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SACE Professional Teaching Standards7 November 2017 - To strengthen the teaching profession the South African Council for Educators (SACE) has developed a framework of professional standards for the South African teaching profession.

This draft set of Professional Standards focuses on what South African teachers should know and what they should be able to do to provide learners with knowledge-rich learning opportunities.

The proposed Standards have been clustered into ten principles for professional teaching and apply to teaching across all phases and subject specialisations.

By inviting comments on this draft document from
practicing teachers and other stakeholders from all parts of the South African education system SACE ensures that the final document will be produced and owned by the teaching community.

You can download the draft document here (PDF, 2 MB ) zero-rated for Vodacom users and submit your queries and comments to member@sace.org.za.

 

Background

Teaching is complex work in which teachers create knowledge-rich learning opportunities for the learners in their classes. As professionals, teachers draw
on different kinds of knowledge, namely subject, professional and contextual, to make suitable choices for their classroom activities.

They need to consider the knowledge of the subjects they teach, and the learners with which they work, to decide how best to enable learning within the context in which they work.

Teachers are expected to make wise decisions in situations that are often complex and unpredictable. Their teaching choices and classroom actions must therefore be guided by a moral obligation to act in the best educational interests of the learners they teach. For this reason, committed, knowledgeable and skilful teachers are among the country’s greatest assets.

The South African Council for Educators (SACE) is tasked to strengthen the profession of teaching. The Council is responsible for developing a framework of professional standards for the South African teaching profession.

Strengthening teaching as a professional practice is widely considered to be a way to enhance the quality of teaching throughout all South African classrooms, and to make the education system work as it should.

 

Draft Professional Teaching Standards

In this document, SACE presents a draft set of Professional Teaching Standards that seeks to promote professional teaching. The Standards focus on what South African teachers should know and what they should be able to do to provide learners with knowledge-rich learning opportunities.

The Standards bring together the professional knowledge, classroom skills and the values that teachers draw on during their professional careers.

The proposed Standards have been clustered into ten principles for professional teaching. These principles apply to teaching across all phases and subject specialisations.

These ten principles are:

  1. Ethical teaching is based on a commitment to the learning and wellbeing of all children.
  2. Teachers collaborate with others to support teaching,learning and their professional development.
  3. Teachers understand that language plays an important role in teaching and learning.
  4. Teachers promote social justice and the redress of inequalities within their educational institutions and society more broadly.
  5. Teachers make judgments that are conceptually informed, responsive to learners and contextually appropriate.
  6. Teaching is based on teachers’ deep understanding of the subject/s they teach.
  7. Teachers understand how their subjects are best taught and learnt.
  8. Teachers interpret the national curriculum to plan systematic sequences of lessons.
  9. Teaching involves organising, monitoring and assessing learning.
  10. Teaching requires that well managed learning environments are created and maintained.

While each principle represents a distinct aspect of professional teaching practice, there are many relationships within and between the Standards. This is to be expected in a complex professional practice which is much more than a set of isolated skills.

As teachers gain experience and become established in their school communities, as well as develop expertise in their teaching, it is expected that they will build understandings of the different Standards, and grasp the connections between them in increasingly sophisticated ways.

Professional teaching requires that teachers consider how best to create learning opportunities within the limitations and opportunities of the contexts in which they work. The Professional Teaching Standards are intended to be useful to teachers across different South African school contexts. Even in challenging school contexts, teachers must remain mindful of their role to enable the learners in their classes to gain access to literacy, numeracy skills and access to powerful knowledge.

 

Invitation to query and comment

SACE Professional Teaching in Our HandsA distinctive attribute of a profession is that its members have ownership of the standards used to ensure the quality of the practice. To build a common
understanding of professional teaching for South African classrooms, SACE invites comments on this draft document from practicing teachers and other stakeholders from all parts of the South African education system.

All comments received will be carefully considered by the Standards Development Working Group, and will be used to refine and strengthen the draft Standards. Through this process, the document will be produced and owned by practicing teachers.

Upon finalisation, it will be endorsed by SACE as guidelines that enable teachers to reflect on their own teaching practices and support one another.
These guidelines will also be intended to open up possibilities for professional development.

The Professional Teaching Standards should inform the development of teacher education programmes and continuous professional development initiatives. These Standards will be used as a framework to strengthen the teaching profession within the South African education system.

You can download the draft document here (PDF, 2MB ) zero-rated for Vodacom users and submit your queries and comments to member@sace.org.za.

For more information please follow SACE on Facebook and via Twitter.

Source: www.sace.org.za

 

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