This research examined the work-based component of teacher training for the upper primary school phase at the University of Namibia by studying the varying roles of individual members of the practicum triad which comprised the university-based teacher educator, the school-based support teacher and the student teacher. This ethnographic study, which used a range of instruments such as participant or non-participant observations, in-depth interviews and content analysis, managed to establish the perceptions of the triad members about the effectiveness of their work integrated learning and also identified the facets of the work environment most effective in supporting trainee teachers throughout work-based practicum. This study thus posits that the teaching training agenda be aligned to expose teacher trainees the realities of teaching and other related professional activities through the development of sustainable norms and a continuum of realistic practicum partnerships which effectively respond to the need for higher education institutions to produce employable, work-ready graduates. The study revealed that there is an information gap pertaining to the roles of the individual members of the practicum triad. Despite the fact that the guidelines clearly spell out the responsibility of each party, the guidelines are seldom followed by the three different parties. This study therefore recommends that university and partnership schools should collectively work on challenges, misconceptions, mistrusts, and to iron them out. The university and schools should develop ways of ensuring that pre- and post-lesson conferences become part of assessment to encourage the triad to convene them more regularly. The study recommends that time spent on School-based studies be significantly increased to ensure that students receive sufficient work-based learning [WBL]. The current state of SBS is by far inadequate.
Issues of Quality in Teaching Practice Supervision among Open Distance Students: Student and Lecturer Input (Published)
While Teaching Practice (TP) students are expected to carry out teaching duties as guided by their training institutions and instructions from the school managers, there is need that all stakeholders get involved to improve the quality of the practicum. As such, the purpose of TP supervision is meant to achieve the set of objectives of training and building up a teacher to the level of acceptable standard. This study was conducted with the open distance students who were following up a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education at Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). The study employed focus group method with participants and a few open ended questionnaires were administered. In the study it was established that TP supervision was regarded as effective in some ways such as being timeous but not productive in giving students room to air their opinions as discussions were dictatorial and hurriedly done. The study suggests, among other things, a relook by the University on the minimum numbers of students each TP supervisor should supervise on a given day, especially in remote areas where schools are far apart.
The purpose of this study is to identify through the practicum course the desirable characteristics of the effective student teacher who is going to teach English as a foreign language as perceived by English language teacher trainer (the researcher), fellow student teachers, and the practicum supervisor. It involved a total of 103 female student teachers divided to 48 student teachers in fall semester and 55 in spring semester. Data was collected through observation and filling out a questionnaire, class log, evaluation performance and interviews. Although these student teachers taught at least twenty hours a week on average and often took on additional responsibilities which shows a giving rise to anxiety among some participants, it has led to greater self-awareness and increased confidence in participants’ own ability and expertise, and an endorsement of their teaching style and practice. Furthermore, the challenges that these teachers faced were teaching methods, high-stakes testing, their language proficiency and ways to motivate their students to learn English.