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The relationship between foundation phase teacher’s continuous professional development activities and their instructional quality in teaching mathematics at two schools in the Umlazi district.

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Date

2020

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Abstract

In this study, I explored the relationship between Foundation Phase teacher’s Continuous Professional Development activities and their instructional quality in teaching mathematics. This study was framed under the constructivism and Cognitive Activation (COACTIV) model frameworks. The research design chosen for this study is the mixed-method design. This design comprises quantitative and qualitative study approaches. Data was collected and generated in two sections. The first phase was generated using a questionnaire as part of the quantitative approach. The second section was on the qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data which was later transcribed. The results of the study suggest that the relationship between Foundation Phase teacher’s Continuous Professional Development activities and their instructional quality in teaching mathematics is strengthened by the types of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities teachers attend and how the activities translate to instructional quality as well as how cognitive activation and individual learning support is considered during teaching mathematics. Foundation Phase mathematics teachers attended formal and informal CPD activities, however, they mostly attended formal continuous activities. After attending the CPD activities, they implemented the activities in the classroom which translated into instructional quality (cognitive activation and individual learning support). This translation happens through the types of CPD activities, time spent and frequency for cognitive activation. Individual learning support is through beliefs and attitudes that teachers develop after attending CPD activities. Cognitive activation and individual learning support are considered through the use of new teaching methods that include doing practical work which was acquired from attending CPD activities. The results indicate that implementers and facilitators of CPD should consider teachers’ beliefs and motivators as well as teacher interests. CPD activities need to be designed that include practical work and give timeous feedback on issues raised by teachers during the activities. Future studies should consider including learners perceptions, make use of observations and should also consider a larger sample.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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