Teacher Professional Development Through Distance Education: The Ghanaian Experience


In spite of the global interests in teacher continuing professional development (CPD), Ghana is yet to institutionalise the implementation of well-designed CPD policies to guide teachers' practice. At present, professional development opportunities entail teachers' participation in hardly organised in-service training and workshops activities. Consequently, continuing education through the distance education has emerged to be the most viable opportunity to update professional knowledge in order to improve practice. While teachers are increasingly seeking professional development through this approach, there are relevant issues associated with this practice, which this study seeks to account. Issues raised include the relevance of qualifications sought by these teachers in relation to their classroom practices as well as the loss of instructional hours owing to their participation. With a recent ban on newly trained teachers' pursuit of continuing education, this study contributes to the on-going debates by using data collected from sixteen teachers and six educational stakeholders in qualitative interviews. The aim is to present an account using teachers' CPD experiences on one hand and that of educational stakeholders on the other to suggest ways of improving CPD practices for Ghanaian teachers. In spite of the significance of continuing education to teachers' professional development in Ghana, the study recommends a more regularised and systematic on-going learning activities for teachers CPD practices. Issues associated with teachers' continuing education need urgent redress to ensure teachers' development do not affect teaching and learning in the classrooms.

Author Information
Ellen Abakah, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Jacquie Widin, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Nina Burridge, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education

This paper is part of the ACE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon