Do teachers need to believe in an intervention for it to be effective? A mediation analysis of the reading catch-up programme in Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal
Literacy, which is the ability to read and write, forms the building blocks to one’s learning and inevitably enables active participation in a nation (Bormuth, 1974). The literacy landscape in South Africa is such that, although enrolment levels are high, about 74 percent of learners still cannot read with understanding after six years of schooling (Spaull & Taylor, 2015), rendering the quality of education in the country relatively poor. Consequently, there are studies that investigate interventions that may improve literacy outcomes, some of which focus teacher development and instructional change. This study is based on an initial study of the Reading Catch-Up Programme, a randomised control trial implemented in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of the programme was to effect instructional change with the use of scripted lesson plans, high quality reading resources as well as onsite one-on-one coaching in order to improve learner performance on literacy (Fleisch, et al., 2016). The purpose of this study to determine if teachers internalising the instructional change is significant in impacting learner performance, using a causal mediation analysis, where teachers’ internalisation is the mediator and learner performance is the outcome. The study found that teachers’ internalisation is not significant in impacting learner performance and that most of the teachers in the treatment group did not internalise the instructional change. Alternatively, the study may suggest a sequence of teacher change reflecting the Guskey model, where teachers form a belief in the instructional change only after the improvement on learner performance is evident, which may also encourage persistence and sustainability of the change. However, due to data limitations, the full Guskey sequence cannot be tested, which presents an opportunity for future research.
A Research Report submitted in partial fulfilment of the Degree of Master of Commerce (Economics) in the School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, September 2019
Baldese, Boitumelo Agatha, (2019). Do teachers need to believe in an intervention for it to be effective? a mediation analysis of the reading catch-up programme in Pinetown, KwaZulu Nata. University of the Witwatersrand, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/29680