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Centrality of the Teacher in Mentorship and Implementation of School Curriculum in Zambia



This paper argues that the classroom teacher should be placed at the centre of all curriculum development efforts. It further argues that most teachers graduate from teacher education programmes ill-prepared to competently implement the curriculum. In doing so the paper focuses on the type of training received at university/college as an impediment to new teacher competence in curriculum implementation. In view of this, this paper advocates that offering school-based mentoring focussed on curriculum implementation makes mentorship of NQTs not only important but a necessity that can help ameliorate the problem. The paper also discusses various local and external forces affecting curriculum development and implementation. The paper concludes that while improving teacher education is one option, school-based new teacher mentorship appears more feasible in the short term. Key words: Teacher mentoring, curriculum design and development, curriculum implementation, newly qualified teachers
Centrality of the Teacher in Mentorship and Implementation of School
Curriculum in Zambia
Madalitso K. Banja
This paper argues that the classroom teacher should be placed at the centre of all curriculum
development efforts. It further argues that most teachers graduate from teacher education
programmes ill-prepared to competently implement the curriculum. In doing so the paper
focuses on the type of training received at university/college as an impediment to new teacher
competence in curriculum implementation. In view of this, this paper advocates that offering
school-based mentoring focussed on curriculum implementation makes mentorship of NQTs
not only important but a necessity that can help ameliorate the problem. The paper also
discusses various local and external forces affecting curriculum development and
implementation. The paper concludes that while improving teacher education is one option,
school-based new teacher mentorship appears more feasible in the short term.
This is a positional paper that emphasises the importance of mentorship of newly qualified
teachers (NQTs). Simon and Wardlow (1989) found that mentored teachers exhibited more
effective teaching behaviours, higher levels of teacher efficacy, and were better equipped to
handle classroom issues, exhibited and expressed more positive attitudes than did teachers
without formal mentorship. In addition, mentoring has been found to increase job satisfaction,
reduce the stress level of NQTs and assist their professional growth (Galvez-Hjornevik,
1985). In Zambia, very little is known about the practice of mentorship as a strategy for
supporting NQTs and helping them to grow personally and professionally. In support of this,
Malasha (2009) established that mentorship programmes for NQTs in Zambian secondary
schools were isolated and unco-ordinated.
The benefits of mentorship as an effective tool for ensuring quality teachers are well
known in other parts of the world. Against this background, this paper engages the theme of
mentoring newly qualified teachers as a key component of successful curriculum
implementation. The aim of the paper was to argue the case for the importance and necessity
of NQT mentorship in curriculum implementation if NQTs are to contribute meaningfully to
the achievement of national development goals in education in Zambia. Although there have
been numerous curriculum shifts in Zambia since independence in 1964, Kalimaposo (2010)
observed that most of these curriculum innovations had been on experimental basis and
without strong philosophical underpinnings.
The main rationale for the change in curriculum especially in subject matters is to
enhance the quality of teaching and learning. While some of the reforms intended to resolve
such issues as; overloading, compartmentalisation, examination-orientation and inflexibility
Mulenga (2015); other reforms were an attempt by the government to incorporate the latest
technology as well as economic, political and social developments brought about by a fast-
changing world (MoE, 2003). This calls for a fundamental pedagogical change from rote
learning, repetitive tests and a type of instruction to a more engaged teaching and learning
that promote greater innovation and creativity. The initiative aims at enabling the child to
succeed and fulfil his or her potential. This paper argues that this transformation cannot
succeed without a classroom teacher. However, all reform efforts have not addressed the
critical role of mentoring of NQTs to fully equip them for the task of curriculum
implementation. This is the focus of this paper.
In addition to the place of the teacher, there are a number of factors that should be
taken into consideration by curriculum designers and policy makers when effecting a
curriculum change of the magnitude envisaged in the New Curriculum Framework of 2013.
This shift requires more than anything else, a mental shift in view of the many new aspects
been introduced in the curriculum.
Political interference stands out among factors affecting curriculum review in Zambia
and other African countries. Political influence in curriculum design and development takes
root through government funding to the Curriculum Development Centre, the organ charged
with spearheading curriculum matters in the country. It relies on government to operate
effectively. Another source of interference in curriculum design and implementation with
particularly negative consequences is bilateral and multilateral donors. In explaining this
influence, outspoken critic of donor aid in education systems of Africa Samoff (2007: 502),
states that ‘to secure funding and to meet aid requirements, African governments and
education ministers regularly incorporate into their plans and programmes what they
understand the funding agencies to expect.’ In agreeing with Samoff, Mulenga (2017) states
Receiving countries are instead told that it is safer, prudent and cost-effective
to use well-established ways of doing things. In this regard, it can be argued
that Zambia’s education curriculum has not been changing but rather has
only been fusing-in foreign educational programmes.
Mulenga (2017) further explains that a number of donor funded educational projects failed in
their implementation due to their incompatibility with local needs and conditions. Many
teachers could not participate because of donor bias towards short-term projects instead of
long-term projects preferred by the Ministry of Education. Once such funders depart, donor
programmes in the curriculum tend to be discontinued. Kalimaposo (2010: 195), also noted
that some of the changes introduced in the curriculum by foreign experts did not suit the
Zambian situation.’ He further stated that the foreign initiated programmes were not
sustainable and not compatible with the reality in the classroom, and thus reliance on foreign
technical assistance was detrimental in the local contexts.
This paper is underpinned by the Mentor Role Theory postulated by Kram (1985).
According to Kram mentoring enhances both growth and advancement in a novice employee
in the hierarchy of an organisation. They also facilitate a novice employees’ sense of
competence, identity, and effectiveness in a professional role by helping such novices
develop an interpersonal relationship that fosters mutual trust and increasing intimacy.
According to Kram (1985) such mentoring equips novice employees with the capacity to
address the challenges that come at every stage of their career. Kram‟s mentor role theory has
relevance to the current discussion because helping a newly qualified teacher to function well
in a school is anchored on his/her ability to understand, interpret and implement a curriculum;
but the capacity to do so depends to a large extent on the post-qualification assistance and
guidance he/her receives from experienced and competent staff in the school.
Definition of key concepts
This section provides a background discussion of the concepts of mentorship and
curriculum implementation that form the bulk of this discussion.
To understand the concept of mentorship, we need to go back in history to Homer’s story The
Odyssey where Mentor, a wise and faithful adviser and trusted friend of Odysseus was
entrusted with the responsibility of guiding, counselling and protecting Odysseus’s son,
Telemachus during Odyssey’s absence at war (Ragins and Kram, 2007). In this regard
Anderson and Shannon (in Kerry and Mayes, 1995) analysed the classical derivation of
Mentor from the Odyssey and came up with four key components of what mentorship is.
These were that mentoring is an intentional process; it is a nurturing process which fosters the
growth and development of the mentee towards full maturity; it is an insightful process in
which the wisdom of the mentor is acquired and applied by the mentee; and that mentoring is
a supportive, protective process. In other words, as Engstrom and Jenson (2005) state,
mentoring describes a process by which a more experienced or knowledgeable individual
offers assistance to a less expert individual.
From the definitions provided above, it is clear that the mentoring relationship in
education has the prime objective of helping the inexperienced teacher graduate into
independence and autonomy after attaining competence in the discharge of his/her duties
within a brief lifespan. In general terms, the intention of all mentorship programmes is to
transform a trainee teacher into a competent career teacher. In specific terms, the purpose for
a formal approach to mentoring is to promote the newcomer’s career advancement, personal
development and education and to provide newly qualified teachers with the support they
need to gain self-confidence, to provide models of effective practice, and to provide in-depth
assistance in curriculum implementation.
Mentors are needed to model appropriate classroom management and curriculum
implementation (Feiman-Nemser, 2008) to NQTs. In support of this view Moir (2010) argues
that mentorship of NQTs includes a number of factors key of which is exemplary teaching
practice. Mentors draw upon their own experiences as effective classroom instructors to
quickly guide NQTs toward best practices that help them to discover what is working in their
classrooms as well as identifying, facing and whenever possible resolving the challenges.
Research has shown that many head teachers feel that a mentoring programme is one
of the most influential resources for new teachers (Greiman, 2007). A strong teacher
mentoring programme facilitates the sharing of information with the novice teachers about
both the professional work of a teacher and the daily job of classroom teaching to assist them
in being adequately prepared and engaged in the educational process (Clutterbuck, 2007).
In the context of this discussion, the definition of curriculum by Tanner and Tanner (1975:
12) is adopted:
...the planned and guided learning experiences, formulated through the
systematic construction of knowledge and experiences, under the auspices
of the school, for the learner’s continuous and wilful growth in personal and
social competence. Thus, a curriculum is more than content, which in fact is
just one of the elements of a curriculum.
In agreeing with the above definition Mulenga (2011: 19) cited in Banja (2017), further
defines a curriculum as ‘all the selected, organised, integrative, innovative and evaluated
educational experiences that are provided to learners consciously or unconsciously under the
school authority in order to achieve the designated learning outcomes’.
In discussing the curriculum, it is important to distinguish between curriculum design
(also known as curriculum organization) and curriculum development. The former refers to
the ways in which we arrange the curriculum components while the latter refers to the
planned, a purposeful, progressive, and systematic process to create positive improvements
in the educational system’. (
difference-between-curriculum-development-and-curriculum-design.aspx). Mulenga
(2011:19) cited in Banja (2017) explains that, based on these definitions, curriculum
development is more than just updating subjects, such as replacing ‘old’ mathematics with
‘new’ mathematics. It is instead a purposeful and systematic construction of learning
experiences and their continual evaluation. It captures all the processes that are necessary to
design, implement and evaluate a functional curriculum. The curriculum development process
includes several stages such as planning, preparing, designing, developing, implementing,
evaluating, revising, and improving the curriculum. Curriculum development is the planning
for a sustained process of teaching and learning in a formal educational setting. No
educational institution can operate effectively without a curriculum.
One of the goals in the curriculum is development and learning. In the curriculum it is
stated that pedagogical activities should be carried out so that they stimulate and challenge
the child’s learning and development. It becomes clear therefore that the process moves first
from curriculum design to curriculum implementation which is the focus of this discussion, to
overall curriculum development.
The Curriculum implementation process
Curriculum designing must take into consideration its implementation. At the centre of all
efforts to test the quality of a new curriculum and its practicality and utility in a real world or
life setting is the teacher. Whether the new curriculum can be implemented successfully
depends to a large extent on the abilities of teachers to interpret and implement it with regard
to the methodology in implementing it. Apart from the social, economical and political
influences which may lead to the curriculum failure, teacher competence is key.
A curriculum is intended to act as a campus for a teacher to translate the national vision
through the educational system. The curriculum has to do with how to translate knowledge in
the classroom, the methodologies to be used and the expected outcomes. This understanding
of curriculum resonates well with the views of the proponents of the ‘New’ Sociology of
Education theory.
The most important single factor for the quality of education is to have a sound
curriculum coupled with effective and efficient teaching and learning. Therefore, quality
education cannot be achieved if the teachers are not well prepared. They must understand the
curriculum in terms of focus, content, skills and knowledge.
Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation process is
the teacher. With their knowledge, experiences and competencies, teachers are central to any
curriculum development effort. Better teachers support better learning because they are most
knowledgeable about the practice of teaching and are responsible for introducing the
curriculum in the classroom.
The curriculum should be clear on what each component means and what is expected to
be achieved. This will make it easy for the NQT to interpret the curriculum. It must not be
abstract. In circumstances where a new curriculum is being offloaded such as has been the
case in Zambia, curriculum developers must consider the people who are going to interpret
that curriculum for implementation and how everybody is going to be brought on board
especially NQTs. NQTs must understand the curriculum and what it is trying to achieve in
order for them to interpret it correctly and implement it fully. The objectives of the
curriculum cannot be achieved if the implementers are ill-qualified to interpret and implement
it. It is these same implementers that are in the ideal position to understand the country’s
philosophy of education.
Teachers know their pupils need better than others involved in the curriculum process.
With their knowledge base and skills set teachers can provide insight into the types of
materials, activities and specific skills that need to be included. Teachers from multiple grade-
levels may collaborate to identify skills students need at each level and ensure that the
curriculum adequately prepares students to advance to the next grade-level and to meet the
Because teachers must use the curriculum, they should have input in its creation
(Mulenga, 2017). Sadly, in Zambia, teachers seem to be side lined in curriculum initiation
and development. This agrees with the observations of Mooney and Mausbach (2008) that
curriculum development is viewed as a process conducted by experts away from schools and
is simply handed down to teachers and head teachers for implementation. But for teachers to
implement a curriculum effectively, they must identify with it and own it as their own. A
teacher can gauge whether an activity will fit into a specified time frame and whether it will
engage students. As teachers provide input, they will gain ownership in the final product and
feel more confident that the curriculum was created with their concerns and the needs of their
particular pupils in mind.
When a teacher fails to properly implement a curriculum, he/she risks failing to
implement effective practices in the classroom. Teachers should be equipped with the skills to
reflect on a curriculum and where they find any weaknesses in the curriculum, they should
attempt to make it better. Teachers reflect on curriculum in multiple ways, such as reviewing
the results or analysing assessment data and individual pupil performance.
Teachers help learners understand the overall goals or aims for the curriculum such as the
learning goals and outputs for every course and subject to ensure that they are compatible
with the mission of institution in particular and the mission of the nation at large. At this
level, they consider which content should be included, how content should be organized and
with which educational methods shall be used in their delivery, how elements of curriculum
should be communicated, what kind of educational environment and climate should be
developed for effective implementation. As Mooney and Mausbach (2008) have stated:
Conversely, having high academic standards isn't enough if they are not
implemented through powerful instructional methods. Unfortunately, many
of us have spent time writing guides that outlined great standards only to
have them sit on the shelf while classroom instruction remains unchanged.
Curriculum and instruction are interdependent, and curriculum work needs
to be approached with this important precept in mind.
What this entails is that in curriculum development stakeholders should ensure that teachers
teach learners and not merely focus on regurgitating elements of the curriculum, for the
curriculum is meant to serve the learner and not the other way round.
Mentoring Newly Qualified Teachers in Curriculum Implementation
Among the many requirements for successful curriculum implementation is teaching
environment, which, as a matter of necessity, should be encouraging for both pupils and
teachers. Other considerations in curriculum implementation include the age and gender of
learners, subjects being taught, which teaching tool to use or any other criteria.
This paper argues that one key aspect to successful curriculum implementation
missing from the Zambia educational setup is that of mentoring the newly qualified teachers
in fundamental aspects of curriculum implementation. Mentoring is crucial irrespective of
whether NQTs were trained using the consecutive or concurrent mode of teacher education or
indeed any hybrid mode in between. Mentoring is a cross-cutting matter that helps in the
transfer of key competencies expected of every teacher. It is a school-based response to the
many needs of newly qualified teachers. In this arrangement, career guidance and mentorship
should be accorded a significant role in our education system.
The needs of newly qualified teachers are many and can be traced back to their time
during initial training. Poor initial training has the potential to affect the competence,
effectiveness and efficiency of a newly qualified teacher. Lankau and Scandura (2007; 95)
have expressed their concern regarding this situation as follows:
Learning from training programmes and books will not be sufficient to
keep pace with required competencies for success in today’s fast-paced
work environments. Individuals often must look to others to learn new
skills and keep up with the demands of their jobs and professions.
Mentoring relationships can serve as a forum for such personal learning
in organisations. Since their training is not adequate NQTs need
assistance in the schools.
Newly qualified teachers tend to lack additional knowledge and support such as classroom
management, lesson planning, school policies and procedures, and effective communication
skills with students, parents, and fellow teachers. Thomas, Thomas and Lefebvre (2014) have
argued that just like elsewhere around the world, NQTs in Zambia faced a myriad of
challenges that included transitioning to new geographical locations, navigating school and
organisational cultures, assessing the ability levels of their learners and improving their
pedagogical practices. In addition, NQTs both in Zambia and globally also lack in the
comprehension of curriculum and curriculum implementation strategies. Mentoring responds
to all the needs listed above. Mentors who are experts, need to be on hand to help NQTs.
Significantly, they should help NQTs in the understanding of the content of the curriculum
and application of knowledge learnt thereof. After all, the necessity for mentorship of NQTs
lies in its contribution towards developing effective and competent teachers able to interpret
the curriculum.
In line with this view, scholars have advanced that mentorship seeks to provide services
that assist new teachers to develop and sustain skills for successful classroom instruction (Eby
and McManus, 2002). They add that induction [mentoring] is also meant to help the NQT
understand the purposes for teaching each unit and successfully use the resources and
strategies for teaching each unit, establish teaching competence and introduce the teacher to
teaching as a continuously developing and life-long profession. The curriculum should be
developed and broken into appropriate units which allow for effective mentorship to take
place. To achieve this, a NQT needs to be exposed to a variety of teaching techniques and
evaluation processes to enhance his/her skills as an upcoming career professional.
They argued that, every time there are changes or developments happening around the
world, the school curricula are affected in one way or the other. Nevertheless, to the same
extent that the quality of the national curriculum is based on the extent to which it meets
individual attributes, the requirements of the national economy, the needs of society and the
future challenges and aspirations of the nation, its successful implementation depends on the
competences of teachers to interpret and implement it. Further, in Zambia the need for
mentorship is heightened by the constant curriculum changes for which teachers are rarely
prepared (Kalimaposo, 2010). However, considering that curriculum reforms are inevitable in
this fast-paced and emerging technological world, teachers must be well prepared for
curriculum implementation. Where they are not for various reasons, mentoring becomes
important to help NQTs take on the new challenges posed by a new curriculum. It is evident
that NQTs need support to meet the demanding requirements of today's classroom (Banja,
However, Continuous Professional Development efforts have been unsuccessful in
equipping teachers with information and skills regarding the ever changing practices in
education (Mulundano, 2010). In the U.S.A, NQTs reported receiving little help or support in
trying to navigate a new curriculum, amongst other concerns (Kauffman, Johnson, Kardos,
Liu, & Peske, 2002). This brings out clearly the need for mentoring in curriculum
implementation. Considering that initial teacher training hardly fully prepares teachers for the
demands of the classroom as argued by Lankau and Scandura (2007), mentoring of NQTs
must be part of curriculum implementation. In groups NQTs can discuss the curriculum and
see what has been achieved and how to achieve it. The curriculum has content but teachers
must be equipped with the ability to link this knowledge through instruction. This should
include strategies for including the most effective instructional practices in the content area,
and data about the gaps in the current curriculum. Mentor teachers can help NQTs improve
student achievement by implementing best instructional practices for teaching high content
In other words, As Mooney and Mausbach (2008) have stated there is need to pay
attention to both what is to be taught and how it is to be taught. This calls for a policy for
mentoring new curriculum implementers so that the standards that are supposed to be attained
in terms of content are not compromised. Mooney and Mausbach (2008) have called such
mentors curriculum mentors. These mentors will help NQTs implement the curriculum with
appropriate strategies in order to improve learner outcomes. Specifically, newly qualified
teachers should be helped to understand issues relating to the curriculum such as assessment,
lesson planning, syllabus interpretation, curriculum interpretation, instructional strategies as
well as identifying what is important to be taught. This agrees with Banja (2017) who found
that the majority of NQTs in a sample of 91 NQTs reported that mentorship helped them learn
how to carefully select what they needed to teach and what to leave out. Following from the
above discussion, it should be apparent that mentorship of newly qualified teachers is a key
stage and component in the curriculum implementation stage.
While it is expected that programmes of education produce effective teachers who are
able to interpret the curriculum, assuming that NQTs as implementers have a solid foundation
on instructional practices from their initial teacher education programmes is an assumption
that could be costly to the system as a number of scholars have reported (Banja, 2017;
Mulenga, 2015; Manchishi and Masaiti 2015). This is particularly important because donor
influence on the Ministry of General Education which controls schools, may not affect the
teacher education institutions such as the universities thereby creating a disparity between
what is being taught in universities and what the MoGE expects from its new teachers. While
the assumption is that students of education programmes are being taught content in line with
the curriculum in secondary schools, this is not always the case. As Mulenga (2017) points
out sexuality education represents one such case. While children in schools are expected to
learn about sexuality [from as early as the second grade], student teachers are not directly
exposed to sexuality education in their curriculum/syllabus. In similar vein, Chinnammai
(2005), noted that the introduction of technology into the classroom is changing the nature of
delivering education to students; and is gradually giving way to a new form of electronic
literacy. More programmes and education materials are being made available in electronic
form. Teaching and learning materials including students’ assignments and projects are
generated in electronic form. Newly qualified teachers may leave university without training
in these areas.
Consequently, such NQTs may struggle to know, understand and implement such
aspects of the curriculum. For how do NQTs interpret a curriculum that they are ill-trained in;
a curriculum whose content they do not fully understand? The evidence on this point relating
to the mismatch between the training teachers receive which is supposed to also prepare them
for curriculum implementation and teacher practice is well captured by Mulenga (2015) who
found that over 60% of University of Zambia students pursuing the Bachelor of Education
degree reported that the content of the degree was not related to the knowledge and skills set
needed for teaching in a secondary school.
Arising from the above scenario, there is need to conduct instruction more effectively
and efficiently in various courses which are already a part of the curriculum. It is necessary
that during training NQTs are prepared to understand and learn how to interpret the
curriculum and implement it effectively using the best instructional practices for the
betterment of the learner (Mooney and Mausbach, 2008). Mentoring them helps plug in the
gap especially when considered that CPD opportunities are few for most teachers. As implied
by Mooney and Mausbach (2008) a curriculum will not improve schools, but quality teachers
will. Further, Mooney and Mausbach (2008) state that:
…In the rush to produce the curriculum guide, we forget that our purpose for
developing curriculum in the first place is to improve instruction. The desire to
produce a product trumps the process, and as a result we have curriculum
guides collecting dust that have little relevance to teachers or students. As
leaders, we need to help teachers understand how the curriculum takes the kids
where they need to go and show them how to use instruction to get the kids
there. We need to ask questions about not only the objectives, but also the
methods for helping students meet the objectives.
And as the curriculum changes, NQTs must constantly be trained to respond to the shifting
landscapes. When considered from this perspective, mentorship becomes a key cog in the
curriculum implementation process.
The essence of the argument of this paper is therefore that what has not been
addressed at design level both prior to and during teacher training to enable NQTs learn
content tailored towards the needs of the school can be rectified through mentoring the
graduates of such education programmes at the school level. This brings in the place of
mentorship to help the NQTs. If well utilised, mentoring NQTs can be an invaluable
cornerstone to improving educational delivery. In other words, when developing a
curriculum, developers should have at the back of their minds issues of instructional delivery.
Curriculum initiatives must as a matter of necessity translate into practice. The
curriculum should not be implemented by a few teachers only but by all teachers in a
professional learning community if there has to be full implementation of the curriculum for
sustained achievement. According to DuFour (2004), a professional learning community is a
team of teachers who meet on a regular basis to establish curriculum standards and
collaborate on how to teach these standards.
The essence of this paper was not to argue for how curriculum must be designed but to
advocate for the mentoring of NQTs in the area of curriculum implementation. From this
discussion, it is clear that curriculum implementation is not a stand-alone activity; it starts
with curriculum designing and is part of curriculum development. To implement a curriculum
successfully, the implementers should be well versed in it. Considering the constant changes
in curriculum in Zambia, it is high time authorities re-looked NQT mentoring to better
position them for curriculum implementation. While the nature of the curriculum is important,
even more important is the ability of teachers to understand and interpret it. My argument is
that there is need to look at the role of mentorship in curriculum implementation. In this
regard, we want to argue that NQTs cannot be expected to correctly understand and interpret
the curriculum and should be at the centre of any efforts to policy implementation in schools.
This entails challenging the status quo.
The current Zambian teacher training regime requires strengthening in terms of having
clear goals and foresight of what we want them to become by developing capacity in our
teachers to interpret curriculum and link it to the values and needs and aspirations of the
Zambian people and their quest to produce a responsible, productive and self-sustaining
citizenry. Therefore, as educators teach students, mentorship is of the essence in helping
NQTs marry theory and practice.
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This was a descriptive survey study. Its aim was to explore the perceptions of teachers, head teachers and senior education officials towards the mentorship of newly qualified teachers in secondary schools in Zambia. The study was anchored on Kram’s Mentor Role Theory. Two hundred and seventeen (217) respondents participated in the study, consisting of ninety-two (92) newly qualified teachers, ninety-seven (97) heads of department, fifteen (15) head teachers from 18 schools in six districts, and thirteen senior management officials from the Ministry of General Education. Quantitative data were collected using self-administered questionnaires while qualitative data were collected from open-ended segments of the self-administered questionnaires and through in-depth face-to-face interviews. The quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 computer programme for windows to obtain frequencies, percentages and Chi-Square test (X2) used in the study. Qualitative data on the other hand were analysed using text and thematic analysis, by way of coding and categorisation of themes emerging from the data. The study revealed that there was no policy on mentorship of newly qualified teachers in the Ministry of General Education (MoGE). Further, the study revealed that headteachers and senior education officials did not understand the meaning of the concept of mentorship and misunderstood it for related concepts like orientation. The study also revealed that newly qualified teachers needed help from long serving teachers in various areas of their professional work owing, amongst others, to inadequate exposure to classroom situations and activities during training and to the mismatch between content learnt during initial teacher training and content required for classroom teaching. In addition, the results of the study show that newly qualified teachers faced challenges ranging from being perceived as competitors by long serving teachers to generally negative attitudes towards newly qualified teachers in schools to being inadequately prepared to teach during training. Furthermore, the study revealed that newly qualified teachers posed such challenges to schools as failure to teach competently and lack of commitment to duty, among others. Coping strategies resorted to by the newly qualified teachers included regularly consulting heads of department and other long serving teachers. In terms of benefits of mentorship, the majority of the respondents perceived mentorship of newly qualified teachers to be beneficial in many ways. These included building the confidence of newly qualified teachers to teach, adjustment to their new working environment, helping newly qualified teachers understand their subject content better and develop competence. Arising from the above findings, the study recommended that: 1. Relevant institutions should design and offer a curriculum in teacher education programmes that balances subject matter and pedagogy or methodology if competent teachers are to be produced. 2. Teacher educators should develop interest in the challenges facing newly qualified teachers (NQTs) so as to forestall these challenges during training. 3. Ministry of General Education should adopt a multi-faceted approach: improved initial teacher training, orientation and socialisation, mentorship, and CPD. 4. The Ministry of General Education should develop and institutionalise a national policy on mentorship of newly qualified teachers.
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This paper argues that the classroom teacher should be placed at the centre of all curriculum development efforts. It further argues that most teachers graduate from teacher education programmes ill-prepared to competently implement the curriculum. In doing so the paper focuses on the type of training received at university/college as an impediment to new teacher competence in curriculum implementation. In view of this, this paper advocates that offering school-based mentoring focussed on curriculum implementation makes mentorship of NQTs not only important but a necessity that can help ameliorate the problem. The paper also discusses various local and external forces affecting curriculum development and implementation. The paper concludes that while improving teacher education is one option, school-based new teacher mentorship appears more feasible in the short term.
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Reveals how the curriculum field has been built upon a vast and rich body of knowledge, and how progress is made through the uses of the best available evidence rather than following the dominant sociopolitical tide or fashion of the times and repeating the mistakes of the past. This edition is divided into four parts. Part I focuses on the emergence and transformation of the school curriculum to serve the democratic prospect, tracing how American educational leaders adapted and transformed European ideas in building a uniquely unitary system of education and a unique outlook on curriculum. Turning points are identified leading to the development of the modern curriculum. Part II examines changing conceptions of curriculum, revealing how traditional concepts such as subject matter and course of study came to be rejected in favor of seeing curriculum as a process for transforming knowledge into the working power of intelligence. Part III is centered on curriculum design, development, and evaluation. Alternative curriculum designs are presented. The construction and function of units of work are giving special attention in curriculum building. The need for creating an articulated curriculum is addressed by revealing how the curriculum must meet the criteria of scope, sequence and balance. Part IV is devoted to the roles of professional educators at every level -- school, district, state and federal -- in curriculum development, and their responsibility to understand and harness the forces and sources for school improvement.
The research paper gives an insight of the responsiveness of the University of Zambia (UNZA) Pre-service Teacher Education Programme to schools and communities. It takes into account the views of former UNZA graduate teachers. The research was conducted in Lusaka, Kafue and Chongwe districts of Lusaka Province, Zambia. Face to face interviews and focus group discussions were used as key instruments to collect data. The constant comparative method was used to analyse it. Data collected, was categorized into emerging themes: Subject competence, methodological competence, awareness of the teaching profession and relevance of the programme to high school, among others. The main findings of the study revealed that: There were gaps between what the UNZA programme was offering and what was obtaining in the High Schools. There is evidence that UNZA trainee teachers were exposed to a broad content material which, in some cases, did not take into consideration what was obtaining in the Zambian High Schools. The study also revealed that UNZA prepared teachers were weak in the delivery of subject matter (methodology) and that Professional ethics were not part of UNZA Teacher Education Programme. Among other findings of the study were that there was inadequate preparation of trainee teachers in the area of social aspect of the teaching profession i.e. School Community Partnership and that there was equally inadequate preparation of trainee-teachers with knowledge and skills to enable them to adapt to change, e.g. ICT. In view of the findings above, it is highly recommended that all the stake holders involved in teacher preparation should come together and re-examine the teacher training programme offered at UNZA, with the view to closing the gaps currently existing between UNZA, High Schools and Communities. Key Words: Responsiveness; subject competence; methodological competence & social competence
The purpose of this study was to establish whether or not the English language teacher education curriculum at the University of Zambia had the relevant knowledge and skills for teaching English language in Zambian secondary schools and can produce a quality teacher of English language despite curriculum designers not conducting a job analysis as the starting point of the curriculum designing process.Ten lecturers who taught subject content courses from the School Humanities and Social Sciences and methodology courses from the School of Education were interviewed so as to find out how the lecturers in the two schools viewed the aim of the programme, the kind of students they intended to produce and the criteria that they used to select content for their courses. The interviews also included the two Deans of the respective schools where subject content and methods courses were taught. 106 student teachers who were just about to graduate and 82 former students who by then were already teaching in schools but had graduated from the same programme responded in writing to a questionnaire. The questions required them to rate themselves on their confidence to teach at the time of graduation, their coverage and understanding of knowledge and skills that were related to the teaching of English language in secondary schools in Zambia in the subject content and methodology courses that they did when they studied English language at the University of Zambia. Two cohorts consisting of 160 student teachers also wrote two tests based on the knowledge and skills that were taught in secondary school. The secondary school English language syllabus and courses for the English language teacher education curriculum provided materials for document analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed using the Constant Comparative Method to identify emerging themes and categories while quantitative data was analysed by conducting independent samples t-tests and One Way ANOVA.The results showed that the two schools which taught subject content and methodology courses had different aims about the same curriculum. While the School of Education aimed at producing a teacher of English language, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences intended to produce a graduate who would use the knowledge and skills learnt to venture in any field related to what would have been studied since they thought producing a teacher was not their mandate. As such what the school of humanities included in the subject content courses that they taught did not reflect the skills and knowledge to prepare one to teach English language in secondary school. To a large extent, this led to the poor coverage and understanding of skills and knowledge in methodology courses. Consequently, as the results indicated, students who followed this curriculum did not cover and understand knowledge and skills which were relevant for teaching in secondary schools. The poor results in the tests further confirmed that the graduates of the English language teacher education curriculum did not acquire the relevant knowledge and skills for teaching the subject in secondary school. In view of these findings, it was evident that student teachers and graduate teachers did not have sound understanding of the subject matter they were to teach and pedagogical knowledge and skills to effectively teach English language in secondary schools at the time of their graduation because the curriculum that they followed did not have the relevant knowledge and skills since job analysis was not done at the beginning of the teacher education curriculum designing process. These findings have critical implications on English language teacher education and teaching and learning of the same subject in secondary schools. The researcher made four clear recommendations which were based on the findings of the study.
Focus on textbooks, not class size, poor countries are regularly told as they seek to improve education quality. Yet, at the same time, with strong support from professional educators, the voters of the U.S. state of California approved massive expenditures to reduce the size of classes that in global terms were already quite small. These dramatically different approaches to improving education quality offer insight into the ways in which the aid relationship is itself an obstacle to improving education quality. The nature of the learning process - interactive, locally contingent, negotiated, and continually changing - requires funding agencies concerned with improving education quality to reach beyond the usual list of improved inputs. Yet, that is not easily accomplished. The structure and organization of the aid relationship set priorities and specify practices that disempower locally rooted education reform initiatives. Equally important, improved education quality and persisting and planned dependence on foreign aid cannot comfortably coexist.
Negative experiences were obtained from mentors to identify the role played by protégés in creating difficulties within mentoring relationships. Content analysis revealed a wide range of examples, many of which were consistent with theory and research on dysfunctional mentoring and interpersonal relationships. The findings also indicated that the how typical the negative experience was related positively to its perceived impact on the relationship. Further, as the perceived impact of the experience increased, relationship satisfaction decreased. The results are discussed in terms of future research, mentoring theory, and applied practice.