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Instructional Guidance to Zimbabwean Experienced Student Teachers with Bachelor’s Degrees Studying Towards Postgraduate Diplomas in Education

Leona Mandiudza


Instructional guidance is an essential component of the professional training teachers receive as it assists in the production of efficient and effective teachers. The story of experienced graduate teachers who have no requisite professional qualifications is unique as these teachers join a training programme, the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), when they already have some experience in teaching, with some already in instructional leadership positions at their schools. The problem arises when they are the ones to be supervised when they join the training programme. This research study sought to solicit these graduate trainees’ perceptions concerning the effectiveness and usefulness of the programme to them with the aim of establishing how they are guided and who their instructional leaders or mentors are when they are on teaching practice (TP). This was a qualitative multiple case study of five purposively sampled student teachers who are instructional leaders at their schools. Data was collected through interviews with these students and a focus group discussion with five lecturers who went out to supervise them on TP. The study found that these student teachers did not have mentors or did not make use of them and therefore lacked support and guidance when on TP. They, in most cases, did not want the junior staff members to know that they were pursuing a professional programme which then affected their preparations for their supervisors (the college lecturers). The study recommends that graduate teachers be encouraged to join professional programmes immediately after completing their first degrees, before they are engaged as teachers and even given positions of leadership which make them mentors, or instructional leaders, before they attain a professional qualification. The universities can also marry the bachelor’s degrees with an education component. The Ministry of Education should appoint fully qualified teachers to leadership positions in order for them to be able to assist the novice teachers and students deployed to their schools. The university can also deploy these students to other schools where they can get instructional guidance which is essential for their professional growth.

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