The induction of beginning teachers in South African Indian secondary schools : an investigation and recommendations.
The aim of the research was to document as fully as possible the programmes and practices in Indian secondary schools in the Republic of South Africa for the induction of beginning teachers. Teacher education is viewed as a career-long professional continuum and induction as the transition between graduation from a pre-service teacher education institution to the onset of in-service education. Induction is viewed as an important stage in the prolonged period of professional development. The method of research was, initially, to make a study of induction programmes in England, Australia and the United States of America. The concept adopted to guide questionnaire compilation and item writing was that prospective teachers had acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in anticipation of their professional performance during the pre-service period. The premise was that those acquired ideas and skills will become active only in so far as the new situation allowed, demanded and encouraged the beginning teacher. The major findings that emerge from the study are that induction activities assume varied forms and that the integration and orientation of beginning teacher into the teaching profession depend very much on the nature of the schools and the willingness and co-operation of the principal and certain members of his established staff. There is no well defined system for the orientation of beginning teachers into the profession. The underlying problem was found to be the absence of a philosophy and policy for induction by the Department of Education and Culture (House of Delegates). The study concludes with several recommendations to the Department of Education and Culture (House of Delegates) the most important being: the formulation of a policy by the Department based on a well defined philosophy for induction; implementation of programmes arising from the policy in the form of school based induction activities, external support programmes by the teachers' centres, subject advisers, tertiary institutions and the teachers' associations. The underlying conclusion of the study is that induction is a complex process but definitely not an opportunity to be missed.