|Face-to-Face Training in a Conventional Preservice Programme: A Case Study at Edgewood College of Education in South Africa (CIE, 2002, 36 p.)|
The purpose of the Multi-site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER) project in South Africa is to explore and analyse teacher education in the country. In South Africa, up to the year 2000, there are different pathways for training to become a teacher. One such pathway is to attend a college of education that offers face-to-face instruction in a degree programme in affiliation with a university.
Edgewood College of Education is located on the outskirts of Durban. This formerly White college opened in 1966. Edgewood is designated a pre-service institution and offers teacher education in three and four-year programmes in a face-to-face mode. At present the college offers four-year primary and secondary degrees and three-year secondary and junior primary diplomas. There is an affiliation relationship between Edgewood College of Education and the University of Natal (Durban). The University of Natal (Durban) awards the degree and secondary diploma. Edgewood College of Education (KwaZulu Department of Education) awards the Junior Primary Education.
This chapter explores one of the major pathways (i.e. of face-to-face training in a 4-year programme) to becoming a teacher. It does so through an illustrative case study at Edgewood College of Education. This case study is organised in seven sections. Firstly, it is necessary to briefly discuss the context in which the colleges operated and the recent developments that have affected their status, curriculum and student intakes. Secondly the study will provide an analytical description of the students, staff, infrastructure and resources, and governance and management structures. Thirdly the study will describe the teacher education programme and how it is organised, and collate the students and teacher educators' expectations, experiences, perceptions and evaluation of the teacher education programme. Fourthly the study will describe and collate the expectations, experiences, perceptions and evaluation of teaching practice at the college. Fifthly, the aspirations, expectations and preparedness of students will be presented. Sixthly there will be a discussion of costs of the teacher education programme and seventhly there will be a discussion of the key issues emerging from the study.
One of the reasons why Edgewood College of Education was chosen for the case study to illustrate the pathway of face-to-face training is that as an ex-White college it is an example of a well-resourced college. The college has been functioning, with a full complement of staff, regularly and with relatively little disruption and closure. It should provide an indication of good practice in the college of education system. Further the college has responded to and experienced various national policy and curriculum changes and in 2000 it has implemented a Norms and Standards for Educators (NSE) curriculum with the first year students. This college thus provides a good laboratory to study the issues related to offering pre-service in a face-to-face mode.
Teacher education in South Africa and the colleges of education are in a state of transition. This case study must be read against the backdrop of the changing nature of the college environment. The key issues emerging from this case study could be useful, as one looks forward to the incorporation of the teacher education programmes into the universities.