Assessment of Preservice Science Teachers’ Support for Teaching Practice in the Context of Two Teachers’ Colleges in Zimbabwe

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Assessment of Preservice Science Teachers’ Support for Teaching Practice in the Context of Two Teachers’ Colleges in Zimbabwe

C. Mutseekwa1 and T.D. Mushoriwa2
1Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura Zimbabwe
2Midlands State University, Gweru Zimbabwe

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Using three objectives this study sought to: examine the extent to which mentors provided guidance to pre-service teachers, establish the support type and assess colleges’ support provision.An exploratory sequential mixed methods research design was used to guide the collection and analysis of data. Data were sourced from 18 Science teacher educators and 108 final year Science student teachers through a semi-structured questionnaire, follow-up interviews, focus groups and documents. The findings show that support was in the form of (a) science-teaching theory (b) support materials such as handouts and handbooks with tips on lesson planning and other teaching practice requirements (c) placement in schools for practice (d) provision of mentors (e) occasional workshops and (f) clinical supervision. However, support that targeted science students’ unique requirements was largely found lacking, suggesting the need for practices such as field-based methods courses and educative mentoring that foster closer collaboration between colleges and schools.

Keywords: educationment, orship science placement practicum

I. INTRODUCTION

The world over, teaching practice, which is a component of teacher education, is key to pre-service teacher preparation. While literature (e.g. Willemse et al. 2015; Hund et al. 2019)is replete with research on how to support student teachers in general on teaching practice attachment, there is a paucity of literature on how science student teachers in particular can be assisted in their attempt to applyscience-teaching theory into practice. Assisting the science student teachers ensures quality field experiences and coherent teacher education programmes (Robnett et al. 2018; Assuo-Baffour et al. 2019. For Fullan (2007), a coherent teacher education programme is not complete without a clear and common vision in all coursework and clinical experiences; well defined standards of practice and performance; a curriculum grounded in substantial knowledge of educational theory; extended clinical experiences and strong relationships (between college and schools) built around common knowledge and shared beliefs.