Exploring management members' attitudes towards the developmental appraisal system.
The Developmental Appraisal System (DAS) replaces an autocratic, judgemental and summative system which did not take into account the differing contextual factors that affect an educator's work. Often an inspector would arrive unannounced, observe a lesson, judge the educator and leave without offering any feedback. There was also very little understanding that ongoing professional development should be a part of all educators' lives. As a result educators feared and mistrusted the evaluation process. When this form of control was rejected, very little replaced it in the form of making sure that quality teaching and learning was taking place in the classroom. The post - apartheid government has put into place a number of policies and strategies to ensure that quality education takes place in our schools. One of the most important has been the developmental appraisal system. This system allows the educator to identify his own development needs through a democratic and formative process together with the participation of education managers, peers and experts. It is one of the tools that, if supported by the establishment of structure and systems, can have a major impact on our present education system. This case study is a qualitative study of the attitudes of the management members of Clairwood Secondary School towards the Developmental Appraisal System. The study aims to capture to some extent the views, feelings, attitudes and perceptions of the school's management towards DAS. The interviews with members of management has provided me with direct evidence of management's attitudes towards DAS. The overall impression gained from the study was that all members of management were favourably disposed towards DAS. DAS was found to be a good system and that it would definitely have a positive impact on whole school development. DAS allowed educators to talk about, review and reflect on their work, and to receive helpful and supportive advice and guidance. The DAS approach is developmental and it is important at the planning stage to build in time for reflection and for developing strategies for improvement.