|Teacher Education for Transformation: The Case of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa (CIE, 2002, 73 p.)|
|Chapter 6: Student teachers expectations and experiences of the HDE programme|
The student teachers rated most components of the course highly and felt that it was helpful in preparing them to be good teachers. Some problems appeared to have been experienced relating to understanding the theory lectures, which are most probably related to language issues. Students also mentioned problems with resources that they needed for teaching, particularly in some of the schools that they did their practice teaching in.
Suggestions for improvement included that more time should be spent on all the major components of the course. This seems to suggest that most students needed to have more training before going out to teach. However, the levels of confidence at the end of the course were quite high, particularly relating to the preparation of lessons, subject content and the methodology. Students were less confident with regard to the theory, which underlines the fact that some of them appear to have difficulty understanding the theory classes.
Generally, lecturers were viewed as showing expertise in their subject areas and being fair in their assessment of the students work. Theory lecturers were, however, sometimes perceived as being distant and not very caring. This could be due to the fact that there are a large number of different lecturers teaching on the theory course and that students do not have much direct and personal contact with them due to the large classes.
Many of the students appear to be using the HDE course as a stepping stone to further studies, and do not plan to teach immediately after the course. This could be related to the realities of retrenchment and the difficulties in finding a teaching job rather than the fact that they did not want to be teachers. Worrying, however, is the fact that some students appear to be doing the course because they could not get into other courses or because this was the only way they could study. Encouraging, however, is that the majority of the students show a strong sense of social responsibility and educational commitment and like teaching.