The effects of continuing professional development (CPD) though sprint on teacher classroom practices and student learning outcomes
Mazala, Chileya Mbasilu
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This study looked at the effects of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through School Programmes for In -Service for the Term (SPRINT) on teacher classroom practices and student learning outcomes. The purpose of the study was to find out if SPRINT had any effect on teacher classroom practice and student learning outcomes. The target population was all Ndola high schools. The sample consisted of 196 respondents that is, five head teachers, five deputy heads, fifteen heads of department, five School In- Service Providers (SIP), five Zone INSET Providers (ZIP) and twelve teachers from each of the five schools and one Resource Centre Coordinator. The sample also included one hundred grade twelve pupils, twenty randomly picked from each of the five schools Purposive sampling was used to select the schools, head teachers, heads of department, INSET providers and the subject coordinator. Teachers and pupils were selected using simple random sampling. Questionnaires, observations, interviews, Focus Group Discussions and documentary evidence were the research instruments used to gather information. A review of relevant literature and its implication for CPD was undertaken to provide interrogation framework for this study. Guskey's five levels of evaluation were used to structure the framework Data were analyzed by identifying and categorizing significant themes relevant to research objectives. The data were presented in form of tables, percentages,graphs and charts. Qualitative data from interviews were coded and emerging themes grouped into categories The themes and categories of initial data were compared with those of subsequent interviews. Categories were then regrouped to get the most significant categories and themes.The findings from this study indicated that teachers at all career stages expressed the desire to take part in Continuing Professional Development through SPRINT.Research findings also showed that SPRINT activities did impact on teacher classroom practice basing on the twelve observable skills recommended by The Ministry of Education. The findings from this study further revealed that SPRINT had an impact on student learning outcomes as shown by the average scores of students whose teachers took part in CPD and those whose teachers did not.Average scores for the latter were lower than the former category of students.The findings further revealed that although there was evidence of the effect of CPD through SPRINT on teacher classroom practices and student learning outcomes, this programme was hindered by weak organisational support.The results of the study showed that teachers were not enthusiastic about continuing with the CPD programme as it lacked adequate funding and support from both local administrators and the Ministry of Education. Teachers were not involved in identifying training needs and as such did not feel they were the owners of CPD Teachers also felt that this kind of CPD did not help in career progression as the credit system was not effective. At organizational level, this study found that policies and guidelines on how to organize and manage CPD were lacking.CPD leaders also did not have adequate training to prepare them for their roles. Because of this lack of training, CPD leaders could not carry out assessment of the effects of CPD through SPRINT on teacher classroom practices and student learning outcomes.On the basis of these findings, it is recommended that teachers should be in charge of their own CPD and be involved in needs assessment .Secondly, CPD leaders should be properly trained for their role and they should have clear job specifications. In addition, adequate funding for the programme should be made available by both the Government and the School Administration. The Ministry of Education also needs to formulate national policies and guidelines on management and evaluation of SPRINT .A standardized accreditation system which would enable teachers to experience career progression through SPRINT should also be put in place. Lastly, CPD through SPRINT should be made research based with teachers having access to INTERNET and good library facilities.
- Education