Entrance of Prospective Teachers to Initial Teacher Education and Stereotypes Around the Teaching Profession: Experiences From Eritrea

Zecarias Zemichael, Khalid M. Idris, Berhane Demoz


The inquiry framed into an action research strategy was initiated in the College of Education (CoE) at the Eritrea Institute of Technology, a major Initial Teacher Education (ITE) center in the country. The paper tried to answer the question: How do prospective-teachers happen to attend in the CoE? The paper also sheds light on the prevailing stereotypes around the teaching profession. The methodological and analytical framework of the research lies in the premise of teaching as a reflective practice. Qualitative data were gathered through focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews involving 126 participants comprising the leadership, educators and students of the college in the academic year 2012/2013. The FGDs and interviews were audio and video recorded, transcribed and thematically analyzed. The findings reveal that learning process in the CoE is influenced by a myriad of systemic, institutional and attitudinal issues that intersect and further complicate the already problematic nature of teaching. The nature of the admission of the prospective teachers to the CoE and the stereotyped public views toward the CoE vis-à-vis the teaching profession are among the major stumbling block that affect the classroom practice at the college and beyond. As part of the researchers’ commitment to follow a collaborative action research cycle, the findings were shared with educators and learner-teachers in ITE institutions. Areas of intervention were identified and the college is engaged in a number of collaborative activities involving its staff, local and international partners in ensuring the provision of quality teacher education in the country.

Keywords: admission process, teaching profession, stereotypes, collaborative action research


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