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ARPN Journal of Science and Technology >> Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2017

ARPN Journal of Science and Technology


Collaboration in Teaching Practice (T.P.) in ODL: Practices and Issues of T.P. Leaders at Zimbabwe Open University

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Author Ngara Rosemary
ISSN 2225-7217
On Pages 70-75
Volume No. 4
Issue No. 2
Issue Date March 01, 2014
Publishing Date March 01, 2014
Keywords Teaching practice or practicum, collaboration, teaching practice leaders



Abstract

In Open and Distance Learning, Teaching practice (T.P.) is a critical stage in the training of prospective teachers and teachers with initial teachers’ training, as it is a process of producing a master teacher. At Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), there is a department of teacher development and T.P. or Practicum is a strategy by which students in this department are developed. Many mechanisms are put in place to make T.P. a beneficial experience to trainee teachers such as peer/ micro-teaching, student supervision and assessment. Such activities call for collaboration between training institutions and schools and among lecturers at regional campuses. At ZOU, the key managers of T.P. are the T.P. national programme leader and regional coordinators T.P. leader initiated collaboration is insignificant. In trying to perform some of their roles, these leaders seem to face some problems which make collaboration with other lecturers, mentors and students problematic. At times T.P. managers face some role clashes with those above them. A study was conducted to determine conceptions of T.P. leaders’ of their roles at ZOU in promoting collaboration in T.P. activities and to get their views on challenges they faced in their attempt to uphold the collaborative nature of T.P. related activities. An open –ended questionnaire was e-mailed to each of the T.P. regional co-coordinators and the same questionnaire was administered physically to those who had not responded to the e-mailed questionnaire. The study established that T.P. leaders were of the mind that in trying to promote effectiveness of team work in T.P. activities, the key roles of the T.P. leaders were being resource mobilisers, planners of team activities and researchers in T.P. In trying to promote effective collaboration in T.P. participant’s highlighted challenges such as delayed provision of resources like finance, lack of T.P. vehicles and lack of team work spirit by some colleagues. The study recommended timely and adequate provision of resources and running of regional- based workshops on the essence of expected collaboration in T.P. activities, inter alia.


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