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First activity in DTDC learning trajectory (on change management and project management)

Towards DTDCs as centres of excellence

Quality professional development for teachers is needed to improve learner performance and quality education. Coordination, alignment and monitoring is crucial to support teacher development activities. This is the role of the District Teacher Development Centres (DTDCs). Last year, VVOB assisted DTDC managers with strategies to make DTDCs more effective teacher development centres and with research skills to process PLC Monitoring tools. This year a learning path was started on change management and Project management as well as on on-site support for DTDC managers and their coordinators. The first activity in this learning path was a workshop held from 2 to 4 August in Bloemfontein, which focused on change management.

Quality education for all

Free State DTDCs are striving to become centres of excellence. This, amongst others, means that DTDCs work towards Quality Education for All by offering appropriate professional development to teachers and officials. The concept Quality Education for All was unpacked by recapping the basic inclusive concepts and policies. Participants then reflected on exclusion and inclusion (What does an inclusive school look like?) and engaged with the profile of the Inclusive Teacher. Participants then reflected on the implications of these insights for their DTDCs (What kind of actions are needed to make sure ‘my DTDC’ is preparing teachers / principals to deliver quality education for all learners?). In this first part of the workshop, the core task of the DTDC, namely assisting schools with providing quality education for all learners, was identified. The rest of the workshop was devoted to leading and managing the change needed to achieve this.


The group explored the meaning of educational change, and the difference between higher order change (concerns beliefs and requires a mind shift) and lower order change (more technical and superficial). They discussed underlying processes that can enhance or delay change and the role leadership can play in leading change. The participants linked those insights to their own context and experiences. We discussed theoretic models for initiating and implementing change, and then participants worked on their own change case. A change case consists of an improvement path for a problem identified in their jobs. Initial plans for the change case were discussed and enriched via peer review.

Leadership for change

Participants then reflected on how they can lead change, (How to mobilise more people and have more impact? How to support change in schools/in sections/with people?); about their own role (‘expert’, ‘doctor’ or ‘process facilitator’) and about situational leadership which depends on the “readiness” of the group. They also engaged with the concept of ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’.

How to deal with resistance

The learning on leadership for change was extended to learning more about resistance and how best one can deal with it. Again, participants enriched the theoretic models with their own experiences and applied lessons learned in their own professional context.

Continued learning

At the end of the workshop officials planned for implementation of their identified change cases. The group discussed how to practically implement this and how to keep learning collaboratively about leading change. The next activity in this learning path will be focusing on project management. On-site coaching will support and sustain the lessons learned from all workshops. Check this space for success stories!

The workshop was facilitated by officials from FSDOE and VVOB.

More pictures can be found here

Overview activities

Workshop M&E of PLCs


Workshop DTDC Managers capacity development:         


Workshop M&E of PLCs


Workshop DTDC Managers capacity development