Amidst reforms
: Mexican Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development from the perspective of teachers, headteachers, and policymakers.

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Current knowledge regarding Teacher Evaluation Systems (TES) as a suitable approach to quality education improvement suggests that the relationship between teacher monitoring and enhancement is far from straightforward. Yet, developing countries such as Mexico have uncritically employed variants of these reforms since the early 1990s to bring about change with regards to levels of quality teaching and learning. Although teachers and headteachers are in everyday contact with education policies, these actors are rarely consulted regarding TES development. Therefore, this exploratory research examined teachers’, headteachers’ and policymakers’ perspectives concerning the strengths, weaknesses, and unintended consequences of a new TES called the Mexican Teacher Evaluation (MTE). Since full implementation of MTE started in 2015, the availability and impact of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) on the teachers’ practice before and after MTE (i.e. the academic years 2014-2015 and 2016-2017) were investigated. This sequential mixed-methods research collected data via an online survey of primary teachers across Mexico using online teachers’ networks (n=367) and semi-structured interviews (n=13). Of the total participants, n=131 participated in MTE and provided an insight into the procedures of the new TES as well as opportunities for CPD after the evaluation. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses of quantitative data and a thematic analysis approach of qualitative data were employed. The findings indicated that in 2014-2015, overall teacher participation was lower than previous records from a TALIS-Mexico report (Backhoff & Pérez-Morán, 2015). Nevertheless, most common CPD topics are like those in previous literature and were perceived impactful on the practice. Furthermore, a series of preparatory courses tailored to MTE emerged during 2014-2015. Concerning the strengths of MTE, the new TES was perceived as a better scheme for teacher hiring and promotion as compared with the former method where the teachers’ union held significant power. However, only half of the surveyed MTE participants highlighted the value and positive nature of feedback following assessments. Regarding the weaknesses, MTE lacks classroom observations, tailored CPD following the evaluations, and appropriate follow-up of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) and in-service teachers after the assessment. Regarding the unintended consequences, MTE might have negatively impacted the teachers’ wellbeing at various points of MTE implementation; however, the TES might have encouraged teachers to become involved in their preparation for the assessments. There is evidence that teachers focused on the summative aspects of the evaluation more than the developmental ones, although the rationales varied. This research concluded that TES in Mexico is not yet fit for purpose after both positive and negative aspects of new MTE policies were observed. Moreover, additional reforms to support educational quality improvement are required. The teachers’ self-perceived needs in terms of CPD, as well as standards that recognise professional development according to teaching experience, seem essential for success.
Date of Award29 Sep 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorSally M Thomas (Supervisor) & E V Washbrook (Supervisor)


  • Teacher evaluation
  • Mexico
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Reform
  • High-stakes assessment
  • Primary education
  • mixed-methods
  • teacher professionalism
  • teacher assessment

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