Theme 11: Building Back Better- Teacher choices in action: An enriching supplementary module for ‘Teaching Practice’ in 2020 and beyond

Lead Researcher: Associate Professor Lee Rusznyak, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Conceptualised by: Nadine Petersen, University of Johannesburg (UJ), Maureen Robinson (SU), Stellenbosch University, Carisma Nel, North West University (NWU), Carol Bertram, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), Jackie Batchelor, University of Johannesburg, Moeniera Moosa, University of Witwatersrand, Tanya Bekker, University of Witwatersrand, Sarita Ramasroop, University of Johannesburg, Jacques Du Plessis, University of Witwatersrand, Dale Langsford. University of Witwatersrand, Emmanuel Mushayikwa, University of Witwatersrand

With valuable input from: Michelle Mathey, (DHET), Ella Mokgalane, (SACE), Francis Faller, University of Witwatersrand, Karl Maton, University of Sydney, Elizabeth Walton, University of Nottingham, Hilda Israel and Andries Du Plessis, University of Mpumalanga, Mari van Wyk, University of KwaZulu Natal, Georina Westraadt. (TOGI), Heloise Sathorar, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Lise Westaway, Rhodes University, Zelda Barends,  Stellenbosch University 


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Research purpose / objectives 

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Review the South African research on the preparation of pre-service teachers through ‘learning from practice’ and conceptualise how this can be done in a theoretically coherent way.
  • Conceptualise an alternative Teaching Practice course developed around SACE Professional Teaching Standards through the systematic analysis of teaching practice and classroom artefacts. 
  • Develop the outline and research methodology for the second phase of an Initial Teacher Education Research Project with a focus on pre-service teachers’ analysis of classroom practice.

Research question(s) 

  • How can pre-service teachers analyse classroom practices in ways that move them beyond a theory-practice divide and the simple identification of knowledge types?
  • How can an understanding of ‘learning to teach’ and the SACE Professional Teaching Standards inform an alternative Teaching Practice offering for the 2020 academic year, and beyond?
  • How should a research project that investigates pre-service teachers’ analysis of classroom practices be conceptualised and enacted?

Project deliverables

  1. Produce a conceptual paper on the challenges and possibilities of developing pre-service teachers’ understanding of classroom practices, within the South African context.
  2. Produce an outline for an alternative, remote Teaching Practice course that can be rolled out nationally during 2020 in the wake COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.
  3. Produce a research project proposal that investigates the way in which South African pre-service teachers learn to analyse classroom practice over the course of their ITE programmes.