The objective of this research study was to investigate the role of school management teams regarding professional development of teachers for improving teaching practices. A sample of two principals, two deputy principals, six HODs and ten teachers from two primary schools in Rustenburg District of North West Department of Education participated in the investigation. The study was triggered by the challenges in the delivery of school based professional development activities for improving teaching practices, which are inadequate to meet the curriculum expectation within Rustenburg District, North West.
The 21st century teachers are struggling to respond to the recent curriculum assessment policy statement (CAPS) in relation to subject content knowledge, selection of relevant teaching resources and to assess accordingly, current studies evoke that most professional development of teachers approaches employed are basically not effective to teachers‟ needs. These challenges, suggest as a logical consequence problems and issues regarding how the school management teams exercise their managing roles of professional development of teachers for improving teachers‟ practices.
This study adopted qualitative approach to investigate the role of school management teams regarding professional development of teachers for improving teaching practices. Distributed leadership theory is used as a lens to guide and direct the study. The notion of school management teams is deeply rooted in a distributed leadership theoretical framing that stresses that leadership is not the only role of a principal but can be spread over a range of people who occupy various levels in an institution.
The findings reveal that school management teams are not exercising their role in leading and managing professional development of teacher for improving teaching practice. They do not have a clear understanding of their role in professional development of teachers, also facing the challenges as follows: limited time for professional development of teachers, teacher resistance, limited resources and lack of school management training. Effective approaches for the implementation of professional development teachers are developed to guide the practice. It is envisaged that the study‟s findings and recommendations will assist to provide significant contributions in the area of teacher development for improving teaching practices.