The role of teacher values in the mediation of ESL innovation programmes : two case studies in a Southern African context
This thesis examines teacher personal and cultural presage variables within a black South African cultural dimension. I seek to understand what effects value variables have on the mediation of change and to know why these sometimes act as barriers to the implementation of classroom innovation - in this instance, a communicative language teaching approach. Finally, I itemize the implications of value change for the professional development of teachers following ELT INSET programmes and set out a series of practical proposals on the basis of my conclusions. I argue the need for congruence between teacher values and values inherent in a CLT approach and discuss ways in which value redeployment occur. I outline acceptance of change in terms of a theoretical construct of 'practicality ethics' and argue that personal values must be examined within black South African cultural dimensions of allocentriccollectivism, high uncertainty avoidance and high power distance. I analyze paradigms of western education and review the principles underlying a CLT approach. I link my analysis to the requirements of the DET's English language syllabus and contrast concepts of teacher roles and classroom power relationships in traditional African pedagogy with those of a CLT approach in terms of 'ideal' and 'indigenous' mediational operators, and I examine dissonances between the two. A narrative-descriptive background account of two case studies is given through the use of life histories, diaries, documents and interviews to support an itemistic cross-case analysis of cultural and personal values held in relation to black South African cultural dimensions. I then analyse a series of videoed lessons and I provide a descriptive overview of classroom interaction patterns. Classroom events are discussed in terms of types of teacher questions asked, turn allocations, wait-time and power-relationships, class participation and ritualization, and teacher evaluation, repair and feedback. I conclude that African societies emphasize collective moral values whereas societies geared towards a Western-urbanscientific- technological paradigm stress idiocentricprofessional values. I do not assert that individuals rigidly conform to this bipolarity but application of either or both value systems lie along a continuum with consequent effect on classroom events.