Exploring strategies to strengthen continuing professional development of teachers in rural South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    English: Professional development of teachers is a cornerstone of the provision of quality of teaching and learning in a country’s education system, affirmed by the literature, with programmes central to proposals for improving the quality of teaching and transforming education. Competencies of teachers in South Africa have not improved as envisaged, according to studies conducted, with many professional development programmes not yet implemented or not taking into account teachers’ perspectives. In addressing this challenge, the aim of this article is to determine components of a strategy that could be employed to implement professional development programmes, drawing on a project conducted in two rural secondary schools in the Free State province. Data were generated from school community participants and district-based officials using a Participatory Action Research approach. Findings revealed six distinct components of a strategy, namely establishment of a team comprising all stakeholders; the creation of a common vision for all based on a thorough Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis; prioritizing items; drawing up of a strategic plan; monitoring procedures to determine progress made; and suggesting possible ways of improving on weaknesses.