Survey tool gives a full picture

Issue: Volume 96, Number 14

Posted: 14 August 2017
Reference #: 1H9dxC

A new Teaching and School Practices survey tool offers a clear picture to principals and teaching staff about practice and leadership.

Louisa Barham of Peachgrove Intermediate is always on the lookout for ways to help do things simply and well. Helpfully, a new survey was able to provide her with information to fulfil that need and grow her leadership.

Louisa was one of the principals who trialled the Teaching and School Practices survey tool — and she wants to use the final version of the survey in term 3 to create a 2017 baseline for annual review.

The tool has been developed by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), and asks about teaching practices, school practices, and leadership at schools or Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

She talked about her experience of using the trial version of the tool.

 “I explained to the staff that it was really useful for us, that it gave a really good opportunity to get feedback on all the things we’d been working hard on,” she says.

She knew from experience that time would be a barrier, no matter how positive teachers were about using the tool.

“I emphasised that it gave really meaningful feedback, and it was my expectation that they do it, and I put a timeframe around it. I also provided a PLD session, we used that time together, and some finished off in their own time.”

Principals make the decision to register their school to use the tool, but teacher participation is voluntary and their responses are anonymous.

Principals get a range of reports from the tool and can share them with staff and their board.

“You get a full and really transparent picture, which is very useful for review,” says Louisa.

The responses principals give show up with a red dot on the report, which means they can see themselves relative to their staff.

“As a principal, it’s particularly helpful to have that little red dot that is you, to see whether there is alignment between the things I’ve been driving, the big school picture, and what is happening for teachers.”

New or younger principals can choose what to focus on as part of their personal development plan.

“The reports give you flexibility. You can look at the whole school picture, or at the teaching practices, or at the leadership,” says Louisa.

A Kāhui Ako can use the Teaching and School Practices survey tool to provide a Community of Lerning-wide perspective on practice, if member schools complete the survey and agree for their aggregated data to be shared with the Kāhui Ako.

The tool was developed by NZCER and is funded by the Ministry of Education. It is open for use in term 2 and term 3 each year. It’s still available until the end of term 3 this year and schools are encouraged to use it for getting the picture they need for review and planning for 2018.

Find out more about the Teaching and School Practices survey tool at link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 14 August 2017

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