Knowledge Base and Reflective Practice in Teacher Education in Zimbabwe: Curriculum Continuity or Ideological Confusion?
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This is a contribution and critique of the debate initiated by Dzvimbo's (1991) article on the nature of knowledge and discourse practices in Zimbabwe's teacher training colleges (Zimbabwe Bulletin of Teacher Education, Volume 1, Issue 1). Dzvimbo's paper is important in that it underscores the importance of teacher education to educational and social reform. That teacher education is significant is obviated by the fact that in many countries in the Third World, schools, classrooms and teachers are among the most important determinants of pupil learning and achievement often more significant than socio-economic status (Riddell, 1989). While thebasic thesis of the Dzvimbo paper that discourse and reflective action are necessary for professional growth in teacher education is supported, certain substantive assumptions in the paper are controversial. This paper is an attempt to highlight some of the substantive aspects afflicting the potential for professional growth in teacher education. It proposes that ideological confusion as well as historical precedent rather than simple curriculum continuity are the chief determinants of the present status of teacher education. The assumption of ideological consciousness transferring, inducing or supporting professional growth is not supported.