The appraisal of middle level leaders in New Zealand secondary schools

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Authors
Robson, J. L.
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Degree
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2012
Supervisors
Cardno, Carol
Collins, Jennifer
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
New Zealand secondary schools
middle level leaders
appraisal policies
professional development
professional accountability
Citation
Robson, J.L. (2012). The appraisal of middle level leaders in New Zealand secondary schools. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the appraisal of middle level leaders in three New Zealand secondary schools. The three research questions guiding this study were: Why is performance appraisal of middle level leaders important in New Zealand secondary schools? What are the current performance appraisal purposes and experiences of middle level leaders in New Zealand secondary schools in terms of what constitutes effective appraisal? How can schools improve the performance appraisal experiences of middle level leaders in New Zealand secondary schools? In this qualitative study, 26 middle level leaders completed an electronic questionnaire and five middle level leaders participated in semi structured interviews. Concurrently, each school‟s personnel policy and appraisal process was analysed. Using an interpretive approach, findings of this research exposed that middle level leaders perceive that they are not effectively appraised by senior leaders. The compliance focused approach results in middle level leaders not engaging in formal professional conversations that develop or value them. This research emphasises that school principals need to develop and implement appraisal policies and appraisal practice that specifically targets middle level leaders. Explicitly outlining accountability and developmental aspects of performance, as well as ensuring ongoing professional conversations are formalised, may lead to middle level leaders feeling valued, developed and empowered.
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