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Jonathan Mswazie
Gamira D
Mudyahoto T
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Gamira D
Mudyahoto T
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Global Educational Journal of Early Childhood and Adolescent

Vol. 2 (3)

Full Length Research Paper 

The socio-emotional dilemmas of primary school teaching in Anglophone post-colonial Africa: Policy implications for developing countries

Jonathan Mswazie, Mudyahoto T and Gamira D

Department of Curriculum Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

Accepted 25 February, 2014

This study investigated the underlying reasons for pre-service university student teachers’ negative responses toward an innovative faculty-based primary teacher education programme. The purpose of the study was to understand and explain post-Sixth form trainee teachers’ resistance to teach in primary schools. The data to address the problem was collected by means of the descriptive survey comprised of a questionnaire and structured interview. The participants in the study consisted of 54 post-sixth form student teachers intake class 2004 who were the first group to pioneer a university based pre-service primary teacher training programme, 8 teacher educators and 12 school based mentors participating in the implementation of the programme. The results of the study indicate that post-Sixth form student teachers undertaking primary pre-service teacher education programme are at a socio- moral and emotional crossroads. Socially and morally, primary school teaching is perceived by trainees as being inferior and less rewarding than secondary school teaching. Economically, university based primary teacher education programs are felt to be financially stressful to the prospective student. Emotionally, students feel isolated and unsupported by their tutors. In light of the above, this study proposes a major overhaul in the conceptualisation, design and delivery of university based pre-service primary teacher education programmes for post sixth form student teachers. First, at policy level, funding policies for primary teaching should be coherent across colleges and universities. Second, at implementation level, university lecturers should regard primary school teaching as problematic emotionally, morally and financially. In view of this the concerns of university students should be incorporated in both the design and delivery of primary teacher education programmes.

Key words: Primary school teaching; emotional dilemmas; resistance, post-Sixth form student teachers, Zimbabwe.