Non-Examined Secondary School Curriculum and Quality Teacher Education: Case of University of Nairobi Students on Teaching Practice in Meru
Student teachers in teaching practice find themselves in a scenario whereby they are examined based only on their pedagogical competencies. This paper focuses on the student teachers’ quality in relation to the non-examined curriculum component, where the goal of the curriculum is to develop the life skills of students. A phenomenological approach and social constructivist framework are relied upon. The study’s sample size consisted of 47 University of Nairobi students in the Meru teaching practice zone. The students were observed and interviewed to find out the nature of their involvement in the non-examined curriculum. The data collection was guided by activities they participated in, reasons for their participation, how the school administration supported their involvement and how this contributed to their self-fulfilment as teachers of quality. The research findings indicate that student teachers appreciate the quality and relevance of their teacher preparation courses and the central importance of their relationships with learners that are entrusted to them. It emerged that their teaching of non-examined curriculum displayed their expertise which raised their morale when they were teaching the examined curriculum. Precisely, their teaching of non-examined curriculum created a forum for student teachers to feature in their local communities, neighbourhoods and at the county level, which made them feel that they have something to offer to the wider society. Furthermore, the study highlights the student teachers’ concerns with developing identities as ‘teachers’ and the ample opportunities provided during teaching practice for them to try out what was learned during teacher training preparation. Observing these 47 students depicted their high levels of passion, confidence, creativity and intrinsic motivation, features of quality preparation for teaching practice. The study recommends the essence of investing in quality teacher training preparation programmes.
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