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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

6.6 Views of students about the HDE course

In the exit questionnaire, the overall ratings given by the students to the various course components were very favourable. Thus 79% of the students rated the education theory course as good or excellent. Similar ratings were given to the various method courses. Most of the students felt that the lecturers on the course knew their subject well or very well (89%), were able to link theory to practice (92%), and taught content which would help them teach in schools (83%). Just over half of students, however, appeared to have difficulty understanding the theory lectures (51%), which could be related to the language difficulties already mentioned in this paper.

The data from the exit questionnaire indicate that some of the fears regarding the personal qualities of the lecturers that the students had at the beginning of the course appear to have been substantiated during the year. Students, however, had much more negative ratings of the personal qualities of theory lecturers than method lecturers. This could be due to the fact that because of the smaller groups in the various method subjects they were able to get to know their lecturers better and more personally. In the large theory classes, where a large number of different lecturers teach, this is virtually impossible, Thus 32% of the students felt that the theory lecturers on the course were often unapproachable, and 42.% that they were often uncaring. However, 85% of the students felt that the theory lecturers had been fair in their assessment of the students’ work during the year.

From the responses to a question regarding the resources that were available to the students during the course, it appears as if the majority felt that the university library had enough books on education (77%). Almost half (46%), however, felt that the library did not have enough books relating to their subject methods. Three-quarters of the students felt that the course readers provided by the faculty were sufficient for the course.

Table 25: Students’ views on resources made available to them during the HDE course

Item

Agree

Disagree

No response


N

%

N

%

N

%

The university library has enough books on education

37

77.1

7

14.6

4

8.3

The course readers provided by the Department were sufficient for the course

36

75.0

3

6.3

9

18.8

The school where I did my teaching had enough resources for my work

14

29.2

27

56.3

7

14.6

The university library has enough books on my subject methods

22

45.8

20

41.7

6

12.5

In response to a question on what would improve the HDE course in the exit questionnaire (see Table 26), the overwhelming majority of the students felt that more time should be spent on all the major components of the course (i.e. Teaching Practice, subject methods and education theory). They also felt that having smaller teaching groups, more time for and help with exam preparation, more time to study on their own, and more group work activity would improve the course. The majority were also in favour of more time being spent in the schools.

Table 26: Responses to question on what would improve the HDE course (exit questionnaire) (N = 48)

Item

important

not important

no response


N

%

N

%

N

%

more teaching on content of Education Theory

42

87.5

2

4.3

4

8.3

more teaching on Method subjects

45

93.8

2

4.3

1

2.1

smaller teaching groups

42

87.5

2

4.3

4

8.3

more time for exam preparation

41

85.4

2

4.3

5

10.4

more time to study on my own

40

83.3

4

8.3

4

8.3

more notes from lecturers

29

60.4

13

27.1

6

12.5

more help in preparing for final exams

41

85.4

4

8.3

3

6.3

more group work activity

38

79.2

7

14.6

3

6.3

more time working in schools

37

77.1

8

16.7

3

6.3