Teacher Training Methods Are Not Working, Say Experts

Cape Times (South Africa), May 26, 2014 | Go to article overview

Teacher Training Methods Are Not Working, Say Experts


BYLINE: Michelle Jones Education Writer

THE ways in which teachers are being trained are failing them, say researchers at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Researchers looked at why policy changes - of which there have been several in recent years - did not positively affect what happened inside the classroom.

The newest policy, Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (Caps), was implemented in 2010 by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to replace Outcomes Based Education (OBE).

"It seems to us that current teacher training models are failing the country's teachers. Short, irregular and top-down workshops focus on administering Caps rather than on teachers engaging with its recommendations from their own knowledge and experience base," reads an HSRC study in its most recent Review.

Researchers Esther Ramani and Michael Joseph challenged the idea that there were links between policy and practice.

The Caps documents provide an in-depth guide for teachers to plan their time and structure lessons, and detail what work should be covered each week and term.

They also list which textbooks, workbooks and other media should be used.

The researchers said these "highly scripted" lesson plans had deprived teachers "of their own agency and robbed them of their initiative".

"Teacher training seems to be based on a replacement model, where teachers are required to replace one set of classroom practices with another every time policy is changed, but with little effect. …

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