THE NEED FOR CONTINUING TEACHER EDUCATION: CUSTOMIZING TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Northwest University (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 5051 (abstract only)
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In their quest to improve learner performance, the South African education system, through a variety of stakeholders and policy makers has focused attention to an array of challenges confronting schools. Among others, these include changing school curriculum, introducing measures to hold schools accountable for poor results, changing assessment modes, introducing educational standards, and quality assurance measures.
Notwithstanding these massive reforms, one crucial aspect of the education system that is often neglected is teacher development and training. Heys (2002) emphasizes the need for educators and school managers to review their belief system about what contributes good practice in teaching and learning in a South African context. The aim was to establish the impact of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) on teacher performance by evaluating the current TPD models used in South Africa with the view to develop an alternative model for North West province. The study is qualitative utilizing exploratory participatory approach. Data was collected using questionnaires, unstructured interviews and observation. Data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistical analysis techniques.
Chi-square and MANOVA findings indicated no significant difference of opinion on views held by respondents on the purpose, benefits and relationship of TPD thus leading to failure to reject hypotheses and suggesting that an alternative TPD framework had to be considered. The current generic centralized TPD framework that has been applied overtime in teacher development has failed to improve the quality of learning experiences for students in the province. An integrated school based model of TPD is therefore proposed.
Keywords: Teacher Professional Development, Learner performance, learning styles, collaborative learning, Teacher Professional Development Model.