Teacher appraisal reforms in post-1994 South Africa : conflicts, contestations and mediations.

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dc.contributor.author De Clercq, Francine
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-20T10:14:27Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-20T10:14:27Z
dc.date.issued 2011-06-20
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/10135
dc.description.abstract This thesis provides a trajectory policy analysis of post-1994 appraisal systems in South Africa by capturing the dynamics of these policies between different levels as well as the reasons these policies have changed and evolved in the way they did over the past 10 years. Its aim is to understand why and how various post-1994 South African teacher appraisals were negotiated, formulated and re-negotiated with their different impact on schools, taking into account the various tensions and contestations within appraisal and between stakeholders. The study attempts to make the following claims around issues of appraisal, policy analysis, multi-method research. First, because appraisal policies are socially constructed and politically contested, they are fraught with inevitable socio-educational tensions around the balance between teacher development and accountability, coming from the negotiations between the main stakeholders at various stages of the policy process. Second, because current policy analysis approaches have failed to address the increasingly complex domain and gap of policy-practice in an era dominated by the interplay of conflicting agendas and interests of various policy communities, an eclectic approach to policy analysis is used and recommended. This approach relies mainly on a political analysis, which conceives of policies as both constraining and empowering structures and texts which create space and opportunities for policy agency and leadership. Such political approach has to conceive of three different policy powers to reveal the various tensions and contestations around policies and the conditions of possibilities as well as to unravel how stakeholders interpret and mediate policy processes which are often fragile settlements constantly re-negotiated. This study focuses on the notion of enabling policy leadership and its mediation strategies to reveal how different agencies position themselves and strategize around policy tensions in the hope of strengthening their agendas. This policy leadership is also iv critical in ensuring a sufficiently strong policy settlement between education departments, schools, teacher unions and professional bodies over how to develop teachers and make them accountable for their performance Third, it argues that, despite post-1994 South Africa embarking on an era of stakeholder democracy, various stakeholders were gradually pushed to the margin of education policymaking, leaving teacher unions (because of their privileged position in relation to the ruling party) as the main party with which the department of education consulted and bargained. This exclusion of other stakeholders involved in quality education meant that professional associations were absent even though their input was desperately needed to negotiate how appraisal could feed into the enhancement of teacher professionalism and identities in the post-1994 school system. Finally, this study uses a multi-method research approach, involving formal research instruments as well as various data collection mechanisms involving different forums with stakeholders, such as oral hearings, review teams, seminars, conferences and written evidence over a period of two years to provide a richer form of triangulated data with rather interesting results. This data was analyzed and interpreted to identify patterns of policy contestations, negotiation and mediation strategies which assisted in theorizing further the policymaking processes and politics around appraisal as well as the role and limitations of policy leadership. This multi-layered empirical research work is essential if the complex and fluid positions and strategies adopted in various policy processes over time are to be unraveled. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Appraisal en_US
dc.subject Teachers' work en_US
dc.subject Teacher accountability and professional development en_US
dc.subject Policy powers and leadership en_US
dc.title Teacher appraisal reforms in post-1994 South Africa : conflicts, contestations and mediations. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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