Improving the quality of primary teaching in a developing country : an analytical evaluation of an in-service training programme in Sindh Province, Pakistan
The province of Sindh, Pakistan has had considerable donor investment in its primary education system through development projects since the 1960s. These have not made an observable impact on the quality of teaching in government primary schools. This research is an evaluation and study of a pilot in-service teacher training programme, a component of the Sindh Primary Education Development Programme (1991-96). At the heart of the research is the question "How is it possible to effect long-term, sustainable change and development in schools in order to make teaching more effective?" Two basic hypotheses were considered during the course of the programme: (i) In-service training courses alone are not effective in changing teachers' behaviour and improving the quality of teaching beyond the short-term. School based developmental work should be integrated with the training plan, to initiate and sustain change and improvement. (ii) In the context of this programme, supervisors and primary headteachers are the most appropriate persons to conduct in-service training as they can continue to support and sustain development within schools. There is evidence to support both these hypotheses. The research indicates that the training has led to changes in perceptions, attitudes and understanding as well as in supervision, management and classroom practice but that the greatest change has been where follow-up support was given. There is evidence that, where a collaborative culture exists within a school, successful innovation is more likely to occur. Community involvement has also been found to be an important element in school development. The thesis concludes that there are limits to the amount of change possible without extra resources and direct support in schools. Training programmes should support networking and development within localities rather than train teachers in isolation from the context in which they work.Subsequently, a postscript has been added to the thesis. This is a reflective critical analysis of the development of the author's thinking over the period of the research with regard to a number of philosophical, epistemological and strategic issues relating to methodology and the dynamics of change.