District professional development models as a way to introduce primary-school teachers to natural science curriculum reforms in one district in South Africa
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This paper reports on a study that investigated whether district continued professional development (CPD) sufficiently prepared teachers for their classroom practice. Analysis of CPD models used with primary-school natural science teachers in a district in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa was conducted. Findings indicated that the district CPD models used with the teachers did not address the various challenges and complexities within the district and therefore created several challenges that negatively impacted on the success of the new curriculum reforms. It is argued that successful CPD models should address both the internal and external factors that influence individuals' understanding of new reforms and their social practice. Thus, it is proposed that each district should develop a context-based CPD model that captures and addresses issues that are likely to impact teacher learning and classroom practice in their particular context.