Comparative perspectives on initial primary teacher education and training in England and Pakistan

Ahmed, Mah-E-Rukh


Thesis or dissertation

© 2008 Mah-E-Rukh Ahmed. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This study explored the extent to which initial teacher education and training programmes provide an adequate preparation for the needs of the primary school teachers in England and Pakistan. An integral part of this exploration was the identification of particular aspects of ITE programmes which had a significant impact in enhancing the professional development of teachers, the effectiveness of the ITE programmes and then overall quality.

The second notable feature is that this study is a comparative one. The researcher chose two countries where initial teacher training programmes were being implemented, albeit in different ways. England and Pakistan are two contrasting countries from different global regions and having different cultural and social contexts. This is not a problem for comparison because the issue is whether they provide an adequate and enriching professional preparation for beginning teachers in their respective contexts. The study also aims to explore how far the English experience has potential for development and improvement in the Pakistani initial primary teacher education programme. The issue was examined in detail in different teacher education institutions located in England and Pakistan. For this purpose the researcher used Bereday‘s comparative methodology to investigate the juxtaposition of these two initial teacher education programmes. The researcher hopes thereby to add to the stock of theory through the use of a cross-national study.

The study indicated to what extent the beginning teachers were adequately prepared for the demands of work and the responsibilities expected of them as perceived by the profession and other stakeholders. A number of factors were found to contribute to the perceived adequacy of the professional preparation of student teachers. An enriching curriculum together with availability and quality of physical facilities and educational resources contributed to this situation. At the same time, the support from the principal stakeholders in terms of funding and staff professional development was also cited as impacting upon the quality of pre-service teacher education provided to the beginning teachers in England and Pakistan.

The aim of this research was to investigate initial teacher education in Pakistan and England to gain insights into two initial teacher education systems with a view to improving initial teacher education in Pakistan. To achieve this aim, a cross-cultural study using a multi-method approach was adopted. This research revealed how questionable it can be to merely state what the similarities and differences really are between two initial teacher education systems. Nonetheless, it did identify some important differences as between the two initial teacher education systems, namely in terms of:

- cultural differences affecting initial teacher‘s attitude and values;
- differences in governmental vision, political will, and government policies and institutional provision;
- teacher education curricula, policies and delivery;
traditional and economic disparities; and theoretical underpinning.
Having conducting this research, it is the view of the writer that it is possible for Pakistan to gain from certain aspects of the experience in England, especially in administration and quality control.

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Brock, Colin
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