Discussion Paper 25. Teaching practice at the National Teacher Training College in Lesotho.
This study is an account of Teaching Practice (TP) at the National Teacher Training College (NTTC) in Lesotho, based on documents, a survey of students recently returned from TP, and of selected tutors, and on interviews with key informants. The findings show that few of the recommendations made in recent consultancy reports have been implemented, and that many aspects of TP are still criticised heavily by both college staff and students. Most students find the four-month block to be an appropriate length, and they value the opportunity it gives for learning about children and for practising classroom skills. However, this experience is not closely integrated into the rest of the curriculum, and they do not get enough support to get maximum benefit from it. Most students are visited only once or twice by college tutors, and less than half felt they had received adequate help from the schools. Some of the problems arise because students are allowed to choose their placement schools, and these may be far from the college; transport for tutors is limited, and they are not given enough release time for visiting. TP could be made a much more constructive exercise if the college developed closer relationships with suitable schools, and trained the heads and mentors to give more support, while at the same time making it easier for tutors to visit regularly.
Sussex, UK: Centre for International Education, 49 pp.