DG Murray Trust (DGMT)
Call for Proposals: Teachers’ Change Agent Network (TeachersCAN) Survey
1. Project Purpose
The DG Murray Trust would like to appoint a service provider to undertake a survey of young teachers’ experiences of how they operate in the current education landscape.
2. Background of Teacherscan
South Africa’s learning crisis is well documented through learner outcomes, and often linked to teacher behaviour and poor quality teaching methods. However, many teachers feel demoralised and unsupported in the profession. They face a number of external factors that impact not only on the ability to teach effectively, but also on their wellbeing. Research from the Human Sciences Research Council  (HSRC) demonstrates that South Africa has a low retention of beginner (young) teachers, citing a lack of support as one of the major contributing factors.
In addition, teachers have a professional identity that often sits between workers and professionals. Often treated as workers on a policy level, teachers are often tasked with executing an inflexible, high-paced curriculum for targeted outcomes. Teachers therefore find themselves with little freedom to innovate their teaching practice; or challenge national decisions based on their experiences in the classroom. When teachers feel unsupported and overlooked in their challenging professional environment, it narrows their sense of agency; to the detriment of the entire education system. For quality education to occur in South Africa, young teachers need to understand the role they play in ensuring quality learning, feel empowered to navigate the education system and its structures for the benefit of their children’s learning and have the professional freedom and responsibility to innovate in order to address the systemic challenges that plague the post-apartheid education system.
TeachersCAN envisages building a young teacher network for positive disruption and solidarity, amplifying young teacher’s voices around their shared challenges and successes through an a-political platform, and nurturing their identity as professional agents of change in South Africa.
3. Purpose AND SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH: REFLECTING THE EXPERIENCE OF YOUNG TEACHERS
- Engage as equals where their views are valued,
- Free children to be who they really are,
- Connect to a wider world of social change,
- Shape curriculum and professional development,
- Play an active role in school structures.
DGMT has identified five ways in which we believe young teachers should be able to operate in order to express professional agency for social change; these are captured below in the TeachersCAN Manifesto:
The survey must paint an informed picture of the reality of South African young teachers, and what their current experience is like compared to a teacher who is able to express professional agency for social change as outlined in the TeachersCAN Manifesto.
The sample should be reflective of both rural and urban teacher experiences across different quintiles to demonstrate the extent to which experiences and perceptions are correlated with different contexts and demographics. However, while the sample should be a valuable “dipstick” rather than a fully representative or statistically significant study.
The DGMT is looking for a service provider who will design and undertake a survey of young teachers in South Africa (i.e: teachers with less than 5 years of teaching experience, and below the age of 30). This work should take place between September 2020 - November 2020.
The bidder must detail an approach and methodology for designing and implementing the survey. The bid must include the following,
- A detailed approach of survey and the rationale for this particular approach;
- A proposed methodology and sampling strategy
- A timeline, workplan and fully costed budget
- CVs of all team members who will work on this project
- An outline of relevant, previous work that demonstrates ability to complete this project
- An overview of the organisation/company
- 3 references
The bidder must provide a Gantt chart that outlines the objectives, deliverables and time-frames for the proposed study. The desired service provider must demonstrate the capacity to design and implement the national survey as described.
At a minimum, the successful service provider must demonstrate a track record in designing and implementing large-scale surveys; and strong analytical and report-writing capacity.
The appointed service provider will report to the Programme Lead: Parent Empowerment Initiative and Teacher Change Agent Network. Interested parties should submit their proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading TeachersCAN Survey Proposal. All proposals must be submitted by 17 August 2020.
 Arends, F. & Phurutse, M. (2009) Beginner teachers in South Africa: school readiness, knowledge and skills. (Teacher Education in South Africa Series). Cape Town: HSRC Press.