South African Journal of Education

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The value of teaching practice as perceived by Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students

Siphokazi Kwatubana, Mark Bosch


The pursuit of excellence in preparing student teachers for the teaching profession is a never-ending endeavour. This study aimed at investigating the value of teaching practice as perceived by the participants, how they determined such value using human judgement and whether value judgement can be used as a form of reflection during teaching practice by PGCE students. Human judgement can be used as a tool to promote reflection and an evaluation strategy which promotes a culture of observation and critical thinking about one’s practice. The qualitative study involved 25 participants, all of whom were Postgraduate Certificate in Education students and had completed the practical teaching period. In this study we applied Kant’s theory to analyse the data gathered by means of narratives. The results, which were based on self-reported values on teaching practice, revealed that the participants viewed teaching practice as valuable and pointed out that it benefitted them and others by enabling them to gain valuable experience in the classroom and in general school management. The participants based their judgement on three components of value judgement, both negative and positive: emotions, attitudes and experiences.

Keywords: Postgraduate Certificate in Education; student teachers; teaching practice; value judgement on teaching practice; value of teaching practice

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