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How to train a Secondary School Teacher"
Blog 035 - 22 May 2013
First published in The Witness

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In Thursday's edition of The Times, Jonathan Jansen wrote something I have been waiting to hear from an Educator for a long time. It was that Senior Secondary School Teachers should spend three years completing a first degree. Furthermore, that degree should include a major in at least one discipline that forms the basis of a subject taught in the Senior Secondary School Curriculum.

Because of the parlous state of Schooling in South Africa, it would not be feasible to immediately put an end to the four year B Ed Secondary School Teacher training programmes currently offered by University Schools of Education. These programmes effectively teach the first year of a B A or B Sc discipline over three years. If South Africa wants to compete globally, we need to realise that that is not enough. For example, Senior Secondary School Teachers being prepared to teach Mathematics, should learn their Mathematics from Mathematicians. Ideally such Teachers should achieve a major in Mathematics. The same is true for the other disciplines.

Incidentally, I also hold the view that the Colleges of Education that trained Primary School Teachers, should never have been shut. Doing so effectively set us back twenty years. The penalty for what we have done with respect to the training of Secondary School teachers, is going to be much heavier.

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