n Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production - Role of the practicum in teacher preparation for multilingual classrooms in Tanzania

Volume 23 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1563-4418


Over the last three decades it has been recognised that the knowledge teachers require for effective teaching is complex and goes beyond the subject content to include knowledge of the pedagogy, of the culture and context, and about the students. Language of instruction forms a significant part of the cultural context within which teaching and learning takes place. An implication is that teacher education programmes must take into account how this knowledge would be impacted for teachers to improve students’ learning. Hence, teacher education programmes have incorporated some form of practicum to enable the student teachers to integrate the different domains of knowledge. This article looks at the role of initial teacher education, especially that of the practicum within it, in enabling student teachers to teach in the multilingual education context of Tanzania. Findings show that initial teacher education is offered on the assumption of monolingual classrooms, but pre-service teachers encounter language issues that they need to address but are not prepared for in teachers’ college. Secondly, the practicum appears to be a site for evaluation of the pre-service teachers rather than a place for them to learn how to address theoretical issues such as multilingual classrooms when teaching subject knowledge.

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