PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY FACULTY OF EDUCATION STUDENTS DURING TEACHING PRACTICE
Background of the study
Education is yet the greatest power man has developed either for his continued progress or eventual destruction. Education is the only potential instrument for social reconstruction and other education is the founder of quality in the schools.
Education is the only cornerstone for any nation and for some time a big industry in Nigeria. Teachers therefore have a role to play in the development of a nation especially in building up leaders and intellectuals of tomorrow who will sustain the nation’s development.Although Nigeria has succeeded in several ways to prepare teachers with various teaching qualifications along with opportunities for further training, this has not been reflected in the academic performance of students in primary and secondary school.
Teaching is a profession just like law and medicine and it also happens to be one of the oldest professions in Nigeria, Unfortunately, it is the least developed in terms of standard of training and practice. This continues tobe a source of concern to professionals and even to the governments. Moore (1989)
According to the advancedlearners’ dictionary (2014) a profession means occupation and special training like law, medicine and so on. Profession can also mean a calling or vocation where a performance requires the performer on an elaborate exposure to an esoterictheoretical knowledge acquired after many years of endeavors and moral study. A profession can be likened to a social club which is govern by a code of ethics, the most outstanding of which are expertise authority, responsibility, commitment, dedication, autonomy and emotional maturity.With the National Policy on Education (2004) the minimum teaching qualification in Nigerian institution of learning is National Certificate in Education (N.C.E)
Faculties of education in universities arecharged with the training of teachers under the supervision of lecturers, staff and assessors, because of the nature of teaching given teaching practice a piece prominence in its syllabus.
Teaching practice is a compulsory course and it is the singular course which attracts four credits compulsory course unit in science-related education courses and two creditcompulsory course units in other departments of the Faculty. It is a compulsory course for all students in 400 level final years in the Faculty of Education University of Ilorin.No student in faculty of education programs can be awarded a degree certificate except and until there is evidence of pass performance level in the teaching practice.
The training of teachers now becomes largely the responsibility of faculty of education in university of Ilorin. Students go on six weeks teaching practice and come back with varied experiences. In other words, students experience problems in their teaching practice life. Hencethe need to identify these problems and suggest possible solutions to them.Teaching practice occupies a key position in teacher education program. It is an integral part of the teacher education program which is geared towards preparation of new entrants into the teaching profession.
According to Afolabi (1999), teaching practice exercise enables the student teachers to get acquainted with the practical knowledge of teaching and learning process including lesson plan preparation, presentation, classmanagement, communication skills,evaluation and the required personality of professional teachers. Nwanekezi (2011) remarked that teaching practice is the name of the preparation of student-teacher for teaching by practical training.
From the foregoing, it can be inferred that teaching practice is a school-based internship program with the main aim of introducing prospective teachers to teaching and its routine under the guidance of qualified professionals to develop skills, attitudes and competence in the profession. The exercise provides trainee the opportunity to utilize the various teaching methods in actual classroom conditions under constant supervision of competent and experienced teachers.
Studies have also revealed some problems that bedeviled teaching practice exercise. For example; Ognor and Badmus (2006) lamented that teachers of partnership schools did not provide specific aid to student teachers to improve their teaching skills and strategies. Nakpodia (2011) remarked that the periods of six weeks is too short as it does not provide the student-teachers ample opportunity to effectively gain experience which the exercise is intended to encourage. The author remarked that some supervisors do not even have time to sit down and discuss their observations and comments with the student-teacher. The short discussion between the supervisor and the student-teacher just after the lesson which should afford the student-teacher the opportunity to appreciate his strength and weaknesses are often ignored because the supervisor is often in a haste to move on the next school.
Statement of the problem
Student teachers face some problems during teaching practice (finance, material) for the goal of teaching to be achieved in Nigeria. It will be necessary for the ministry of Education at all levels of government or Faculties of Education to find solutions to the problem being faced by the student teachers during the teaching practice exercise. Such problems include lack of instructional materials, incentives, accommodation and office facilities for the student teachers heavy work load given to the student teachers, lack of cooperation from their practicing schools attitude of the pupils towards the student teachers and difficulty on the part of student teacher to manage his class effectively etc. the extent to which these problems are being addressed and recommendation made constitute the problem of study.
It is compulsory for every student-teacher in the Faculty of Education in University of Ilorin to undergo the teaching practice as prerequisite to qualifying as a teacher. However, in order to pinpoint some of the problems as they affect student teachers during teaching practice, it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. Most student-teachers feel nervous especially when they first arrive at their school of practice and also they feel restless when they are been observed, evaluated and accessed (Capel 1997). Some student teachers often complain that they forgot the content matter and feel nervous when their lecturers sit at the end of the classroom to observe them (Bhargava 2000).
More so, most student-teachers also comment on the face that unserious attitude of the secondary school student towards the exercise often result to them not gaining the necessary skills, confidence and knowledge to cope with classroom situations (Adekunle 2000). Student-teachers complain of transportation problem and also accommodation problems and this really affect their teaching.
It is for the purpose of identifying some of these problems that this research was undertaken.
Purpose of study
The purpose of this study was to identify problems encountered by Faculty of Education students in university of Ilorin during their teaching practice exercise in primary and secondary schools.The study also examined the various problems encountered by the student-teachers during teaching practice such as: Lack of confidence, Lack of accessibility to instructional material, Adjustment to the environment, Relationship between cooperating teachers and the student-teachers, student-teachers and students (learners),Attitude of the student-teachers to work, Attitude of supervisor towards the student-teachers, The study was designed also to find out whether lecturers and student differ in their perception of the problems encountered by prospective University of Ilorin teachers during practice,Extension of duration for student-teacher, Mastery of the subject matter.
The following research questions were asked and answered
(i) Do student-teachers possess prerequisite knowledge of the teaching practice exercise?
(ii) What financial assistance is provided for the student-teachers?
(iii) How does the relationship between student teachers and co-operating teachers affect teaching exercise?
(iv) What is the effect of the use instructional materials in the classroom?
(v) How prepared are student-teachers when they been evaluated by their supervisor
(vi) What is the influence of attitude of pupils towards teaching on teaching practice exercise?
(vii) How specific problems affect students teaching practice?
(viii) What is the relationship between duration of the teaching practice and students’ success in it?
Significance of the study
The study may contribute immensely toward improving the standard of teaching practice exercise. The students become significant as if highlights the problems controlling student teachers in teaching practice and how these problems can be solved. The result of the finding could be of great values to the government, students and school administrators, the government may be aware of the problems student teachers face whenever they go on teaching practice and this enables them to provide adequate facilities to schools.
Findings of this study may also contribute to student teachers’ realization of some problems they are likely to face during the teaching practice exercise and prepare themselves against the problems before they go out for the task. This work study could enable supervisors and teaching practice organizers to appreciate the problems student teachers face during teaching practices to the student-teachers they will be proud of teaching profession with respect to supervisors, they may be assured that they have equipped a qualified teacher for the society.
Scope of study
This study was concerned with the problems encountered by faculty of education students in university of Ilorin during teaching practice.
The study was limited to final year students of faculty of education, university of Ilorin, Ilorin. Random selection from the ten departments in Faculty of Education was undertaken.
Clarification of Terms
Learning: This is the process of acquiring knowledge. Learning is also the process by which attitudes, knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities are acquired and retained.
Teaching: An activity aimed at bringing about meaningful learning through a method that is morally and pedagogically acceptable. Teaching is also transmission of the knowledge to the learners. Teaching is giving instructions to somebody on knowledge, skills and attitudes with the intention that the person will be able to know the information or do something, or act in a particular way that is compatible with instruction.
Student-teacher: is a person who is teaching in a school for a limited period under supervision as part of a course to qualify as a teacher. Also a student-teacher is a person studying to be a teacher who does closely supervised teaching in an elementary school or secondary school.
Education: this is the act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. It is the act or process of imparting or acquiring a particular knowledge or skills as for profession.
Teaching Practice: This is a temporary period of teaching in a school undertaken under supervision by a person who is training to become a teacher.
Profession:This is an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and or practical experience. Every organized profession (accounting, law, medicine, etc.) is governed by its respective professional body.
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