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Making sense of teacher data to improve professional development

On 28-29 September, SACE provincial coordinators kicked off an M&E learning trajectory together with their counterparts in the provincial departments. The aim was to assess the status of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in their provinces.

SACE has the overall responsibility for the implementation, management and quality assurance of professional development of educators. Teachers and principals can identify their needs and report and reflect on their participation in professional development activities in the Continuous Professional Development (CPTD) management system. SACE provincial officials have the mandate to support participation of educators in the CPTD system and to advocate the intrinsic value of participating to professional development.

To support them in this mandate, the provincial coordinators need a set of research skills to be able to identify

  • which schools and educators need most support;
  • why there is low reporting on professional development activities by signed up educators
  • why some educators report activities and others do not;
  • which/why different types of professional development activities are preferred;
  • what kind of support educators need and receive regarding professional development (participating in PD activities, developing their professional development portfolios,…).

The SACE provincial coordinators and PED counterparts are following a learning trajectory of 5 trainings interspersed with mentoring and peer learning activities (developed by VVOB with the support of Benita Williams Evaluation Consultants). The learning trajectory will lead to a study report in five provinces: Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. During this first training, the SACE coordinators engaged with the research questions and proposed methodology. They then scrutinised the raw data of their province from the CPTD system to identify and apply sampling criteria for school visits. In the next training, officials will engage with the data collection tools to prepare for the school visits.

The information from the studywill further assist in obtaining evidence at provincial level on the uptake of professional development and it will help to inform the Provincial Education Department on how lessons learnt can influence planning and policy.

More pictures can be found here.