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Early schooling teachers’ learning from a formal teacher development programme in South Africa

Iben Christiansen and Carol Bertram

International Journal of Educational Development, 2019, vol. 66, issue C, 78-87

Abstract: Continuing professional development for teachers is seen as an important factor in improving South African education. However, few studies have interrogated the extent to which teachers develop their professional knowledge and competencies by attending formal professional development programmes offered by universities. The purpose of the paper is to compare the results of two tests, which we designed to measure the professional learning of the Foundation Phase (Gr R – Gr 3) teachers who enrolled on an Advanced Certificate for Teaching (ACT) programme, offered by the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. We designed a pen-and-paper test which the participants completed in February 2014 when they enrolled on the ACT programme and then again in October 2015, when they had completed the two-year part-time programme. A comparison of the test results indicate that teachers may have developed slightly more confidence in some areas, that some shifted their beliefs about teaching and learning yet not always in the desired direction, and that the improvement in conceptual knowledge appeared rather limited. We discuss a range of possible explanations for this.

Keywords: Measuring teacher learning; Formal teacher development; Teacher knowledge (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2019.01.004

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