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close this bookPrimary Teacher Education in Malawi: Insights into Practice and Policy (CIE, 2002, 144 p.)
close this folderExecutive Summary
close this folder4.0 Findings
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 Entrants
View the document4.2 Curriculum and Delivery
View the document4.3 Assessment Strategy and Achievement
View the document4.4 Colleges and Staff
View the document4.5 Newly Qualified Teachers
View the document4.6 Supply and Demand
View the document4.7 Financing Teacher Education

4.1 Entrants

The findings in relation to the research questions are summarised below.

The analysis of the qualities of MIITEP trainees highlights the need to take these into account in the formulation of the structure of the teacher education curriculum. Trainees have high average ages for initial training, come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds often with limited cultural capital, have low levels of educational achievement, in many cases no more than Junior Certificate, and are not conspicuously proficient in the medium of instruction. Almost all had substantial experience as untrained teachers. Trainees' experience of primary schooling, and their perspectives on effective teachers and the teaching profession, suggested fairly restricted images of pedagogy and limited engagement with new ways of conceptualising relationships between teachers and learners in the primary school. Trainees often undervalued their experience as untrained teachers, as if their practical knowledge was subordinate, if not irrelevant, to the task of acquiring formal status as a trained teacher.

All these characteristics carry messages for the curriculum and its realisation. MIITEP students are adult learners with weak study and language skills. They are diverse, and would benefit from a recognition of their different strengths and weaknesses. They bring with them to MIITEP insights into teaching and learning which may not be theorised but are nevertheless grounded in classroom experience. However it seems that this is rarely recognised explicitly either in curriculum materials or in college practice.