n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die praktyk van Wiskunde-onderwysersamewerking soos gefundeer in die leergemeenskapsraamwerk en die uitnodigende onderwysbenadering : navorsings- en oorsigartikels

Volume 55 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



Studies show that collaborative learning models have the potential to improve teachers' practice and learners' performance. Although the link between teacher collaboration in teacher communities and its positive impact on teachers' learning and that of their learners has been widely acknowledged, not much has been done to understand teacher collaboration within certain contextual conditions. For the purpose of this study a teacher community is defined as "a group of collaborating teachers with a certain group identity, shared domain and goals, and an interactional repertoire that allows them to effectively share and build knowledge" and skills to improve their own learning and that of their learners. Two lenses were used to address the research problem: that of the teacher community framework and that of invitational education. This case study, which is part of a larger study, therefore focussed on understanding Maths teachers' perceptions of their collaboration in a primary school as it relates to the learner community framework and invitational education approach.
The choice of the school was purposive in that a particular school was selected that would shed more light on teacher collaboration in a team. Data collection in the Maths Department of the school started at the end of 2014 and continued till the beginning of 2015 in the natural setting of participants. A qualitative study was most appropriate for the study and included a focus group interview with teachers in the department, written accounts of teachers and individual interviews with the principal. The data analysis in the closed questions section of the written accounts presented the scores for the items of the three dimensions, while the data analysis in the open-ended section of the study and the transcriptions employed a thematic analysis. In the identification of themes "in vivo" coding for themes was used to honour the "voices" of participants in the discussion.
The following implications can be drawn from the study: Firstly, continuous formal and informal interactions where teachers engage in teacher communities to interact were required to enhance their professional growth and the performance of their learners. These collegial interactions were required for teachers to assist one another in order to improve their practices and learners' performance. Secondly, the collaborative culture in the Maths team occurred as a result of formal and informal interactions. The study indicated that the school developed a structure for teacher collaboration but that there was room for improvement, in particular in structuring more time for formal meetings. Thirdly, a customised approach is required to implement a collaborative structure in another school, since a collaborative model depends on the particular context and the school's professional development. Its sustainability will also depend on schools' ability to "buy into" the learning team approach and to nurture its continuous and further development. Fourthly, moving towards learning communities requires an intentionality among team members where respect, trust, optimism and care, as supported by the inviting approach, prevail.

Studies toon dat modelle van samewerkende leer, onderwysers se metodes en leerders se prestasie kan verbeter. Hierdie gevallestudie, wat deel is van 'n groter studie, fokus daarop om Wiskunde-onderwysers se persepsies van hul samewerking in 'n laerskool, en hoe dit verband hou met die leergemeenskapsraamwerk en uitnodigende-onderwys-benadering, te verstaan. Data-insameling vir die kwalitatiewe studie sluit 'n fokusgroeponderhoud met onderwysers in die departement, skriftelike mededelings van onderwysers en individuele onderhoude met die skoolhoof in. Die data-ontleding maak die spesifieke verhoudings wat onderwysers gevorm het as 'n resultaat van hul samewerking, die formele en informele geleenthede vir samewerking tussen onderwysers en ook die impak - persoonlik en professioneel - wat samewerking op onderwysers gehad het, duidelik.

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