The South African Institute of Physics in partnership with the Institute of Physics (UK) and the University of Johannesburg coordinates a Physical Science Teacher Development Project that seeks to promote teacher professional development on a broader scale. This project is considered to be a plausible quality-enhancing strategic flagship initiative geared towards the provision of essential training in various critical areas of need in response to serious concerns expressed with regard to the overall quality of the basic education system in South Africa. Commensurate with the core strategic vision of the project, a Memorandum of Understanding has already been signed by the parties involved.
In terms of its design and conceptualisation, the project takes the form of a sustainable, continuous and intensive programme offered over a three year period with dedicated and selected cohort of teachers. In addition, the project provides both in-service and pre-service training opportunities in order to holistically and adequately address teacher professional development needs.
Development of laboratory competence and skills forms an integral part of the project over and above the teaching of relevant content. Training in this regard is provided in specific areas such as improvisation, laboratory safety, laboratory maintenance and repair of equipment. Teachers are afforded opportunities to perform practical work in state-of-the-art Physics laboratory facilities at the Doornfontein Campus of the University of Johannesburg. These laboratory facilities have been fully endorsed by the Engineering Council of South Africa as the best in the southern hemisphere. Through their involvement in the project, teachers are particularly exposed to a Virtual Physical Laboratory (VPLab) which provides a meaningful platform for the simulation of physics demonstrations thus developing a coherent conceptual understanding of physics concepts.
SAIP is now proud to announce that on the evening of the 7th of September the Teacher Development Project was recognised and won best managed and impactful project in the catergory of Science and Innovation by the British High Commission.