Motivation as a catalyst for staff development in underperforming secondary schools in South Africa

Terhoven, Rene B. (2012-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: With the aim of promoting learner achievement, development is regarded as indispensable for the teaching and learning process. Many schools however, face the challenge of teachers who are not willing to participate in development activities. Motivation is viewed as a catalyst that may aid in teachers‟ participation in development activities, as motivation provides a reason to display certain behaviour. In the case of this research behaviour refers to the behaviour to participate in development activities. Participation in development activities refers to teachers‟ inclination to submit to self-development, engage in daily development activities of the school or engaging in formal development activities arranged by the school or Department of Education. This research addressed some of the factors that motivate staff in underperforming secondary schools to participate in staff development activities. Schools are categorised as underperforming if they do not obtain a pass rate of at least 60% in the National Senior Certificate examinations. Underperforming schools are mainly townships schools with peculiar contexts. This study focuses on the particular context of underperforming schools and the role of the principal in staff‟s motivation to participate in development activities as these are important aspects in the development of a school from an underperforming to a performing categorisation. The literature was reviewed on aspects of activities of staff development, the motivation theories and adult learning principles. Teachers are adults and therefore the factors that motivate adults to participate in development activities are important as they require a different approach than children‟s learning. Qualitative research was conducted with the principal and four teachers from each of two township schools located in the same education district, but two different circuits. Both schools were categorised as underperforming two years ago, but have developed to performing schools. The data were gathered through semi-structured interviews. The findings indicated that teachers in this study are intrinsically motivated to participate in development activities. Factors such as passion, empowerment, collaboration and the child‟s wellbeing are mentioned as factors that motivate these teachers to participate in development activities. Despite these intrinsic factors, teachers mentioned extrinsic factors that impact on their inclination to participate in development activities. These factors include contextual and organisational factors. The role of the principal is emphasised as the principal is accountable for the development of staff. Furthermore, the principal, having the highest authority at a school has an influence on the factors that motivate staff as well as those factors that may deter staff from participating in development activities. Recommendations for the motivation of staff and staff development activities are made, as well as recommendations for further studies. This research is significant as it indicates factors that motivate staff and factors which impact on their motivation to participate in development activities. These factors are important in the pursuit of development from an underperforming to a performing school.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ontwikkeling het ten doel om leerder prestasie te verhoog. Dus word ontwikkeling beskou as onontbeerlik vir die onderrig en leer proses. Baie skole staar egter die uitdaging van opvoeders wie onwillig is om deel te neem aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite in die gesig. Motivering kan beskou word as 'n katalisator wat assisteer in die deelname van opvoeders aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite, aangesien dit aan opvoeders 'n rede verskaf om sekere gedrag ten opsigte van ontwikkeling te openbaar. In hierdie navorsing verwys gedrag na die gedrag om deel te neem aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite. Deelname aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite verwys na die neiging van opvoeders om hulself te verryk deur selfontwikkeling, deelname aan die daaglikse aktiwiteite van die skool of aan formele aktiwiteite wat deur die skool of Departement van Onderwys gereël word. Hierdie navorsing addresseer sommige van die faktore wat personeel in onderpresterende sekondêre skole motiveer om deel te neem aan personeel ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite. Skole word gekategoriseer as onderpresterend indien hulle „n slaagpersentasie van minder as 60% verkry in die Nasionale Senior Sertifikaat eksamen. Onderpresterende skole is kenmerkend van die informele nedersettings met hul sonderlinge agtergrond. Hierdie studie fokus op die bepaalde agtergrond van onderpresterende skole en die rol van die prinsipaal in die motivering van personeel om aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite deel te neem. Hierdie word beskou as belangrike aspekte in die ontwikkeling van 'n skool vanaf onderpresterend na presterend. Die literatuur oorsig is gedoen op aspekte van aktiwiteite van personeelontwikkeling, motiveringsteorieë en volwasse leer beginsels. Opvoeders is volwassenes en daarom is die faktore wat volwassenes motiveer om aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite deel te neem belangrik, aangesien hulle 'n verskillende benadering as kinders se leer benodig. Kwalitatiewe navorsing was gedoen met die prinsipale en vier opvoeders van elk van twee skole wat informele nedersettings bedien. Die skole is geleë in dieselfde opvoedkundige distrik, maar uit twee verskillende kringe. Beide skole was twee jaar gelede as onderpresterend geklassifiseer, maar het in die tussentyd tot presterende skole ontwikkel. Data was deur middel van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude ingesamel. Die bevindinge toon dat opvoeders in hierdie studie intrinsiek gemotiveer is om aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite deel te neem. Faktore soos passie, bemagtiging, samewerking en die kind se welstand word genoem as faktore wat die opvoeders motiveer om aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite deel te neem. Behalwe hierdie intrinsieke faktore het opvoeders ook ekstrinsieke faktore genoem wat 'n impak het op hul ingesteldheid om aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite deel te neem. Hierdie ekstrinsieke faktore sluit in kontekstuele en organisatoriese faktore. Die rol van die prinsipaal word beklemtoon aangesien die prinsipaal verantwoordbaar is vir die ontwikkeling van die personeel. Verder, aangesien die prinsipaal die hoogste gesagsfiguur is in die skool, het hy/sy 'n invloed op die faktore wat die personeel motiveer, sowel as daardie faktore wat personeel mag weerhou van deelname aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite. Aanbevelings rakende die motivering van personeel en personeel ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite word gemaak, sowel as aanbevelings vir verdere studie. Hierdie navorsing is noemenswaardig aangesien dit faktore aandui wat personeel kan motiveer, asook dit wat 'n invloed het op hul motivering om deel te neem aan ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite in die strewe na ontwikkeling vanaf 'n onderpresterende na 'n presterende skool.

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