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Student Teachers’ Experiences in the Student Teacher Mentoring Programme (STMP) in Zimbabwe—A Case for Masvingo Province

Edson Zikhali, Richard Makoni, Joyce Zikhali


This multiple case study reports on an investigation into student teachers’ teaching practice experiences in the 2.5.2 programme in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. A qualitative research design was adopted to investigate this phenomenon through focus group interviews and questionnaires with a purposeful sample of 20 student teachers who had just completed their teaching practice. The interviews were recorded using a digital recorder and transcribed verbatim by the researchers. The data were manually coded to find the themes; these are presented using direct quotations and were analysed using content analysis. The findings revealed that mentors play a critical role in the training of teachers in Zimbabwe and that some student teachers had problems with stating aims in their schemes of work and objectives in lesson plans. They also experienced difficulties with lesson planning and had challenges in lesson delivery. Class control was difficult for many student teachers and lesson evaluation proved tough for them. These insights suggest that host teachers’ colleges should devote more time to professional studies where student teachers practice planning lessons and evaluating them, making schemes of work and engaging in microteaching. These could be followed with reflection and discussions that facilitate better performance in teaching. Considering the critical role that mentors play during teaching practice, it would be recommended that a token of appreciation be awarded to them.

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