjective judgments play an increasing role. Is this good practice to have students rate their teachers, just like that? Are these evaluations as done by a teacher’s colleagues or students reliable? Recently, Bob Uttl and colleagues published a wonderful meta-analysis on this topic.

While many feel that students can reliably rate the quality of their teachers and that they should have a strong voice in things such as tenure, there are many studies that suggest that such ratings to evaluate teacher quality are NOT the way to go. In spite of this, for example, the National Action Committee for Students (LAKS; a Dutch advocacy group for secondary school students and their rights[1]) writes in their…

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