Teaching practice and pre-service mathematics teachers' teaching knowledge in Zimbabwe: A mixed methods study
Belvedere Technical Teachers' College, Zimbabwe
Loyiso C. Jita
University of the Free State, South Africa
This paper examines the significance and contribution of teaching practice (TP) to the development of pre-service teachers's knowledge of teaching mathematics in Zimbabwe. Education researchers, across the globe, concur that teaching practice is an important component of "learning to teach". However, underachievement in mathematics the world over has been consistently high, and regardless of the long TP period in Zimbabwe, the failure rate in mathematics in Zimbabwe has always been dismal. This failure rate, according to research, can be linked to teacher quality. The role of TP in developing the required expertise of pre-service teachers to improve mathematics teaching therefore, remains to be established. A mixed methods approach was employed, based on an explanatory sequential design, to explore the nature and impact of teaching practice on knowledge for teaching mathematics. This study found that many mathematics teachers are a product of their experiences during teaching practice. Teaching practice may be fully effective when it is coupled with proper and adequate guidance from college and school-based mentors. Adequate monitoring of teaching practice with reference to mathematics content and pedagogy develops teaching expertise. The study recommends proper debriefing and assessment of competence after teaching practice, so that pre-service teachers who do not meet the performance requirements can be re-trained before graduation.
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|Authors: Dr Chipo Makamure is a Mathematics lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences at Belvedere Technical Teachers' College, Number 1 Harvard Road, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Curriculum Studies from the University of the Free State, South Africa. Her research interests include teacher education development in mathematics.|
Professor Loyiso Jita is the Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, South Africa. His research interests lie in classroom reform and instructional leadership in science and mathematics education.
Please cite as: Makamure, C. & Jita, L. C. (2019). Teaching practice and pre-service mathematics teachers' teaching knowledge in Zimbabwe: A mixed methods study. Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 858-880. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/makamure.pdf