Did they learn anything? Experiences of social sciences teachers on an initial in-service post-graduate teacher education programme, 2013/14, at The School of Education, UWI, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
Keywords:Phenomenology, initial teacher professional development, community of practice, constant comparison method, secondary school Social Sciences teachers
AbstractIn the annual revision of the programme, six Social Sciences teacher educators explored the experiences of their teacher-participants to ascertain whether such experiences were aligned with the objectives of the Social Sciences curriculum sessions. Through the interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA), the researchers collaboratively explored the views on how 14 teacher-participants, who volunteered to take part in the research, experienced the programme. Using a semi-structured interview protocol, two focus group interviews were conducted simultaneously at the end of the programme. Interviews were transcribed by the teacher educators who also met as a team to undertake the coding exercise done inductively through the application of the constant comparison method of Glaser and Strauss (1967) to arrive at the themes. The findings show that teachers' experiences were aligned with the session objectives especially with respect to learnings on the nature of their discipline, developing skills for teaching diverse learners, becoming responsible for self-development as teachers. Such learnings seem to indicate a positive change in praxis and professional identity. The recommendations made would lead to a review of the session objectives for the Teaching of Social Sciences in the Dip. Ed. programme for future cohorts.