Evaluating students performance in any school course, including physical education, is a very controversial issue. There are no perfect solutions that could be universally applied in every school, every social background and with respect to every single student. Social science literature provides a rich body of various but incoherent information about monitoring students’ progress, evaluating their performance and measuring teaching results. While evaluation is not the most important aspect of education, it is surely a crucial link in teaching an learning processes, marking the final stage of each education task.
This paper is an attempt at analyzing difficult and multi-layered monitoring and evaluation measures taken by physical education teachers. Furthermore, the paper defines the status of these measures and their psycho-social preconditions. It also presents a modern approach to the evaluation of performance of students, i.e. of key participants of the education process.
The survey included physical education teachers (282 females and 298 males) holding full professional qualifications, employed in primary, grammar and secondary schools in Poznań (204), Wrocław (171) and Łódź (205). The total number of teachers surveyed in 2000 and 2001 was 580. The following surveying tools were used: a questionnaire related to monitoring and evaluation measures taken by teachers, a questionnaire including M.H. Davis’s Interpersonal Reactivity Index, a questionnaire testing the teachers’ professional attitudes, questionnaires for defining the teachers’ communication styles and teaching process management ways, and finally a temperament questionnaire by J. Strelau.
Also examined were physical education teachers from randomly selected schools in Poznań: 40 primary schools, 30 grammar schools and 20 secondary schools. In total, 584 teachers were tested, including 331 females and 253 males. The examination was made by observation – 256 physical education classes were visited.
Furthermore, the analysis stage included school documents: 162 evaluation systems implemented by the schools of Wielkopolska.
The analysis showed that monitoring and evaluation measures are one of the weakest links in the series of education efforts taken by teachers. It is worth stressing that the teachers themselves expressed very positive opinions on the evaluation methods followed in various types of schools. Furthermore, it was found that certain aspects of monitoring and evaluation are influenced by the teachers’ personality traits (empathy, temperament) as well as their communication styles and teaching process management ways, their sex, work place and place of residence. The hypothesis implying poor quality of evaluating PE students performance was fully confirmed. Therefore, in university training and professional training more attention should be paid to constant improvement of monitoring and evaluation skills. A positive phenomenon observed in the analysis of test results was the fact that most physical education teachers developed correct evaluation systems.