An investigation into the implementation of whole-school evaluation, with particular reference to a pilot school in the Umlazi south district of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and Culture.
Evaluation is not unfamiliar : educators in classrooms use constant feedback from learners as the basis for self-evaluation. What may be less familiar is for groups of educators in a school to carry out a self-evaluation or experience a whole-school evaluation process, which in the latter case means more than a single educator. Whether familiar or not school evaluation has increased in importance in recent years, particularly at the level of the whole school. The introduction of WSE, notwithstanding its worthy intentions, has proved to be a contentious issue for educator unions, which expressed considerable reservation both about which led to the introduction of WSE and the underlying purposes of the process. In addition, there is no widely available, if any, assessment of the success or failure of the pilot project. Within this broad context, this small-scale research project, subject to limitations, attempts to investigate the experiences and reactions of one school in which an attempt has been made to implement the process. Based upon the responses of the participants in this research study, it became clear that there is a desire to be involved in the traditions of 'school improvement'. If one assumes that the sample group is representative of stakeholders at the pilot school, then this study believes that some important principle of WSE are implicit in the way things are now being done and thought of at the school.
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