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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2016v41n9.5

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand the nature and extent of subject content and curriculum knowledge that part-time Post Graduate Certificate in Education students in one South African university, brought to the classroom, and the kind and level of knowledge that they expected and sought from the programme. The study employed a qualitative design and data were collected through a questionnaire administered to 146 part-time students on this programme. These students were teaching in different contexts: urban, rural and, township high schools. The findings indicated that teachers within the 0-3 years’ professional life phase expected to gain knowledge of the curriculum. The student teachers did not believe that they possessed adequate content knowledge, despite their previous undergraduate training and thus expected to learn the subject content knowledge from the programme. Many of the students however had adequate understanding of teaching practice although they still expected to learn more, including learning about aspects of professional teacher attributes. The core-educational modules in the programme exposed students to knowledge of curriculum and assessment requirements. However, these findings suggest a need to establish individual needs of students to ensure that their classroom practice needs are addressed by the time they graduate. Given the link between teacher content knowledge and student achievement, and the need to improve the content knowledge of PGCE part-time teacher-students, the study recommends inclusion of content knowledge in the curriculum.


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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2016v41n9.5