Teacher development as a requirement for school improvement in rural primary schools of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Tiwani, Stormburg Vuyile
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The main aim of this study was to investigate and understand the problems of teacher development for school improvement in the rural primary schools of Dr Kenneth Kaunda district. The theoretical framework underpinning this study is the constructivist learning and adult learning theories. This study was qualitative in nature and data was collected through analysis of documents which was corroborated by in-depth individual interviews with 4 principals, 8 departmental heads and 8 teachers from four rural primary schools of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district. Data was analysed using Hycner’s (1999) five phases of (a) bracketing and phenomenological reduction (b) delineating units of meaning (c) clustering of units of meaning to form themes (d) summarising each interview, validating and modifying it, as well as (e) formulating general and unique themes for all interviews. The interviewees were purposively selected from two underperforming rural primary schools and two performing rural primary schools of the two Sub-Districts of Dr Kenneth Kaunda district, JB Marks and Matlosana Sub-Districts. The objectives of this study were to describe available development opportunities for rural primary school teachers, to explain the implications of current systems of holding teachers accountable for their development; to describe teachers’ perceptions of teacher development opportunities available, to describe challenges teachers encounter and ultimately provide a model or guidelines to address problems detected. The research provided fresh ideas of professional development “not as a direct means to improve school improvement” but as a long-term strategy of building instructional capacity in rural primary schools. Furthermore, the research revealed that rural schoolteachers still prefer workshops, conferences, short courses and professional support forums as their development platforms. According to the research findings, teachers are exposed to several development opportunities from school level to district level, however, these were not enough from the side of the school as schools rarely initiate teacher development activities on their own.
- Education 
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