Heads of departments’ perception of teachers’ participation in continuous professional development programmes and its influence on science and mathematics teaching in Ghanaian secondary schools
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) provides a link to improved professional practices of teachers' teaching as well as a window for improved learning outcomes of students. However, rarely are the voices of heads of departments of science and mathematics heard about the CPD opportunities offered to teachers in their department and the perceived influences that the CPD they attend make on their practice. By means of exploratory survey approach, the study uncovered streams of CPD opportunities provided to teachers of science and mathematics within a period of three years from 2014 to 2016. Several shades of CPD opportunities were recounted in the findings. The study found that there were not structured scheme for CPD provision to science and mathematics teachers in the sampled secondary schools. Also, fresh insight around the completion of syllabus, and perception of the respondents on the relevance of the school curriculum, were noticed across the sampled secondary schools. The results also showed that heads of departments had the perception that the CPD provided to science and mathematics teachers influenced their teaching and learning in a number of ways. It was also underscored that HODs are critical staff members who have a big role to play in the major CPD decisions in their schools. This study has raised issues on the importance of CPD in the teaching and learning at the secondary school level from the standpoint of the HODs. Consequently, it is recommended that more CPD opportunities should be provided to science and mathematics teachers to enable them to deliver on their mandate.
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