Teacher Educators’ Views of Student Learning and Experiences Offered to Support Learning

Young Mudavanhu


The objective of my study was to find out teacher educators’ views of student teachers in developing nations using Zimbabwe as a case, what they learn and changes that occur. The study was interpretive in nature and used qualitative research methodology. Research participants were teacher educators who had left their countries to either study or live in diaspora after the beginning of the new millennium. Data was collected using face-to-face, telephone and e-mail interviewing with participants. Data collected using 1 telephone and 2 e-mail interviews are presented. Qualitative data analysis was used where second generation activity theory was used to define a priori codes. The initial codes were refined and more codes emerging form the data added to create a final template to interpret the findings. Data analysis revealed 6 themes namely: history and background of student teachers; perceived professional identities; interplay between theory and practice; ‘mediating’ tools; contradictions; changes in professional knowledge and skills; and improving current practices in teacher education. Teacher educators and their students chose teaching because some had failed to meet the grade to pursue careers of interest, and others thought this would enable them to eventually negotiate their way into areas of interest. Another finding was that student teachers tend to assume different identities: student, teacher, expert and parent. Student teachers participated in various learning activities namely; lectures, tutorials, micro-teaching, observation, live teaching, mentoring and teaching practice supervision. They valued learning subject matter most and tended to identify themselves with subject specialism. The study revealed that the dormant interplay between theory and practice is the applicative notion and student teachers tend to see theory as divorced from practice. Participants described professional growth in student teachers in terms of learning of secondary school students, critical reflection, and professionalism. The study concluded that while participants seem to be agreed that learning to teach occurs in different settings there was no mention of deliberate efforts to use the practices, objects and tools to enhance expansive learning.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v4i9.1609


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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