1.0 Background of the Study
Education is a necessary tool for building personnels that will bring about the realization of national goals. For the individuals to be the right vehicle for national development, FME(2013) shows the relevance of Education in maximising the creative potentials and skills of the individual for personal and societal development.
Generally, every developing Nation appreciate the study of science Education for National development. According to Akpan & Babyemi (2018),the solution to every problems and challenges lies in Education. This is why in Nigeria, special provisions and incentives are planned to be made for the study of the society at each level of the Educational system(FME,2013).
In order to achieve National goals in science Education in Nigeria, there is the need to train Science and Technology teachers. Babayemi, Utibe and Babalola (2018) give reasons that teachers at all levels of Education pursuit determine the foundation and climax of National safety and development. The researcher explained further that a child that is not properly taught by a professional teacher turns out to become an Engineer that will construct bridges that makes life unsafe on the road, buildings that destroy masses just in one day as they easily collapse, a pharmacist that produces fake drugs that can kill quite a good number of people in one minute, medical doctors that will continue to waste precious life untimely, Economist that will formulate or recommend policies that will make a whole National Economy to have a sudden collapse and people begin to suffer hunger, afflictions and untimely death.
From ongoing, goals of science Education may remain a mirage if they are no quality teachers that are professionally trained. Realising the need to have quality teachers, FME (2013) highlights the goals of teacher Education to;
Produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of the educational system.
Further encourage the spirit of enquiring and creativity in teachers.
Help teachers fit into the social life of community and society at large and enhance their commitment to national goals.
Provide teachers with the the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and to make them adaptable to changing situations and,
Enhance teachers commitment to the teaching profession.
Hence,if the goal to produce highly motivated,conscientious and efficient classroom teachers that will ensure quality Science Education programme at all levels would be realised ,there is need to put in place functiona,professional training programm for Science and technology teachers.
In Nigeria,there are institutions that are directly responsible for training teachers.this institutions are; colleges of Education,universities (Faculty of Education and institutes of Education) and National teachers Institute(NTI).During the training,the would-be teachers(pre-service teachers or teacher trainees are expected to be trained in both content and pedagogy. This leads to a period of training with a minimum of three(3) years. The curriculum for training is structured in such a way that the pre-service teachers would undergo course work which prepares them for specialized areas and period of practice which is called Teaching Practice.
Teaching practice is a period that a student teacher spends teaching at a school as part of his or her training under the supervision of a lecturer. Samuel (2010) refers to teaching practice as far back as the first model of teacher education, the master apprenticeship model, in which the novice teacher learns best through behavioural modeling, through imitating the expert teacher. teaching practice is an important component towards becoming a teacher. Teaching Practice is one of the key components of teacher preparation program. It is fundamental to the professional training of teachers (Gujjar, Naoreen, Saifi and Bajwa,2010). Teaching practice experience exposes the pre-service teachers in the field of teaching and enhances them to be effective in the classroom.For teacher preparation programs to attain its set goals, it shuold provide a number opportunities fo effective teachers to spend a quality time with pupils in classrooms under the guidance and supervision of an experienced teacher educator or mentor. It provides experiences to studen teachers in the actual teaching and learning environment. Teaching practice exercise is the culminating point where the relationship among the three major players,the supervisor, host teacher, and aspiring teacher interface to determine the quality of experience the aspiring teaching will take away.This process allows the student teacher an opportunity to establish whether the right career choice has been made or not. Kiggundu and Nayimuli (2009)
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 students and membership of the profession (Rakesh Ranjan, 2013).
The aim of organizing teaching practice programmes in teacher education programme in all the teacher producing institutions is the same, though the methods of achieving these objectives vary from one school to another. The main objectives of teaching practice programme is to produce competent and good teachers with very limited resources at the disposal of producing institutions.
The National commission for colleges of Education (NCCE) (2009) outlines the objective of teaching practice as follows;
To help pre-service teachers develop positive attitudes towards the teaching profession.
To expose pre-service teachers to real life classroom experience under the supervision of professional teachers.
To enable pre-service teachers discover their own strength and weakness in teaching and develop opportunities to overcome and consolidate them.
To provide a forum for pre-service teachers to translate educational theories and principles into practice.
To familiarize pre-service teachers with class routines.
To expose pre-service teachers to the total school environment.
The purpose of teaching practice is to ensure that qualified teachers are trained for effective instructional delivery in various schools of their teaching activities.Teaching effectiveness at any level of Education is measured in terms of the knowledge of what to teach,how to teach it and when to teach it. The “how” to teaching constitute what is called teaching strategy or methodology in teaching practice. Heck (2009) observed that increasing teacher effectiveness is central to school efforts to improve student outcomes. This observation is in line with Akiri and Ugborugbo (2017) that conducted a study on the influence of teachers’ classroom effectiveness on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools. Their result showed that effective teachers produced better performing students. Despite this vital requirement of teacher education programs, in many instances support for the effective teachers is often inadequate and uneven. Situation of this nature may occur when students’ teachers runs teaching practice concurrently with classes. In situation like this, the experiences students acquire the quality of supervision and period spent on teaching practicum may be inadequate, consequently affecting credibility and quality of teachers being effective.
Teachers have been identified as a very important factor in the nation’s scientific and technological development because they develop the learners. It has been shown that teacher’s qualification may influence students’ academic achievement (Baanu, 2009). The purpose of scientific teaching is to make the students acquire useful knowledge about objects and events in the universe. Effective teaching requires the teacher to be competent, skilful and well equipped with moral authority. For this reason, Moorish (2010) states that “sheer knowledge or academic ability is not sufficient; the teacher needs a flawless character morally and religiously”.Buddin, Zimmer, Chau, Gill, and Hamilton (2009) puts it that the teacher’s effectiveness is typically measured by traditional teacher qualification standards such as experience, education and teaching practice experience. Experience backed up with relevant qualification exerts positive influence on student’s performance in examination.
Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between masculinity and ferminity. Some researchers report a decline in gender difference in learning achievement (Afuwape & Oludipe, 2008; Yuwen, 2008).Others find significant main effect of gender on subjects’ learning outcomes in science. Babayemi (2014) find in his studies that male students achieved significantly better than female in Basic Science. In a related study conducted by Babayemi and Ahmed (2019), this researcher also showed that male performed better in academic achievement than their female counterpart in Basic Science. While in the studies carried out by Soltani and Nasrl (2010), girls performed better than boys in science subjects. Since there are conflicting reports from various studies, there should therefore be further studies on the influence of gender on students’ learning outcomes.
Babayemi, Akpan & Babalola (2017), writing on teachers, lamented that the crop of teachers employed to teach Basic Science and Technology are not really effective. These researchers observed that the teachers did not undergo quality training and that these teachers entered teaching through political choices and recommendation,therefore, they lacked expected effectiveness in teaching. In view of this,the study is aimed at investigating the Impact of teaching practice experience on pre-service Teachers’ Teaching Effectiveness in Faculty of Education,Akwa Ibom State University.
Statement of the Problem
The teaching practice exercise is the culminating point where the relationship among the three major players: university supervisor, host teacher, and pre-service teacher interface to determine the quality of experience the pre-service teachers will take away. It becomes the bedrock on which the aspiring teacher once certified and employed builds his/her professional identity. It is therefore, necessary that pre-service teachers teachers are paired with competent, knowledgeable and concerned university supervisors to help them assume the full range of duties of a teacher during this hands-on training period. Host teachers have equally vital influence in pre-service teachers’ professional growth and development.
This paper outlinesthe rudimentary elements involved in designing teaching practice field exercise for the student teachers and its effectiveness in teaching.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study investigated the impact of teaching practice experience on pre-service teachers’ teaching effectiveness in Faculty of Education.
Specifically, the study;
Examine the impact of teaching practice experience on the lesson presentation skill of pre-service teachers.
Examine the impact of teaching practice experience on the knowledge of subject matter of pre-service teachers.
Examine the impact of teaching practice experience on the classroom management skill of pre-service teachers
Examine the influence of gender on pre-service teachers’ teaching experience.