Research and Evaluation Reports

Teacher Development

The Zenex Foundation has commissioned a number of research and evaluation studies since its inception in 1995, and from which the Foundation draws lessons that inform programme development, policy and practice.

The most recent research and evaluation reports are clustered under five categories, with a brief summary of each report available for download once you click through to a specific category below. The categories are:

For more comprehensive details on the reports, please contact the Zenex Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This brief report makes a case for focusing on the instructional core to bring about educational change in schools and improve learner performance, using the system as the unit of change. The “instructional core” is a term coined by international education researcher, Prof. Richard Elmore.

It is defined as the interaction between teachers, learners and learner materials in a particular context and over specific content. The argument is advanced through tracking the theoretical changes in the field of education improvement in South Africa over the past decade.

It then looks at literature on key elements of the instructional infrastructure that must be in alignment and coherence to facilitate instructional change. It concludes by considering change strategies that are most effective for different school types.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in South Africa currently experiences three major problems in delivering high quality teachers capable of effective teaching:

  • an inadequate supply of teachers for the schooling system;
  • the poor quality of some Initial Teacher Education programmes which results in the majority of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) being inadequate to the tasks facing them in schools across the country; and
  • the generally poor quality of distance education and the large part it plays in the total provision of new teachers.

The traditional form of ITE in South Africa follows the international norm – a four-year university-based programme – and is provided by 23 universities, either by face-to-face or distance education.

This evaluation of the effectiveness of an internship model to develop 10 pre-service teachers with high-quality Mathematics, Science or English knowledge and teaching skills, was funded by the Zenex Foundation and conducted by Eric Schollar and Associates from 2012 to 2015.

The objective of the evaluation was to examine the merits of this specific model of pre-service education. The report makes a substantial contribution towards documenting pre-service teacher training innovation, its replicability as a model for pre-service teacher training in both public and independent schools, and its potential to influence the way pre-service teacher training is implemented in South Africa.