Characteristics of Continuing Professional Learning Provisions for School Mathematics Teachers in Zimbabwe
International Journal of Secondary Education
Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages: 77-88
Received: May 31, 2019;
Accepted: Jul. 25, 2019;
Published: Sep. 19, 2019
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David Kufakwami Mtetwa, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zakaria Ndemo, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbawe
Evelyn Maturure, Mathematics Unit, Zimbabwe School Examination Council, Harare, Zimbabwe
Bernadette Chabongora, Catholic Diocese of Gweru, Gweru, Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, as elsewhere, lifelong professional learning is now a major expectation for mathematics teachers. The study investigated the nature of opportunities for professional learning accessible to mathematics teachers in Zimbabwe, focusing on three themes of range and style of learning provisions, support systems, and monitoring and valuing of the learning. Data were gathered from a sample of 94 mathematics teachers, 4 mathematics inspectors, 10 ministry district officers, 4 ministry provincial officers, 16 school principals, 6 independent professional development providers, and 6 ministry national head office personnel who were all purposively approached on considerations of availability, accessibility, willingness, and being potentially key informants in relation to teacher professional development matters. Structured interviews and a questionnaire were used to elicit informants’ experiences of and perspectives on the themes. The main findings were that (a) further teacher professional learning activities came mainly in form of formally orchestrated workshops in the field and programmes in tertiary institutions; and much less in forms such as meetings, discussion groups, exchange visits, and seminars, (b) supportive policy guidelines for such learning existed though not buttressed by adequate material provisions for meaningful functioning, and (c) while the system had no dedicated formal quality monitoring and evaluation schemes specific for continuing professional learning, there were indications of high teacher motivation for exploiting learning opportunities. The findings reveal underutilization of informal uncertified learning platforms such as peer co-learning or e-chat groups, and possible conflicts of expectations and aspirations between continuing professional learning providers and teacher clients in the Zimbabwean system.
David Kufakwami Mtetwa,
Characteristics of Continuing Professional Learning Provisions for School Mathematics Teachers in Zimbabwe, International Journal of Secondary Education.
Vol. 7, No. 3,
2019, pp. 77-88.
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