Coaching foundation phase literacy teachers as leaders in a school in the Western Cape Province : a professional development strategy

Rutgers, Linda (2012-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African education system needs literacy teachers with the capacity to lead innovative and appropriate literacy instruction in schools. Schools can benefit from suitable continuous professional development strategies that have the potential to build the leadership capacity of literacy teachers to sustain literacy improvement efforts. Coaching has proven to be an effective development strategy in the business sector and in the field of sport. However, the field of coaching in the educational context is under-explored in research in South Africa. Coaching is a situated practice, which is aimed at the learning and development of individuals within a specific context. Coaching is an on-going professional development strategy for teachers and leaders as opposed to traditional one-shot professional development activities such as workshops or training sessions. There is a need for evidence-based research on alternative professional development strategies, such as coaching. In this research study the researcher argued that coaching has the potential to provide a more effective and sustainable capacity-building strategy for the continuous professional development of teacher leaders. It argued further that the recognition of their own capacity as teacher leaders can empower teachers to take ownership of decision-making for on-going literacy improvement in schools. The specific context for coaching in this study was the professional development of literacy teachers as leaders for the improvement of literacy teaching and learning. In the absence of a suitable coaching model, the Integrated Capacity Coaching model and a coaching programme were purposefully designed by the researcher for the development of literacy teachers as leaders in this study. Cognitive coaching, peer coaching and coaching circles were incorporated as coaching methods in the coaching programme. This study was designed to determine what can be learnt from using coaching as a professional development strategy within the formal structures of the school and its current constraints. Findings from the data indicated a number of positive learning insights about coaching as a continuous professional development strategy to build internal leadership capacity for literacy improvement in schools. This study is significant because the outcome of the study extended the existing body of knowledge and evidence-based research on coaching in the educational context. The implementation of these findings could lead to improvements in the nature and characteristics of future continuous professional development of literacy teachers as leaders to sustain literacy improvement in schools. The proposed model shows potential as a capacity-building coaching model for the education sector, but further research is needed to determine the impact of this coaching model and the coaching approach in different school contexts.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse onderwyssisteem benodig geletterdheidsonderwysers met die kapasiteit om leiding te gee ten opsigte van innoverende en toepaslike geletterdheidsonderrig in skole. Skole kan voordeel trek uit toepaslike voortgesette professionele ontwikkelingstrategieë wat die potensiaal toon om leierskapkapasiteit in onderwysers te bou met die doel om die verbetering van geletterdheid te volhou. Dit is bewys dat afrigting ’n effektiewe ontwikkelingstrategie in die besigheidsektor en op sportgebied is. Navorsing in die veld van afrigting in die onderwyssektor is egter onderverken. Afrigting is ’n gesitueerde praktyk wat gerig is op die leer en ontwikkeling van indiwidue in ’n spesifieke konteks. Afrigting wat as ’n voortgesette professionele ontwikkelingstrategie vir onderwysers en leiers beskou word, verskil van tradisionele “enkele geleenthede” van professionele ontwikkeling soos werkswinkels en opleidingsessies. Daar is ’n behoefte aan bewysgebaseerde navorsing oor alternatiewe strategieë soos afrigting vir professionele ontwikkeling. In hierdie navorsingstudie argumenteer die navorser dat afrigting potensieel ’n meer effektiewe en volhoubare kapasiteitsboustrategie vir die professionele ontwikkeling van onderwysers as leiers blyk te wees. Daar word verder geargumenteer dat onderwysers bemagtig kan word om eienaarskap te neem van besluite oor die verbetering van geletterdheidsvlakke in die skool indien hulle bewus word van hul kapasiteit as onderwyserleiers. Die spesifieke konteks vir afrigting in hierdie studie was die professionele ontwikkeling van geletterdheidsonderwysers as leiers ter verbetering van geletterdheidsonderrig. In die afwesigheid van ’n toepaslike afrigtingsmodel is ’n toepaslike model vir afrigting, naamlik die Geïntegreerde Kapasiteitsafrigtingsmodel en ’n toepaslike afrigtingsprogram deur die navorser ontwikkel. Hierdie model is spesifiek ontwikkel vir die afrigting van geletterdheidsonderwysers as leiers in die studie. Kognitiewe afrigting, portuurafrigting en afrigtingsirkels is as afrigtingsmetodes in die model geïnkorporeer. Die studie is ontwerp om binne die formele strukture en huidige beperkinge in die skool te bepaal wat geleer kan word indien afrigting as professionele ontwikkelingstrategie gebruik word. Die bevindinge het ’n aantal positiewe leerinsigte oor afrigting as ’n voortgesette professionele ontwikkelingstrategie getoon en om leierskapkapasiteitvir die verbetering van geletterdheid in skole te bou. Die studie is betekenisvol, want die uitkoms van die studie sal die bestaande kennis en bewysgebaseerde navorsing oor afrigting in die onderwyskonteks uitbrei. Die implementering van hierdie bevindinge kan lei tot die verbetering van die aard en kenmerke van voortgesette professionele ontwikkeling vir geletterdheidsonderwysers as leiers, om die volhoubaarheid van geletterdheidsverbetering in skole te verseker. Die voorgestelde model toon potensiaal as ’n kapasiteitsbou-afrigtingsmodel vir die onderwyssektor, maar verdere navorsing is nodig om die impak van hierdie afrigtingsmodel en die afrigtingsbenadering in verskillende skoolkontekste te ondersoek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71912
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