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Secondary school mathematics teachers' perspectives of Continuing Professional Development (CPD): the case of a selected district in Central Zambia

Sinyangwe, K. M. K. (2017) Secondary school mathematics teachers' perspectives of Continuing Professional Development (CPD): the case of a selected district in Central Zambia. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Without acknowledging teachers' perspectives on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and without accommodating their CPD needs, CPD initiatives can be poorly directed or inadequate for the teachers whom they are intended to serve. This research study questions the extent and quality of the continuous professional development (CPD) available to secondary school mathematics teachers in Zambia. Designed as a case study, the principal focus is on the views of the teachers themselves on whether and how current CPD meets their CPD needs. The teachers' views were ascertained by means of multiple data collection tools: questionnaire, face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions and analysis of documents. Teachers' perceived CPD needs were categorised under six headings: mathematics content knowledge; pedagogical content knowledge and skills; professional practices and relationships; knowledge of and skills to meet learners' needs; affective needs; and school development needs. Of these, teachers' responses show that they had the highest need in the category of knowledge of learners and lowest needs in the school development needs category. Their responses also show that they have wide range of varying needs across all the categories of CPD needs and in various combinations depending on several factors that include their academic background, work experiences and personal circumstances. Teachers' responses show that even though their needs differ from one another, differentiated CPD approaches designed to meet such different needs have not been sufficiently considered. Analysis of background information about Zambia, teachers' responses and relevant literature has led to the conclusion that CPD in Zambia, a low income and developing country, should aim at empowering teachers with the knowledge, skills, competencies values and personal qualities that would enable them not only to improve their teaching practice, but also to continually cope with the demands, pressures, challenges and expectations within a disadvantaged educational , system and broad socio-economic environment such as is obtaining in Zambia. Teachers' consideration of whether CPD was effective in meeting their needs depended on whether they were able to identify their needs or not. A needs analysis model is suggested tr guide teachers in identifying their CPD needs and how these might be met. It is hoped the findings of this research will contribute to informing not only present but also future improvements in CPD provision.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Billingsley, B. and Dimitriadi, Y.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:78264

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