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‘You can train us until we are blue in our faces, we are still going to struggle’: Teacher professional learning in a full-service school

Walton, Elizabeth; Nel, Norma Margaret; Muller, Helene; Lebeloane, Oupa

Authors

Norma Margaret Nel

Helene Muller

Oupa Lebeloane



Abstract

Teacher educators internationally are concerned with how best to prepare and equip teachers to be pedagogically responsive to an increasingly diverse learner population. This concern is echoed in South Africa as inclusive education is entrenched in the school system, with many teachers claiming that they do not have the knowledge and skills needed to teach in classrooms that represent diverse learners and learning needs. This article reports on research conducted with teachers in a full-service (inclusive) school in South Africa regarding their perceptions of a workshop on multilevel teaching. Participants completed questionnaires immediately after the workshop, and selected teachers engaged in focus group discussions eight months after the workshop. The collected data support Opfer and Pedder's (2011) complexity theory of teacher professional learning and we argue from our findings that teacher education for inclusion must consider individual teachers, the learning activities presented to teachers, and the institutional context. We conclude by recommending that professional learning communities are pursued as an alternative to the workshop model, and call for ongoing research into teacher learning for inclusive education.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 3, 2014
Journal Education as Change
Print ISSN 1682-3206
Electronic ISSN 1947-9417
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 319-333
APA6 Citation Walton, E., Nel, N. M., Muller, H., & Lebeloane, O. (2014). ‘You can train us until we are blue in our faces, we are still going to struggle’: Teacher professional learning in a full-service school. Education as Change, 18(2), 319-333. doi:10.1080/16823206.2014.926827
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/16823206.2014.926827
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/16823206.2014.926827
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