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Title: Teacher socialisation in Botswana junior secondary schools : a critical qualitative analysis of the teaching methods of seven new teachers
Author: Tafa, Elmon M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 0594
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis is a critical qualitative analysis of the teaching methods of seven new teachers in 5 Botswana junior secondary schools during their first term of teaching. The focus is on socialisation during early childhood, their own schools, colleges of education and their new teaching schools. Data were collected from new teachers and stakeholders mainly through school and lesson observations, unstructured and semi-structured interviews, document analysis and supplementary questionnaires. The overarching conclusion is that authoritarianism in junior secondary schools is rooted in the teachers' positivist view of knowledge as 'facts' to be 'delivered' to the passive students. The behaviourist teacher training model reproduces the new teachers' authoritarianism rooted in their own school experiences. There was authoritarian school socialisation of the new teachers through the formal and hidden Curricula. Lack of induction. programmes exposed new teachers to school enculturation in the form of staff-room gossip, military-style morning assemblies, strict enforcement of punctuality and school uniforms which amount to the imposition of the 'cultural capital' of dominant groups in society. Systemic constraints like large class sizes, mixed ability groups, teaching through a foreign language, unwieldy syllabuses, examinations driven curricula and lack of subject base rooms were contributory factors. Furthermore, the prescriptive national curriculum reduces teachers to 'technicians' rather than curriculum builders. The 'technical rationality model' pervades preservice training. School climates, rules and regulations and student-teacher relationships are undemocratic as structures for students' voice do not exist and caning is routinised. New teachers had a fixation with 'class control' enforced by caning. While the state sanctions and attempts to restrict the application of corporal punishment there was no evidence of enforcement of the rules despite their frequent infraction by teachers. However, the only urban school in the sample minimised the use of caning and it had the best academic results. The only new teacher opposed to caning achieved the best class control with only a modicum of effort. On this basis claims by teachers that caning works and is part of 'African culture' are questionable. The historical roots of authoritarianism and its brutal face of corporal punishment are traced to the advent of rationalist colonial education in Botswana and the evolution of a positivist post-independence system of education. Behaviourism in colleges of education and junior secondary schools cannot be divorced from the activities of USAID - the aid agency which developed the curricula of the two sets of institutions during their inception from 1980 to 1990. By the end of the term much of the college-induced behaviourism of the new teachers had disappeared while the positivist outlook was retained. Whole class teaching, usually with no teaching aids, became the norm, student participation was curtailed and caning was commonly used and defended.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available