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close this bookTeacher Education in Trinidad & Tobago: Costs, Financing and Future Policy (CIE, 2002, 40 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: The Teacher Education System
View the document2.1 Overview
View the document2.2 Output
View the document2.3 The Delivery of the Curriculum
View the document2.4 Costs of Training in the Colleges

2.3 The Delivery of the Curriculum

The Colleges are in session for 37 weeks per year during which all the teaching takes place9. The three terms vary in length at Valsayn - 14, 12 and 11 weeks. The division of teaching time is illustrated below (Table 14). This shows that 45% of time is allocated to teaching, 24% to teaching practice and preparation, and 19% to examinations. Trainees are timetabled for 40 periods per week10. Contact hours for trainees are allocated as shown in Table 15.

9 The school year for all schools (including Teachers Colleges) in the public system is intended to be 39 weeks, not 37. It is not clear why only 37 weeks are accounted in the timetable.

10 Note that the length of a session (40 to 45 mins) is typical of secondary schools rather than tertiary level schools.

Table 14: Allocation of Timetable Time - Valsayn (Weeks)

Term

Teaching

Teaching Practice

Preparation for TP

Internal Exam

External Exam

Other

Total

1

10

0

0

2

0

2

14

2

5

4

2

0

0

1

12

3

5

0

0

2

2

2

11

4

5

4

2

2

0

1

14

5

8

0

0

2

0

2

12

6

0

4

2

0

4

1

11

Total

33

12

6

8

6

9

74

Table 15: Timetable Allocations by Subject - Valsayn


Syllabus Contact Time(hrs)

Periods

Time/ Period

Total (hrs)

Time/ Period

Total (hrs)

Total (hrs)

Difference with Syllabus (hrs)



Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 1

Year 2

Year 2



Ag Sci

36

2

0

80

26.7

0

0.0

26.7

9.3

Art/Craft

60

1

0

45

15.0

0

0.0

15.0

45.0

Dance/Drama

38

1

0

40

13.3

0

0.0

13.3

24.7

Music

60

1

0

45

15.0

0

0.0

15.0

45.0

Phys Ed

60

1

0

40

13.3

0

0.0

13.3

46.7

Ed 1

120

2

3

90

30.0

120

26.0

56.0

64.0

Ed 2

120

2

3

80

26.7

130

28.2

54.8

65.2

Ed 3

86

2

2

80

26.7

90

19.5

46.2

39.8

Electives

120

2

4

90

30.0

170

36.8

66.8

53.2

Language

111

4

4

160

53.3

170

36.8

90.2

20.8

Literature

86

4

4

180

60.0

160

34.7

94.7

-8.7

Reading

106

2

3

80

26.7

135

29.3

55.9

50.1

Family Life

90

2

0

90

30.0

0

0.0

30.0

60.0

Maths

140

4

4

180

60.0

170

36.8

96.8

43.2

Science

105

3

3

120

40.0

125

27.1

67.1

37.9

Social Studies

90

2

3

85

28.3

125

27.1

55.4

34.6

Self Study

63

2

4

80

26.7

170

36.8

63.5

-0.5

Relig./Guidance/Assembly

74

3

3

135

45.0

135

29.3

74.3

-0.3


1565

40

40

1700

567

1700

368

935

630

It is not currently possible to deliver the full syllabus with this timetable in Valsayn. In total about 935 hours of teaching time are timetabled over two years. This can be compared to the 1,565 hours anticipated in the existing syllabus. Students are taught according to a blocked timetable for core subjects, which sub-divides each year group of 200 into 3 sub-groups of about 60-70. Electives are taught in small groups. As an approximation there are therefore about 300 periods taught each week across the College during teaching time. This suggests that lecturers on average teach 9 or 10 periods.

Corinth organises its timetable in a different way. It mixes whole year group lectures and introductory sessions (up to 200 in a group) with smaller group tutorial sessions with about 35 students per class. As in Valsayn trainees are fully timetabled throughout the week. Teaching loads seem similar to those in Valsayn. A consequence of the large group sizes and the heavily loaded trainee timetable is that opportunities for working with small groups of trainees are scarce. Most teaching occurs in large lecture size groups, which are likely to preclude some styles of teaching.

Teaching practice is conducted in three four-week blocks in Valsayn. College lecturers undertake at least four visits per trainee during each block. Each lecturer is responsible for about 6 trainees and thus makes a minimum of about 24 visits. If school visits take half a day then this represents about 2.5 weeks work per practice. A slightly different arrangement is used in Corinth that involves initial half-day group visits of 5 trainees who have jointly planned a lesson. Subsequently trainees undertake block practice in pairs and then individually. It is thought that this provides a staged induction into teaching practice that builds confidence and competence. A standard assessment instrument for appraising performance on teaching practice is used in Corinth by all tutors and is made available to trainees.