Teaching Practice Experiences Of Christian Religious Studies Student-Teachers: Challenges And Possible Panacea (A Case Study Of Enugu State College Of Education (Technical), Enugu

Project and Seminar Material for Theology and Biblical Studies

Teaching Practice Experiences Of Christian Religious Studies Student-Teachers: Challenges And Possible Panacea (A Case Study Of Enugu State College Of Education (Technical), Enugu


Abstract


This study was carried out to ascertain teaching practice experience of Christian religious Studies student teachers: challenges and possible panacea using Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Enugu. To achieve this objective, two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The data was collected from primary sources. The primary data were collected with the help of a well-structured questionnaire of two sections administered to staff of Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Enugu. The collected data were analyzed independent t-test statistical method to test research hypotheses. The study reveals that teaching practice experience has impact on student teachers credibility and there is significant relationship between teaching practice experience and teachers quality. The study concluded with some recommendations that The Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in teacher education should ensure that teachers of Christian Religious Knowledge are adequately prepared during their pre-service training to enable them to be able to cope with the expertise required for the implementation of the curriculum.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Teacher education is an integrated, holistic approach which takes into account the need to prepare student-teachers for a qualitative and productive professional life in education, and teaching practice is central to this.

Practice teaching is an important component towards becoming a teacher. It provides experiences to student teachers in the actual teaching and learning environment. During teaching practice, a student-teacher is given the opportunity to try the art of teaching before actually getting into the real world of the teaching profession.
Student-teachers also know the value of teaching practice and they perceive it as the important aspect of their preparation for the teaching profession since it provides for the real interface between student hood and membership of the profession (Rakesh Ranjan, 2013).

Teachers in a society are thought to be agents of change as they are central to the delivery of quality education. Quality teachers are the greatest determinant of student achievement and their impact are greater than any other social factors, including class size, parent education, and income and language background (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, NCTAF, 1997). Teachers play an important role in shaping the future of individuals as well as of entire generations. They can also influence the economic dynamism of the country by imparting skills that translate into innovation and productivity in the workplace (Goldhaber and Anthony, 2004). Because of the current changing and challenging world, teachers should be provided with a range of skills, knowledge, attitudes and relevant educational experience that enable them to cope up with the challenge.

Education is expected to play several key roles in an effort of developing country socio-economic and cultural status. However, it is impossible to think of quality education without having academically qualifies and professionally responsible teachers on the schools. Thus, for teachers to play their role effectively in schools there must be a well-designed and successfully implemented teaching practice program for student teachers that aims at producing teachers who are academically qualified, professionally skilled, and attitudinally and ethically committed to their profession. The teacher’s character and quality competence are the most significant factors which influence the education quality and its contribution to national development (Kumar and Ratnalikar, 2005).

Given and ideal syllabus and sufficient time for teaching, a teacher will not successful achieve unless he/she is enthusiastic about the work, knows the subject and how to teach, keen, well informed, loves the subject and believes in its values in spite of difficulties and hand carps (Kumar and Ratnalikar, 2005). Teaching Practice (TP) program in Tanzania teachers colleges and universities takes place national wide in implementing teacher education curriculum but with some challenges such as lack of resources, funds and inappropriate teaching practice coordination. Therefore, it is suggested that undergraduate student teachers should attend teaching practice in secondary schools and the government should improve the classroom settings and reasonable resources. This means that if classroom learning is to be effective, teachers must well be trained and should be ready to assume their professional responsibility. The teachers training program aimed at developing better teaching skills among student teachers. Student teachers in field-based programs have the opportunity to use their teaching practice experiences to regularly apply pedagogical theory and course learning to assist them to develop as a skilful, knowledgeable and reflective teacher (Bell, 2004).

It is also generally observed that a lot of public schools have ignored Christian Religious Studies. They believe that only science and technology students are capable of bringing about development in the country. Some students also believe that Christian Religious Studies is not relevant to the present need of the society. That is why moral and religious values decline so fast in public secondary schools in Enugu State. As a result of such deficiency, lack of respect for elders and cases of students’ riot at an increased level are the possible consequences. Christian Religious Studies is therefore seen as a veritable tool and a suitable vehicle to convey morals and qualities of good cititzenry into the student’s life. Unfavourable attitude of students in Enugu North constitutes a problem which has not only affected the society but also the performance of students in the subject.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, teacher- training institutions have been critiqued for inability to produce teachers who are properly grounded in pedagogy and content as well as ability to collaborate professionally in the work environment. For example, educationists observed that the transition from academic theories in universities to classroom practice has often been very sharp suggesting that student teachers are not often properly groomed to put into practice current pedagogy and interactive skills that has been theoretically learnt. Whereas, the National Policy on Education, (FGN 1981 revised 1998 and 2004:40) states ‘teachers shall be regularly exposed to innovations in their profession.’ The teaching practice exercise in many educational institutions had become rife with complaints of drudgery among staff and students and consequently frustration on the part of both of them (Imogie 1998). It was in view of the stated reasons as well as the need for teachers to address new challenges in education, both at the national and global levels that the Faculty of Education of a Nigerian university restructured the Teaching Practice exercise in line with its position on Teaching Practice. “Students Teaching Practice Log Book” recently adopted by the faculty:

The training of teachers involve more than giving them the knowledge and skills necessary for good teaching. We are aware that, for teachers, what goes on inside the classroom is closely related to what goes on outside. The quality of teaching is closely influenced by the professional growth of teachers and the relationship with their colleagues, either as supportive communities who work together in pursuit of common goals and continuous improvement or as individuals. It is in view of the above that prompt the researcher to investigate teaching practice experience of Christian religious Studies student teachers in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to ascertain teaching practice experience of Christian religious Studies student teachers: challenges and possible panacea, but to aid the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives;

  1. To ascertain the impact of teaching practice on students teacher’s credibility
  2. To examine the effectiveness of teaching practice programs by students teachers.
  3. To examine the relationship between teaching practice experience and teachers quality
  4. To examine the role of government in restructuring the teaching practice program

1.4 Research Hypotheses

To aid the successful completion of the study, the researcher the researcher therefore formulates the following hypotheses;

  1. H0: Teaching practice experience has no impact on students teachers credibility
    H1: Teaching practice experience has impact on students teachers credibility
  2. H02: There is no significant relationship between teaching practice experience and teachers quality
    H2: There is significant relationship between teaching practice experience and teachers quality.

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the federal ministry of education, who are saddle with the responsibility of formulating and implementation of educational policy formulated by her or the House committee on education of the higher and lower chamber of the legislators, the study will also be of great importance to faculty of education in respective higher institutions in the country as the findings will proffer way out of the dwindling teaching practice program. The study will also be useful to researchers who intends to embark on a research in a similar topic as the study will serve as a spring board for further study


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers teaching practice experience of Christian religious Studies student teachers. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors which militate against the scope of the study;

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.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Teaching Practice:

Teaching practice is a key influence on student learning – a desired outcome and primary goal of higher educational institutions.

Student Teachers:

These are students being trained at the various diploma levels by the Teachers’ Institute, i.e. trainees who are undergoing teaching practice exercise as a requirement for graduating in the respective programmes for which they have enrolled and who follow the rules and regulations governing their specific programme


1.8 Organization of the Study

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

  • Chapter one is concern 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 Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for further studies.


5.2 Summary

This study was carried out to ascertain teaching practice experience of Christian religious Studies student teachers: challenges and possible panacea. To achieve this objective, two research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study. A structured questionnaire was used as the main instrument to gather data from 140 respondents in Enugu State College of Education (Technical) Enugu. Out of this number, 120 (85.7%) copies of questionnaire were appropriately completed and returned for data analysis.

The data collected from the respondents were analyzed Independent t-test statistical method was employ to the research hypotheses. The findings revealed that:

  1. Teaching practice experience has impact on students teachers credibility.
  2. There is significant relationship between teaching practice experience and teachers quality.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study and subsequent recommendations, it is concluded that the perception voiced by the student teacher regarding their teaching practice experience indicated that the program has some deficiencies that make the experience stressful. Issues related to inadequacy of budget allocated for the students during the Teaching Practice, assessment problems, inadequate support and secondary school students’ disciplinary problems emerged as themes from student teachers response. It is clear that student practical experience is vital to the preparation of qualified teachers. The effectiveness of the Teaching Practice program is highly linked to its quality components. Therefore, it is imperative that the concerned bodies must ensure the quality of the teaching practice so that the students can find it educative and supportive. However, to the contrary the finding revealed that the program has deficiencies that put question marks on the quality of school based practical experience of student teachers. The insightful response of student teachers about their practicum experiences are very much important and must be acted up on to make the experience fulfilling and satisfying. Another important issue voiced repeatedly by student teachers was the steps that must be taken by the university to make school based practical experience adequate and fulfilling so that the student teachers were easily acclimatized to the teaching profession.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher put forward the recommendations;

  1. The Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in teacher education should ensure that teachers of Christian Religious Knowledge are adequately prepared during their pre-service training to enable them to be able to cope with the expertise required for the implementation of the curriculum.
  2. Teacher educators, curriculum support officers and other stakeholders in teacher education should emphasize to the teachers of CRK the need to employ learner-centered teaching strategies (such as group discussions, ICT, demonstration and library) as opposed to teacher-centered approaches (such as lecture and, talk and chalk) which teachers find more appropriate for faster completion of the syllabus.
  3. The Ministry of Education should revise the CRK Curriculum in terms of breadth, content and time allocation and put in place appropriate strategies to minimize student bias towards CRK.

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