The cascade model of teachers’ continuing professional development in Kenya : a time for change?
Kenya is one of the countries whose teachers the UNESCO (2015) report cited as lacking curriculum support in the classroom. As is the case in many African countries, a large portion of teachers in Kenya enter the teaching profession when inadequately prepared, while those already in the field receive insufficient support in their professional lives. The cascade model has often been utilized in the country whenever need for teachers’ continuing professional development (TCPD) has arisen, especially on a large scale. The preference for the model is due to, among others, its cost effectiveness and ability to reach out to many teachers within a short period of time. Many researchers have however cast aspersions with this model for its glaring shortcomings. On the contrary, TCPD programmes that are collaborative in nature and based on teachers’ contexts have been found to be more effective than those that are not. This paper briefly examines cases of the cascade model in Kenya, the challenges associated with this model and proposes the adoption of collaborative and institution-based models to mitigate these challenges. The education sectors in many nations in Africa, and those in the developing world will find the discussions here relevant.