Many occupations recognize employees years of experience as a relevant factor in human resource policies, including compensation systems, benefits packages, and promotion decisions. The idea is that experience, gained over time, enhances the knowledge, skills, and productivity of workers. In education, teacher experience is probably the key factor in personnel policies that affect current employees: it is a cornerstone of faculty promotions; prioritize seniority; and it is commonly considered a major source of decision making. The underlying assumption is that experience promotes effectiveness. But is this really the case? Do students attain higher levels of achievement when taught by more experienced teachers? What is the relationship between teacher experience and teacher productivity?
The purpose of this study was to provide policymakers with information about the relationship between teacher experience, and education, and the relationship between these teacher resources and student achievement, particularly at tertiary level.
Higher Education occupies a unique place in our educational system. Almost every institution of higher education states somewhere that the primary purpose of the institution is teaching. This is particularly true for Government colleges because they are teaching institutions. Although theoretically all the decisions making regarding the promotion of faculty depends upon the teaching effectiveness but there is no comprehensive, valid, reliable, and multidimensional method for the evaluation of teaching is followed in these institutions. All the decisions regarding promotion are based on a system of seniority of the faculty.
The kind of data that is used for the evaluation of college teaching is based on a very incomplete definition of teaching. Arreola (1986, 1989) argues that a complete definition of teaching should include three broad dimensions: content expertise, instructional delivery skills and characteristics, and instructional design skills.
In the promotion policy of NMSU community college detailed description of effective Teaching and Related Activities have been mentioned which are an essential criterion for advancement in rank. Such activities are commonly characterized by the dissemination of knowledge within a faculty member's area of expertise as well as the application of knowledge in both academic and career-technical fields; skill in stimulating students to think critically and to apply knowledge to human problems; assessment of student learning; the integration and application of ethical implications into class content; advising and the preparation of students for careers in specific fields of study; and the creation and supervision of appropriate field. Faculty advising may take the form of assisting students in the selection of courses or careers, assisting learners in educational programs on and off campus, and mentoring students.
Regarding the documentation and Evaluation of Teaching and Related Activities the policy says that because teaching is a complex and multifaceted activity, different types of evidence may be used in a comprehensive assessment of teaching effectiveness. Each form of evidence should carry a measure appropriate to its importance in evaluating teaching. Such documentation must demonstrate command of subject matter, continuous growth, and development in the subject field, the ability to organize material and convey it effectively to students, assessment of student learning, revision and updates of curricula, and the integration of scholarship (for faculty who produce scholarship) and service with teaching. Materials appropriate for evaluating teaching and related activities may include: (a) evidence from the instructor, (b) evidence from other professionals, (c) evidence from students, and (d) evidence of student learning. For promotion and tenure considerations, performance in such activities must be documented and evaluated. This documentation is contained in the documentation file, not the core document.
Faculty will include in the executive summary their accomplishments in teaching. Faculty should select from, but are not limited to, the appropriate items from Promotion, Tenure, and Faculty Review Committees (Diamond, p. 72, 2002):
1. Knowledge and use of research on teaching and learning
2. Clearly stated learning outcomes with appropriate assessment procedures
3. Effective and appropriate use of technology
4. Appropriate mix of alternative learning strategies
5. Good organization of subject matter and course
6. Effective communication
7. Knowledge of the subject matter and teaching
8. Positive attitudes toward students
9. Fairness in assessment and grading
10. Flexibility to approaches to teaching
Faculty members are required to provide documented evidence that support the case they are making for promotion or tenure. Other items to be addressed could include: innovative teaching strategies, improvements in retention, best practices in teaching, classroom management, advising accessibility, student mentorship, and improvement plans. (NMSU Community College Promotion and Tenure Policy)
Similarly in the Faculty Handbook of Potter College also a comprehensive list of characteristic, methods and activities, and documentation of effective teaching has been outlined as a criterion for the promotion of college faculty. In the evaluation of faculty work, Potter College places its major emphasis on teaching effectiveness and requires excellent teaching for tenure and promotion. All candidates for promotion and tenure must demonstrate the following characteristics of effective teaching and academic advising that promote student learning:
sound, extensive, and current knowledge of area of expertise, and the ability to convey it successfully to students
superior teaching skills reflected in the quality of student work and in student learning
excellent planning, preparation, and organization of teaching materials (prepared for class; clearly stated course objectives and assignments; well-organized presentations; challenging student assignments; good use of class time)
effective presentation in an instructional setting (encourages student questions, comments/discussion and differing points of view; uses a variety of teaching techniques; conveys enthusiasm about the subject; communicates effectively in an instructional setting)
the ability and willingness to experiment, to develop new instructional techniques and methods, and to revise and improve course materials
individual initiative, academic responsibility (returning student work in a timely fashion, holding office hours, keeping appointments, meeting classes), and self-evaluation of courses (revising notes, student assignments, and test materials)
consistent and fair methods of assigning, evaluating, and grading student work
dependable student advising on curricular and professional matters by faculty members assigned to those responsibilities
The College recognizes that excellent teaching can occur in a variety of settings and that faculty members may promote student learning using a variety of instructional methods and activities. These may include but are not limited to
presentations in instructional settings (lecture, seminar, studio, or other venues)
collaboration with students in research or in creative or professional activity
innovative use of technology for instruction and advising
teaching through alternative delivery such as distance and web-based learning or regional campus instruction
use of service learning or community-based teaching strategies
involvement in special academic programs such as Honors, Study Abroad, interdisciplinary teaching, or student retention efforts
student advising on academic and career matters
teaching-related grant activity
In that spirit, the College invites evidence of effective teaching and academic advising that promote student learning drawn from a variety of sources. Documentation may include but is not limited to
teaching materials (e.g. syllabi, student assignments, tests, or other course-related documents)
evidence of innovative teaching or advising methods
new courses designed and offered
participation in workshops and activities designed to enhance instructional skills and improve discipline-based pedagogy
examples of student work (e.g. Honors or graduate theses, scores on Praxis or other standardized discipline-specific instruments, student portfolios, juries, public performances and exhibitions)
formal and/or informal faculty evaluations and peer reviews
record of student advising and mentoring
record of participation in university retention efforts and programs designed to promote student success
successful grant activity related to effective teaching and advising
college and/or university recognition for teaching and/or advising
other materials as appropriate (Potter College Promotion and Tenure Policies)
Every institution of higher education has its own mechanism and criteria for promoting its faculty. But in Government Colleges, being the teaching institutions, the seniority-based evaluation of the faculty footed on a loosely defined concept of teaching is used as a criterion of promotion of the faculty.
Another drawback in the whole process of performance evaluation in Government Colleges is the lack of integration of professional development opportunities with it. Professional development is foundational for Faculty's continued success in the areas of teaching, service, and leadership. As such, faculty should attend seminars, workshops, conferences, webinars, and college/university classes; pursue degrees and certifications; and engage in individual research in the areas of specific disciplines, pedagogy, leadership, technology, assessment and retention, diversity, and technology. Professional development as applied scholarship provides opportunity for the faculty member to demonstrate 1) how such activities were applied in a meaningful way, and 2) how dissemination of knowledge has occurred.
Higher education also suffers from certain anomalies including not having a valid and reliable policy of hiring and promotion of the faculty working in universities, affiliated colleges, private and public, and professional colleges of medicine and law. On the job experience, supposedly, plays a vital role in the professional development of a professional. But it may not be accepted as a rule of thumb. Because the statistical link between teacher experience and education and student achievement is tenuous at best, policymakers and education researchers need to find alternate measures of teacher quality that are associated with improved student achievement. The nature of job differs from profession to profession. In most of the professions a person has to perform duties he/she has not been trained/qualified for. In others, the job does not go beyond the daily routine. In still others, the mismatch between training and work is so evident that the questions of job satisfaction and job identification become serious issues particularly in case of under-employed. In these cases the nature of job experience is hard to define. It is often obscure and directionless.
Different criteria have been adopted by HEC for the promotion of the faculty working in these institutions of higher learning. Sometimes on the basis of the length of service seniority lists are maintained and, in others, a certain number of publication of research articles is must for the promotion of the faculty.
The present promotion policy in public sector colleges is based on seniority. There are 6,000 teachers in 127 male (15 Postgraduate and 112 Degree colleges) and 70 female (5 Postgraduate and 65 Degree) public sector colleges.
Most of public sector colleges are short of skilled teachers since there is no proper policy for training of teachers. The department arranges different training programs for teachers, but many usually avoid it as it has no bearing on their promotion. Almost all government departments had made different trainings at different levels mandatory for promotion of their employees in order to build their capacity. But there is no comprehensive program of in or pre service training for the professional development of these teachers.
Under the 18th amendment of the constitution education was devolved to provinces. Department initiated program of reorganization and restructuring as part of preparation for undertaking additional responsibilities & implementation of Education Policy 2009. The following targets were set,
BS 4 Years Program
Training linked to promotion
Significant increase in enrollment
Increase in shifts
Increase in number of universities & DAIs (competition for establishment of sub campuses)
Current administration & management is highly motivated and education supportive
Project Management Unit
HE Management Information System (HEMIS)
College-wise sanctioned strength of teaching faculty in BPS-20, 19, 18, and 17 of male colleges are 30, 483, 1130, and 3841 and in female colleges are 12, 206, 502, and 1129 respectively.
Promotion policy of college teachers is based on the length of service in a certain pay scale i.e. five year, twelve year (7 year in BS-18), and seventeen year (10 year in BS-18 or 3 year in BS-19) service in BPS-17 is necessary for the promotion to BPS-18, 19, and 20. No proposal for promotion shall be entertained under unless the condition of the prescribed length of service is fulfilled. Service in the lower pay scales for promotion to BS-18 is counted as follows. Half of the service in BS-16 and one fourth in Basic Scales lower than 16, if any, is counted as service in Basic Scale-17. Service rules in the Higher Education department have recently been revised. Mandatory training has been linked with promotion to every next grade. A panel of two senior most officers shall be placed before the PSB for each vacancy of promotion to B-18 and B-19. Similarly a panel of three senior most officers shall be placed before the PSB for each position in respect of promotion to B-20 and B-21. The maximum aggregate marks for promotion to various grades would be 50, 60, 70, and 75 for BPS-18, 19, 20, and 21.
Under Section 9 of the NWFP Civil Servants Act, 1973, a Civil Servant possessing such minimum qualifications as may be prescribed shall be eligible for promotion to a higher post for the time being reserved under the rules for departmental promotion in the service or cadre to which he belongs. Promotion to the posts in B-2 to B-16 is made on the recommendations of the appropriate Departmental Promotion Committee and to the posts in B-17 and above, on the recommendations of the Provincial Selection Board as provided in rule 7 of the NWFP Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion & Transfer) Rules, 1989 and with the approval of the Competent Authority as given in rule 4 of the rules ibid.
The annual performance evaluation is a component of the promotion. The most important document used for the promotion of these faculty members and rest of the government servants is PER or performance evaluation report previously known as ACR or annual confidential report. Performance Evaluation Report is a system of evaluation of the Govt. servants on the prescribed forms. It is written annually. However, the period of three years is also required to be written when it becomes due. It is the most frequently used documents in the service career of a Govt. servant. It is used for promotion, for training and deputation purposes. PER on government servant is to be written in the first week of January of the preceding year. To be finalized by 31st January each year.
Forms are filled in duplicate. Part- i and Part- ii of the PER is filled by the officer and dispatched to the reporting officer not later than the 15th of January. The reporting officer forwards the same reports to the countersigning officer within two weeks of the receipt after giving his/her views in part- iii and iv. The CO finalizes his comments in part v within two weeks of the receipt PERs.
A perusal of this document shows that PER lacks the very standards of performance to be evaluated in the first instance. Secondly, part iii and iv of this report is full of such personality traits to be evaluated like intelligence, confidence, responsible, reliable, social, helpful, knowledgeable, and decision making for which in most of the cases the reporting officer is not competent enough to assess the officer under observation. Thirdly, part v and vi where countersigning officer has to take certain decisions in the light of the remarks given by reporting officer is the person who never comes across to the officer under consideration.
Usually two types of PERs are in use. One type of PER is used for BPS-17 and 18 while the other type is used for BPS-19 and 20. But except the difference in colors i.e. the first one is of yellow color and the second one is of pink, the contents of these reports are almost same.
The issues at hand are
Job experience at tertiary level of education is so monotonous that it does not result in the development of 'the professional skills' among the faculty and this monotony of job does not change with the change in grades.
'The professional skills' is an elusive phrase at tertiary level and it generally represents a mixture of Teaching skills, administrative skills and research skills, supposed to be automatically developed among the faculty after spending a specific time in the profession.
Time spent in any one of the three capacities (Teaching, Administration, and Research) make the faculty eligible for performing new role in the next grade in any of the above capacities.
"Teaching/research" experience used in the policy documents show that they are interchangeable.
Teaching/research experience is used for
The promotion of teaching faculty
The promotion of administrators (Principals, HODs, Deans, VCs)
The sole determinant of salary structure
Compensation system (House rent and Health facilities etc)
Monitory benefits associated with perks and emoluments during the service and after the retirement (pay and pension).
Promotion of teachers within sub-sectors of primary, secondary etc. is currently linked to number of years served rather than professional capability and performance, undermining motivation for improvement.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study evaluated the role of experience in the development of professional skills, a criterion used for the promotion of faculty at college level.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study were the following:-
To study the effect of experience in the development of professional skills of the faculty at tertiary level.
To investigate the rationale of using experience as the sole criterion of promotion of the faculty.
To evaluate the policies regarding faculty promotion.
To develop guidelines for policy reforms.
To suggest further researches and the improvements in educational planning and practice.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant for everyone associated with educational system in Pakistan and a source of understanding for the higher authorities to redress the anomalies and inconsistencies at various tiers and levels of education.
This study offers several policy implications.
First, while it is evident that some teachers are much more effective than others in improving student academic achievement, the study's findings suggest that traditional measures of teacher quality do not predict classroom performance. Education experts might wish to rethink the current requirements of new teachers and develop alternative measures that will more accurately predict classroom performance.
Second, it might be promising to reward teachers for their performance rather than for qualifications that are not associated with their ability to improve student achievement. Currently, most compensation systems reward teachers for their years of experience and education. The study's findings suggest, however, that these factors do not accurately predict a teacher's effect on student achievement. The traditional compensation system might provide too little incentive for the more effective teachers to deliver their best performance, and it provides incentives for further education that does not appear to contribute to student performance. While such characteristics as experience and education should remain valued, other incentives, such as pay-for-performance programs, might help further motivate teachers in the classroom.