Dynamics of teaching practice in South Africa: A nexus between theory and practice





School-based integrated learning, Teaching practice, teacher training institution, student teachers, university supervisors


Teaching practice is organized to prepare student-teachers by providing skilled supervision, practical experience, mentoring and support, collaborative learning, and insightful practice. However, it has been found that when student teachers embark on teaching practice, they find it hard to put into practice the theoretical knowledge they have acquired in teacher training institutions. The study aimed to explore how this program is organized to equip student-teachers with skills for handling learners' academic needs in schools, the challenges encountered by student-teachers during teaching practice and possible solutions. For this interpretive, qualitative case study research, two universities were purposively sampled and in each of the universities, three university supervisors and four student teachers were selected. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used as data collection tools. The findings indicated that even though teaching practice is a well-organized programme, challenges were noted. The findings indicated that to a certain degree, teaching practice appears to be fragmented, thus ineffective in assisting student-teachers, and this was evident from the student-teacher’s inability to cope with teaching tasks. Conflicts between teachers and school managers, overcrowded classrooms, misbehaving learners, and unavailability of resources emerged as challenges. The study also reported a gap between theory and practice as student teachers failed to integrate theoretical knowledge with practice. The study recommended a close relationship between teacher training institutions and schools so that when students embark on teaching practice, they can relate to the real complexities of teaching in schools, thus this will bring about the implementation of theory to practical teaching experience.


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How to Cite

Zondo, S. S., & Adu, E. O. (2024). Dynamics of teaching practice in South Africa: A nexus between theory and practice. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijer-2024.vol6.06