Supporting Teachers to be Self-directed Learners and Teaching as Inquiry

As educators we don’t need to quote a research base for understanding it is the learner who does the cognitive and intellectual work. It’s what we expect from our students.

A fundamental problem with traditional evaluative appraisal is that the learner is the evaluator. The evaluator is the one who does the bulk of the cognitive work – observing, synthesising information and drawing conclusions and facilitating conversations. Teachers are placed in a passive position intellectually from the start. They aren’t placed in a position to learn. They sit and listen and then leave.

Being a self-directed learner is what we are asking our students to be. Ironically, traditional appraisal does the opposite for our teachers.

When a teacher is self-directed they are curious, motivated and metacognitive in an introspective way. Self-directed learners are also intrinsically motivated, self-monitor, engage in creative problem solving, identify next steps in their learning, reflect and plan, set for themselves challenging goals and learn both independently and through others. Crucially, from a teacher’s perspective, being a self-directed learner requires the ability to engage in high quality self assessment. Teachers must be able to improve their ability to make accurate judgements about their teaching practice and become familiar and confident using multiple formats to become proficient, and ideally masterful in this most crucial area.

The Appraisal Connector™ has been designed to make the complex shift of being appraised to becoming a self-directed learner simple for teachers. Appraisal Connector™ complements all Teaching as Inquiry frameworks, provides teachers a platform to go deeper and further within the inquiry process, and provides leaders a powerful vehicle to strengthen significantly their school as a Learning Organisation.