Accountability agendas are influencing the secondary education sector. Analysis of student achievement, student feedback mechanisms and personal reflection are forming part of these agendas as methods of teacher evaluation. Additionally, and more recently, teacher evaluation through ‘peer review’ is emerging as a tool for evaluating teacher quality. Peer review of teaching encompasses educators working and learning together to improve teaching practices and student learning. A plethora of literature currently exists on peer review of teaching for formative purposes. While there are a number of studies examining the role of peer review of teaching within higher education, there are very few studies in the secondary school sector. Furthermore, there are no studies published on the mandatory nature of peer review of teaching. This study critically examined the reasons behind the implementation of mandatory peer review of teaching at a regional high school. Specifically, the study investigated the ways in which mandatory peer review of teaching engaged with an array of discourses, including those of ‘professionalism’ and ‘managerialism.’ This study consisted of a case study of a regional secondary school which implemented mandatory peer review of teaching for all teaching staff in 2012. The key method of data collection was interviews with key stakeholders. Analysis of the data indicated that the rationale behind mandatory peer review resides along a continuum of discourses that range from professionalism, quality enhancement and managerialism.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education / Vol. 39, No. 4, pp.83-99