Developing the professional capacity of educators teaching in the context of a special school through collaboration and peer coaching
Author(s)Kempen, Maria Elizabeth
Contributor(s)Steyn, G. M.
KeywordsContinuous Professional Development
Professional development models
Communities of practice
Teachers -- In-service training -- South Africa -- Gauteng
Special education teachers -- South Africa -- Gauteng
Special education teachers -- Training of -- South Africa -- Gauteng
Mentoring in education -- South Africa -- Gauteng
School personnel management -- South Africa -- Gauteng
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe objective of education authorities worldwide is to enhance teachers’ professional capacities and practices through the supply of quality continuous professional development (CPD) activities. The South African education system has been subjected to many changes during the past two decades which have seriously affected the quality of education provided in schools country wide. Professional development (PD) of teachers has been found to be a key factor in raising standards in South African schools. Although the National Department of Education has identified teacher development as important, very little has transpired in the education system. School leaders should, therefore, take on the responsibility of providing their staff with PD opportunities. To support teachers in special schools and to enhance their professional capacity, the researcher designed, implemented and evaluated a collaborative PD model in six special schools in Gauteng. The aim of the study was to establish the value of the CPD programme on teachers’ learning, learners’ outcomes and whole school change. This multi-phased case study research was positioned within a bigger study conducted by the Gauteng Department of Education and in particular the Early Childhood Development Institute (ECDI). This larger study was based on the fact that most of the burn related accidents in South Africa occur in the 0-4 age group, which served as the rationale for including the fire safety programme in the ECD curriculum. The focus during the research was on the adaptation of fire safety activities and learners and teacher support materials for an inclusive classroom. This research reports on a two year study on the implementation of a CPD model based on collaboration and peer coaching. The theoretical framework for this study links to theories of constructivism, organisational theory of Senge, network and social capital. This research serves as an example of where valuable internal and external networks were formed for the benefit of all involved with the study. During this research theory and practice were successfully integrated for the benefit of the individual, the school and external organisations.
Department of Educational Leadership and Management
D. Ed. (Education Management)
Kempen, Maria Elizabeth (2014) Developing the professional capacity of educators teaching in the context of a special school through collaboration and peer coaching, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/14192>
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The influence of digital media use in classrooms on teacher stress in Gauteng schoolsBotha, R. J. (Nico); Matwadia, Zyliekha (2019-06-13)In 2014, Gauteng Education MEC announced the “Big Switch On” project in which he envisaged paperless classrooms in Gauteng schools over the next three years. He also said that this would see digital media such as iPads and other electronic Tablets replacing textbooks and stationery. He had a vision that the chalkboard would disappear and projectors would take their place. When the MEC for Education introduced the Big Switch On project, he emphasised the positive effects that paperless classrooms will have on the learners. Education authorities were concerned about and wanted to improve the quality of learning and teaching for disadvantaged learners. However, the MEC for Education failed to highlight the possible impact that paperless classrooms will have on educators. It is important that educators are given an opportunity to provide input with regard to the implementation of paperless classrooms.
This study will focus on the perceived stress experienced by teachers in Gauteng, whose schools have been part of the Big Switch On project and have had to mandatorily include the use of digital tablets in their classrooms. This study sought to investigate the influence of digital media use in classrooms on teacher stress in Gauteng schools. It is important to conduct a contextual study that explores the perceived stress factors experienced by teachers in the Gauteng schools that were selected in the Big Switch On project. The research from other contexts can only provide general frameworks regarding the constructs involved. It cannot replace the research conducted specifically for the Big Switch On project.
The purpose of this study is threefold. Firstly, the Big Switch On project has been introduced in 2015 in seven Gauteng schools, and was expanded to 375 schools in the following two years. For many schools, this is a first time, thereby rendering it a scarcely researched topic. The implications and effects of the project have yet to be considered. Secondly, it is often assumed that the use of digital tablets in the classroom makes teachers lives easier and reduces their workload. The research that will be undertaken will address this question scientifically to make reliable and valid conclusions that go beyond assumptions. Thirdly, related research has indicated barriers and challenges to the implementation of digital tablets in the classroom. The research will address these barriers and make recommendations regarding future implementation of digital tablets in the classroom.
In this qualitative study, I chose a multi-site case study with purposeful, convenience sampling. Two secondary schools that were part of the Big Switch On project were selected. The classrooms in the schools had smartboards, the teachers were given laptops and learners were given tablets. Furthermore, a lot of money was spent on the upgrade of the infra-structure of the schools. These schools were chosen as sites to study the influence of digital media use in the classroom on teacher stress. I chose to interview all levels of teachers and principals, which would allow me to make comparisons as well as provide me with data from which I would be able to reflect on my own practices. I chose to gather data by means of semi-structured face to face interviews.
The data revealed that teachers were not part of the decision-making process to introduce digital media in the classroom. Although teachers cited benefits, they felt that the challenges were frustrating with the implementation of digital media in the classroom. Teachers expressed that the initial workload increased but felt that it would decrease over time. Whilst teachers felt that the quality of teaching has improved, they indicated that the quality of learning has deteriorated because learners use the tablets for off-task behaviour.
Teachers made recommendations that mirrored the recommendations from the literature and if these concerns are addressed, it would make the implementation of digital media in the classroom more effective and at the same time empower teachers.
In order to address school effectiveness, one needs optimum levels of commitment and performance from teachers. Therefore, it is important to emphasize any notion affecting the performance capability of teachers and learners and to create stress free working conditions. It is with this in mind that the study was conducted.
Elementary school children’s acceptance and use of digital school libraries at Crawford Preparatory Pretoria School in Gauteng Province, South AfricaVan der Walt, T. B.; Moyo, Sharon (2016-01-27)The use of the digital school library depends on many factors, including end-users‘ acceptance. The issue of designing information systems that will be used appropriately is growing and thus user acceptance of new technology is now receiving much attention by researchers. Without acceptance, discretionary users will seek alternatives, while even dedicated users will most likely manifest dissatisfaction, negating many, if not all, the presumed benefits of the digital library. Whereas the traditional focus of digital libraries has drawn research on technological developments, there is a call for user-focused research. This study sought to identify the dynamics of elementary children‘s (11- to 13- year olds) decision-making in the context of accepting or resisting making use of digital school libraries at Crawford Preparatory Pretoria School in Gauteng. To be accepted, the digital library must satisfy basic usability requirements and be perceived as useful by the children. The constructs of the Technology Acceptance Model, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness were used to generate an understanding of acceptance of the digital school libraries. The study adopted a quantitative case study research approach to compare the empirical data and the TAM theory. Data triangulation of a wide range of data collection methods, including observation, questionnaires, focus groups and tasks given to the children to work on using the International Children‘s Digital Library was analysed. The findings revealed that, just like adults, children make decisions regarding accepting and using the digital school library based on how easy it is to use and how relevant it is to their needs. The study recommends that software designers, teachers and librarians work with the children when designing digital school libraries to ensure that their acceptance factors are taken into consideration when designing for them.
Teachers’ experiences of the principal’s instructional leadership styles in primary schools in Gauteng ProvinceMahlangu, Vimbi Petrus; Zvandasara, Sakheni (2017-09-28)This study explores teachers’ experiences with the principals’ instructional leadership styles in primary schools in Gauteng province. A qualitative research design was employed in the study to answer the research question. Data was generated by means of semi structured interviews which involved the three HODs and nine ordinary teachers from the three sampled schools so as to provide a rich description, explanation, experiences, challenges and barriers that instructional leadership brings into the teaching and learning process in their particular schools contexts. The interest in the phenomenon emerged on the perspective of principals’ instructional leadership as often seen as the contributor to the challenges that are experienced by Primary school teachers during the learning process. Principals are viewed as contributing to South Africa’s education crisis and the overall ineffectiveness of the school system resulting in poor academic results. The instructional leaders who are not doing their jobs competently because of their leadership styles and lack of supervision skills, have caused this. This includes proper knowledge of how to run the schools and motivating staff to work, to enhance classroom instruction. Sometimes they do not involve the community and other stakeholders in the decision making process. Teachers who provide moral support and professional growth in the schools are also ignored.