An evaluation of technology teacher in training in South Africa: shortcomings and recommendations

23 October 2012

Compared to other subjects Technology Education (TE) is regarded as a new subject both nationally and internationally. In the absence of an established subject philosophy Technology educators had little alternative than to base their professional teaching and learning practices on approaches from other fields of knowledge and to adapt these. TE is one of the compulsory subjects for learners in South Africa from grade 4–9 since 1998. One of the challenges was the fact that no previous teacher training programmes existed for Technology thus new ones had to be developed. This research described what the necessary knowledge, skills and values are that a qualified Technology teacher should possess and determined if teacher training institutions in South Africa provide opportunities to develop this qualities. Qualitative research was used to provide insight into the nature of pre-service Technology training programmes in South Africa, in order to identify shortcomings in the pre-service training of Technology teachers. The population consisted of senior faculty who have experience in the developing of pre-service training programmes and the training of Technology teachers. Findings of the study suggest a greater focus on the training of Technology teachers as subject specialists by establishing standards that is appropriate for tertiary training in order to enhance the development of subject knowledge; subject specific pedagogical content knowledge by implementing micro lessons; revision of time, planning and facilities for the practising of subject skills; and sufficient opportunities to practise, analyse and reflect on teaching processes to develop appropriate teaching strategies.