Teacher change in the Western Cape, South Africa: taking a big step in science education

30 Aug 2017

Teachers working in under resourced and overcrowded classrooms in the historically disadvantaged schools of South Africa have traditionally used the blackboard as the main means for transmission of knowledge and also for control. The introduction of a new outcomes-based Curriculum 2005, emphasising active learning, and the integration of teaching and assessment, requires a big change in such teachers classroom practice. This article describes a science teacher development intervention programme conducted through a partnership between King?s College London, Peninsula Technikon and the Western Cape Education Department. Eleven teachers from six schools were trained to use ?translation activities? as a focus for small group discussion thereby helping learners to practice the process skills of science. Progress of implementation was monitored through classroom observation and interview as the teachers started to change their pedagogic style. Factors promoting and hindering this initiative were researched, and reported.