n South African Journal of Education - What matters in practice teaching? The perceptions of schools and students

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Based on research involving interviews and focus groups with teachers and student teachers involved in teaching practice, the authors sought to identify the factors that make a qualitative difference to school experience in the training of teachers. The factors identified were: how much teaching practice, the relationships between schools and the university, mentoring and supervision, teaching ability and the value added by schools. They were considered in the light of the literature on teaching practice and examples of established international standards. The first factor involved a consideration of the period of time spent by student teachers in schools. Relationships between the schools and university probed the perceptions of the schools and the students of how the university organised teaching practice. Mentoring and supervision explored the implications of an existing system of supervision and the more extensive use of mentors in schools. Teaching ability considered subject area knowledge, relationships with learners and professionalism, and the value added by schools reflected upon those aspects of training that can only be provided by schools. Conclusions are presented for each of the factors.

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