n Education as Change - Lessons learnt from practice : the implementation of DAS

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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This case study is an investigation into the implementation of the Developmental Appraisal System (DAS) in a primary school, by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and Culture. Thurlow and Ramnarain's (2001) theoretical overview is used to illuminate the process of implementation. Both the theoretical and experiential aspects of the implementation are examined. The experiential aspect looks at the reported experiences of educators in the school, including those of the staff development team, as they relate to efforts to operationalise the DAS. The findings from this study have implications for the conceptualisation of the system, and for the implementation of the process and its impact. This study of appraisal has illuminated an area which is as yet not well researched in South Africa and has brought to light issues that can be looked at and used to generate improvement in the appraisal of educators. What makes the study pertinent is that the system was researched with some of the very people it is intended for. The empirical aspect of this research serves to highlight problem areas at the grassroots level. In order to make the DAS effective and to bring about constructive change in education in South Africa, cognizance must be taken on how it affects the people directly involved. Lessons have been learnt about the realities and difficulties faced in the implementation stage, the effects of DAS on the staff, and the outcomes of the process. The current study may serve to open doors to move involved research in other schools, using a broader spectrum of the educational fraternity.

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