Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Reviewing the impact of changes: What to think about

Sinnema (2005) shows that in traditional appraisal cycles, changes in teacher knowledge and practice have tended to be monitored on an annual basis and without connection to inquiry into how the changes affect student outcomes.

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A key message of this Ruia website is that this inquiry needs to be embedded and ongoing and that teachers and school leaders should be responsive to what it tells them. One of the implications for appraisal is that teachers’ goals should be reviewed often, preferably four-weekly and at least each term. There is little to be gained in continuing to focus teachers’ attention on goals that have already been attained or that no longer seem relevant to what they are trying to achieve.

Review also needs to include looking for the unexpected, for example, noticing that teachers are forgetting to implement their previous learning because their focus is on a new professional learning goal. Reviews should also include the appraisal process itself and the design of the professional learning experiences that were intended to support teachers to achieve their goals.

Another message of this website is that appraisal is about ensuring accountability and improvement for individual teachers and for whole school communities. ERO (2011) has developed a framework for school review that can incorporate teacher appraisal. ERO describes three types of self-review:

  1. Strategic self review is long term and focused on key goals related to the school’s vision.
  2. Regular self reviews are about “business as usual”. They are smaller, focused, and ongoing, feeding regular data into the strategic self review.
  3. Emergent self reviews are in response to unplanned events or issues as they arise. They are one-off spontaneous reviews but should fit with overall goals and link to other reviews.
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Reflective questions

  • What happened for us and our students (intentionally and unintentionally)? Why?
  • What aspects of this appraisal cycle worked well? What didn’t go well?
  • Where to next?

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