Ideological trends in initial teacher education curricula: the case of East African universities

  • Proscovia Namubiru Ssentamu Uganda Management Institute, Uganda
Keywords: Ideology, post-independent, liberalisation, initial teacher education, higher education, curriculum, East African Community.


This paper reviews the ideological trends in initial teacher education curricula in East African universities during the post-independent and contemporary times. From the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, initial teacher education curricula were integrated and harmonised with support from the East African Community whose efforts were coordinated by the Inter-University Council for East Africa. With the breakup of the Community in 1977, each independent state pursued its own educational strategy. However, underfunding of the public sector by governments, introduction of market-friendly reforms under the World Bank Structural Adjustment Programme in 1987 and the de-regularisation policies led to the liberalisation of public services, including education. Liberalisation affected among others, the quality of the initial teacher education curricula. Consequently, national councils and commissions for higher education were established to control standards in higher education, and the Inter-University Council for East Africa was revived to standardise and harmonise educational standards at regional level. The review shows that over the past five decades, the structure and organisation of initial teacher education curricula has continuously adjusted itself and been adjusted to a hybrid culture blending classical humanism, utilitarianism, social re-constructionism, market and global ideologies. Comparable ideological inclinations at socio-economic and political levels have influenced this trend in the region. The paper highlights the implications of such trends on the future of initial teacher education in the region.

Published online: 20 December 2014


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Author Biography

Proscovia Namubiru Ssentamu, Uganda Management Institute, Uganda

Senior Quality Assurance Officer and Lecturer at Uganda Management Institute. Previously, a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies, School of Education, Makerere University for 14 years. Main research areas include curriculum design, development and evaluation, pedagogy and didactics, education evaluation and assessment, quality assurance, and teacher professional growth and development. Namubiru has undertaken assignments for the Uganda Ministry of Education & Sports, Uganda National Council for Higher Education, USAID, the Belgian Technical Cooperation, Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education and several public and private higher education institutions in Uganda and beyond. She has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education, specialising in teacher education from Bayreuth University, Germany. Mail:


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How to Cite
Namubiru Ssentamu, Proscovia. 2014. “Ideological Trends in Initial Teacher Education Curricula: The Case of East African Universities”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 2 (1), 129-59.