Lecturers in Teacher Training Colleges are a neglected part of most education systems, yet they could be a key to change. This study looked at two colleges in Malawi and at the National Teacher Training College in Lesotho to find out more about the professional lives and career paths of the lecturers, and to explore how they viewed their work. The findings are based on surveys, and on interviews with a selected sample in each college. The Malawi study has a policy focus because the teacher education programme was being reviewed at the time, while the Lesotho study is more exploratory in approach.
In neither country was there a clearly defined career structure for college staff; there was no formal induction process and opportunities for professional development were scarce. Nor were pay and conditions of service conducive to attracting and retaining the most appropriate people. In Lesotho, staff were better qualified, but were much less likely to have had primary training. Though the findings are tentative, there appeared to be considerable differences between the two countries regarding tutors' perspectives. In terms of the typology used, Malawi tutors tended to work within a 'behavioural skills' approach, and for the most part shared a traditional transmission view of learning to teach. The Basotho were more like to take an 'applied theorist' line and expressed a greater variety of views, but no clear college vision of how to produce a 'good teacher' could be discerned. In both countries, the discourses were borrowed from Northern theories rather than being developed out of local practices. Conclusions stress the need to take tutors' professional development more seriously, and to encourage the development of locally-relevant models of teacher education.
Sussex, UK: Centre for International Education, 61 pp.