The quality of any national education system depends on its teachers. In recent years in South Africa, teacher supply has become a matter of national concern.
This monograph examines changes in enrolment and graduation patterns of education students at higher education institutions which are pivotal suppliers of especially the initial professional education of teachers, but also the continuing professional development of practising teachers. The study is based on an uninterrupted time series of institutional data from 1995–2004, which supports a uniquely fine-grained analysis of long-term teacher graduate demographic trends that impact on the present. Major emerging trends are the diminishing participation of young African women enrolled for initial professional education of teachers in the post-millennium period, and the fact that access to teacher education study is in predominantly urban universities.
The study serves as a foundation from which to launch further research on questions of teacher supply and teacher quality, such as the degree to which a bursary scheme, recently launched by the National Department of Education, will reinvigorate interest and participation in initial teacher education.
This monograph is part of the Teacher Education in South Africa series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners. A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.