Addressing teaching practice quality assurance issues in open and distance learning science teacher training: a case study in Zimbabwe
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This paper reviews the objectives of teaching practice for science education programmes in relation to the philosophy of open and distance learning programme. The various quality assurance issues that arise in the implementation of teaching practice on an existing model are presented. Two major concerns are the effectiveness of the teaching practice sessions and sustaining the fundamentals of the open and distance learning programme. A developmental methodological approach was employed for the case study. The research is also informed by extensive review of related literature to quality assurance in the practice of education. An interpretative approach has been used to analyse themes for the study. A new five-stage teaching practice model has been proposed for the university under study for its Virtual and Open Distance Learning programme, which enables students to have effective teaching practice experiences without violating the open and distance learning fundamentals.