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Research on Teacher Education

 

 

List of Papers for Theme D:
Research on teacher education and quality of life

(Click on the author's name to go to the abstract.)

Author(s) Paper
B. E. Dlamini &
E. Mazibuko
Student teachers reflect on teaching practice: was this a worthwhile experience?
B. E. Gozo Quality in teacher education: the need and strategies
J. P. Lefoka
& K. M. Molise
Teacher education in Lesotho: a historical review (l905-1995) and quality of life
D. C. Mapolelo Some aspects or primary mathematics teaching and teacher education in Botswana
L. M. Matsoso Teacher education and capacity building for educational research: the NUL trainee classroom - action researcher on the eighth semester teaching practice.
J. M. Moorosi Effects of the four-months teaching practice on clinical supervision at Lesotho National Teacher Training College
M. J. Motswiri Effective preparation of teachers for lifelong learning - the role of an induction programme
H. J. Nenty Assessment as a means of enhancing improved quality of life through education
J. van der Vyer Institutional quality of life of teacher education students
T. P. Vanqa The changing face of teacher education in Botswana and new directions
C. T. Viljoen Multicultural education and quality of life: a pilot study at the Pochefstroom University

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Author: Dr. Baraang Ewetse Dlamini1 & Edmund Mazibuko2, Departments of 1Primary Education and 2Curriculum & Teaching, University of Swaziland.

Title: Student teachers reflect on teaching practice: was this a worthwhile experience

The purpose of this study was to encourage student-teachers to reflect on their teaching, and their perceptions on this experience were also sought. This task was given to both full time and part-time P.G.C.E. students of the University of Swaziland during their teaching practice in January / February 1997.

A daily journal was kept by each student during the four weeks’ teaching practice. The follow-up assignment was given when the student-teachers returned to regular classes. Students were asked to reflect on their most successful lesson and the least successful one. The perceptions of the students on the experience of reflecting were sought.

Results indicate that, for students in this study, factors that contribute to the success of failure of a lesson may be supervisor-related, pupil-related or teacher (self)-related.

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Author: B. E. Gozo, University of Venda

Title: Quality in teacher education: The needs and strategies

The paper presents a case for the reform of teacher education at both former Department of Education and Training colleges and historically disadvantaged tertiary institutions in the Northern Province of South Africa. The focus is on what the author considers to be serious deficiencies in the provision of teacher education in these institutions, e.g., academic autonomy and affiliation, entrance qualifications, the language policy, resources (both human and physical) and capacity to deal with educational developments such as the outcomes based education.

In proposing solutions and means of reform and redress, the paper examines three common strategies of curriculum change (the power-coercive, the normative re-educative and the rational empirical), their nature and suitability for the new South Africa is critically analysed. The paper further addresses the issues of the diffusion of these proposed reforms.

A position is taken that both the centre-periphery and the proliferation of centres models are not the ideal vehicles for the diffusion of teacher education innovations in the present day South Africa. An alternative model is proposed.

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Author: J. Pulane Lefoka & K. 'Mamotebang Molise, Lesotho

Title: Teacher education in Lesotho: A historical review (l905 - 1995) and quality of life

At any time in history, curriculum innovation envisages improved quality of life for those who are to be affected by it. This is equally applicable to the various innovations in teacher education in Lesotho.

The study is based on historical documents retrieved from archives, libraries and documentation centres. It reviews the history of teacher education programmes. The study is underpinned by Katz and Rath's (1992) theory whose basic hypothesis is that there are six teacher education dilemmas. The authors argue that these dilemmas impact on the quality of teacher education programmes offered by various institutions throughout the world.

The history of Lesotho teacher education indicates that programmes have been initiated, implemented, revised and improved upon with the purpose of offering a better quality curriculum. It also reveals that there have been significant shifts of training strategies during the history of teacher education in Lesotho. In some cases, student-teachers had practising school, a practice classified as a "future versus current needs" dilemma. This practice prepared them (student-teachers) to fit well in the school system.

The study recommends a resuscitation of those teacher education approaches that impact on producing quality education for a better life in Lesotho.

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Author: Dr. Dumma C. Mapolelo, Department of Primary Education, University of Botswana

Title: Some aspects of primary mathematics teaching and teacher education in Botswana

The quality of primary school education is very important because it is the foundation of aII forms of further education. The present mathematics education at all Ievels of the education system in Botswana is of great concern. A strong mathematics education at primary level is very necessary.

For every child to have a reasonable mathematics background, he or she should experience good mathematics learning. It is not primary school teachers' mathematics content knowledge alone that will make a difference. There are other factors that teachers should be aware of. Teachers in the primary schools should be aware of the consequences of their teaching actions and their belief systems about mathematics.

Primary teacher training institutions need to design programmes that will provide good orientation to teacher trainees. Pre-service teachers should have the opportunity to unlearn some of the styles of learning and teaching mathematics. They should also experience good mathematics teaching in colleges.

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Author: Lifelile Mpho Matsoso, Language & Social Education Department, National University of Lesotho

Title: Teacher education and capacity building for educational research: the NUL trainee classroom - action researcher on the eighth semester teaching practice.

Available evidence points to failure by teacher education institutions to produce reflective teachers. This failure is among other variables, associated with the outstanding absence of the research-culture in the teacher training programmes. Teacher education in Lesotho is no exception.

This academic imbalance in turn has resulted in:

(a) the characteristic fear of research among teachers,

(b) their failure to empirically establish the sources of and solutions to most classroom-based learning/teaching problems thus

(c) negatively impacting the quality of education received by the tax- payers' children.

The situation implies the need for teacher education to entrench the research-culture in pre-service teacher training programmes.

The presentation is a report of a pilot study of the school-based classroom-action-research programme implemented through the eighth semester Teaching Practice at the National University of Lesotho. The findings indicate that training pre-service teachers to reflect on their own teaching for how best it should bring about desired change in learning, has potential to build a research culture among teachers and thus improve the quality of life through research based teaching.

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Author: Moipolai Joseph Motswiri, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, University of Botswana

Title: Effective preparation of teachers for lifelong learning - the role of an induction programme.

One of the major issues emerging from Botswana’s Revised National Policy on Education is that of "Effective Preparation of Students for Life, Citizenship and World of Work". This paper considers one facet of a range of steps that will insure training and development of teachers who are given the task of providing students with skills needed for embracing lifelong learning.

It is suggested that a tripartite system of Pre-service, Induction and In-service is needed and the paper consider the Induction process for beginning teachers in detail. All three stages are necessary to produce a self-directing professional with the ability to interpret, adapt and improve the syllabus of their subject speciality. Induction marks the beginning of the teacher’s professional development that comprises three dimensions: personal, knowledge and environment. These three dimensions combine in the concept of pedagogical content knowledge that is essential if teachers are to develop into effective practitioners.

It is argued that ultimately the quality of life for individuals in society depends on the quality and effectiveness of teachers in the classroom.

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Author: A/Prof. H. Johnson Nenty, Institute of Education, National University of Lesotho

Title: Assessment as a means of enhancing improved quality of life through education

In any society, education is the most efficient means of enhancing improved quality of life for everyone. Its mission which is to "lead forth'' and "cause to develop" the potential of every child could be most effectively achieved if teachers are trained to exploit its rich and close etymological relationship with assessment.

But unfortunately, though the results of several studies have shown that teachers spend at least a third of their professional time involved in assessment-related activities, and contrary to recommendations by professional organisations in education, many persons are certified to teach with little or no training at all on basic classroom assessment skills. Some teacher training institutions do not offer courses that impart such skills at all, while some make such courses optional as if assessment is an optional duty of the classroom teacher.

Teachers incapacitated by such programmes lack the essential skills to "sit beside" a growing child to collect valid data or information with which to ensure valid exploration and identification of potential and the maximisation of its growth and development. This seems to be an important contributing factor in the observed trend of poor academic performance by learners in school systems in which such teachers abound.

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Author: J. M. Moorosi, National Teacher Training College, Lesotho

Title: Effects of the four-months teaching practice on clinical supervision at Lesotho National Teacher Training College

The study has investigated how the four-month teaching practice has affected the proper use of the clinical supervision cycle at the Lesotho National Teacher Training College. The research based itself on the change from one-year teaching practice with field-based supervisors to the four-month model without them. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether or not the five phases of the clinical supervision cycle were properly applied during the four-month teaching practice.

Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. The population of the study was taken from the college and the cooperating schools in the ten homogenous college teaching practice sites. Fifty percent of the student teachers from each sampled site was taken. These students automatically sampled their cooperating teachers. All tutors then teaching at the college were taken.

The findings of the study disclosed that the clinical supervision cycle was not accomplished due to managerial problems. The study recommended that only the three contact phases of the cycle be effected. It also proposed a teaching practice model for the college.

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Author: Prof. T P Vanqa, Department of Educational Foundation, University of Botswana

Title: The changing face of teacher education in Botswana and new directions

The paper examines the origins of teacher education in Botswana in the 1930’s and the attendant problems that faced such a project.

The problems faced by teachers were enormous particularly that the colonial administration did not wish to saddle itself with stringent economic problems. Nonetheless a breakthrough was made by the sub-committee which was set up and even included distinguished personnel from beyond the borders of Botswana. What affected teachers most was the absence of the conditions of service which meant that teachers were employed by different and unscrupulous authorities. Added to that, were low salaries and poor accommodation.

It was the advent of the Bechuanland Protectorate African Teachers Association that organised teachers and forged them into a powerful force to fight for their rights. At independence (1966) it was accepted that teachers were a reliable partner to government in the quest for national building through education. The Botswana Teachers Union (present day BPATA) plays a vital role in the delivery of education in this country through their membership in vital Ministry of Education structures including the Consultative Committee, National Council for Teacher Education and others.

But let us make no mistake, every stage in such recognition was fought for vehemently.

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Author: Dr. Charles T Viljoen, Potchefstroom University for CHE

Title: Multicultural education and quality of life: A pilot study at the Pochefstroom University

An experimental and experiential multicultural education and training model was used in order to better equip pre-service teachers for their work as teachers. This model encompasses three components which are important to teachers in training.

The first component is a research component which allows the assessment of pre-service teachers knowledge base about multicultural education, their perceptions about a personal and/or professional need for multicultural training and whether they would be willing to participate in such training. This component was also used to initiate and guide research on multicultural education for in-service teachers.

The second component is a training component which provides teacher preparation through coursework. This component is designed for:

(1) in depth lectures about the historical, philosophical and social foundations of the education of South Africa’s multi-racial groups (e.g. Blacks, Coloureds, Indians and Whites); and,

(2) multi-racial awareness activities. This includes methods which teach about the learning styles of multi-racial groups (e.g. researching their history, cultures, and values) and educational methods to help teachers develop effective teaching strategies (e.g. role playing, self-disclosure exercises and analysis of case studies) related to multicultural groups.

The third and final component is an experienced-based component. This component provides preparation through multicultural interaction: that is, it allows the pre-service teachers to link classroom based learning with field based experience (e.g. pre-service teachers are linked with primary or secondary non-white or white students) in a mentor-mentee capacity.

In addition, before receiving certification to teaching in the real classroom, this model requires pre-service teachers to complete at least 6 one-hour seminars designed to broaden their pedagogical knowledge base, sharpen their skills and modify their attitudes, values and belief to work with racially different students.

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Author: John van der Vyver, Soweto College of Education

Title: Institutional quality of life of teacher education students: Work in progress at the Soweto College of Education

Educational Institutions generally have a particular organisational culture that informs the quality of life of learners at these institutions. The learning culture (including the hidden curriculum) at the institution may determine or impact on the nature and quality of learning and other experiences of students. It is possible that this quality of life may impact on the personal vision of teaching as a profession that is formed by aspirant teachers.

This paper seeks to report on tentative research at the Soweto College of Education to explore the quality of life experienced by second year students at the college. Students are provided a particular instructional setting that differs markedly from other instructional settings at the college. Students are expected to reflect and report on these experiences in order to assess whether particular instructional settings actually provide a more acceptable quality of student life than other settings.

It Is hoped that the characteristics of such instructional settings can be identified, described and evaluated. The results of this research could provide guidelines for the generation of appropriate learning experiences that will improve the quality of life of learners at particular educational institutions.

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Last modified:  26-Apr-99