A case study was undertaken with the aim of exploring teachers views on how the ACE Natural Science (NS) programme influenced their classroom practice, and assessing to what extent the envisaged outcomes of the programme were achieved. Four Grade 7 science teachers, who had completed a specific ACE NS programme, were purposefully selected to participate in the study. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis to enhance trustworthiness. The documents of the Department of Education, the ACE Service Provider, teachers, as well as learners workbooks were analysed. Clarke and Hollingsworth s (2002) model of teacher professional development was used as the theoretical framework for this study, and a content analysis was applied to analyse the data.
The study showed an alignment between the views and practices of the teachers. The results indicate that the envisaged outcomes of the programme were achieved to satisfaction in the case of three of the teachers, as they experienced growth in their professional identity and classroom practice, while one of the teachers was reluctant to embrace new ideas. This study provided insight into how the development of professional identity enables teachers to adapt their classroom practices.
It is recommended that teachers be supported after the completion of professional development programmes. Support should include resource packs, in-school mentoring, and organised professional learning community activities. Furthermore, there is a need to address higher order questioning skills, pedagogical skills, as well as language development in future professional development programmes for science teachers.