Educators' perceptions of whole-school evaluation in a primary school in the Umlazi district.
Malimela, Zasendlunkulu Nonkululeko.
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Policy documents such as The National Policy on Whole-School Evaluation (Department of Education, 2001), A Policy Framework for Quality Assurance and Training System in South Africa (Department of Education, 1998) and Integration Quality Management System (Department of Education, 2003) propose broad participation of major stakeholders, in particular educators, in the process of evaluating and monitoring school performance. This represents a major shift from the inspectorate system of the past that had limited transparency and openness between the evaluators (inspectors) and evaluees (educators) and had little to do with assuring the quality of education provision. Nevertheless many teachers have resisted the introduction of these policies designed to improve schools and their performance. The system known as Whole-School Evaluation focuses on the whole school rather than on individual staff members of the school, with the aim to develop schools in achieving their context-related goals and intended outcomes. Reasons for teachers‟ resistance to such a well intended framework of policies is not well understood. Thus, this study sought to investigate perceptions of educators about Whole-School Evaluation, which is the component of Integrated Quality Management System. To do this a case study was conducted at one KwaZulu-Natal Primary School in the Phumelela Circuit of Umlazi District. The focus of the study is on educators‟ experiences of Whole-School Evaluation, their understanding of their roles in the implementation process as well as their perceptions about the intention of Whole-School Evaluation, an interpretive approach was appropriate. The study uses two methods, interviews and questionnaires, for generating data. The major finding of this study is that, contrary to their initial resistance, educators are more positive about the Whole-School Evaluation system than the previous inspection system, because they perceive it to be developmental for themselves and their schools.