United College of Education
P. O. Box 1156
+263 9 201162
+263 9 211163
+263 9 210319

General Course

The General Course offers the following:

1   Theory of Education                

The aim of the course is to expose students to a large body of theoretical knowledge in philosophical, curriculum studies, educational management, sociological and psychological foundations of education so as to equip the student with skills and knowledge which should inform             educational practice in the classroom.

The course consists of the following disciplines: Philosophy of Education, Sociology of Education, Psychology of Education, Curriculum Studies and Educational Management.

1.1   Philosophy of Education

Key components of the area of study are:-Introduction to Philosophy of Education; components of Philosophy; the foundations of modern education; the history of education in Zimbabwe; comparative education systems; modern educational issues; population education; curriculum issues.

1.2   Psychology of Education

Key components of the area of study are:-Introduction to Psychology of Education; child development; cognitive and language development; personality development; moral development; special needs education; guidance and counseling.

1.3   Sociology of Education

Key components of the area of study are:-Introduction to Sociology of Education; culture and socialization; social institutions; deviance and delinquency; social stratification and social mobility; contemporary issues.

1.4   Curriculum Studies

Key components of the area of study are:-Introduction to Curriculum Studies; foundations of curriculum; models of Curriculum Design; curriculum evaluation; curriculum change and innovation.

1.5   Educational Management

Key components of the area of study are:-Introduction to Educational Management; administrative theories; the school as an organization; leadership in Educational Structure

2  Main Study

The aim of Main Study is to produce a student who is knowledgeable and skilled in the operations of a particular subject at a higher level , that is, at first year university level, so that they are able to act as resource persons and offer a more specialized services in the schools. The course is offered for the pre-service programme.  Students are expected to choose one subject for specialization from any of the following area:-

2.1 Humanities

2.1.1 Religious and Moral Studies

The subject area is concerned with the development of an understanding of religion and morality as fundamental areas of human experience. This will enable students to explore the nature and meaning of existence in relation to religions.

The subject covers some of the following aspects:-Introduction to religion; Old Testament; New Testament; Christianity and theology in Africa; world religions; ethical and moral issues; non-religious interpretations of life; and religious scholars.

2.1.2 Social Studies

The subject intends to expose students to an in-depth study of the social, economic and political environment, and also help them to appreciate issues of interdependence within the global village.

Some of the topics covered are:-Introduction to Social Studies; human organization; the political environment; population studies; national and international economics; development studies; natural resources and ecosystems; settlement studies and contemporary issues.

2.2 Languages

2.2.1 ChiShona

The subject seeks to develop an awareness and appreciation of ChiShona language as a system, promote original writing and critical thinking through the study of African and Zimbabwean literature as well as creative writing.

Some topics covered by the subject are as follows:-Literature;- poetry; drama; novel; practical criticism. ChiShona language structure;Creative writing; Aspects of the VaShona culture.

2.2.2 English

The subject aims at helping the student develop linguistic     and literary proficiency in English. Some of the topics covered are:-Literature;- main genres in literature; literary texts. Language;- the nature of English language; language functions and syntactical appropriacy; logic; discourse analysis; study skills; creative writing; parts of speech; language registers; direct and indirect speech; speech acts and error analysis.

2.2.3 IsiNdebele

The subject enables students to understand in detail language aspects in IsiNdebele. Some of topics covered are:-

Social aspects;- origins of the Ndebele and their language;  knowledge and enrichment on the Ndebele as a nation; culture; religion; proverbs; riddles; dances and songs.

Ndebele Grammar:- phonetic sounds in Ndebele; quantification; ideophones; aspects of foreign verbs in Ndebele; tenses.

Historical Aspects:- prose and songs; proverbs ; poetic praises; changes in language over the years. Novels;Plays; Poetry.

2.3 Practical Subjects

2.3.1 Art and Design

The subject seeks to adequately prepare student teachers to become knowledgeable and versatile by equipping them with relevant practical skills and attitudes to enable them to realize their full potential in the development and sustenance of quality art education in Zimbabwe. The subject covers some of the following topics:-General theory of Art; Zimbabwe Art; schools of Art; textiles; the design process; graphic design; drawing; painting; print making; sculpture and pottery

2.3.2 Home Economics

The subject aims to prepare student teachers to become self-reliant and self-sufficient by equipping them with functional skills and concepts for sustainable development.

Some of the topics covered are :-

Fashion and Fabrics:-  garment construction; fibres and fabrics and craftwork.

Food and Nutrition:-  food preparation; meal planning and food choice.

Home and Family Care:-  immunity; principles and elements of design.

2.3.3 Music and Dance

The subject aims to help students acquire theoretical and practical competence in African and world music.

Some of the topics covered are:-

Interpretation of the staff notation up to the equivalence of grade 5 Associate Board of Royal School of Music; voice; introduction to ethnomusicology; instrument playing, that is organology, solo and   ensemble mbira or marimba playing, piano or guitar , recorder for solo or with accompaniment.

2.3.4 Physical Education

The aim of  the subject  is to produce expert sports personnel, one who can bring about sports culture in a given community.

Some of the topics covered are:-

Theory– applied anatomy and physiology; biomechanics; First Aid and sports injuries; sport organization; testing and measuring; health education; acquisition of motor skills; principles, values and concerns.

Practicals;- ball games; athletics; movement education and aquatics.

2.4 Sciences

2.4.1 Environmental Science

The subject area intends to broaden and enhance students’ understanding of Environmental Science as a multi-disciplinary course meant to equip them with scientific             knowledge, skills and positive attitudes to enable them to study and manage the environment in an efficient and effective manner.

Some of the topics covered are:-The living environment; Geo-science; environmental processes and care; natural sciences.

2.4.2 Mathematics

The subject  intends to broaden and deepen students’ knowledge of Mathematics. It also helps develop good habits such as thoroughness and neatness, and positive attitudes such as enquiring spirit, open-mindedness, self-reliance, resourcefulness, critical and creative thinking cooperation and persistence.

Some of the topics covered are:Indices; logarithms; polynomials; identities; equations; inequalities; coordinate geometry; functions; trigonometry; vectors; matrices; differentiation; integration; series; probability and statistics.   

3  Professional Studies Syllabus ‘A’ (PSA)

PSA aims at providing students with effective and efficient teaching methods and strategies in handling primary school pupils.

Some of the topics covered are :-Preparation for teaching; teaching strategies; educational     media and technology; special needs education; testing and        evaluation;  and school  management.

4   Professional Studies Syllabus ‘B’ (PSB)

The aim of the course is to enable the students to manage    and carry out the various learning activities in a meaningful and creative way so that effective learning occurs. The course consists of the following subjects:-

4.1   Art and Design

The subject seeks to adequately broaden the students’ understanding of art skills and concepts to build in them confidence in handling basic media as well as equip them with a wide variety of approaches to the teaching of Art and Design.

Some of the topics covered are:-The meaning of Art; the philosophy of Art Education; child Art development; colour theory; interpretation of the Primary School Syllabus; drawing; painting; modeling;      printing; construction; improvisation and care of materials      and tools; fibre craft and textiles.

4.2    ChiShona

The subject seeks to develop teaching competencies at primary school level in the four macro skills  namely; listening, speaking, reading and writing and to develop an appreciation of the aspects of the Shona culture.

Some of the topics covered are:-ChiShona dialects and geographical distribution; ChiShona alphabet; methodology and aspects of the ChjShona culture.

4.3   English

The subject seeks to help students develop sound knowledge of principles that underline the teaching of English as a second language.The subject covers the following aspects:-

Language learning; aims of teaching English in Zimbabwe; the English sound system; oral skills; reading skills; writing skills; methods of teaching reading; teaching children’s literature; error analysis; preparation and planning; approaches of teaching L2; assessment of children’s work and evaluation of school textbooks and estimating readability.

4.4   Environmental Science

The subject is designed to equip students with knowledge, skills and positive attitudes which shall enable them to interpret, adapt, adopt, implement and evaluate the primary school Environmental Science syllabus that is meant to make pupils aware of themselves and the physical environment around them.

The content includes the teaching and learning of the following topics in the primary school:– Water; soil, grass and grazing; trees and forestry; crop plants and animals; health and pollution; energy  and  fuels; weather; materials and technology; land forms and maps. 

4.5.    Home Economics

The aim of the subject is to impart basic skills in home economics so as to produce teachers who are self-reliant, self-sufficient and competent in the teaching of the subject at primary school level.

The subject covers some of the following aspects:-

Food and nutrition;-kitchen equipment; kitchen hygiene;     methods of cooking; nutrients; meal planning; storage and preservation of food.

Home Maintenance;- dirt and its removal; cleaning equipment        and material; cleaning of rooms; refuse disposal; bed making;         prevention and eradication of household pests.

Consumer Education;- consumer rights; wise buying.

Health and Safety;- safety in the home; common accidents and      prevention and personal hygiene.

Teaching Skills;- handling different types of demonstrations; organization and supervision of practical work; marking of practical work; diagrammatic illustrations of processes; improvising; stock taking, handling of basic equipment and materials.

4.6   IsiNdebele

The aim of the subject is to enable the students acquire relevant skills of teaching IsiNdebele at different levels in the primary school.

Some of the topics covered are:

Language Enrichment:- the alphabet; phonic sounds in      Ndebele; problems caused by influence of other languages.

Skills Enrichment:- listening and speaking; folk tales;           dramatization; discussions; role-play; animal sounds and plays.

Reading Skills;- pre-learning; reading methods.

Writing Skills;– pre-writing at Grade 1 level; discovery             skills; organizing activities for upper grades; creative writing;  letter writing; summary and guided composition.

Organizing, arranging and analyzing learning activities;- constructing aims and objectives; schemes of work; lesson plans;  examination preparation.

4.7  Mathematics

The subject seeks to help students appreciate the role of Mathematics in the primary school curriculum. It also aims at helping students understand, interpret and communicate mathematical in formation in everyday life.

Some of the topics covered are:-Sets; number; operations; ratio; mensuration; geometry; consumer arithmetic; statistics; Mathematics curriculum and teaching methods.

4.8    Music and Dance

The subject intends to produce a Zimbabwean classroom practitioner who is musically literate, capable of giving proper and useful music education to the Zimbabwean child from a cultural diverse point of view.

Some of the topics covered are:-

Theory of Music;- major scales C,G,D and F; the stave and clefs; letter names in the treble and bass clefs; note values and French time names; layer lines; rests, dots and ties; transcription—staff   notation and tonic solfa; time signatures and key  signatures C,G,D,F.; scheming; planning; lesson    preparation for music  lessons; game songs; work songs and some music educators.

4.9  Physical Education

The subject area’s aim is to produce a healthy and fit teacher who is able to teach P.E. and Sport to learners so that they appreciate the various sporting disciplines.

Some of the topics covered in the subject area are:-

Theory;-  Philosophy of P.E.; teaching methods in P.E.; syllabus interpretation; class management in P.E; sports organization; modification and improvisation of equipment and facilities.

Practicals;- peer teaching; athletics; body management;        ball games; aquatics and minor games.

4.10   Religious and Moral Education (RME)

The subject seeks to equip students with attitudes,      knowledge and skills which will assist them to impart basic religious, moral and aesthetic values to primary school children. This will provide students with competency skills in the subject.

Some of the topics covered are:-

Introduction to religion; ; world religions; Buddhism and         African Traditional Religion; ethical and moral issues; scheming and planning; approaches to the teaching of RME.

 4.11   Social Studies

The subject aims to impart knowledge and skills to       students in interpreting the Social Studies syllabus as    well as develop an understanding of the complexities of the social environment for effective teaching.

Some topics covered in the content are:-Living together; rules and laws; work and leisure; clothes; shelter; transport and communication; health;   food; social services and voluntary organization and   teaching methods.

5    Professional Studies Syllabus ‘C’ Curriculum Depth Study (Research Project)

The subject aims at empowering students with research skills           that enable them to manage classroom based problems.

It covers some of the following topics:-Theory and practice of research; types of research methodologies; ethical consideration in research; data collection procedures; analysis and project writing.

6   Contemporary Studies  Professional Studies Syllabus ‘D’ (PSD)

All students doing  the different courses are required to take             up subjects offered under contemporary studies.

The subjects on offer are as follows:

6.1    Health and Life Skills Education

The subject area’s aim is to equip students with knowledge, life skills and attitudes that promote low risk behaviour as this contributes to the reduction of the incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV and AIDS and other health related problems. It further intends to equip students with appropriate teaching skills and Methods.

The subject covers the following aspects:- Nature, origin and extent of HIV and AIDS; transmission and prevention of HIV and AIDS; HIV and AIDS policies; factors contributing to the spread of HIV, AIDS and STIs; relationship between HIV, AIDS and STIs; Life Skills, children’s rights and abuse; behavioural change; alcohol and substance abuse; human sexuality and gender issues; reproductive health issues; counselling; emerging issues; lesson preparation.

6.2    Information Communication Technology (ICT)

The subject aims at equipping students with computer skills that will enable them to offer instructions to primary school children and also be able to operate in a boundary-free global village.

Some of the areas covered in this subject are:-Introduction to ICT; computers and the education environment; file management; word processing; spread sheet; power point presentations; the internet; teaching ICT and using ICT in the classroom.

6.3    National and Strategic Studies

The subject aims at assisting students to able to articulate the socio-economic dynamics underlying Zimbabwean history and also appreciate the importance of national heritage

.It covers some of the following topics:-Pre-Colonial Zimbabwean States; colonial rule; struggle for independence; developments in post-independent Zimbabwe; civil education; international relations; entrepreneurship and conflict resolution strategies.