Guidelines for the training content of teacher support teams

Calitz, Magdalena Gertruide (2000-03)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Teacher support teams were established in South Africa as part of the strategy for handling the changing educational environment. These teams, without proper skills training, were established in various parts of South Africa. In the early phases of the research process, the need for the training of these newly established teams arose. Team members needed skills to execute the tasks expected of a Teacher Support Team effectively. There was no guide of which skills were in the greatest need of training, nor any guidelines concerning the most effective methods of training. The purpose of the present research is thus to compile a set of guidelines for the content of a skills training manual. A small section will be devoted to preferred methods of training. It must be emphasized that this research only provides guidelines for the compilation of such a training manual. The emphasis on guidelines is the result of different school, social and physical contexts, which influenced the needs of the Teacher Support Teams. As each team's needs concerning training content and method will differ according to their circumstances, so will their training manual. It is therefore not feasible to compile a set, skills training manual to suit everyone. Broad guidelines will thus be given in order for each team to compile their own training manual to suit their own training needs. The co-ordinator of the newly established Teacher Support Team may facilitate the compilation of such a training manual. A list of possible skills to increase the effectivity of the team was compiled from the available literature study. A detailed discussion of the respective skills has been done in the literature study. This discussion may be used for the compilation of action steps in the training of the skills. From the literature, a short discussion of the most effective training methods has also been done. Training methods, not the content of the skills to be trained, is the focus of this study. This is the reason for the very simplistic discussion oftraining methods. The research group consists of six different groups of Teacher Support Teams. The first group, a large group of 50 schools, did not react positively to the questionnaires sent to them. The second group consisted of spontaneously formed Support Teams while the third, fourth, and fifth groups were Teacher Support Teams, which were facilitated by a co-ordinator. The sixth group was a school management team of supportive nature. Skills in need of training and preferred training methods formed the focus of this current study. A list of needs to be trained was compared to the list of needs derived from the literature study. The skills which overlapped in the literature study and the research process, were indicated in the discussion of results. Most of the skills found in the literature study were also present in the needs analysis of the research group. Data from the literature study and from four of the five groups, which responded in the data collection process, preferred practical training methods to theoretical methods. In the empirical study the different groups forming the research group also preferred small group training to mass training. Training and implementation of Teacher Support Teams should be done on a personalized and individualized base, as the context and needs of each school or community differ. In conclusion it should be again stressed that this study only provides broad guidelines for the compilation of a training manual. This is not a training manual to be used without any adaptations. It only provides the rational of skills to be trained and some ideas on the possible skills to be trained, the content of this training and preferred training methods.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Onderwyser Ondersteunings Spanne is in Suid Afrika bekendgestel as deel van 'n strategie om die veranderende onderwys siseem te hanteer. Hierdie spanne is in verskeie dele van Suid Afrika geïmplimenteer, sonder enige vaardigheidsopleiding. 'n Behoefte aan die opleiding van hierdie spanne het reeds vroeg in die navorsingsproses geblyk. Spanlede het vaardighede benodig om hul taak effektief te verrig. Daar is geen riglyne oor watter vaardighede benodig word, die inhoud daarvan en die wyse waarvolgens opleiding moet geskied, beskikbaar nie. Die doel van die huidige navorsing is dus die samestelling van 'n stel riglyne vir die inhoud van 'n vaardighede opleidings handleiding. Daar salook 'n klein gedeelte afgestaan word aan metodes van opleiding. Dit moet beklemtoon word dat hierdie navorsing slegs riglyne verskaf vir die samestelling van 'n opleidingshandleiding. Die klem op slegs riglyne is die gevolg van die invloed wat verskillende kontekste en sosiale- en fisiese omgewings op die aard en behoeftes van die Onderwyser Ondersteunings Span het. Elke span se verskillende opleidings behoeftes lei tot 'n verskil in hulopleidings handleiding. Dit is daarom nie aangewese om 'n vaste handleiding vir almal se gebruik saam te stel nie. Breë riglyne word dus daar gestel sodat elke Onderwyser Ondersteunings Span sy eie handleiding kan saamstel. Die saamstelling van so 'n handleiding kan deur die koordineerder van die span gefasiliteer word. 'n Lys van moontlike vaardighede om in 'n handleiding te vervat, is saamgestel uit die literatuur. Elke vaardigheid is in detail bespreek. Hierdie besprekings kan gebruik word in die samestelling van aksiestappe in vaardigheids opleiding. Uit die literatuur is a kort bespreking van die mees gevraagde opleidingsmetodes ook saamgestel. Opleidings metodes is egter nie die fokus van hierdie studie nie. Dit is die rede vir die baie simplistiese bespreking van opleidingsmetodes. Die navorsmgsgroep bestaan uit ses verskillende groepe Onderwyser Ondersteunings Spanne. Die eerste groep het bestaan uit 50 skole wat nie positief op die vraelyste gereageer het nie. Die tweede groep is spontaan gevormde Ondersteunings Spanne. Die derde, vierde, en vyfde groepe is Onderwyser Ondersteunings Spanne wat deur 'n fasiliteerder gekoordineer word. Die sesde groep is 'n skool bestuurspan met 'n ondersteunende karakter. Die noodsaak van vaardigheidsopleiding en die vaardighede wat opgelei moet word is die fokus van die huidige studie. 'n Lys van behoeftes vir opleiding is vergelyk met behoeftes uit die literatuur studie. Die vaardighede wat tussen die literatuurstudie en die navorsingsproses oorvleuel, is aangedui in die uiteensetting van die bevindinge. Die meeste van die vaardighede uit die literatuurstudie oorvleuel met dié uit empiriese navorsmg. Inligting uit die literatuurstudie en die navorsingsproses het gewys op die voorkeur van praktiese opleidingsmetodes bo teoretiese opleiding. Die navorsingsproses het ook 'n voorkeur vir kleingroep opleiding bo massa opleiding aangedui. Opleiding en implementering van Onderwyser Ondersteunings Spanne moet op 'n persoonlike en geïndividualiseerde basis geskied aangesien skole en sosiale kontekste verskil. Ter afsluiting moet dit weer eens beklemtoon word dat hierdie slegs breë riglyne is vir die samestelling van 'n opleidingshandleiding. Hierdie is dus nie per sy 'n opleidingshandleiding wat sonder enige aanpassings gebruik kan word nie. Dit verskaf slegs die rasionaal van vaardighede wat opgelei moet word. Dit verskaf ook idees aangaande die vaardighede wat opgelei moet word, die inhoud van hierdie opleiding en die gewildste opleidingsmetodes.

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