Managerial professionalism : opportunities and challenges for visual arts teachers.
Govender, Pursaraman Palayam.
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The introduction of Curriculum 2005 brought about fundamental changes to our education system. Apartheid education was replaced by a new democratic education. Although the changes in education were necessary to redress the imbalances of the past, the implementation became a mammoth task for the department of education. To meet the deadline dates for delivery of the new curriculum the department of education engaged itself in professional development activities for teachers to ensure that all teachers were familiar with the new curriculum. Due to time constraints, the cascading model under the umbrella of Managerial Professionalism became the most popular model for teacher development. The intention of the Department of Education was to see changes taking place in education that benefited the teachers in their development and this in turn will have a positive impact on the learners they teach. The purpose of this study is to explore the teacher development experiences of Visual Arts teachers through managerial professionalism teacher development processes. Through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires Visual Art teachers saw little benefit in one day one-off Professional Development Activities (PDAs). The findings showed that there was no interaction between teachers at these PDAs and that their needs were not being met. The approach in the one day one-off PDAs were more information meetings and did not meet the needs for teacher development. However they did mention that they preferred the three day and five day PDAs because there was time for PDAs to take place. They also preferred to work in a contrived collegial environment because of the scarcity of Visual Arts teachers in the province. In most of these state-driven PDAs the teacher’s voice is not heard. There is no time for teacher reflection. The duration of these state-driven PDAs only allows for information dissemination and teacher’s contexts, culture and language is not given consideration. The ‘one size fits all approach’ is being employed. Teachers want to have a greater say in how their development is being constructed. They are happy to work with the department of education on teacher development but it must be a negotiated and combined effort and not a top-down approach.