Policy Papers and Research

PILO theory/model of change:

  • Teacher support and improvement in SA and internationally increasingly seen through the lens of ‘accountability’.
  • PILO aims to develop internal reciprocal accountability (with support) at system and school level in order to make it self sustaining
  • PILO aims at slowly building a new professional collegial set of attitudes and practices within & between schools/districts.

Tags: Education Teacher Development

Read more: Teachers’ and HoDs’ Accountability on Curriculum Coverage: PILO theory of change


"Teachers’ beliefs may provide them with the resources necessary to maintain and improve their instructional practices. Social developmental theories provide understanding of teacher learning and new teacher development models that frame interventions differently to support longer-term, ongoing teacher development. One particular intervention that is consistent with the social development theory provides teachers with a lens for understanding their instructional practices and a reference point for shifting their existing instructional practices, which are linked to their beliefs. 

Tags: Education Teacher Development

Read more: Shifts in beliefs, knowledge and skills: teachers' experiences of instructional rounds practice

"Three recent random assignment studies from the Institute of Education Sciences evaluated teacher professional development (PD) programs in different grades in reading and mathematics. The PD examined in the three studies emphasized building teachers’ content knowledge and their knowledge about content-specific pedagogy."

Read the evaluation brief by the Institute of Education Science

Tags: Education Teacher Development

Read more: Does Content-Focused Teacher Professional Development Work?

"This report is based on commissioned research on the development of Teacher Professional Standards (TPS) in a range of developed and developing countries. Guided by the research findings, it assesses the potential for TPS to contribute to improving teacher quality in South Africa; it draws lessons from the experience of other countries, makes recommendations for the adoption of best practice in the field and identifies priorities for developing and implementing TPS effectively."

Read the full report from CDE Insight

Tags: Education Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Teacher Professional Standards: The road to better performance, development and accountability

"While much is known about the very poor performance of learners at all levels of the South African school system (and indeed also at university), and while national and international assessments of teacher knowledge have suggested that many current South African teachers perform almost no better in language and Mathematics than the curriculum standard set for the learners they are teaching, there is little systematic knowledge about the quality of the new teachers who are being trained for and entering the system."

Read the report from Jet Education Services

Tags: Education Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: The Initial Teacher Education Research Project

"In this paper the researchers explore the concept teacher accountability. They further examine the different types of accountability teachers have and also outline some of the elements of unprofessional conduct teachers exhibit due to lack of accountability. The reasons why teachers should be fully accountable to parents and learners are outlined." 

Tags: Education Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Teacher Accountability in South African Public Schools: A Call for Professionalism from Teachers

"Factors that impact on professional development the most are time, change and scarcity. Changes occur on many levels, for instance, the implementation of a new curriculum; new subjects or learning areas; new knowledge areas in subjects; promotions, etc. The shortage of qualified teachers is one of the biggest challenges to an effective education system. Existing teachers need to be developed professionally in order to assist where the greatest needs exist.

The responsibility of professional development lies on different levels, and no single level is more important than another. The responsibility begins with the individual who is then supported by all the other stakeholders. Amongst the most important stakeholders is the principal.

Tags: Teacher Development Policy Papers and Research

Read more: The role of the principal in Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD)

“Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education Curriculum in South Africa forms part of the Teacher Education in South Africa series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners. A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.”

Read more:

Tags: Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education Curriculum in South Africa

"The Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications has multiple users. It is used by the DHET to evaluate teacher education qualification programmes, submitted by public universities, for approval for inclusion in their Programme and Qualifications Mix (PQM) and therefore for funding and to evaluate teacher education programmes submitted by private higher education institutions for registration, enabling them to offer the programme. It is also used by the CHE and the HEQC to inform their teacher education accreditation and quality assurance processes."

Read the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ), issued by the Department of Higher Education, 19 Feb 2015.

Tags: Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ).

"The National Development Plan stresses that South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy by an average of 5.4 percent, and cutting the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2030. Education, training and innovation are critical to the attainment of these goals. Therefore improved learner performance, especially in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST), is critical in the Basic Education Sector.

Tags: Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Department of Basic Education Annual Performance Plan, 2018-2019

The Teacher Development Summit, held in July 2009, was a ground-breaking event, which brought together for the first time all the stakeholders from across the teacher education and development sector in South Africa, with the primary goal of highlighting and addressing the challenges being experienced in teacher education and development, especially by teachers.

The Summit resulted in a Declaration that called for the development of a new, strengthened, integrated national Plan for teacher development in South Africa. Stakeholders represented at the Summit continued to collaborate after the Summit towards the production of the new Plan. This document represents the outcome of their work.

Tags: Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa 2011...

"The Teacher Development Summit (‘the Summit’) of 29 June to 2 July 2009 represents an important historical moment: it has been a national gathering of all stakeholders, who have come together as a result of a call from teachers themselves through their organised formations and supported by the Department of Education, the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA).

The Summit has been a rare and important opportunity to think afresh and innovatively about the many challenges relating to teacher development. Practising teachers were strongly represented among the Summit participants, and made their voices heard both in the formal sessions and a special round table discussion in which they shared their experience of teacher development activities, both positive and negative."


Tags: Research and reports Teacher Development

Read more: Teacher Development Summit (29 June – 2 July 2009)