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close this bookNew Teachers on the Job: The Impact of Teacher Education in Lesotho (CIE, 2001, 36 p.)
close this folderChapter 1: Introduction
View the document1.1 Rationale
View the document1.2 Research questions

1.1 Rationale

The Lesotho Education system operates in an extremely difficult context, particularly where primary schools are concerned. Classes are often very large, schools continue to employ unqualified teachers, and the infrastructure is poor. Great value is put on passing external examinations, which can undermine the learning of practical life-skills, and mean that students may leave school without relevant knowledge and skills. When new primary teachers graduate from the National Teacher Training College (NTTC), they join schools by answering advertisements for posts but no follow-up studies have been done to see how well they cope with the system they encounter.

This study looks into the impact of teacher training on the Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), as they enter their first jobs. The purpose is to understand how far the initial training influences NQTs in their teaching and how far the receiving schools impact on their ability to use their training, thus shaping the type of teacher they become. From such an understanding it is hoped the study will shed light on how far the NQTs fall back on their college curriculum to help them teach and on what kind of environment and support the receiving schools offer to enable them to teach. The results of the study will provide the National Teacher Training College (NTTC) with insight on the impact initial training has on NQTs and how they apply it in their new jobs. From such information, the College would be able to organise its training programmes efficiently, and support new graduates more effectively.

1.2 Research questions

The study was undertaken within the overall framework of the MUSTER research questions:

· What are the characteristics of college graduates, in terms of self-perception, motivation and attitudes?

· How have they been changed by their course?

More specifically, the Lesotho study sought to address the following:

(1) How has the NTTC training affected the way the NQTs teach
(2) How much do they use what they were taught?
(3) How far are the NQTs influenced by the school in the way they teach?

(a) What kinds of support do they get?
(b) What constraints do they find when they try to apply college ideas?

(4) How are the NQTs perceived by the Heads and mentors?
(5) Is there a difference between trained and untrained teachers?