Learning to teach and teaching to learn: examining the effectiveness of school practice in improving student teachers’ pedagogical practices in Uganda
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The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of school practice in improving student teachers’ pedagogical practices in West Nile, Uganda. Specifically, the study sought to examine the effectiveness of school practice supervision in improving student teachers’ planning and preparation skills; presentation and delivery skills and determine the effectiveness of school practice supervision in improving student teachers’ self-evaluation skills, which forms the frame work of quality teaching and learning process. The study was conducted among Muni university final year student teachers pursuing Bachelor of science with education. Concurrent mixed method research was employed to collect data from school practice supervisors (n=12) and final year student teachers (n=46). Quantitative data was collected using pretested, standardised supervisors’ assessment forms. Qualitative data was gathered by identification of major themes from the school practice reports by each student teacher and during debriefing meeting after school practice using Focused Group Discussion. Findings revealed that professionally conducted school practice supervision greatly enhanced student teachers’ lesson preparation and planning, lesson delivery and presentation, and selfevaluation skills. However, some student teachers still demonstrated low competence in record management and use of instructional materials. The study therefore, recommended that mentors at all levels should put emphasis on ensuring that student teachers exhibit high level of creativity and innovativeness in the entire teaching learning process, if universities are to transform education system in our country. Supervisors should treat school practice as a non-judgmental, but rather, a mentorship exercise tailored towards the professional growth of student teachers. Enforcement of strict adherence to the quality assurance standards on the organization and management of school practice in education training institutions by National Council for Higher Education should be ensured through standardised quality checks and monitoring program.