A case study of professional development for history teachers in rural KwaZulu schools.
The aim of the study was to report and evaluate a programme of teacher development in which the teachers themselves would be actively involved. A case study approach was adopted to monitor the programme of teacher development for history teachers within the context of six high schools in the rural area of Nongoma between July 1992 and December 1993. The teachers worked collectively in identifying, analysing and classifying the needs that were relevant to their particular circumstances. Teachers were observed in real classroom situations and commented on their experiences after working collectively. After being observed in real classroom situations teachers attempted to use teaching methods other than those they had been using before. Teaching methods attempted included group work, the skills-based approach and teaching for empathy. Recommendations were made for further teacher development. These included: putting time aside for professional development for such activities to be successful; assisting teachers during pre-service training to produce cheap teaching aids; and encouraging teachers to identify their needs in the field of professional development.