Benefits and challenges of a teacher cluster in South Africa: the case of Sizabantwana
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This article explores teacher clusters as possible mechanisms for teacher development in dealing with a number of the difficulties facing education in the South African context. It describes the benefits and challenges experienced by primary school teachers who are involved in a self-sustaining teacher cluster (development and support group). This cluster is unique in that it focuses on psychosocial issues confronting the teachers in their classrooms. The study uses an interpretive qualitative approach to report on the experiences of the members of the cluster in an attempt to extract some lessons that may be useful to practitioners in the South African context. This study highlights the value of using a long-term developmental and organic approach to develop a community of practice for teacher support and development.