Teachers’ professional development: Awareness of literacy practices
This article draws upon our experiences of participating in a Literacy Hub in South Africa. The aim is to describe and analyse how dialogue among Grade Eight teachers in a Literacy Hub around literacy teaching practices might lead to professional development and deepen teachers’ understanding of literacy practices and teaching. Interviews and observations with eight teachers were conducted to understand their literacy practices. The result indicates that sustainable development is a process that takes time. Furthermore, the study shows that the teachers relate to students’ context and own experiences as a means of introducing a topic. While some teachers try to give the students access to cognitively demanding tasks, most tasks and events in the classrooms are cognitively undemanding and context-embedded. The importance of offering teachers examples of varied literacy practices and of making classroom literacy practice visible is noted.
Keywords: access; cognitive learning; context; critical literacy; grade 8; literacy; literacy practice; situated practice; teachers’ development