Practices and Challenges of Primary Teacher Education in Addis Ababa City Government: Focus on Mathematics Education

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the practices and challenges of primary teacher education program focusing on mathematics education. Hence this study examined the practices of pre-service program in KUC, and Induction and CPD programs in 18 public primary schools of Addis Ababa City Government. To select these schools multi-stage cluster sampling was employed. The study used mixed research design specifically convergent/concurrent design and the data used in the study were obtained through prospective mathematics teachers’ attitude scale, interview, questionnaire, observation checklists, and documentary analysis/review. Participants of the study were 143 prospective mathematics teachers, 12 teacher educators; department head and faculty dean of KUC, 144 primary school mathematics teachers, 18 primary school directors, 54 primary school students, 36 parents, one teacher education directorate director, and three senior experts. The data were analyzed using Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), correlation, regression, ANOVA, t-test, descriptive statistics, and text analysis. The result of the study indicates that there is feelings of anxiety and fear and feelings of discouragement and depression among prospective mathematics teachers in learning mathematics. The items prepared in Amharic to test the attitude of prospective mathematics teachers was found to be reliable (α = 0.842) and valid (CFA result). In addition to these negative attitude and belief towards mathematics and teaching mathematics found among primary school mathematics teachers. This exacerbates teachers’ unenthusiastic practices. However there is strong correlation between University College GPA and entrance exam result (.862**, p< 0.01), between University College GPA and high school transcript average (.701**, p<0.01), and between University College GPA and EGSECE GPA (.447**, p<0.01). This indicates that 2012/2013 entrants of prospective mathematics teachers entrance exam result, EGSCE GPA and high school transcript result contributed for the trainees University College achievement. Similarly College GPA is correlated to their COC result (.570**, p<0.01). The result of the study on practices of pre-service primary mathematics education program unveil that there is a gap between prospective mathematics teachers attitude and mathematics education. In addition to these no paradigm shift is observed in the practices of the program from the previous trends of teaching mathematics to TPACK activities. Furthermore cooperative learning among prospective mathematics teachers was not observed, there is no smart classroom, and no adequate reference books. This study also asserted that some courses are found to be beyond the level of prospective primary school mathematics teachers. However there is a good match between primary mathematics teacher education curriculum and primary school mathematics syllabus and both are found to be at the standard level. The practices of the aggregate mean of teachers’ professional development (CPD) is 2.47, which is not satisfactory. Induction program also need to update the old modules. This implies that practices of Induction and CPD programs in Addis Ababa public primary schools need more progress towards proficiency. Moreover 87.8% of primary school mathematics teachers study different disciplines different from the teaching profession. Thus the need of center of excellence for teachers training and the need of upgrading primary school prospective mathematics teachers at degree level are some of the recommendations



Challenges of Primary Teacher Education, Focus on Mathematics Education