Factors affecting the implementation and management of continuing professional teacher development in the Zululand district, South Africa

The study investigated factors affecting the implementation of Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) programmes in the Zululand District. CPTD programmes are the universally accepted strategies used to improve the performance of teachers. Whereas the performance of teachers defines the performance of learners; at the same time, the performance of learners is used as an indication of the quality of the country’s education system. Therefore, the quality of CPTD programmes received by teachers determines the quality of an education system. It was established from literature that the reason why most CPTD programmes fail was that they were usually implemented using traditional methods. These methods included workshops, seminars, talks, and conferences which are brief and sporadic events in which teachers tend to be passive recipients of information, having no opportunities to collaborate with others. The researcher used qualitative approach in the study because he wanted to get the feelings and experiences of the participants in the implementation of CPTD programmes. The researcher used one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis as research instruments. The study was conducted in all the five circuits of the Zululand District. The sample consisted of a district official, 2 principals, 12 School Management Team (SMT) members and 12 post level 1 teachers. The total number of participants was 27. An equal number of participants was drawn from primary and secondary schools. The key findings of the study were that district officials mostly used a traditional approach to implement CPTD programmes. Traditional programmes were characterised by once-off workshops which were not based on teachers’ needs. These CPTD programmes did not have follow-up programmes set up to check on the effectiveness of CPTD programmes in the development of learner performance. Teachers were never consulted about their needs. All CPTD programmes were not based on adult learning theories. Teachers were not involved in the planning of CPTD programmes. CPTD facilitators did not have appropriate facilitation skills. Teachers were not encouraged to form collaborative structures like Professional Learning Communities. The study recommends that before district officials implement CPTD programme, they must undergo training on facilitation skills. Collaborative methods must be used in the implementation of CPTD programmes. Teachers must be involved in all implementation stages of CPTD programmes.
A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the academic requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in the Department of Educational Planning and Administration in the Faculty of Education, University of Zululand, 2022.