Teacher Preparation by Universities: Internal stakeholders' Perception of Teacher Education Curriculum in Makerere and Kyambogo Universities
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The economic growth of a country rests on the quality of teachers since associates of all other professions are made and skilled by teachers. A continuous method of providing a quality teacher education curriculum discloses the potential for teacher training institutions to produce high-quality teachers. It is against this contextual viewpoint that I explore the perceptions of the teacher education curriculum held by academic staff and student teachers in Public Universities in Uganda. I was provoked by the persistent complaints about the teacher education curriculum by external stakeholders, for instance, the teacher trainees’ powerlessness to handle the demands and needs of the secondary school curriculum. Using Pedagogical Content Knowledge Model as a mode for teacher preparation and Constructivism theory as an interpretive framework, the study was guided by three objectives, namely: (1) to analyze the perception of internal stakeholders about teacher education curriculum content offered in Makerere and Kyambogo Universities; (2) to examine the perception of internal stakeholders about teacher education delivery methods used on teacher trainees in Makerere and Kyambogo Universities; (3) to investigate the perception of internal stakeholders about teacher education assessment methods used on teacher trainees in Makerere and Kyambogo Universities. I adopted a qualitative, multiple case study design anchored in the interpretivist paradigm and directed by social constructivism thinking. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews from twenty teacher educators and sixteen student teachers who were purposively and conveniently selected. I analyzed data using the thematic analysis technique. Overall, findings showed that despite complaints by external stakeholders, teacher education curriculum content at Makerere and Kyambogo Universities enables student trainees to deliver secondary schools effectively. Similarly, teacher education delivery methods enable teacher trainees to acquire necessary skills and knowledge unique to teachers, thus, yielding a practical value of conveying teaching and learning to more understanding in secondary schools. It was also revealed that teacher education assessment methods enable student teachers to attain specific skills such as problem-solving and reflective abilities, focusing on the reproduction of knowledge meant to judge teaching and learning effectiveness at the secondary school level. Therefore, it was concluded that teacher education curriculum content, teacher education delivery methods, and assessment methods were significantly perceived as elements of teacher quality intended to enhance transformative teaching. Thus, recommendations to improve the stakeholder perception of the teacher education curriculum are made and include: continuous teacher education curriculum review in order to weed out outdated content, designing of teacher education curriculum content by teacher trainers in collaboration with other university units rendering a training service to teacher trainees, conducting pedagogical courses for teacher educators through continuous staff development, having joint teaching where a junior teacher educator could be assigned to an experienced teacher educator as well as ensuring that student-teacher assessment is not limited to course works, tests and semester final examination but rather be an ongoing process right from the first day of the semester upon the end up to the semester.