Underperforming teachers: the impact on co-workers and their responses

Loth Van den Ouweland*, Jan Vanhoof, Piet Van den Bossche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Research indicates that underperforming teachers have a profound impact on students and on principals who struggle to deal with the underperformance. However, the impact on, and responses of, other teachers (i.e. Co-workers) is rarely studied, in spite of the importance of teacher collaboration in contemporary education. Therefore, we interviewed co-workers about incidents of teacher underperformance, using the critical incident technique. Our respondents reported various types of underperformance, including student-related and team-related underperformance, as well as task underperformance and counterproductive work behaviours. Dependent on the specific incident, co-workers were more directly or indirectly affected by the underperformance. They expressed frustrations, concerns, and feelings of injustice, not only about the underperformance itself, but also about a lack of response by the school principal. Moreover, we found that co-worker responses depended on how they perceived the necessity, appropriateness, and utility of responding, as well as their responsibility to respond. This was influenced by characteristics of the underperformance, underperformer and co-worker, and leadership and team factors. Implications for educational research, policy, and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-32
Number of pages28
JournalEducational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Underperforming teachers
  • Co-workers
  • Performance management
  • School leadership
  • Critical Incident Technique
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CITIZENSHIP BEHAVIOR
  • CRITICAL INCIDENT TECHNIQUE
  • EMPLOYEE SILENCE
  • PROCEDURAL JUSTICE
  • SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
  • PEER RESPONSES
  • CROSS-LEVEL
  • VOICE
  • MOTIVATION
  • ATTITUDES

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