Exploring pre-service teachers’ experiences of teaching accounting in a rural context during teaching practice from one higher education Institution in Kwazulu-Natal.
Mdluli, Khulelaphi Silindile.
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Rural schools tend to be a stressful environment for the pre-service teachers when they conduct their initial teaching practice. Although research has shown that studies conducted in rural communities should not be approached from a deficiency viewpoint as there are also many positive developments happening in some rural communities but the residues of inequalities that were inherited from the past education system persist and remain a challenge. As a result, pre-service teachers within rural schools may lack a direction in terms of how to go about teaching practice due to many challenges that they may encounter. Hence the study seeks to explore pre-service teachers’ experiences of teaching Accounting during teaching practice in a rural context in one university located in KwaZulu-Natal. The main purpose of this study was to explore pre-service teachers’ experiences of teaching Accounting during teaching practice in a rural context. In this study, the main objectives outlined are: (a) explore pre-service teachers’ experiences of teaching Accounting during teaching practice in a rural context and (b) To identify the significance of teaching practice to pre-service teachers towards the teaching profession. This study employed an interpretivist paradigm and qualitative approach to have in-depth information about pre-service teachers’ experiences. Furthermore, the researcher purposively sampled thirteen pre-service teachers from one university located in KwaZulu-Natal who are currently studying third and fourth year towards Bachelor of Education degree having an experience of teaching Accounting during teaching practice in rural schools. One-on-one interviews and focus group interviews were conducted with the pre-service teachers telephonically due to lockdown restrictions. All interviews were audio-taped. Later, the researcher analysed the data by listening to the audiotaped interviews and developed them into themes. The findings revealed that teaching practice plays significant roles by enhancing pedagogical skills, bridging the gap between theory and practice and exposure to different teaching strategies. However, the effectiveness of teaching practice is challenged by a lot of obstacles. Large class size, absenteeism amongst learners, lack of motivation amongst learners, scarcity of teaching resources, lack of support from the school and mentor, insufficient monitoring of progress by university tutors, language as a barrier in teaching and learning in Accounting, poor infrastructure and facilities, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access in rural schools were some of the challenges discussed by pre-service teachers during interviewing sessions. All these challenges impacted negatively on teaching practice and Accounting lesson delivery to learners.