|Primary Teacher Education Curricula as Documented: A Comparative Analysis (CIE, 1999, 38 p.)|
This paper compares primary teacher curricula using examples from Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago, to show similarities and differences, to seek out trends, and to raise general issues. First the contextual frameworks are sketched, describing the five programmes and showing how they have developed over recent years. Then the curricular structures and strategies are analysed from available documents, and compared in terms of aims, objectives, content, pedagogy and assessment. Findings include the following:
· In general, teacher education appears to lag behind other educational sub-sectors both in terms of curriculum development and of the professional development of the teacher educators.
· Although in all but one of the countries initial teacher training is in transition, the changes are in different directions and follow different rationales. There seems little consensus on either the aims of initial training or on how best to achieve them.
· With the exception of South Africa, the curricula still reflect traditional types of organisation and content, often borrowed from the North with little adaptation to make them relevant to local needs or to the lifeworlds of the trainees. Pedagogy and assessment methods also follow traditions patterns; few textbooks are written or published locally, and many are outdated.
· Some of the differences found seem to relate to levels of economic development, but others may be more deeply rooted in historical, social and cultural factors, such as views of knowledge, or the relations between the generations.
· Further exploration is needed to understand how the curriculum as documented relates to the curriculum as understood by the tutors, delivered in the classroom, or experienced by trainees. There may be wide gulfs between all these.