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

Getting started with this website

Te hīkoi whakamua me tēnei pae tukutuku

This Ruia website is based on research evidence about teaching and professional development practices that can make a real difference to the achievement of Māori students. It shows how schools can align their appraisal policies and practices to cycles of professional learning focused on raising outcomes for Māori students.


Research shows that many schools struggle to integrate appraisal into their policies and practices for improving teaching and some New Zealand schools successfully use appraisal to make a real difference for their Māori students.

A common feature of the successful schools is that they have a strong commitment to self-review.

They sort their data in response to the outcomes that their community values, and they actively respond to what their analysis tells them.

This website draws on the experience of some of these schools. You can see examples of what these schools are doing in the case studies in this site.

Ruia promotes using an inquiry and knowledge-building cycle, but you may want to start looking at your school’s appraisal practices before you commit to all or part of the cycle.

Suggestions provided here could help you focus on the specific needs and interests that will drive an inquiry.

The suggestions below are intended to guide you to focus on the needs and interests that driven your inquiry.

Begin your journey with a starter activity. Then, commit to a systematic cycle of inquiry that uses this website as a tool for improvement.


Starting with a tool

  • Use the tool Reviewing Appraisal in Your School to assess to what extent your schools’ current appraisal policies align with the principles of appraisal for learning and contribute to improving outcomes for Māori students.
  • Use the appraisal planner to design appraisal processes that are aligned with the principles of appraisal for learning while addressing the realities of your context.

Starting with what successful schools are doing

  • Look at what successful schools are doing in their appraisal processes and practices
    • Consider to what extent these are present in appraisal in your school.
    • Choose one of the themes and discuss in depth how you might move your school closer towards what successful schools are doing. 

Starting with the principles of appraisal for learning

  • Consider the appraisal policy and practices at your school. Then critically examine the principles of appraisal for learning described in this website.
    • Discuss and record your initial responses to the principles and compare them to what is happening at your school.
    • Next, read the sections on the connections and supporting evidence for these principles, and discuss whether they have had an impact on anyone’s point of view.
    • Identify any issues with your appraisal practices that you would now like to address and start discussing your next steps.
  • Identifying a related issue in your school and trying something new, conduct a mini-inquiry into one of the principles of appraisal for learning.
    • For example, to what extent do your current appraisal processes take into account the school community’s goals for Māori students? You could survey the staff to identify how aware of these goals they are
  • Look at something you have done recently and consider it in relationship to the principles of appraisal for learning.
    • For example, to what extent are decisions about student and teacher learning informed by analysed data about the impact of current teaching and appraisal practices on Māori students? What do you need to do or learn to ensure that appraisal at your school is data-informed?


Starting with focused reflection

  • Start by identifying an issue at your school that is important in raising Māori student achievement and that can be addressed through appraisal.
    • Find a section in this website that will assist and agree on a process that you can use to inquire into what is happening in your school.
  • Explore the section Appraisal in New Zealand Now.
    • Discuss whether the practices and requirements described are present in your school and whether there are other practices or themes that you would regard as important.
    • As a result of this discussion, identify an area where you would like to see change and how you could start that process.
  • Discuss the concepts that underpin the inquiry and knowledge-building cycle and how they relate to the principle of ako. If you have had limited experience in inquiry-based professional learning, read the section 

Return to top