Teacher professional development programmes: what is missing?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    Professional development of teachers is a cornerstone for the provision of quality teaching and learning in an education system in a country. Studies affirm that effective professional development programmes of teachers stand at the centre of proposals for improving the quality of teaching and the transformation of education. The Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) has been put in place to develop the competencies of teachers in South Africa. A major problem in professional development programmes of teachers offered is that teacher competencies seem not to be improving as envisaged, mainly because of problems experienced in implementation. For example, challenges to the IQMS include a tendency to lose sight of the objectives of its processes. The focal point in implementation becomes securing awards rather than improving the quality of teaching and learning, because the same instrument is used for development and performance management. Another challenge is that the IQMS policy does not directly encourage and motivate teachers or improve their morale as it focuses mainly on monitoring school effectiveness. Shortage of adequately qualified staff and large learner-teacher ratios exacerbate the problem in the implementation of this policy. In order to obtain the empirical data, we employed Participatory Action Research in two secondary schools in the Free State province. The focal point of the research was to demonstrate if there was a need to enhance teacher development programmes in the two schools. Findings revealed a lack of a coordinated plan and the non-involvement of practitioners and beneficiaries in the design and implementation of CPD programmes, to name a few.