Perspectives on teacher (IN) competence : primary school teachers' voices.
Mfeka, Angeline Fikile.
MetadataShow full item record
The deterioration of learner performance in basic education has fuelled the drawing up of professional standards of teachers. The literature has revealed that South Africa is experiencing a decline in the standards of teaching and learning due to major changes that have taken place in the country’s education system. The Department of Education’s endeavours to improve curriculum and assessment have caused distraction for teachers, as they spend more time doing paper work and less time on teaching. This study explored the views and experiences of teachers about their (in) competence in three primary schools in Zululand District, in the Province of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. A qualitative research approach was adopted and data were generated by means of semi structured interviews, observations and document analysis. Data were then presented and discussed through constant comparative method. The results of the study are as follows: Participants revealed that teaching is not just knowing ones subject or having correct competencies but is also charged with emotions as they connect with their learners and fill their teaching and learning with creativity, enthusiasm, risk and a challenge. Challenged emotional state of a teacher results in a teacher being incompetent. They expressed their views that to a large extent, their competencies were negatively influenced by various factors in the school environment. The empirical findings revealed that Principals as instructional leaders, can give rise to learning schools. In-service training and staff developments are crucial in keeping teachers up to date with the current approaches and strategies pertaining to teaching and learning. Based on these findings, it was therefore recommended that teachers, more importantly HODs and Principals, should engage in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in order to share challenges and experiences and find informed solutions.