EXPERIENCES DURING TEACHING PRACTICE: PERSPECTIVES OF STUDENTS IN AN OPEN, DISTANCE AND E-LEARNING INSTITUTION

Mantsose Jane Sethusa

Abstract


Teaching practice is a fundamental element of Teacher Education, as it equips student teachers with professional practice in real classroom settings. This practice takes place under professional guidance and supervision. The study focused mainly on student teachers’ experiences regarding placement, supervision, mentoring, workbooks and support during teaching practice. It explores student teachers’experiences during their placement periods in schools in an Open, Distance and e-Learning Institution. The study utilized the theory of knowledge conceptual framework, which emphasizes that individuals generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. This case study explored student teachers’ experiences, and mapped ways to improve support to student teachers during their school placement periods. Textual data were also analyzed using content analysis. The findings revealed that students experience a number of challenges that hinder their teaching practices and these experiences varied according to their background within the diverse contexts of their particular host school environments. This research contributes to the development of effective strategies required when supporting students during their Teaching Practice sessions. It is also intended to make policy makers, academics, course coordinators and the student community aware of the challenges in the area of Teaching Practice and how to address these.


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