n Education as Change - Participative intervention research : the development of professional programmes for in-service teachers

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The Report of the Ministerial Committee on Teacher Education, A National Framework for Teacher Education in South Africa (2005), underlines the need for more attention to be given to the professional development of in-service teachers in South Africa. Many programme-related initiatives for the professional development of teachers have resulted from this report. However, it seems that some teachers view these attempts at professional development in a very negative light. Research done by Du Preez (2008) indicates that the methodology and / or approaches used may be one of the underlying reasons. This enquiry aims to contribute to the methodological discourse regarding intervention research and conceptual processes that support professional development of in-service teachers. The article begins by exploring the intervention research proposed by Rothman and Thomas (1994) that seems to be situated in an idealist interpretivist paradigm. After identifying some of its shortcomings, it highlights the merits of using an approach to intervention research that is embedded in a critical emancipatory research paradigm. Reflections on the experience of applying some of these methodological insights to a particular case study are presented to corroborate some of the theoretical and philosophical notions. It seems that participative intervention research can recentre the teacher, making professional development something done with teachers and not to teachers.


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