Challenges of Teacher Development - an Investigation of Take by Jill Adler, Yvonne Reed

By Jill Adler, Yvonne Reed

The learn should be defined as a practice-based learn of instances, with academics' school room perform as its concentration. The examine was once framed via a number of the following questions: What assets have been on hand to lecturers and the way have been they used?; what ways did academics take to rookies and learning?; what have been the language practices of lecturers and inexperienced persons in bilingual and multilingual lecture room settings?the a number of instructor roles embedded in those questions, e.g. mediator, assessor and reflective practioner, are defined in South Africa's present instructor schooling coverage.

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Indeed, as noted in Chapter 1, given the diverse nature of the South African context, it is not hard to miss appropriate entry points in teacher education programmes. Simply setting the standards does not ensure that the standards will be reached – though standards, of course, are an important starting point. However, the proclamation of standards is often done in the name of equity, and arguments which are apparently against equity are difficult to win in the new South Africa. For example, an obvious goal of a new qualifications framework and new requirements with respect to qualified teacher status should be to rectify the past inequities of the fact that there was a two- or three-year pre-service teacher education programme for black teachers and a four-year programme for white teachers.

The Norms and Standards (DoE,1998) define quality learning as applied competence – three “inter-connected kinds of competence”: Practical competence is the demonstrated ability, in an authentic context, to consider a range of possibilities for action, make considered decisions about which possibility to follow, and to perform the chosen action. It is grounded in foundational competence where the learner demonstrates an understanding of the knowledge and thinking that underpins the action taken; and integrated through reflexive competence in which the learner demonstrates ability to integrate or connect performances and decision-making with understanding and with an ability to adapt to change and unforeseen circumstances and to explain the reasons behind these adaptations (1998: 10).

The long-term effect of this philosophy has been to encourage a sloganeering approach to education (definitions such as “to educate is to lead a child to adulthood” echoed in the hallways of black colleges of education such as Soweto College as late as 1990). It was therefore no surprise that when a new outcomes-based curriculum was introduced in the 1990s, it was proclaimed in enthusiastic but authoritarian and uncritical slogans. The “old” was rejected in favour of the “new”, and the “new” was regarded as the only way to educational salvation (see Morrow, 2001).

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