The role of development appraisal teams in teacher development in schools.
The purpose of this study was to research the role the development appraisal teams, namely the staff development team and development support group play in developing educators in schools. The objectives of this study were to understand the problems or challenges faced by schools in developing educators. Provide training for the School Management Team, Development Support Group and Staff Development Team to enable them to perform their roles of educator development. Evaluate and monitor the development appraisal system and educator development. The literature reviewed for this study examines key concepts of appraisal across the globe that would help me understand the South African educator appraisal system and critically evaluate it. This was done by firstly, looking at the following concepts in both business and education: performance management, performance related pay and staff development. Secondly, educator appraisal systems of a few countries are examined, to establish the background and purpose of educator development appraisal in those countries. Why such appraisal systems were introduced? What effect they had on educator development and school improvement? The study also looks at the challenges those countries faced in the implementation of educator developmental appraisal and how they dealt with those challenges. Thirdly, the guiding principles of the South African developmental appraisal system and the processes of the development appraisal were researched to compare with existing practises at the research sites. Furthermore the study explored the role and responsibilities of developmental appraisal teams, namely the Development Support Groups (DSG), the Staff Development Team (SDT) and the School’s Management Team (SMT), to establish how these teams’ contribute to educator development. The methodology used in this study is qualitative in nature. The study takes the form of a case study of 2 schools in the Pinetown district. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 participants from each school. The findings and recommendations of this study reveal 3 strategies that are needed to give schools the support to overcome their difficulties. Firstly, develop strategies to support the development appraisal system at schools. This can be done by developing training mechanisms at schools to train school management teams, staff development teams and development support groups to enable these teams to perform their developmental roles. Secondly, develop strategies to evaluate and monitor the development appraisal system. This can be done by empowering all school’s management teams and staff development teams to be able to monitor and moderate all evaluations taking place during a cycle and asking for documents that support or justify each assessment. Finally, develop strategies to compensate for the challenges faced by each school, based on each school’s context. This can be done by assessing each school’s context prior to assessment being conducted and factoring these contextual issues into each of that school’s educator’s scores.