The professional development of science teachers for the implementation of a new curriculum

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. J.J.J. de Beer; Dr. U. Ramnarain en_US
dc.contributor.author Cronje, Annelize
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-13T15:34:25Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-13T15:34:25Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-13
dc.date.submitted 2011-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8184
dc.description M.Ed. en_US
dc.description.abstract Science teachers in South Africa had to cope with the implementation of a host of new policies and curricula during the past years. New policies were implemented within a short space of time and teachers struggled to cope. The professional development teachers received during the implementation phase did not provide sufficient support to teachers and manifested in teacher overload, confusion and stress. For science teachers this resulted in lack of content knowledge, laboratory skills and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), to name a few. The consequence was learner underperformance in science during international and local assessments. The aim of this study is to add to current knowledge pertaining to the professional development of science teachers. The lived experiences of the science teachers during implementation of a new curriculum, their problems and needs, as well as the professional development that they received in their community of practice by keystone species were researched. A qualitative case study with a phenomenological flavour was chosen as research design. A single school was selected and data generated using interviews, observations, photos and artefacts. The findings suggest that the needs and problems of the science teachers in this case study are not sufficiently addressed through professional development programmes. No keystone species could be identified amongst the science teachers and the community of practice was found to be a pseudo-community of practice. The science teachers experienced problems with learner-centred teaching methods and practical investigations. In addition, there appears to be a general lack of applying shoestring science. The teachers experienced negative feelings and many of them lacked a sense of agency. To overcome the problems it is recommended that a community of practice be developed and nurtured for the science teachers. This should be supplemented by properly planned professional development programmes offering shoestring science, PCK and personal wellbeing programmes. The establishment of cluster groups (as ecologies of practice), in which Natural-, Life- and Physical Sciences teachers support one another, is also a recommendation of this study. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Teachers - In-service training en_US
dc.subject Teachers - Training of en_US
dc.subject Curriculum planning
dc.subject Teacher participation in curriculum planning
dc.title The professional development of science teachers for the implementation of a new curriculum en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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