Ground-breaking Pilot Study Reveals Key Insights into Teaching and Teacher Education in South Africa

Ground-breaking Pilot Study Reveals Key Insights into Teaching and Teacher Education in South Africa
National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT).

Johannesburg,  The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), in collaboration with a consortium of universities, has unveiled ground-breaking findings from its pilot study titled “Understanding Teacher Pedagogy in South Africa.” This pioneering research initiative provides a comprehensive exploration of the processes and experiences involved in teaching within South African classrooms.

This pilot project, conducted in partnership with nine universities  comprising the Teaching, Teacher, and Teacher Education for Equitable and Quality Learning (TTTEQL) Consortium, delves into the historical and contemporary challenges that shape teaching and teacher education in South Africa. It further examines how the country’s educational system has evolved since the democratic dispensation in 1994, with the goal of creating an equitable education system for all.

The findings of this pilot study will be shared by the NECT, DBE and the TTTEQL Consortium during  the South African Education Research Association’s (SAERA) 10th annual conference hosted by the Rhodes University on Tuesday 31 October 2023.

Key Highlights of the Pilot study Include:

  • There is little to no differences in practices of teaching between classrooms in no-fee and fee-paying schools.
  • A significant disconnect between teachers’ beliefs and their ability to effectively implement pedagogical practices.

The study recommends an urgent need for comprehensive support and mentorship programs, especially for Initial Teacher Education and Newly Qualified teachers.

Dr. Godwin Khosa, CEO of the NECT, commented on the significance of these findings, stating, “This pilot study is a testament to our commitment to advancing education in South Africa. By gaining a deeper understanding of how teaching works in our diverse classrooms, we can pave the way for a more equitable and quality education system that overcomes the historical legacy linked to teaching during apartheid year.”

In the next phase of this research initiative, supported and steered by the NECT, will expand the partnership to at least 14 universities, which will be networked to undertake a national longitudinal study spanning three years, commencing in 2024. This expansion will involve a broader sample of schools from all nine provinces and will also track student teachers, continuous professional development providers, and district officials. It will also seek to engage education funding partners who have an interest in exploring what happen in our South African classrooms.

Additionally, this initiative will focus on enhancing research capacity, ensuring inclusivity and equity, and building a cadre of researchers and academics to further strengthen teaching and teacher education in South Africa in the medium to long term.

The initiative is designed in line with the overarching intents of the NECT’ collaboration involving the Department of Basic Education, the private sector,  education unions and civil society which aims to promote a unified effort to improve teaching and learning, especially in disadvantaged schools.

The research program will inform educational policy and practice, ensuring meaningful and equitable quality education that aligns with key national and provincial education programs, including the Curriculum Strengthening Program.


For more information, inquiries, or to schedule interviews with the conveners and experts, please contact:

Hloni Motloung on 0716377990 or email: [email protected]

About NECT: The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of education in South Africa by fostering collaboration among government, labor, civil society, and the business sector. NECT works toward achieving inclusive and equitable quality education, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

About TTTEQL Consortium: The Teaching, Teacher, and Teacher Education for Equitable and Quality Learning (TTTEQL) Consortium is a collaborative group of universities and educational experts focused on improving teacher education and pedagogy in South Africa. This consortium plays a vital role in developing and implementing research programs aimed at enhancing educational quality and equity.