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

Appraisal for learning

Te aromihi e puta ai he painga, taha ako


In Teacher Appraisal: Missed Opportunities for Learning, Claire Sinnema states the concept of ‘appraisal for learning’ and emphasises that appraisal is an opportunity for teachers to learn about their effectiveness.

Focusing on the relationship between teaching and learning (Figure 2) helps teachers understand their own practice. As a result, they improve the quality of student learning.

In addition, appraisal helps teachers and school leaders identify teachers’ developmental needs in relation to helping their Māori students realise their potential.

Figure 2. Using appraisal to interrogate the relationship between teaching and learning



Appraisal for learning sits alongside other school processes, including those used to identify the strengths, needs, and interests of students and the aspirations of whānau and iwi.

Other benefits of appraisal are that it:

  • challenges teachers
  • supports teachers’ professional learning
  • provides a way for teachers to examine  their effectiveness
  • helps teachers build their professional knowledge
  • requires teachers to be  responsible and accountable for their students’ learning, but
  • supports teachers to identify and address issues at the heart of their instructional practice.

Keeping in mind these benefits, link individual teacher appraisal linked to collective planning and review throughout the school.

School leaders use information from appraisal, along with their understandings about student needs and targets, to plan for professional earning and to monitor its impact.

Teachers share their expertise as they reflect with others on shared problems of practice.

Data is used to test and challenge assumptions and to ensure that the focus remains firmly on student outcomes.

There is an understanding that every student is “ours”: that the outcomes for each student depend on the combined efforts of all staff as students move through the school.

Building on Figure 2, Figure 3 shows that effective appraisal recognises the importance of school-wide collaboration and collective responsibility.

For this reason, the inquiry and knowledge-building cycle in this website couches all questions in terms of “we”.

Appraisal is about teachers taking personal responsibility for how their practice is impacting on their students. This responsibility is shared across the school community.

Figure 3. Situating individual teacher appraisal within school-wide systems


Principles of appraisal for learning

Ruia case studies: Examples of the principles in practice

Support for the principles from the best evidence syntheses

The principles and effective professional relationships

Return to top