The Inanda Seminary teacher-intern development programme is a two-year programme where interns are supported academically, financially and through mentoring to progressively achieve a set of holistic teacher competencies.
Name of Organisation/service provider: Inanda Seminary
Name of Project/Intervention: Zenex-Inanda Ndwedwe Teacher-Interns Project: Public Schools
Duration of Project: September 2016 – December 2018
Geographical base for the project: KwaZulu-Natal
This intervention is concerned with piloting a model of teacher internship, in state run schools, that aims to increase the skill, knowledge, confidence and competency of teachers in the area of need identified by the DBE, namely Foundation Phase teachers. The teacher-interns programme has been run successfully in independent schools‚ including Inanda Seminary‚ for many years, under the auspices of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) and many lessons have been learnt from this experience.
Of particular interest to the Zenex Foundation is how the model processes would work, what adjustments would need to be made and would the cost of the model be viable for an expanded programme in public schools. As such, in April 2016, the implementation of the Internship Project was transferred from ISASA to Inanda Seminary. This learning would have benefit for the DBE.
Inanda Seminary is located 25km north-west of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. It is a leading independent boarding school offering high quality, value based education, and is a member of ISASA; the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition and the Global Teachers Institute.
Ultimately this intervention is concerned with piloting a model of teacher internship, in state-run schools, that aims to increase the skill, knowledge, confidence and competency of teachers in the area of need identified by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), namely Foundation Phase teachers.
The Inanda Seminary teacher-intern development programme is a two-year programme where interns are supported academically, financially and through mentoring to progressively achieve a set of holistic teacher competencies. The elements of these competencies are:
- Academic: having both the relevant educational theory (philosophy, psychology and sociology of education) and subject content knowledge;
- Instructional: understanding best practice teaching techniques and being able to apply them in class; growing from observer to co-teacher to independent teacher;
- Operational: being able to function well in all aspects of the school’s broader operations; growing from observer to assistant to independent teacher;
- Leadership: becoming an inspiring teacher; living and integrating the values of the school into everyday teaching; growing from observer/participant to leader; and
- Personal development: taking ownership for one’s own continuous professional and personal development.
The programme objectives are:
- 90% of interns successfully complete their studies and internship in the required time with a minimum pass of 60%;
- at least 70% of interns enter the teaching profession in South Africa after completing their degrees;
- interns develop sound subject knowledge, teaching skills and experience for effective teaching in the early grades; and
- the areas of the internship model that promote or inhibit implementation in a public schooling context are identified and documented.
The intern-teacher is mentored by the Inanda Teacher Development Manager, together with the host school-assigned Foundation Phase mentor. Time management, textbooks and study guides, subject-specific content as well as enrichment elements that include participation in workshops, camps and conferences, are supported through the programme.
The focus is to assist the intern-teachers to progress towards more independent practice in the following aspects:
- instructional practice and observation of best practices;
- operational planning for curriculum, assessment and extracurricular activities;
- school leadership culture, values, ethics and professionalism;
- personal professional development through enrichment programmes;
- providing mentoring formally and informally.
An Intern-Teacher Contract that spells out the roles, responsibilities and consequences of early termination, including the scope of the financial assistance of the intern relationship commitment is entered into. This component represents an important part of the overall project demonstrating the serious contractual nature of the relationship.