Effects of teaching practice on student teachers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria
An analysis of the result obtained showed that teaching practice has never been a waste of time rather it has helped to inculcate the professional traits in student teachers, preparing them for the real classroom and school situation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Purpose of Study
1.4 Significance of Study
1.5 Research Questions
1.7 Limitation of Study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Concept of teaching as a profession
2.2 Meaning of teaching practice
2.3 Theoretical base of the concepts of teaching practice
2.4 Analysis of teaching practice assessment instrument
2.5 Effect of teaching practice on student teachers
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sample and Sampling Procedure
3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
3.5 Method of Data Collection
3.6 Data Analysis
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS
Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This study was carried out to examine the effects of teaching practice on student teachers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. A case study of 400 level students of the department of Arts and Social Science of Faculty of Education of the University of Lagos. Three hypothesis were formulated and 100 questionnaire were administered to student teachers from the department of Arts and Social Science, Faculty of Education.
An analysis of the result obtained showed that teaching practice has never been a waste of time rather it has helped to inculcate the professional traits in student teachers, preparing them for the real classroom and school situation.
And based on the researcher’s findings, the following recommendations were made:
(a) Some form of assistance (financial or material) should be given to them in acquiring teaching aids and also transportation fare due to distance from home to teaching practice school.
(b) At least three (3) weeks of grace should be given to student teachers to get used to the school system before assessment.
(c) There should be an extension of the duration for the teaching practice.
(d) Supervisor should endeavor to come at the appropriate less periods. Also, supervisors should not be bias or sentimental.
(e) Lastly, adequate orientation should be given to student teachers before the teaching practice exercise.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
For any student undergoing a professional course in education, teaching practice is INEVITABLE. It is that aspect of the student-teacher's professional training programme during which they is exposed to the real school and classroom situation in order to help them develop their skills in the act of teaching. Teaching practice is designed to give the student-teachers an opportunity to put into practice, the theories relating to the principles and practice of education, which they have learnt.
It is also a basic professional requirement, the un-fulfillment of which the student-teacher cannot qualify as a teacher. It is therefore necessary that due attention is given to it and its aims to teacher training achieved.
The student-teacher should not just go through the process of teaching practice, teaching practice should also go through the student-teacher such that its aims and objectives are achieved rather than defeated. The student-teacher is also regarded as a part of the school system and thus expected to participate in all teaching activities within the school system until the expiration of the exercise. Teaching practice exposes the student-teacher to the real school and class situation where he acquires some practical experiences in the art of teaching, as well as get adapted or acquainted with the social settings of the institution.
Although, the primary concern is passing useful educational knowledge over to the pupils using every achievable means until learning takes place in them, they still have to participate in all teaching activities within the school system.
This research is associated with the effect of teaching practice on student-teachers in all ramifications. That is, academic, social and personality effects. Since the main idea that underlines the discussion of teaching practice is the truism that teaching skills are acquired and developed by both practice and reflection and that this process is continuous from the student-teacher gaining their initiation, to the mature teacher setting him / herself new and more sophisticated teaching objectives.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Teaching practice can be said to be a double functional exercise within the
“FIELD” to acquire some practical experiences in order to shapen the student-teacher up for the profession and evaluate such student-teacher in terms of the amount and quality of professional learning that has taken place in them.
Student-teachers undergoing teaching practice tend to regard it as essentially an evaluative programme. Almost forgetting that they are also meant to EXERCISE themselves on the field. They are therefore mainly concerned and interested in the evaluation (grade) aspect.
Hence, the tendency to put up a good performance in the presence of the supervisor, the display and usage of teaching aids, chalkboard, diagrams and sketches. All in a bid to obtain good grades while reverse is almost the case when not under supervision.
Also noticed is the fact that student-teachers are also full of enthusiasm at initial state of the exercise and generally have the drive towards activity participating in the exercise. As time goes on, one discovers that they become relaxed and seem not willing to put in their best anymore. This is further expressed after the period of teaching practice when they put on an expression of “Thank God, it's all over”. They do have a cause to rejoice, having gone through the rigours of teaching practice successfully, but they make it seem so much more of a burden than a gainful exercise.
The question now is “how ready (mentally) are they to put what they have learnt into practice when they finally go into full-time teaching”
Knowing fully well that those qualities displayed before the supervisor were as a result of the academic reward behind it. On the contrary, teaching practice is meant to help them cultivate teaching habits such that the teaching process becomes part and parcel of them.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of carrying out this study "The effect of teaching practice has on student-teachers" is to know the (negative and positive) effect teaching practice has on student-teachers. Also, to checkmate if it has helped to improve the professional traits in the student teacher thereby preparing them for the real teaching environment.
1. The study will also examine the various problems encountered by the student teacher during teaching practice such as:
- Stage fright (lack of confidence)
- Lack of accessibility to instructional materials (effect of teaching aids)
- Adjustment to the environment
- Relationship between cooperating teacher and student teacher, student teacher and the students (learners)
- Attitude of the student-teacher to work
- Attitude of the supervisor towards the student teacher
- Extension of the duration for the teaching practice
- Mastery of subject matter
2. The study will suggest possible ways through which all these factors militating against the performance of student teacher during teaching practice can be minimized or totally eradicated.
3. The study will also investigate it student teacher has been improved professionally after the programme.
4. The study will help to decide whether teaching practice is a period of grooming for the student-teacher or it is just a waste of time.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The findings of this study will be very useful to both students of education and experienced teachers supervising student's teaching practice.
It is therefore hoped that this present study will act as a guideline towards achieving the best performance.
Furthermore, it will reveal the problems and setbacks encountered by student-teachers with the aim of providing possible suggestion on how to effectively reduce their occurrences or entirely solve them.
However, the study will help to assess the impact of teaching practice on student-teacher: Has it really stimulated or aroused the desire and love for the teaching profession in them.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) Does any relationship exist between the student teacher’s attitude to work and the school environment?
2) What is the significant relationship between the student teacher’s interest in teaching and ability to achieve a high rate of performance during teaching practice?
3) Is there any relationship between mastery of subject matter and the student teacher’s performance
4) Is there a relationship between the ability of the student teacher to adopt teaching methodologies and his or her exposure to teaching practice?
5) Are stated behavioural objectives achieved by student teachers during teaching practice?
6) Does effective use of teaching aids lead to effective teaching?
H0: There is no significant relationship between the student teacher's attitude to work and the school environment.
H1- There is significant relationship between the student teacher's attitude to work and the school environment.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the student teacher's interest in teaching and ability to achieve a high rate of performance during teaching practice.
H1: There is significant relationship between the student teacher's interest in teaching and ability to achieve a high rate of performance during teaching practice.
H0: There is no significant relationship between mastery of subject matter and the student teacher's performance.
H1: There is significant relationship between mastery of subject matter and the student teacher's performance.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The scope of the study will be limited to Arts and Social Science Department of Faculty of Education of the University of Lagos due to the fact that faculty of Education comprises of many departments and also due to the difficulties which be encountered in the process of covering the whole faculty such as time, finance and other factors beyond the control of the researcher.
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter deals with the review of related literature. Therefore, this chapter is the summary of book survey, seminars, papers and articles in the areas of effect of teaching practice on student teachers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. It would be broadly divided into the following sub-topics.
Concept of teaching as a profession
Meaning of teaching practice
Theoretical base of the concepts of teaching practice
Analysis of teaching practice assessment instrument
Effect of teaching practice on student teachers
2.1 CONCEPT OF TEACHING AS A PROFESSION
According to Tricart, J. (1969), Education remains the bedrock of every society. Therefore, any nation that toys with education is definitely sitting on a keg of gunpowder and this is bound to explode. For the goals of education to be achieved in a nation, the principal actor of learning is the teacher. This becomes a reality through effective teaching and pleasant learning as basic means to nurture productive citizens. The multidinous professional roles and qualities of the teachers blend to make up an effective teacher. When a good teacher brings his/her abilities and visions for a better society to bear on his/her teaching, he/she shall become a unique, responsive professional who would continually see himself/herself accountable for the educational progress and failure of their entrusted youths.
Ehindero S. (2004) Teaching is one of the most influential professions in society. In their day-to-day work, teachers can and do make huge differences to children’s lives. Directly, through the curriculum they teach, and indirectly, through their behaviour, attitude, values, relationships with and interest in pupils.
Kappan P.D (2006) Good teachers are always optimistic about what their pupils can achieve, whatever their background or circumstances. They know from experience how pupils respond to success by succeeding further. But teaching involves more than care, mutual respect and well-placed optimism. It demands knowledge and practical skills, the ability to make informed judgments, and to balance pressure and challenges, practice and creativity, interest and effort, as well as an understanding of how children learn and develop.
Oyekan (2000) asserts that teaching is a noble profession that calls for the highest degree of responsibility. It is a creative, intellectually demanding and rewarding job, so the standards for joining the profession must be high too. Skilled practitioners can make teaching look easy but they have learned their skilled and improved them through training, practice, evaluation and learning from their colleagues.
Awoniyi (1981) a professional teacher with creative imagination for nurturing healthy and responsible citizenry could also become a respectable scholar, administrator and a good human being. Hence, teaching should be professionalized with necessary infrastructure and laws to give it the honour and dignity it deserves. It is informed by the fact that functional education is a potent tool to inject competent manpower resources into the economy to improve the general well being of the populace.
The criticality of education in productive human life is our solid base of collective confidence for sustainable development and environment. Nigeria is abundantly endowed with human and national resources that could be harnessed as ingredients to building a great and virile nation. With an expensive capacity of productive citizenry blessed with vast fertile land, water and mineral resources, Nigeria has sufficient potentials with development projects for suitable political leadership and vibrant economy. It becomes imperative for the government to utilizing the collective capacity and vision of the existing professions imbued with the cream of the society.
According to Okonkwo C.E. & Igbokwe A.C (1996) A profession is an occupation that requires advanced education and training whose basic responsibility, public status and expertise are continually strengthen by specialized education and having within a specific period of time. It is a body of experts that provides a special service and exemplary leadership for harmonious survival of their community based on their accumulated knowledge skills and wisdom.
Eze, D., Agu, N.N & Akudohi R.L (2003) A progressive profession with corporate vision and service to humanity should always offer good leadership and engage in efficient management of resources with ample authority and mutual understanding of human relationships. Hence, the quality of mandatory education and training given to the youths, which depends largely upon good teacher, is a basic measure of attainable progress, development and stability of any nation.
There is a greater need for the country to promote competence, professionalism and accountability in the conducts of its affairs in order to meet the global challenges of nation building. Emerging professional with a flair for total quality management (TQM) appropriate of resources for the general well being of the citizenry shall become the hall-mark of quality and service in our collective pursuit of progress towards modernization. In any organized human society, effective acquisition of the essential knowledge, skills and orientations require long period of professional study and training. A range of 3–7 years is used to become well promised professionals. A good profession should adopt a professional code of ethics to guide and regulate the conduct of its members and practitioners. This would ensure the welfare, harmony and satisfaction of the people.
Cooks J. (2006) Teaching as a profession is an inestimable significance as an instrument to effect personal and national development. Hence effective teaching should ensure meaningful internalization of sufficient knowledge, skills and habits in order to produce responsible competent individuals. Adequate professional teachers with vision for progress and achievement will be continually required to nurture healthy productive citizens for sustainable development and environment. When such teachers active members of their professional association, they would be able to exchange creative ideas and skills as means to enhance their teaching competence and a professional growth.
It implies that competent well-informed teachers shall ensure conducive learning environment to facilitate pleasant learning and greater students’ achievement as a spring head to improve the overall quality of education. Apparently the teacher remains a very crucial factor that it tends to influence students' experience and achievement beyond the confines of the school. This situation seems grim now as insufficient funds, infrastructural facilities and niotivation.il incentives incapacitate teacher preparation and continuing education programmes. Under his pretence, some governments see no sense in further education and professional growth of their teachers. Otherwise how could one justify their suspension or cancellation of study leave with/without pay? This apathy towards stall development could passivize and debar the teachers from being cross-fertilized with current innovations by seasoned researchers and colleagues. Some people further sec teachers as social labourers whose rewards are in heaven.
No wonder teaching is not often regarded as a profession when compared to other occupation such as medicine, law architecture engineering and accountancy which publicly enjoy positive acceptance-as professions.
Meanwhile, the situation was worsened by the lingering social, economic and political crises in Nigeria. Hence, the teachers were compelled to demand for:
- Full professionalisation of teaching;
- Better conditions of service;
- Special Teachers' Salary Structure (TSS)
- Sufficient funds for sound educational infrastructures; and regular sponsorship of in-services training programmes;
- Prompt payment of gratuities and pensions on retirement;
- Establishment of Teachers' Registration Council of Nigeria to regulate teaching force, register and discipline teachers;
- Setting up of National Commissions for Primary and secondary Education to control and support the primary and secondary schools; and
- Adequate public recognition for the teachers that nurture all the productive-citizens of the society.
All these progressive requests are wholly genuine and germane to the continuous development of effective teachers, good citizenship and viable educational system.
According to Coombs (1935) The schools manned by well-motivated professional teachers shall readily chum out responsible competent manpower resources to managing our economy and environment for sustainable development. The operational vicissitudes of teaching within the Cultural Context of Nigerian society often impede our continuous quest for universally acceptable standards and recognition of teaching as a respectable profession. Whichever dimension teaching is to viewed, it should be regarded as a profession as it has all the essential features of other occupations earlier stated. Professionalism and professionality continually declined in the schools as education and teachers were left in the wilderness of other neglect and poverty.
Oyekan (2000) aptly observed that the neglect of the public primary and secondary schools in the states by successive governments is a reflection of poor academic dispensation and moral decadence that characterized the institution where much was expected being under the government control. The ordeal of public schools discredited with declining maintenance of standards and infrastructures commenced in 1976 when the government took over the control of schools from their proprietors. Hence, excellence m maintaining and establishing high standard of education in learning and sound scholarship slipped to the receiving end of unhelpful policies and measures of the bureaucrats and the political elites.
When the teacher who are supposed to be regarded as builders of a dynamic nation are reduced to the wretched on the earth, the society is engulfed with the ravages of economic recession, social vices and political instability. Teachers are the brains' trust of the society with specialized knowledge, skills and experience to refine resourceful individuals with predictive competence and orientation for national development. Any versatile group of professionals, such as the vibrant teachers, constitutes the brainpower that educates and trains the cream of the society.
According to Aluwong (1997), it is instructive for them to make up a formidable profession which aims to consolidating their excellent position as leaders in the education industry. Herein the teachers can assist in optimum capacity building and utilization as groundwork to transforming Nigeria into a nation of resilience, vitality and progress.
Generally, teaching is a noble profession replete with some characteristics of other occupations which provide gainful living and enhance the prosperity of the people. What are the essential features of teaching profession?
Have these characteristics facilitated teachers' effectiveness, professional growth and enhancement of a viable educational system? A critical analysis of the professional performance and behaviour of the teachers in Nigerian Schools would indicate the main characteristics of teaching profession. They shall include the following:
- Exclusive command of unique specialized knowledge and skills to practice;
- Acquisition of esoteric knowledge and expertise through a long period of specialized education and training;
- Encouragement of membership and lifelong career profession;
- Possession of professional ethics as code of conduct and principles for maintenance of standards and morality in public life;
- Performance of an essential service for sustainable human development and welfare;
- Possession of broad range of autonomy with respect to the minimum teaching qualification (e.g. NCE), admission and training requirements; performance standards, discipline etc.
- Sell organization and generalization of in-service of growth and conferences or meetings of professionals associations; and
- Collective bargaining for continuous improvement of the conditions of service for the practicing teachers.
In actual practice, these enumerated attributes serve as operational and performance guidelines to facilitate instructional leadership roles and professional development of teachers in the primary and secondary schools. Many teachers teaching in many higher educational institutions, most especially polytechnics and universities, are not professionally qualified and do not associate themselves with teaching profession. It is high time this anomaly is formally rectified with the assistance of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). Inability of the teachers to wholly embrace all the features and expectations of teaching profession are largely the manifestations of inadequacies of the government and the schools. Failure of the government which centrally controls the schools to establish regulatory bodies with statutory powers of accreditation of programmes, certification, registration and discipline of teacher, principally precipitated the broad spectrum of problems associated with the crises in education. When all the primary and secondary school teachers as well as the polytechnic and university teachers are professionally trained, total quality management of education and commitment towards the teaching profession shall enhance professional competence and performance of the teachers.
Ige G.A (2003) At that time, the practicing teachers would have the requisite strategies to skillfully use stimulating instructional materials, methods and evaluation procedure, to promote students' conceptual understanding, achievement and inclination towards education. There are sharing indications that a teacher's level of diligence, probity, sense of rationality and imaginative resourcefulness with profound insight for remediation of students' weaknesses can endear him/her to the students’ intellectual niche.
Hence, professional code of ethnics is a collection of morally acceptable values, traditions and practices primarily intended to guide and regulate the conduct of members of any occupation. Such rules and regulations are formulated by members of the profession for the upliftment of their occupational interests and welfare. As code of ethics assist in ethical orientations maintenance of high ethical standards could determine the success, personal satisfaction and improvement trends in good practice.
Oyekan (2000) stated that the adoption of a professional code of ethics underscores the rationality and responsibility of the teachers to enshrine:
- Exemplary leadership
- Social justice
- Preventive diplomacy
- Self confidence
- Self control
- Self sacrifice
Teachers are viable instrument of sustainable quality education and prosperous society energized by vibrant economy and stable polity including instructional competence that can reduce the drudgery of teaching while joyful learning and conceptual understanding are facilitated towards greater students’ achievement in class-room practices. Finally, when the quality of teachers is improved definitely there would be quality assurance in the teaching profession. All the challenges and threats to teaching profession should be continually recognized and tackled with confident as closer links are forged with other professional bodies in the country.