An insight into the pedagogical approaches for a Virtual Open Distance Learning (VODL) programme at a selected university in Zimbabwe
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Training of quality science and mathematics teachers is one of the vital components in the education sector, that enables development in all aspects of life. This survey explored the teaching and learning approaches used in the teacher education program at one university in Zimbabwe. Data for this study was collected using questionnaires and informal interviews, were analyzed using SPSS Version 16 to find frequencies and means of commonly held views by the pre-service teachers. Thirty seven Diploma in science education pre-service teachers who had just completed a pedagogic course participated in this study. The study found out that traditional approaches, in which lecturers talk and learners listen, dominate most lectures. The common obstacles to active learning and teaching were: large classes, inadequate resources both in the library and in the laboratories for practicals, assessment techniques do not encourage active learning as well as the limited time for instructional and academic activities. The non integration of technology in the teaching and learning of pre service teachers was also highlighted. It is recommended that pre service teachers be afforded enough time to study for their diploma program. Teaching methods taught during teacher training should match those they will employ in their teaching in secondary school to reduce theory - practical gap.