TEACHER APPRAISAL AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT
In a large-scale study of teacher appraisal (Wragg et al., 1996) we found that only half of the teachers studied said that they had changed what they did in the classroom as a result of being appraised. If appraisal is supposed to lead to improvement, then this figure seems low, as one would expect all teachers to have changed, since no one is perfect. There are numerous ways in which work on class management can be incorporated into both staff development and teacher appraisal programmes, for the two should be related, appraisal without development being a somewhat arid and pointless procedure. Among possibilities are the use of some of the activities in this book, most of which can be translated into action with very little extra resources other than time, some elementary organisation and goodwill. Other options include the following:
The set of techniques known as ‘microteaching’ was developed originally at Stanford University. In its early form, small groups of children were taught for five or ten minutes with the teacher concentrating on some particular skill, like ‘questioning’ or ‘explaining’. The teacher was video-taped with a small group of pupils, the lesson was then analysed, and then the teacher was able to try again with a similar group of children in the light of this analysis and feedback. The problem with microteaching when it was first developed was that it was very labour-intensive, useful for trainees in a college, but less manageable with experienced teachers in a school. In any case, using microteaching for the development of class management skills needs bigger groups of children, say at least twelve and possibly a half or even a full class.