Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Gary Miron, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

June Gothberg, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joseph Kretovics, Ph.D.


Evaluation, mixed method, Saudi Arabia, teacher, teacher evaluation


Teacher evaluation systems are essential in tracking the quality and effectiveness of teachers and education systems. This dissertation examines the teacher evaluation system in Saudi Arabia through multiple perspectives, including research-based frameworks for teacher evaluation, norms and best practices from OECD countries, and established Saudi Teaching Standards. An explanatory sequential mixed methods model was used. Data collection involved 643 responses to a teacher survey that covered working conditions, existence of professional learning communities, and teacher evaluation practices, methods, and uses. Following the survey, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 teachers and 3 key informants.

Findings from this study indicate the evaluation system is not functioning well. Teachers report having lost confidence in its effectiveness and relevance. The evaluation system does incorporate best practices established in other countries. There is an overdependence on principals as sole evaluators. And, because principals are largely untrained for this role and the purpose of evaluation is not clear, the judgements are typically subjective and inconsistent. Teachers report that they seldom receive feedback from their evaluations, and it is not associated with incentives or consequences.

Among recommendations, reform of the teacher evaluation system would benefit from an alignment with objectives of the education system and existing Saudi Teaching Standards. Systemic change is needed, implying that diverse stakeholder groups need to be informed and engaged in the process of reforming how teacher evaluation is practiced and used in Saudi Arabia. Reflecting on best practices and insights from informants, there is a need for the teacher evaluation system to pursue both formative and summative purposes. Although revising teacher evaluation may need strong central guidance and mandates, it is recommended that this be accompanied with some degree of decentralization so that schools can adapt evaluation strategies which suit their communities; this should also help ensure ownership of the reform process. Among other recommendations, the following should be highlighted: (i) use of evidence-based models, (ii) promotion of professional learning communities to support and improve evaluation practice and use, and (iii) efforts to institutionalize teacher evaluation; in other words, ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders, and integrating evaluation into the daily work of schools.

This study is significant and makes notable contributions. Because of a scarcity of research on the Saudi teacher evaluation system, the detailed description of this system is important for increasing understanding of current practices and shortcomings. The recommendations synthesized from informants and those generated by the researcher provide insights and ideas on how to reform teacher evaluation and better align this with existing teaching standards and best practices established in other countries. It will be difficult to reform the Saudi teacher evaluation system without understanding the intricate and interrelated components and the diverse mechanisms and stakeholders involved. For this reason, the study presents a comprehensive framework for teacher evaluation that can help reform and develop the teacher evaluation system. Finally, the study contributes to the field of evaluation and social science research by providing a sound illustration on how to implement sequential mixed methods designs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access