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The purpose of this paper is to explore how perceptions of risk influenced teachers’ sensemaking and actions during a professional learning and development (PLD…
The purpose of this paper is to explore how perceptions of risk influenced teachers’ sensemaking and actions during a professional learning and development (PLD) initiative where teachers were expected to change their practices.
A risk perception lens, focussed on uncertainty, was used to capture the on-going experiences of teachers as they participated in PLD. The PLD, delivered by one organisation, focussed on developing teacher use and understanding of formative assessment practices. Data for this three-school qualitative exploratory case study of teachers’ perceptions of risk primarily utilised qualitative interviews.
Findings identified that teachers perceived risk and experienced feelings of vulnerability as a result of their on-going assessment and evaluation of the uncertainty in the professional learning context. The perceived risk informed teachers’ responses and actions, ultimately impacting on teachers’ learning.
The risk perception process model developed from the findings and conceptual framework provides a tool for educators to navigate and reduce perceived risk and enhance learning in change.
This research advances the conceptualisation of perceived risk in PLD. It challenges the current concept of teachers’ resistance and instead considers the role of their perceptions of risk, broadening the understanding of responses to educational change.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two recent examples of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's approach to reducing the persistent disparities in achievement…
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two recent examples of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's approach to reducing the persistent disparities in achievement between students of different social and ethnic groups. The first example is cluster‐based school improvement, and the second is the development of national standards for literacy and numeracy across the primary sector.
The evaluative framework used was derived from recent international analyses of the characteristics of school systems, which are either high performers or successful reformers on recent international surveys. Policy documents and evaluation reports provided the evidence on which the evaluation of the two New Zealand (NZ) examples is based.
The six criteria associated with high system performance and/or reform success were: system‐wide commitment to educational improvement; ambitious universal standards; developing capacity at the point of delivery; professional forms of accountability; strategic resourcing; and institutionalizing the improvement of practice. The present analysis of the NZ reform examples suggests that while there is a broad commitment to more equitable outcomes, a new resolve to introduce and report against national standards, and a high level of espousal of professional accountability, there are significant contradictions between school self‐management and the work that needs to be done to reduce achievement disparities.
This paper's evaluation of these two examples raises important policy questions about the assumptions that are made in the NZ self‐managing system about teacher and leader capability and about where responsibility for school improvement lies.
New Zealand schools are now managed by parent‐elected trustees whoserole is to work in partnership with school staff to formulate andmonitor aspects of school policy. A…
New Zealand schools are now managed by parent‐elected trustees whose role is to work in partnership with school staff to formulate and monitor aspects of school policy. A sample of those involved in the partnership (principals, teachers, chairpersons and parents) were asked what role they thought the Board should play in three different types of school policy decision. The results showed that, while there were some differences between primary and secondary respondents, most respondents believed the Board should play a far less influential role in educational than in administrative decisions. Overall, less than 50 per cent of both the professional and lay groups expressed opinions about the Board′s role that were consistent with current government policy on the management of New Zealand schools.
Performance appraisal and teacher evaluation systems in schools have been subject to criticism in many countries because they have not met perceived requirements of…
Performance appraisal and teacher evaluation systems in schools have been subject to criticism in many countries because they have not met perceived requirements of educators and/or the state. This study sought the views of New Zealand secondary school principals to whom responsibility for developing appraisal systems has been devolved since 1989. In general, principals developed systems that met their own requirements and were reasonably satisfied with their efforts. Some principals prioritised developmental purposes while others included accountability purposes. These two groups experienced different outcomes. In some cases, staff opposition prevented principals from developing accountable systems. Although the performance appraisal systems developed by principals mostly met their own requirements, most did not all meet the state’s requirements for accountability.