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close this bookTeacher Education for Transformation: The Case of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa (CIE, 2002, 73 p.)
close this folderChapter 6: Student teachers’ expectations and experiences of the HDE programme
View the document6.1 Introduction
View the document6.2 Organisation of HDE course
View the document6.3 Teaching Practice
View the document6.4 Expectations regarding the course
View the document6.5 Exam preparation
View the document6.6 Views of students about the HDE course
View the document6.7 Levels of confidence at the end of the course
View the document6.8 Future plans and preferences
View the document6.9 Summary

6.8 Future plans and preferences

In Tables 28 to 30 below, entry and exit level data are compared regarding future work preferences and expectations. The exit level data, however, needs to be treated with caution due to the small number who replied to the questionnaire and also the large number of ‘no responses’ to many of the items.

At the beginning of the HDE course, almost one-third of the students (32%) said they would prefer teaching in an urban secondary school, followed by a rural secondary school (23%). It is, however, interesting to note that twenty percent of the students said they would prefer to teach in a primary school one day, despite the fact that the HDE course is exclusively aimed at training secondary school teachers.

In response to a question on what they thought they would most likely be doing in five years time, only 29% expected to be teaching at a secondary school, 12% expected to be doing a different job to teaching and a third (33%) that they would be studying further (Table 29). It appears, therefore, as if for the majority of students, the HDE course is seen as a stepping stone to further studies and not necessarily as a course that will lead them to a secondary school teaching post. If one compares these responses to what students hoped to be doing in five years time, it can be seen that the expectations and hopes do not differ greatly. As can be seen from Table 30, only 29% of the students hoped to be in secondary school teaching, which means that over two-thirds of the students did not wish to be in teaching in five years time. This leads one to question why these students are doing the HDE course. Almost half of the students (46%) hope to be studying further in five years time, which is significantly more than the 33% who felt that this would actually happen. It is interesting that only 11% hoped to find another job outside teaching. It would, therefore, be interesting to find out if the 46% who hoped to be studying further in five years time, envisaged that after that they would still remain in the teaching profession.

Table 28: Preferences regarding teaching posts: entry and exit level data

Type of school

entry

exit


N

%

N

%

No response

44

24.8

25

53.2

Urban secondary

57

32.0

3

6.4

Rural secondary

41

23

11

23.4

Urban primary

23

12.9

1

2.1

Rural primary

13

7.3

7

14.9

Table 29: Most likely to be doing in five years time: entry and exit level data

Future plans

entry

exit


N

%

N

%

No response

33

18.5

23

48.9

Teaching at a primary school

10

5.6

1

2.1

Teaching at a secondary school

52

29.2

12

25.5

Find another job and leave teaching

21

11.8

1

2.1

Gone on to further studies

59

33.1

10

21.3

OTHER

3

1.7

0

0

Table 30: Hope to be doing in five years time

Future hopes

entry

exit


N

%

N

%

No response

21

11.8

19

40.4

Teaching at a secondary school

53

29.8

13

27.7

Find another job outside teaching

19

10.7

3

6.4

Study further for another qualification

81

45.5

12

25.5

Other

4

2.2

0

0

The responses to the open-ended question on why they decided to become a teacher, could shed some light on the reasons why so many hoped to study further, rather than enter the teaching profession directly. From these responses it is apparent that some students were studying HDE because it was the only course that they could get into, given their poor matric results. Other students chose teaching because they could not get into courses such as social work and physiotherapy. This is illustrated by the quotes below:

“I did not choose this career, but as I came here without exemption, I was told that I qualify for this course” (male, 24 years)

“I had no other choice, I qualified to do HDE” (female, 21 years)

“I was obliged by university faculties selecting criteria. I did not want to become a teacher” (male 32 years)

“I did not qualify for social work” (female, 24 years)

“I didn’t plan to be a teacher. I became a teacher because I did not qualify to do the course I wanted to do” (female, 29 years)

The responses to some of the questions posed to the students in the in-depth interviews provide further explanations about some of the reasons why students did not all want to become teachers one day. The interviewees were asked whether they felt motivated to go and work as a teacher in South Africa today. Those who did not feel motivated to go and work as a teacher focused on the violence and lack of discipline in the schools, as well as on their own lack of confidence to manage classrooms and to master their subject matter. As one student said: “I’m not cut out to be a teacher because I must admit I am too soft for the learners.” Another said that: “I feel that I am not competent in my subject and that I will end up teaching the learners the wrong things”.