Original Research

Stories of change: The case of a foundation phase teacher professional development programme

Bruce Brown, Di Wilmot, Margie Paton Ash
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 5, No 1 | a356 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v5i1.356 | © 2015 Bruce Brown, Di Wilmot, Margie Paton Ash | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2015 | Published: 04 September 2015

About the author(s)

Bruce Brown, Rhodes University, South Africa
Di Wilmot, Rhodes University, South Africa
Margie Paton Ash, Rhodes University, South Africa

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The study reported in this article responds to the need for empirical studies that provide evidence of positive change in education at the micro-level of the classroom – an important component of the complex education environment in South Africa. This article describes teachers’ and principals’ reports of micro-level changes that occurred during a professional development programme for foundation phase teachers at a South African university. An overview of the principles underpinning the programme design and implementation is given, followed by a description of the qualitative research design and grounded theory methodology used to research changes in the practices of teachers participating in the programme. The study provides evidence of changes in the classroom and professional practice of the teachers, aligned with changes in academic practice and children’s learning in the classroom. We argue that the programme’s strong orientation to practice, its focus on teachers’ understanding of children, and the model of teacher professional development that is located in reflexive practice together may have facilitated positive changes in the teachers’ practices.


teacher professional development, foundation phase, elementary school, classroom practice, teacher change, child learning, Northern Cape, grounded theory, South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Investigating teacher learning from a university programme for Foundation Phase teachers
Tabitha G. Mukeredzi, Carol Bertram, Iben Christiansen
South African Journal of Childhood Education  vol: 8  issue: 1  year: 2018  
doi: 10.4102/sajce.v8i1.524