Teachers’ experiences of working with Learner - Teacher support material resources in the 21st century.
The Gauteng Department of Education (2011) defines learning and teaching support materials (LTSM) as those resources that help teachers to teach and learners to learn, and which provide support to both the teacher and all the diverse learner needs in the classroom. A variety of research has concluded that having a varied LTSM in schools positively impacts academic performance (test scores). Research has also revealed that the Department of Education in South Africa supplies schools under section 21 with LTSM. Despite this, no research has been conducted that explores teachers’ experiences of LTSM. Experiential learning theory was chosen as a theory that underpinned this study, because the theory states that prior knowledge plays a significant role in the learning process, where people have two modes of taking a hold of experiences and two modes of changing experiences. Teachers, although they are seen as authority figures in the classroom, are still learners in their field of work and their experiences during the teaching process informs how they proceed going further. The study was underpinned by a qualitative approach to research, and fell within an interpretivist paradigm. The study utilised a phenomenological research style, and a purposive and convenient sample of eight fulltime teachers were sampled from a section 21 public school in Umlazi. The data was generated using zoom scheduled focus group discussion and telephonic standardised open-ended interviews. Findings revealed that LTSM positively shape the way lessons progress in the classroom, however LTSM are not updated on a regular basis, and teachers are still using old LTSM. It is recommended in the study that the school finds ways to not rely on LTSM brought by the Department of Education alone furthermore teachers need to find ways in which they prolong the life of the LTSM.
Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.