Exploring teacher learning through construction and use of teaching resources in an Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) programme at University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Insufficiently trained teachers at the foundation phase (FP) may delay the realisation of quality education for all. Therefore, having adequately trained teachers for the foundation phase sets a solid foundation for children’s learning in later phases. The aim of this research was to gain an insight into the kinds of knowledge the FP teacher-students on the Advanced Certificate in Teaching programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal learnt, the ways in which they learnt and how the learning improved their practices through the construction and use of teaching resources. A qualitative research design within an interpretive paradigm was adopted for this study. Fourteen (14) teachers were conveniently sampled to explore their views on what and how they learnt through the construction and use of teaching resources. Semi-structured focus group interviews, lesson observations and photographs were used for data generation. The results of the study revealed that the teacher-students acquired mostly General Pedagogical Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge although they also confirmed that they learnt Subject Matter Knowledge and Knowledge of context through accommodation and assimilation. Furthermore, the teachers said that their practices improved from constructing and using teaching resources in their classrooms. Based on the results of the study, it was therefore recommended that FP teachers should always use appropriate teaching resources in order to accommodate all children. This would make learners responsible for their learning as they could also discover new knowledge. However, as this was a small study, more comprehensive research into teacher learning at the foundation phase was recommended.
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