DRIVING QUALITY INSTRUCTION THROUGH TEACHER CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMMES IN ZIMBABWEAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
The continuous growth of professionals’ knowledge and skills is an essential part of improvement globally in all professions and teaching in particular (Boyle, Lamprianou & Boyle, 2001). Conventional wisdom dictates that engaging in teacher continuous improvement programmes (TCIPs) results in quality instruction. Despite acknowledging the improvement practices as valuable, it has been observed that teacher continuous improvement programmes are still largely under researched in developing countries such as Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe currently there seems to be an apparent disconnect between teacher continuous improvement programmes and quality instruction. Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between teacher continuous improvement programmes and quality instruction. The findings of the study are based on experiences from a selected education district in Harare, Zimbabwe. In order to understand the prevailing problem, the study adopted Peter Senge (1990)’s Systems Thinking Approach. Influenced by the Interpretivist paradigm, the study utilises the exploratory case study research design. Data collection techniques included interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis. One of the key findings of the study is that the models of continuous improvement programmes directly influence quality instruction. It further concludes that both institutional and personal factors significantly impact on the character of teacher continuous improvement. It is hoped that the insights drawn from the findings would significantly contribute to the implementation of quality instruction in primary schools.