Title page for ETD etd-09122008-152948

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Lekome, Botsang Patricia
Email blekome@nwpg.gov.za
URN etd-09122008-152948
Document Title Professional development of primary school educators through the developmental appraisal system
Degree MEd
Department Curriculum Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof W J Fraser Committee Chair
  • professional development
  • judgement appraisal
  • evaluation
  • appraisal
  • development appraisal
Date 2008-04-15
Availability unrestricted

This thesis deals with the developmental appraisal system which was introduced in 1998 to address the professional development of educators in the Republic of South Africa. Development Appraisal System (DAS) is one of the processes of transformation which was introduced after the democratic elections of 1994. This process was necessitated inter-alia by the following challenges, which seem to be faced by educators in the classroom:

  • Redeployment of educators;
  • Upgrading of educator’s qualifications;
  • Curriculum change. National Curriculum Statement (NCS);
  • Outcomes Based Assessment (OBA); and
  • Inclusivity–the policy that addresses learner’s barriers in the classroom, used to be called Education for Learners with Special Education Needs (ELSEN)
  • .

The following three questions therefore provide the focus of the study:

  • What is the nature and scope of DAS and how does it relate to the professional development of educators?;
  • Which appraisal models can be used to understand and contextualise the DAS in the professional development of intermediate phase educators; and
  • To what extent has DAS contributed to the professional development of the intermediate phase educators?

Data was collected through the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The target group of this study is the primary school educators in the intermediate phase because they were exposed to all the curriculum changes, for example, NATED 550, Curriculum 2005 and finally, National Curriculum Statement. There were 4 participants in the study from each of the sampled schools. The participants from each school comprised of the principal, the HOD and two educators. The two educators, the Heads of Departments and some principalsof very small schools, completed the questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with the principals who did not complete the questionnaires.

The study was conducted in both rural and urban schools, to determine how educators from different settings perceived educator appraisal.

The following are the most important findings applicable to the third research question, namely, the contribution of the developmental appraisal on the professional development of the primary school educators.

  • The study revealed that appraisal was implemented in the Republic of South Africa but there are still some factors that may still limit the potential of appraisal and they are as follows:
  • Lack of capacity of the appraisers, appraisees and the workshop facilitators;
  • Lack of time; money and the necessary resources for the purposes of developing educators on the needs identified during the appraisal process.
  • Lack of support from the Area Project Office; school development teams and School Management Teams (SMTs) due to overloading caused by the Post Provisioning Model (PPM). As a result of this model, the school structures failed to address the needs which were identified during the appraisal process;
  • Inadequate training in appraisal; and
  • Lack of monitoring of the appraisal process.

The study clearly indicated that if appraisal can be effectively implemented by addressing the educators’ identified needs, it may definitely benefit all in the education fraternity, and the implementation of the new curriculum and other departmental initiatives may not be riddled with problems.

The current study serves as an advice to managers at all levels that, if time and resources are not prioritised for educator development, this could make the educator negative about the whole appraisal process.

The study recommended the following:

  • That appraisers and appraisees be re-trained in appraisal as well as self assessment;
  • That the training needs identified during the appraisal process be met;
  • That the appraisal process be monitored; and
  • Newly appointed educators should be mentored.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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