|Primary Teacher Education in Action: A Peep into the TTC Classrooms at the National Teacher Training College, Lesotho (CIE, 2002, 42 p.)|
The comparison between the curriculum as delivered and the curriculum as set out in documents can hardly be neatly spelled out because the DEP programme seems to be a stereo in discord (Marope, 1997). It is neither coherent nor consistent in its curriculum strategy. In the document itself there is an obvious disjunction between the programme rationale and overall goals on the one hand and the syllabi of the various courses on the other. The lecturers seem to be oblivious of the programme rationale and goals and find comfort in the familiar syllabi requirements that are a perpetuation of the old practices and a hindrance to the improvement of primary teacher education and the primary education system as a whole. The constructivist and reflective model of teacher education, which promotes the image of the teacher as an intellectual, enquirer and change agent, cannot take root at the College unless all stakeholders at the college ensure that the course syllabi take their tune from the programme rationale and goals. If this is not done, the dilemmas of the
(i) academic orientation (theory) versus practical orientation (practice),
(ii) teacher-centred versus student-centred approaches,
(iii) ideal of professional teacher versus what is modelled by NTTC lecturer
will not be successfully resolved. Changes in the DEP depend crucially on the preparedness of the lecturers who are going to implement such changes (Ntoi & Lefoka 2002:284). Our general impression, based on the lessons which were observed, is that for many lecturers teaching is a job - something that you go and do because you have to. Until they make an on-going commitment to the improvement of their teaching not very much will be accomplished in the improvement of primary teacher education and, more importantly, the improvement of primary education. Of critical importance for the lecturers is that they should practice what they preach. The questions they should ask are Can I do in my own teaching what I ask of those entering the teaching profession? How can I help my students improve the quality of their learning so that they may improve the quality of learning of those they teach? (Russell and Korthagen, 1995:98) Without reflecting on what they do as teacher educators and engaging seriously with their professional knowledge landscapes, the college lecturers will find it difficult, if not impossible, to implement the DEP programme as spelt out in the programme rationale. The senior management team at the college is therefore challenged to turn policy pronouncements in the DEP curriculum document into changed classroom practice cognizant of the fact that Institutional change is an enormous task which requires a concerted effort from all the role players - management and lecturers alike (Ntoi & Lefoka, 2002:286).