Professional Learning Opportunities and challenges among Student-Teachers during the Teaching Practice in Nyamagana District, Tanzania

Education Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2621-5799

Published: 24 December 2018

Professional Learning Opportunities and challenges among Student-Teachers during the Teaching Practice in Nyamagana District, Tanzania

Placidius Ndibalema (Ph.D.), Winifrida Kambona (Ph.D. Student)

University of Dodoma

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10.31014/aior.1993.01.01.29

Abstract

This study investigated professional learning opportunities that student-teachers attained and the challenges they encountered during the teaching practice in Nyamagana District. Questionnaire and interview guide were used to collect the data. One hundred and eighty (180) student-teachers (respondents) from 14 higher learning institutions who were doing the teaching practice in secondary schools in 2018 were selected using simple random sampling. Furthermore, purposeful sampling procedures were employed in selecting few student-teachers who were leaders of the group from each school. The results showed that teaching practice increases student-teachers' confidence and competence in lesson preparation, content, records management, classroom management, and moral values. It was also revealed that teaching practice helps student-teachers to be exposed to mentorship and teaching experiences. In the case of challenges, it was revealed that student-teachers face a problem of lack of sufficient instructional materials, insufficient orientation, poor working environment, lack of adequate skills to manage students with special needs and aggressive behaviour as well as over-crowded classrooms. Again, it was revealed that schools had no appropriate strategies for creating professional learning community and variation in assessment strategies and conflicting comments from assessors were other the challenges. The study recommends an integrated approach for effective implementation of teaching practice where school-based cooperating teachers, school-based mentors and University supervisors should work collaboratively to ensure a student-teacher has room to explore, discover and acquire professional attributes regarding teaching. A blended mentorship approach which includes face to face and online sessions for student-teacher is thought to be a worthy strategy to improve teaching practice.

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