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Teacher Development and Inequality in Schools: Do We Now Have a Theory of Change?

  • Yael ShalemEmail author
  • Francine De Clercq
Chapter
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 10)

Abstract

The distribution of educational inequalities in South Africa clearly reflects economic and social patterns of inequalities, whereby poorly-resourced schools are also the ones with the less able teachers. This suggests that access to meaningful learning opportunities is a fundamental equality distribution imperative. In South Africa, the challenge is specific – for historical reasons of poor schooling and a racially segregated and unequal training system, the majority of teachers, more so in poor socio-economic provinces, display weak professional knowledge. Our aim in this chapter is two-fold: first, to analyse different teacher development models which have been tried since the early 1990s, bearing in mind the gaps in teacher knowledge evidenced in research. Second, to critically examine what begins to be agreed upon and what remains in dispute in the international and national literature about a new model of teacher development. Targeting teachers from poorly performing primary schools, the new model foregrounds curriculum coverage and tight regulation of a set of teaching practices in specific subjects – language and mathematics. To investigate this, we borrow Elmore’s idea of reciprocal accountability, which he defines as: for every unit of changed performance that is required, an equivalent unit of support and capacity building is expected to be invested.

Keywords

Teacher Development Disadvantaged Schools Meaningful Learning Opportunities Large-scale Interventions Standardised Lesson Plans. 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of the WitwatersrandParktownSouth Africa

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