|Primary Teacher Trainees in Trinidad & Tobago: Characteristics, Images, Experiences and Expectations (CIE, 2001, 55 p.)|
|Chapter 5: Teacher Identity - Small Group Analysis|
In summary, trainees not only had images of the teacher as an expert, but they also expected to become experts as a result of their teachers' college experiences. Their experience, though, was that the route to becoming an expert at the teachers' colleges was not as facilitating as they had expected. Their expectations of how lecturers should treat with them were sometimes not met. Whereas trainees expected to be told what they should do, this was not the strategy adopted by some lecturers. In a sense, trainees seemed to be saying that the lecturers were not performing a nurturing role.
Trainees were also of the view that some lecturers were not practising what they preached in terms of appropriate pedagogical and other skills. Given trainees' descriptions of a good teacher as outlined earlier, these lecturers were, perhaps, not operating as good teachers in the eyes of the trainees.
There exists a tension between how primary teachers are regarded in society and what society expects of them. It is to be recalled that many of the 1998 cohort of entering trainees indicated that they wished to leave primary teaching, primarily to enter the secondary system. This is, perhaps, their way of dealing with the tension since better salaries and higher status are associated with teaching at the secondary level.