The relationship between the inspectorial system and teacher professionalism : a Papua New Guinea primary school case study

Apelis, Eliakim Tokacap (2008) The relationship between the inspectorial system and teacher professionalism : a Papua New Guinea primary school case study. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Eliakim Apelis Thesis.pdf.


The inspectorial system is a legacy of the colonial era. The functions, responsibilities and strategies of the inspectorial system in PNG schools were introduced during the colonial era and since its inception there have been insignificant changes made.

There are perceived problems being experienced due to the growth of the education system and the complex management of education services as a result of the centralized and decentralized organizational functions introduced some thirty years ago. The multiple, conflicting and confusing roles of the inspectorial system developed over the years and the organizational cultures of agencies responsible for the inspectorial system have further complicated the work of inspectors. Thus the question of how effectively the inspectorial system works and how it serves its functions needs to be addressed, particularly on how it enhances the teaching profession.

Although the inspectorial system was introduced as a means of quality assurance, which is still being emphasized in PNG, the analysis reveals that supervision and professional development strategies are applied by inspectors as interactive strategies to pursue better education standards and quality education. These strategies supposedly ensure teacher professionalism is sustained and improved in order to impact on the quality of education provided by the schools. However a lack of clear understanding of teacher professionalism, despite changes and developments within the education system, may be also having an influence on how effective the inspectorial system is. The inspectorial system has developed into a complicated system. Therefore the need for clear demarcations of its functions, responsibilities and strategies is investigated in this study so that the inspectorial system is improved or developed into a more functional system that may produce tangible outcomes.

The study explores the experiences, beliefs and perceptions of teachers, head teachers and inspectors about the inspectorial system, teacher professionalism and their relationships. It does so by answering the main question, how and to what extent does the inspectorial system enhance and hinder teacher professionalism in primary schools in PNG, as well as specifically answering the following key questions:

• How does the inspectorial system operate in primary schools in PNG?
• What are the dimensions of teacher professionalism that are perceived by teachers, head teachers and inspectors? • How are these dimensions of teacher professionalism linked to the interactive strategies applied by inspectors on teachers and head teachers? • What redeveloped conceptual framework grounded in the realities of teachers’, head teachers’ and inspectors’ experiences, beliefs and perceptions about the inspectorial interactive strategies can enhance teacher professionalism?

In doing so, the interactive strategies of the inspectorial system (including quality assurance, professional development and professional ethics) and the dimensions of teacher professionalism (including teacher compliance, teacher knowledge, teacher leadership, teacher professional development and teacher professional ethics) are disclosed and their linkages identified. For example, professional development interactive strategies are linked directly to teacher professional development as experienced and perceived by teachers, head teachers and inspectors. This is done so that the direct impacts of each inspectorial interactive strategy on the dimensions of teacher professionalism are identified, and this leads to the creation of a conceptual framework for an inspectorial system that enhances teacher professionalism. The conceptual framework can guide supervisors, either school-based or externally based, to develop and execute an efficient supervisory system that can have a direct impact on an evolving teaching profession.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 20731
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Elliott, Robert & Millwater, Jan
Keywords: inspectorial system, inspectorial interactive strategies, quality assurance, professional development, teacher professionalism, dimensions of teacher professionalism, professional ethics, supervision, teacher compliance, teacher knowledge, teacher leadership
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 May 2009 01:22
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:42

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