An exploration of the role of principals in the staff development of teachers in relation to teacher performance.
The effectiveness of educational reform initiatives and continual changes in curriculum depends on the quality of teachers. Staff development of teachers has therefore become a major focal point of school improvement initiatives. To address these challenges, the National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development (NPFTED), (Department of Education, 2007), attempts to address the need for suitably qualified teachers in South Africa. More research results are revealing that in order to improve learner performance and have better schools, there needs to be empowered teachers, school managers and leader. The purpose of this study is to explore the roles of principals in the staff development of teachers to enhance teacher performance. This study uses the literature to explore the aspect of school management that is usually ignored, staff development. This is a qualitative study within purposely selected four school principals. From the three major research questions, the following themes emerged during data collection and analysis: Planning and designing staff development activities, implementation of staff development activities, monitoring and supervision, mentoring, workshops and seminars. In addition to the themes that emerged, findings revealed that principals still rely mainly on the departmental workshops and seminars which are subject related and curriculum related for teacher development. Findings also revealed that there is no proper guideline about their roles on how teachers should be developed. As a result principals use the Integrated Quality Management Systems (IQMS) as the only tool to staff development. The findings also revealed that some principals regard their daily activities as their roles in staff development.