An exploration into whether the developmental appraisal system is achieving its desired outcome of promoting teacher development
Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2016
ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Prior to 1994, the evaluation of teachers occurred by means of an inspectorate system. This was an external body that ensured that all schools complied strictly with certain official rules and regulations. This method of evaluation was met with much resistance and distrust. It was seen as being “top-down”, “closed”, “bureaucratic”, “hierarchical” and “authoritative”. The inherent feeling of mistrust in this inspectorate system of evaluation was lodged within the troubled history of apartheid. With the onset of democracy came the dire need for educational reform and redress – one element of which was addressing the major concern of teacher and curriculum development as a means to ensure quality teaching and learning. In response to the latter, and in reforming the highly contentious inspectorate system, the Department of Basic Education (DoBE) introduced the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS). The primary aim of this research study was to explore whether the developmental appraisal system delivers on its outcome of promoting teacher development in five former model C schools in the Western Cape. The study explores the experiences and challenges of the IQMS appraisal system as encountered by principals, deputies and teachers. Among the main findings of this research is that teachers and principals hold extremely negative perceptions of the appraisal system. Furthermore, peer observation tends to lead to window-dressing of lessons, making it a futile exercise, as scores are unreliable and based on one lesson only. Very little, if any, teacher development stems from the IQMS appraisal process. Some financially well-resourced former model C schools implement additional appraisal systems with a financial incentive attached to the outcome. The IQMS’s 1% salary increase is not a motivating factor for teachers to be committed to the process. Furthermore, the DoBE needs to strictly monitor that the process is leading to teacher development. To allow this, substantial funding has to be available. Furthermore, attitudes need to be adjusted by the principals, accountability enforced and the implementation of different appraisal systems across public schools must be realised. This will have a positive impact on the quality of education in South Africa and should be a goal that the South African education system should strive to achieve.
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