Professional Development and Its Implications for Innovative Teaching and Learning in One South African Higher Education Institution
Teacher learning is an imperative strategic goal for personal growth and development as well as for student learning and academic achievement. Knowledge, on which professionals base their teaching practice, has become less stable and secure and the ways in which it is acquired is diverse. This article outlines a qualitative study that used in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore professional staff development for innovative teaching and learning at one institution of higher education in South Africa. From the literature review the researchers found that the potential usefulness of focusing on measuring the features of professional development related to the outcomes of teaching and learning. This is deemed more effective than focusing on the structure of the activity employed to develop teachers. From the empirical data they found that, at the institution, focus on professional development is particularly geared to the improvement of teaching and learner assessment. All of the participants interviewed indicated that whilst they had attended assessment workshops very few had attended any of the research workshops or taken advantage of development opportunities available due to, inter alia, heavy teaching workloads and student assessments. Our conclusion is that when teaching and research are not synergised the subject content offered to students often compromises to a greater extent innovation and quality.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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