CHAPTER 3 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATORS
Literature on PD of the educators reveals that many education systems all over the world have undergone drastic changes and the Republic of South Africa (RSA) is not an exception. For instance, in the South African education context, the National Policy Framework on Teacher Education and Development (NPFTED) (2006) was introduced by the National Department of Education (NDoE) in conjunction with various stakeholders such as South African Council of Educators (SACE), Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Higher Education and Training (HET), Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) and educator unions (DBE & HED 2011:1). This policy focusses on two complementary subsystems, which is known as the Initial Professional Education for Teachers (IPET), which stresses the professional development (PD) of educators and the recruiting of properly qualified educators in the teaching profession as well as continuing professional teacher development (CPTD), which is concerned with educators’ continuing PD (RSA 2007:2).
Therefore, in this new schooling dispensation, there is an urgent need to develop educators continuingly in order to bring about effective teaching and learning which is directly related to improved learner performance and achievement in schools. Samuel (2009:742) asserts that the starting point for improving the quality of schooling system begins with practical skills for the educators. Steyn (2009:114) concurs when she maintains that to ensure that all educators are appropriately equipped for improving learner performance, it is necessary to find suitable PD approaches. Furthermore, Hendricks et al (2010:32) stress that educational outcomes largely depend on educator quality. Therefore, governments, local politicians and school managers need to foster educators’ continuing PD in order to cope effectively with ongoing changes.
This chapter therefore reviews the concept of ‘PD’ and its purposes as well as the models and approaches to PD, its structural and core features, the effectiveness of the PD and conditions for its successful implementation. In addition, it investigates the impact of PD on learner achievement and barriers with regard to its effective implementation as well as the role of the educational managers in supporting the PD of educators in schools. As a starting point, the concept ‘PD’ and its purposes is explored in the following section.
The concept of ‘professional development’
Villegas-Reimers (2003:11) defines PD as the development of employees in their professional roles and it includes both formal and informal experiences. Formal experiences include aspects such as attending workshops and professional meetings. On the other hand, informal experiences include activities such as reading professional publications and watching television documentaries related to an academic discipline. Furthermore, PD according to Villegas-Reimers (2003:12) has several characteristics, namely:
- PD is based on constructivism rather than on a ‘transmission-oriented model’ and educators are treated as active learners who are engaged in the concrete tasks of teaching, assessment, observation and reflection;
- it is also perceived as a long-term process as it acknowledges continuous development for the educators;
- it is also perceived as a process that relates to the daily activities of educators and learners;
- PD is intimately linked to school reform and educators are empowered as professionals who know what is expected of them;
- an educator is regarded as a reflective practitioner, someone with certain knowledge and experiences based on prior knowledge. Therefore, PD also assists educators to build new pedagogical theories and practices;
- PD is also conceived as a collaborative process and most effective PD occurs where there are meaningful interactions, not only among educators themselves but also between educators, managers, parents and other community members; and
- PD has a variety of dimensions and schools and educators need to design PD programmes that suit their institutions.
Steyn (2005:263); Boyle et al (2005:2) and Lekome (2007:18) concur when they assert that PD is concerned with the continuing updating of professional knowledge and skills throughout a staff member’s career. Furthermore, it is the creation of conditions for the rapid acquisition of these new skills and knowledge. Mestry et al (2009:477) and Carl (2009:198) share similar sentiments when they assert that PD is seen as a process during which educators continuingly improve their skills, knowledge and attitudes while continuing their employment. They further maintain that PD embraces two related concepts, namely:
- PD assists educators to continue to develop skills and knowledge required to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently; and
- PD is the notion that knowledge acquisition and skills development should be more directly related than in the past to the substantive problems faced by educators.
Maistry (2008:119) maintains that the PD of educators should be afforded high priority if reform and restructuring initiatives are to be successful. He also emphasises that educator development has been sporadic and poorly coordinated and is characterised by once-off workshops without follow-up or support. Du Preez (2008:78) concurs by emphasising that educators need to be empowered and emancipated through the process of CPD. This view is also endorsed by Samuel (2008:15) when he asserts that teacher education programmes need to develop educators who are competent and committed to the enterprise of organising systematic learning for their learners. Boyarko (2009:11) stresses that PD comprises a variety of activities that assist educators in learning and growing continuingly in their profession. Trehearn (2010:22) echoes similar sentiment and stresses that PD is a life-long and collaborative learning process that nourishes growth of individuals, teams and schools through daily job-embedded, learner-centred and focussed approaches. SACE (2010:2) also maintains that like all professions, educators need to grow their knowledge and skills throughout their careers. Furthermore, they also need to renew their commitment continuingly to their professions to express their pride in its ideals of service, their dedication to learners’ development and their determination to contribute to a just and thriving nation.
Duley (2011:4) and Cambra et al (2012:23) share similar sentiments when they maintain that PD is as an ongoing, sustained, inquiry-based learning that occurs at least weekly throughout the school year. Further, this type of professional learning provides focussed and deep learning resulting in positive changes in practice and increased learner achievement. Duley (2011:25) also refers to job-embedded professional development (JEPD) as learning that is grounded in day-to-day teaching practice. It is also designed to enhance educators’ content-specific instructional practices with the intent of improving learner performance and achievement in schools. She further maintains that JEPD is a shared and ongoing process that makes a direct connection between learning and application in daily practice. It also requires active educator involvement in cooperative, inquiry-based work. When done well with support from school leadership, JEPD can result in powerful learning and educators feel a great sense of ownership and investment in their teaching practices (Duley 2011:26). Hunzicker (2011:178) also concurs when she asserts that when PD is supportive, job-embedded, instructionally focussed, collaborative and ongoing, educators are more likely to consider it relevant and authentic, which is more likely to result in teacher learning and improved teaching practice. She also refers to Instructional-focussed Professional Development (IFPD), which relates directly to effective professional development programmes (PDPs) that assist educators to become interactive with regard to sharing their views on how to improve learner performance and achievement in schools. Archibald et al (2011:5) share similar sentiments when they assert that through PD educators develop expertise not as isolated individuals but through job-embedded PD as members of collaborative, interdisciplinary teams with common goals for student learning.
Cambra et al. (2012:23) share similar sentiments when they assert that JEPD is an ongoing process that supports the transfer of newly learned knowledge and skills and such learning also needs to be evaluated and refined continuingly. It also provides comprehensive, sustained and intensive learning opportunities to expand the professional knowledge base available to educators. It also engages educators in an ongoing process of critically examining their teaching practices to find new and more effective ways to improve learner performance and achievement in schools. Furthermore, JEPD needs to address both individual educators’ goals for professional growth and the other organisational learning priorities for school improvement. Consequently, JEPD and IFPD encourage educators to work with others to deepen their content knowledge, sharpening their instructional skills and develop their abilities to use data for meaningful decision-making.
CHAPTER ONE ORIENTATION TO THE STUDY
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND OUTCOMES
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.5 POPULATION AND SAMPLING
1.6 RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN
1.7 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES
1.8 DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
1.9 ETHICAL MEASURES
1.10 MEASURES TO ENSURE TRUSTWORTHINESS
1.12 PLANNING OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER TWO PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL AND THE INTEGRATED QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS
2.2 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
2.3 STAFF APPRAISAL MODELS
2.4 TRADITIONAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PRACTICES
2.5 DIMENSIONS OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
2.6 KEY FEATURES OF EFFECTIVE APPRAISAL
2.7 DIFFERENT METHODS OF STAFF APPRAISAL
2.8 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS
2.9 CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED IN IMPLEMENTING APPRAISAL PROCESS IN SCHOOLS
CHAPTER THREE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATORS
3.2 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.3 MODELS OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.4 APPROACHES TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.5 STRUCTURAL AND CORE FEATURES OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.6 THE IMPACT OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON LEARNER PERFORMANCE
3.7 BARRIERS REGARDING IMPLEMENTING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCHOOLS
3.8 THE ROLE OF EDUCATION MANAGERS IN SUPPORTING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCHOOLS
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.2 MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION AND AIM
4.3 POPULATION AND SAMPLING
4.4 RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN
4.5 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES
4.6 DATA ANALYSIS
4.7 ETHICAL MEASURES
4.8 MEASURES TO ENSURE TRUSTWORTHINESS
CHAPTER FIVE DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
5.2 BACKGROUND OF KWAMASHU TOWNSHIP
5.3 THE PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
5.4 FINDINGS FROM THE STUDY and quality improvement in education
CHAPTER SIX SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.3 FINDINGS continuing professional development
6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
6.6 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
LINKING APPRAISAL WITH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE INTEGRATED QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS