Student-Teachers’ Challenges During Teaching Practice In Secondary Schools And Their Solutions

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Student-Teachers’ Challenges During Teaching Practice In Secondary Schools And Their Solutions


Abstract


This study intends to survey student-teachers’ challenges during teaching practice in secondary schools and their solutions, using Enugu state college of education (technical), Enugu as a case study. The study was a simple survey research design. Simple random sampling was used. The sample size was 200 students from six departments of the Schools of Science Education were used.

The main instrument for data collection was the questionnaire. The instrument was structured to suite the study. The result of data analysis indicated that fourteen major challenges had been found facing student-teachers during teaching practice, they are:- Location of teaching practice school, Finance, Transportation to school of teaching practice, Low academic standard of the students, Difficulty of student-teacher in adapting to pupils level of academic, Indiscipline and rude behaviours of pupils towards student-teachers, Lack of attention and interest of learners/pupils, Challenges of individual differences among students/pupils, Extra workload given to student-teacher by school or head of departments, Lack of infrastructure (electricity, water, equipment etc).


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Education is a good instrument for the comprehensive development of the human beings where the whole body is effectively utilized to achieve a pre-determined set of objectives, (A.E. Ejili and N.O. Anyanwu, 2006). It is a complex process which starts to improve out lives as soon as we are born, and continues to do so until we die. According to F.H. Aguba (2006: 58) “The aim of education is the production of good men, that is, for one to be educated, one must be prepared to use the knowledge of what is good and must be prepared to use the knowledge in the service of God and humanity. We can say that, education is a process of acquiring ideas, skills and values that facilitate the development of the learner and the society at large. It is concerned with the development of the society. The nation recognizes the importance of teacher education when they continued to give a major emphasis in all out educational planning. This is basically because no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers, that is to say that the quality of the teachers in any country determines the quality of her education and the level of national development.

The National Policy on Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1998) outlined the purpose of teacher education as follows;

  1. To produce highly motivated, conscientious effective classroom teacher for all learning in our educational system.
  2. To encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers;
  3. To help teachers to fit into the society of the community and the society at large and to enhance their commitment to national objectives;
  4. To provides teachers with intellectual professional background adequate for assignment and to make them adaptable to any changing situation not only in the life of their country but to the wider world;
  5. To enhance teachers commitment to the teaching profession.

Teaching practice is a very important aspect of any teacher training programme. It is a student-teacher and prospective regular teacher what housemanship is to young medical doctor. Questions may be asked – why does a young lawyer on being called to the Bar choose first to understudy an older and more experienced lawyer? Why do young medical doctors go for housemanship under the more experienced ones? Why do vocational education students go on Industrial Training? Likewise, why do student-teachers or prospective teachers go on Teacher Practice? These questions and their answers are very similar. No human being anywhere would have to face some dangers that could be avoided. There is a popular adage which says that “Prevention is always better than cure” or “a stitch in time, saves nine”. Most of the student-teachers do not seem to be fully aware of this fact, may be because of the small proportion of the entire time allocated to teaching, he needs to go through adequate and appropriate teaching practice experience.

Akilaiya (2001) defined teaching practice as an integral part of teacher education programme which provides opportunity for student-teachers to put all theoretical knowledge into practice in real school situation. It is a compulsory practical exercise for every student-teacher. This, it is the first opportunity for a student-teacher to participate in activities involved in teaching in actual situations. It affords the prospective teacher the opportunity to test, prove the lecture-room theoretical assertions and at the same time provide a forum for him to try out teaching and see whether he can really be a good teacher. So it is very essential that student-teachers should take teaching practice very seriously.

The objectives of teaching practice for assessing student-teachers are as follows:

  1. To provide opportunities for the student to acquire and prove teaching skills;
  2. To enable the student effectively plan and prepare lessons;
  3. To help the student develop traits, attitudes and abilities;
  4. To enable the student to acquire the characteristics of a teacher and to display appropriate behaviour; and
  5. To enable the student to bring about learning in children.

The seven principles for good practice on good teaching and learning in schools are;

  1. It encourages good contact between students and lectures,
  2. It develops reciprocity and co-operation among students,
  3. It gives prompt feedback,
  4. It emphasizes time on task,
  5. It communicates high expectations, and
  6. It respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

According to Iloh (2001), the key actors in Teaching Practice are; the student-teachers, the resident supervisors, the college supervisors and the principals/heads of departments of the co-operating schools.

The student-teacher is the prospective teacher that is still under training, who is acquiring skills, knowledge and techniques required for teaching profession. At this point, he puts all he had learnt into practice.

The resident supervisor means the co-operating teacher in the co-operating schools. He is the teacher the student-teacher meets at school where he is doing his teaching practice. He may be the class teacher of the class the student-teacher is using for practice. He sees whether the student-teacher is punctual and regular in his class. He also assists him with his lesson note so as to have an effective lesson note.

College supervisor is the student-teacher’s lecturer. He comes to find out whether the student-teacher has really understood what he has been taught as regards the teaching techniques and methodology. And finally brings back the student-teacher’s performance to his school.

The principals/head of departments of the co-operating schools is the person in-charge of the co-operating school where the student-teacher is doing his teaching practice. He helps in the selection of co-operating teachers who can work with the student-teachers. He builds rapport among resident teachers and student-teachers to enhance their professional growth.

Microteaching is one of the most important developments in the field of teaching practice. It is originated in Stanford University in 1963. This practice holds very great promise for the future of teacher preparations. It goes a long way to solving some of the challenges involved in student teaching practice. Before the introduction of the microteaching, there was no provision for the student-teachers to practice the act of teaching before they do on teaching practice. And their performances in teaching practice during those periods were not satisfied. So microteaching helps the student-teaches to have an early encounter with teaching and in this way attempts to put into practice some of the theories learnt in the lectures.

The importance of teaching practice is that it is a crucial period for the teacher to put into practice all the theoretical/practical concepts learnt at school. It is difficult to recognize good teaching unless one has passed through the process. In order to translate theory into practice, the student-teacher will encounter a lot of challenges, but since teaching practice is important in the teaching preparation programme, there is a need for adequate planning and implementation. This study is mainly focused on finding out those challenges encountered by the practicing student-teachers and possible solutions to those challenges.


1.2 Statement of the Problems

The importance of the teacher in relation to the quality of education a country provides to its citizenry, explains, in part why special training and practical experience are part and parcel of any well programmed teacher education scheme. The teaching practice experience exposes the student-teacher in the field of teaching and enhances him to be effective in the classroom.

There are numbers of problems that militate against the effective implementation of the teaching practice programme in general. The specialized nature of the programme further complicates problems in this area. This study would therefore investigate fully the challenges and also find the possible solutions to them.


1.3 Objective of the Study

This study aims at investigating the challenges encountered by student-teachers during teaching practice and their possible solutions. This study is specifically meant to:

  1. Find out the exact role of the student-teachers, the co-operating teachers (i.e. the resident supervisors), the college supervisors and the principals/heads of departments of the co-operating school.
  2. Find out the challenges encountered by student-teachers during teaching practice.
  3. Identify useful solutions to the challenges outlined in (ii) above.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses One
  • Ho: Lack of infrastructure is not a challenge to student-teachers’ practice in secondary schools
  • Hi: Lack of infrastructure is challenge to student-teachers’ practice in secondary schools
Hypotheses Two
  • Ho: Students’ poor academic performance is not a challenge to student-teachers practice in secondary schools.
  • Hi: Students’ poor academic performance is a challenge to student-teachers practice in secondary schools.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is directed towards identifying people that will benefit from this research work and how they benefited from it. The under listed people benefited from this work, they are:

The Researcher:

This work has challenged the researcher to apply the theoretical knowledge of research work into practical or real project work, thereby equipping the researcher with rudiment of research work.

The Students:

This work can also be of interest to students who may like to carry out research work in the same area which involve the stated problem.

Teachers:

Practicing teachers will find this material beneficial in the sense that it will help them to understand and device needs of averting challenges that surround teaching career. It can also assist aspiring teachers to develop interest in teaching career, having identified those challenges student-teacher encountered during teaching practice and fortified themselves in order to face the challenges.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primary concerned with student-teachers’ challenges during teaching practice in secondary schools and their solutions. This study/project work covers Enugu state college of education (technical), Enugu.The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Teaching Practice:

Is an integral component of teacher training. It grants student teachers experience in the actual teaching and learning environment

Challenge:

Something that by its nature or character serves as a call to make special effort, a demand to explain, justify.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain a critical analysis of student-teachers’ challenges during teaching practice in secondary schools and their solutions.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations are made, which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefitin addressing the challenges encountered by student-teachers in secondary schools


5.2 Summary

This study aimed at havinga critical analysis of student-teachers’ challenges during teaching practice in secondary schools and their solution. Three objectives were raised.

These objectives include:

  1. Find out the exact role of the student-teachers, the co-operating teachers (i.e. the resident supervisors), the college supervisors and the principals/heads of departments of the co-operating school,
  2. Find out the challenges encountered by student-teachers during teaching practice.
  3. Identify useful solutions to the challenges outlined in (ii) above.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.
Teaching practice has some positive and negative side effects which impose a great deal of challenges on supervisors, student-teachers, college administrators and educational management in general. However some recommendations have been made to solve the problems. According Enebe and Enem (2006), teaching practice exercise should take place in an environment where the student teachers are comfortable by way of accommodation and teaching resources. The provision of good accommodation and orientation exercise for staff and student-teachers are for student-teachers to excel.


5.4 Recommendation

According to Eze (2003) “the chairman/coordinator or the organizing committee of the teaching practice exercise must ensure that provisions for effective communication and information-flow are made.” The actualization of practical teaching depends ultimately on the teaching practice committee that is organizing the program. According to Oghubu (2000), some ways of promoting the contribution of secondary school personnel towards the achievement of the objectives of teaching practice are:- Increase the duration of teaching practice and practical teaching to at least one or two terms; organize workshop on teaching practice before sending students to school.

Principals should provide hostel, and office accommodations to the student-teachers, government should pay teaching practice allowances for the up-keep of student-teacher and for supervision by lecturers. According to Anebe and Enem (2006), the supervisors should assist the student teachers to develop confidence in them and in their supervisors. In addition, continuous evaluation of the student teachers will also help to achieve the objective of teaching practice. Ngada (2001) suggested that measures should be taken by the college on student truancy, lack of adequate lesson plan, and effective actualization of teacher’s aids.


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