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Title: Perspectives on teacher professional development : a study of the experiences and perceptions of black teachers in South Africa
Author: Moyo, Cecilia Sminkie
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis employs a biographical method to understand the phenomenon of teacher professional development in South Africa. It was conducted between 1992 and 1995, and involved interviewing 60 black teachers from Johannesburg and Durban. It examines a relatively under-researched area in South Africa - namely, the perceptions and experiences of black teachers with regard to their professional development. Black teachers have, hitherto, been treated as a homogeneous group, with little account taken of unique backgrounds from which they respond, both subjectively and objectively, to various structures, and ideological modes of domination and contestation. Instead, teachers' accounts show that no matter how strong and pervasive certain aspects of their shared professional culture may be and how effectively they have been socialised into it, their actions and attitudes to professional development are partly rooted in each teacher's own biography and view of the world. The findings suggest that teachers are not merely pushed into development: rather, they make conscious choices based on the interaction between their personal and professional lives, and the material socio-political contexts. Also emerging from this analysis is the view that teachers' conceptions of professional development are influenced by beliefs, 'myths' and practices found in the African culture. Most notable is the communal culture of 'ubuntu botho' - a person is a person through others. Based on these results, the study provides fresh insights into teacher development in a South African context. It suggests that the discourse of teacher development is dynamic and can no longer be analysed using a conventional neo-Marxist perspective to critique socio-economic and political structures, or a neo-liberal skills-oriented approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available