ROLE OF CLUSTERS IN IMPROVING TEACHERS’ CLASSROOM PRACTICES: DISTICTIONS AND CHALLENGES

Lulama Zide, Matseliso L Mokhele

Abstract


This study explores the role of teacher clusters in improving classroom practices specifically focusing of distinctions and challenges. It is assumed that improving teachers’ knowledge, skills and dispositions is one of the most critical steps to improving student achievement. Finding effective ways of encouraging teacher understanding and change has therefore become a priority for many governments. Hence, the need for teacher professional development models such as cluster system. As much as the literature shows how cluster systems may serve as innovative programmes that can bring quality education, they (clusters) have not been used as expected and teachers are generally not satisfied with the way they are offered to them.  This paper explores the reflections of teachers on clusters as models to improving their teaching and learning. Qualitative case study design was used with a sample of six participants purposely selected. Results display that teachers express dissatisfaction with the cluster programmes due to limited time taken during their participation in clusters, and that there is lack of planning, monitoring and refreshments. The paper concludes and recommends that, transformation can only occur if the teachers’ voices are heard, acknowledged and incorporated into planning and implementation of the cluster programmes.


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