Original Research

An integrated model for teacher continuing professional learning in Zimbabwean primary schools

David K.J. Mtetwa, Zakaria Ndemo
African Journal of Teacher Education and Development | Vol 1, No 1 | a9 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajoted.v1i1.9 | © 2022 David K.J. Mtetwa, Zakaria Ndemo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 August 2022 | Published: 20 December 2022

About the author(s)

David K.J. Mtetwa, Department of Science Design and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zakaria Ndemo, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Science Education, Bindura University of Science Education, Harare, Zimbabwe

Abstract

Background: Rapid changes in the classroom and out-of-school life characteristics of this knowledge society make continuing professional learning for teachers an imperative. But what kind of continuing training model could be effective in diverse work situations such as under-resourced rural school environments?

Aim: The aim of the project was to capacitate primary school teachers in their teaching of mathematics to encompass numeracy learning outcomes among their pupils.

Setting: This article describes an intervention service-cum-research project undertaken in three rural school districts of Zimbabwe.

Method: Underpinned by the notion of change and lifelong learning, the intervention project deployed a modified cascade action research design to train 70 teacher leader mentors and 35 community leader mentors as drivers of the change in the three districts. Twelve of the 70 teacher leader mentors were further developed into expert status on numeracy pedagogy for continuity and sustainability of the change.

Results: The service dimension of the project succeeded in infusing numeracy pedagogy in the schools’ instructional repertoires at the level of cultural practice within communities of practice.

Conclusion: The main challenges faced in trying to implement pedagogy intended to foster mathematical numeracy are those related to costs, sustainability and continuity, some if not all of which can be dealt with through collaboration between experts, teachers and community.

Contribution: The research dimension resulted in revealing a potentially powerful model of teacher continuing professional development characterised by fusing centre (district), school and community elements while retaining the cascade format. This model is worth exploring in similar and diverse school environments elsewhere.


Keywords

Models of continuing professional development; teacher peer learning; mathematics lesson study; teaching numeracy; teaching mathematics literacy; teaching mathematics in rural districts; integrated centre–school–community training.

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