Student Teachers’ Views of the impact of School Experience Programme on their Perceptions of the Teaching Profession
AbstractThis study analysed the impact of the School Experience (SE) programme on rural student teachers’ perceptions of the teaching profession. This was done through investigating the views of Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Bachelor of Education (BEd) fourth year students which were randomly selected. A qualitative and quantitative survey through semi- structured questionnaire with closed and open - ended items and structured interviews was conducted. The majority of student teachers (86%) felt that school experience positively socialised them into the teaching profession by providing them with the needed work-based experience. Most of the student teachers in the study felt that a student teacher’s experiences during SE mediate their beliefs, opinions, views and convictions about the teaching profession, making them like or dislike the profession. Ten percent were ambivalent and still an insignificant number (4%) decided against the teaching profession. One of the major recommendations of the study is that since the SE programme is critical in the formation of one’s perceptions about and commitment to the teaching profession, teacher training institutions should design appropriate SE programmes and closely monitor them to ensure they continue achieving the intended goals.
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