Teachers' understanding and experiences of curriculum change-related professional development.
This study focused on Curriculum change-related professional development of teachers. The aim was to find out teachers’ understanding and experiences of Curriculum change-related professional development. Since the advent of democracy in 1994, South African education has undergone many Curriculum changes, from Curriculum 2005 (C2005) to the latest change, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS). Immediately after 1994, the new elected South African government wanted to erase any traces of apartheid and one of the major tasks it had was to reform the education system. Along with these changes, there has been a lack of support given to schools and to their teachers. Moreover, their training and education do not seem to respond adequately to the bulk of recent demanding changes, which call for an increasing variety of roles to be performed , which in turn affect their professional development. The study was conducted within the interpretive paradigm and a qualitative case study design was adopted. The study was restricted to one school. Data were generated through focus group interviews. The study was framed around Kurt Lewin’s theory of change, because professional development intends to change the way things have been done and change can be successful once the people who experience it have understood the need for it. The study revealed that training and retraining of teachers was very minimal. Therefore, it should be something that is done throughout the year, not only at the beginning of the year. It should not be an event, but rather a process. The study further revealed that monitoring is still a challenge within the South African education system. The cascading approach needs to be intensified by using constant monitoring, because there is a chance that when information moves from one of the levels to the next, it would be conveyed in a different way. The Integrated Quality Management System should be changed in a way that will enable teachers to identify needs for development without being crowded by a need for an incentive.