ERIC Number: EJ852746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Clusters In South Africa: Opportunities and Constraints for Teacher Development and Change
Jita, Loyiso C.; Ndlalane, Tembi C.
Perspectives in Education, v27 n1 p58-68 Mar 2009
Teacher clusters represent a recent experiment in the field of teacher professional development in South Africa. Increasingly, teacher clusters are being used as a substitute for the traditional approaches to professional development in helping teachers reshape their professional knowledge and change their classroom practices. What underlies this renewed confidence in teacher clusters as a vehicle for professional development? In this paper, we use a qualitative case study approach to examine the efficacy of clustering as an approach to teacher development. Using interview and observation data from a cluster of 120 science and mathematics teachers in Mpumalanga, we discuss how structure and function in the cluster interacted to provide the participating science teachers with a rich set of "opportunities to learn". We argue that it is not merely the existence of the structure, namely, the cluster, that provides the opportunity for effective professional development, but that it is the interactions among teachers, together with relationships of trust and identity, that make clusters an attractive vehicle for challenging and (possibly) changing teachers' professional knowledge and practice.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Science Teachers, Mathematics Teachers, Faculty Development, Professional Development, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Educational Change, Teacher Characteristics, Experiments, Teaching (Occupation), Interviews
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-4732; Fax: +27-12-420-3003; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://journals.sabinet.co.za/pie/index.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa