Enhancing teacher development through teacher appraisal : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Teacher appraisal in New Zealand appears to be skewed too far towards the accountability end of the continuum and too little towards the development end. However, there is a lack of research that examines how appraisal systems can be used to not only address accountability but also focus on meeting the teacher development requirements. Therefore, this study aims to examine how New Zealand schools enhance teacher development and integrate the accountability and development requirements of teacher appraisal. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach and data were collected from two primary schools in New Zealand through semi-structured in-depth interviews, participant observations and document analysis. Thematic analysis of the interviews, observations, and document analysis resulted in a holistic understanding of how the two schools established appraisal systems and processes that were developmentally focused and integrated the accountability and development requirements. Through the thematic analysis, the study identified factors that supported and enhanced the integration and developmental focus of the appraisal systems. The study found that a love for learning underpinned the school culture, leadership approach, and school systems, enabling the developmental focus and integration. There were three main leadership styles identified in the study to support and enhance the love for learning culture: transformational, pedagogical, and distributive leadership. The leadership team were eager to support teachers to improve and grow pedagogically, and the leaders provided meaningful experiences that influenced the mindset and focus of teacher development. There was active learning through reflection, self-assessment, feedback, dialogue, and questioning. The schools also used collaborative practices that influenced the integration of the accountability and development aspects of teacher appraisal. The mentors played a crucial role in introducing the love for learning culture of the school to the beginner teachers by being role models, and regularly encouraging and extending mentee’s practice. The teaching portfolio, which was a collection of reflections and evidence, was effective in supporting teacher learning because it was instrumental in the teachers’ continual reflection, self-assessment, and updating of their portfolio. Each of the elements discussed in the portfolio contributed to the developmental focus and integration of the accountability and development aspects.
Teachers, Rating of, In-service training, New Zealand