Professional Development and Teacher Change

This paper describes an envisaged model of teacher change from a professional development intervention. The model portrays the implementation of training from an Early Grade Reading Study (EGRS) and captures the teachers’ attitudes, perceptions and instructional changes made to the teaching of reading in Setswana in Foundation Phase (Grade 1-3) classrooms. Research evidence supporting the model is summarized and the conditions under which the change is visualized and implemented are described. This study uses a case study interpretive paradigm to provide an empirical comparison of effects of different characteristics of professional development on teachers’ learning. Teachers from four schools participating in the EGRS were observed while teaching and interviewed to gather data. Guskey’s (2002) model of teacher change is used to analyse the data. Ethics for this study was obtained by the bigger project of EGRS through the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) process and permission was obtained from the Department of Basic Education. Results indicate that teacher change occur only if it is recognised that professional development is gradual and difficult process; ensure that teachers get regular feedback on student progress and provide continued follow-up, support and pressure in the form of coaching or mentoring.

Professional Development, Training, Mentoring, Coaching, Reading, Teaching Strategies

Educational Organization and Leadership

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Geeta Motilal
    • Lecturer, Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa Gauteng, South Africa