7a iii). Examine the Teacher Education Curriculum and how it was organized.
Primary Teacher Education Curriculum
Teacher education curriculum has undergone a lot of transformation. A brief history may help us to follow this transformation. Prior to 1974, Primary Teachers Colleges in Kenya enjoyed some form of autonomy to suit their conditions. The syllabuses were implemented in respectful colleges subject to approval by the Ministry of Education. They also prepared their own examinations and assessment devices to be used locally. The role of the K.I.E and the Inspectorate was to moderate such examinations and provide panels of examiners to assist assessing students during teaching practices. After 1976, the role of KI.E seemed to be minimized. The Ministry of Education and its Examination Section in Mitihani House took over and amalgamated all the responsibilities carried out by the colleges themselves and K.I.E. Professional studies examinations were now thrown to a public examining body. Explicitly, examinations for teachers in all the colleges in the country were centralized. These steps were harsh. What was the impact of these measures to the process the among teachers was killed by the strength of examinations. Training of teachers became more of an academic exercise where the best achievers in the final examinations were rewarded with grades and certificates. Secondly a strong element of competition developed among the colleges. Thus students were forced to master facts from subjects taught and reproduced them after two years in one examination. This is typical of what an American educationist, Paul Freire calls “the banking concept”. Teachers teach and students receive the information. National teachers examination was good. On the other hand, someone who had completed primary level of education could easily be awarded a P2 teachers certificate if he passed in the National Teachers Examination at the end of two years training.
Organization of Teacher Education Curriculum
The initial curriculum in primary teacher education is organized around 14 subject areas. This organization has not changed much in the present period. The following organization is used:
Professional Studies: the syllabus is divided into four major section areas:
- Foundations of Education
- Curriculum Studies
- Educational Administration
- Educational Psychology.
It was compulsory for a student to pass a written examination in all these areas in addition to practical teaching. Failure in Practical Teaching meant that one had failed the entire course, even if performance in thirteen other areas was excellent. This rule was later changed in order to give a student a second chance to be re-assessed up to two times re-assessment in the Teaching Practice which takes place after the final results have been announced.
- The Languages: either English of Kiswahili has to be passed in order to be awarded a certificate
- The Science: this includes general Science and Agriculture. Again a student is expected to pass in anyone of them for the purpose of certification.
- The Social Science: this area comprises of History, Geography and Christian Religious Education as well as Islamic Religious Education. Only students who are Muslims take Islamic Religious Education
- The Creative Arts Area: this area has the largest combination of subjects. It includes Arts and Crafts, Music, Health Education and Physical Education, Domestic Science. A pass in this area is also necessary for the purpose of certification.
- Mathematics remaines separate and independent area of study by all students. It is a compulsory requirement for certification.