Challenges Experienced by Pre-Service Teachers in the Post Graduate Certificate in Education Programme at a South African University

Paul-Francois Muzindutsi, Portia Fumane Khanare


This study is an attempt to better understand the complex nature of tertiary learning by exploring challenges experienced by a group of students who have enrolled for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme as a pathway to a teaching career. This quantitative study is explorative and descriptive in nature. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from 150 that pre-service teachers enrolled in the PGCE programme at the university in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012. The questionnaire was analysed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and descriptive statistics. PCA categorised challenges into 3 categories namely, challenges related to terminologies and learning style used in education, challenges related to the structure of the PGCE programme and challenges related to a student’s background from previous qualification. Significantly, the findings of this study revealed that students experienced PGCE as stressful and most of them were not sufficiently equipped with content of the subjects they were being trained to teach. Findings of this study are important in understanding flexible educational planning for the PGCE students at the university.


Challenges; pre-service teachers; PGCE programme; university; South Africa


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