Exploring teachers' experiences of a blended teacher professional development programme in Karachi, Pakistan
Date of Award
Master of Philosophy in Education
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
This study explored the experiences of participants of the blended learning in-service teacher professional development programme, which was initiated in 2015 by a Nongovernmental organization with financial support from an international donor agency. It was envisioned as a social movement aimed at changing the mindset of the teachers by instilling passion for professional development and promoting awareness among them so that they would be able to sustain their efforts in improving their students' learning outcomes. The exploratory study was situated within the qualitative research paradigm. Purposive sampling was used for selection of research site and participants. Four teachers, including two men and two women, were selected as research participants. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, document analysis and field notes. The multiple sources of data helped generate a rich pool of qualitative data which was analyzed using the data analysis spiral proposed by Creswell (2018). The analysis of the data revealed a number of key findings. Firstly, the findings suggested that a blended model had helped teachers in developing professional learning networking and motivated them towards self-directed learning. Secondly, the model had also helped in building teachers' self-confidence and enhancing their teaching skills. It also helped them get hands-on experience in the use of information communication technology (ICT) in teaching. The study identified some challenges with respect to the use of blended learning in in-service professional development for teachers. Some of these challenges were faced by the training participants when they attempted to implement their newly learnt techniques in their classrooms. Some of these major challenges included: the pressure of course completion, mismatch between the programme and ground realities, lack of resources and time, insufficient knowledge and lack of computer skills, lack of recognition, lack of follow-up support, lack of rewards, and finally a lack of monitoring mechanism system. This study is one of the few research studies conducted to understand the blended model in TPD programmes in Pakistan. It has made a small yet valuable contribution to the local body of literature, specifically in developing countries like Pakistan. It can be used as a reference resource for those who seek guidance regarding use of blended learning in teacher professional development. In conclusion, the overall findings revealed that the blended model has the potential to develop teachers' networking and professional competencies. Teachers are motivated to apply what they learnt during the training programme in their respective contexts. Therefore, it is suggested that the donor agencies and education department should work together to provide adequate ICT facilities and resources within schools. In addition, a well-defined policy to standardize existing in-service teacher professional development programmes is essential. Therefore, it is recommended that the blended approach be integrated in teacher training programmes and be made compulsory for all in-service teacher training programmes.
Bhutto, S. (2018). Exploring teachers' experiences of a blended teacher professional development programme in Karachi, Pakistan (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.