The perceptions of Botswana agricultural science teachers towards their in-service professional development: an exploratory study of the central region

Mabusa, Kgomotso (2016) The perceptions of Botswana agricultural science teachers towards their in-service professional development: an exploratory study of the central region. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This study relates to the reforms by the Education Ministry in Botswana of decentralising the coordination of teachers’ In-service Professional Development (IPD) to the Regional Offices with the overall aim of improving students’ academic performance (Republic of Botswana, 2006). In the absence of other research data, the study aims to understand how secondary school teachers of agriculture in Botswana perceive their IPD. The study endeavours to identify gaps in current IPD provision and make recommendations to guide IPD policy reforms at regional level.

Based on a review of the literature and the overarching research purpose, a set of research questions was devised. Considering the research questions, a Realist perspective to the research that endorses a flexible pragmatic stance was adopted. The research employed a mixed methods design. A questionnaire was developed and administered to all the Agriculture teachers in the Central Region (n=247). A purposive sample of teachers (n=36) and every Agriculture Education Officer (n=8) were interviewed. The quantitative data was analysed using SPSS software, with descriptive and inferential statistics reported. A coding guide was developed to analyse the interview transcripts which was done with the assistance of NVivo software (Bazeley, 2007).

The findings show that the main source of motivation for teachers to attend IPD is to update their knowledge and skills in the subject. The study revealed workshops and meetings to be the most popular IPD opportunities of all IPD opportunities found to be relevant by teachers. The study also identified satisfactory and unsatisfactory characteristics of IPD; the contextual factors that adversely influence IPD in the region; and a wide range of IPD needs.

The findings have implications for future IPD policy reforms; most important of these include the need to:

 adequately resource IPD and create time for it as an integral part of the education programme;

 remove restrictions associated with funding teachers’ enrolment in part time courses;

 revise teachers’ workload policy to help them find time for IPD; and

 have IPD emphasise acquisition of agriculture skills by teachers.

Beyond policy, the findings also suggest improvement of the design and organisation of IPD, which include strategies for making IPD interesting, meaningful, sustainable and accessible to all teachers in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Sorensen, Peter
Newton, Len
Keywords: In-service Professional Development Botswana, Agricultural Education, In-service needs, Professional Knowledge base
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education of teachers
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 34000
Depositing User: Mabusa, Kgomotso
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 13:07
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 18:46

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