The Effect of Teaching Practice on the Basic Science Student Teacher, Cooperating Teacher and the Student

The Effect of Teaching Practice on the Basic Science Student Teacher, Cooperating Teacher and the Student

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Background of the Study 

The quest for improvement in undergraduate teacher education in the Nigeria Universities has remained a major concern. This is because of the poor quality of the graduates being produced by these universities. The complaints about the quality of undergraduate instruction are both current and chronic as observed by Aduwa-Oglebaen (2005). In addition, he stated that there was the need for improvement in undergraduate practice in Nigerian universities. He recommended better preparation of graduates for improving the quality of instruction. Therefore, there is a great desire for effective undergraduate teacher education in our universities.
Nigeria has 150 registered universities owned by government (both federal and state), and private individuals and organizations (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), 2010). The universities are established to produce high level manpower among other objectives. To achieve these objectives, various courses are offered. It is expected that the Nigerian university students, at the end of their course, should have acquired knowledge and skills required to meet the challenges of world of work. A graduate is expected to acquire knowledge while in the school to give him opportunity to contribute the development of his society. At the end of his programme, it is assumed that he has passed through a standard process of training ft)r the award of degree certificate.
In addition, according to Agbonna, Yusuf, Ajidagba and Olumorin (2010), undergraduates are exposed to job- training programme. For example, students in the sciences undertake months of Student Industrial Work Experience (SIWES), education students are exposed to Teaching Practice, Medical Students do Houseman-ship while the Law Students attend mandatory Law School. The objective of the job- training is to give them necessary training and skills needed to face the demand of their world of work.
However, the validity of the undergraduate certificates is being questioned, doubted and debated by education stake holders. This is due to their low productivity and non performance at job. Many people have expressed their concern on the low productivity of the• Nigerian university graduates. The National Association of Pro- Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (NAPCNU), in 2007, declared that many Nigeria graduates were not employable because they were of low quality (The Punch, 7th December, 2007). In addition, the then Nigerian Minister for Education, Sam Egwu at a political forum, stated that 80% of the Nigeria graduates were unemployable (Nigerian Compass, 5th March, 2009).
A number of factors have been attributed to the low and poor quality of the Nigeria graduates. Kilpatrick (1997) observed the situation of teaching and learning in the university classrooms and he concluded that aimlessness is the most important single cause of ineffective teaching. Okebukola (2007) maintained that Nigerian education graduates were inadequately prepared in both content and pedagogy, and therefore could not teach well or at worst impact wrong knowledge all of which combined to have negative effect on the performance of the students they teach.
It has been observed that the proper implementation of any curriculum at any level is a function of the quality of the teachers. Okebukola (2007) called for increased job commitment and the need to update the knowledge of the university teachers who are responsible for the implementation of the university curriculum. This means that the teacher is the pivot on which the success of any educational programme hangs as noted be National policy on Education (2004) which proffers that no nation can rise over and above the quality of its teachers. This is why Onwuka (1996) contended that it is the effort of the teachers that a curriculum which is designed by the planners depends to a large extent for its success in terms of leading to the appropriate ends of education in the society.
Many universities in Nigeria have devised various means of improving the performance of their students with a view to improving their productivity and performance in the world of work after graduation. Among this is the students’ evaluation called educational teaching practice to examine teaching effectiveness and efficiency.

 Teaching Practices 

Students teaching practice refers to periodic evaluation of student- teachers. It involves a systematic gathering and analysis of information, on the basis of which decisions are taken regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of the teacher. Jackson (1998) identified  nine approaches to teacher evaluation, namely: classroom observation, students’ ratings, students’ achievement, peer-rating, self-rating, teacher interview, parents’ rating, competency tests, and indirect measures. However, recognition and evaluation of it have different applications for different institutions. While some supervisors or facilitators shy away from formalizing the means by which a student- teacher teaching competence is judged, others are reluctant to give students a voice in the decisions that affect a faculty member’s career (Eble, 1974). Accordingly, the value of this evaluation is a massive one which has received considerable hostility and suspicion of some university lecturers towards some student-teachers. It was literally observed that while early studies tended to support the reliability of teaching practice, there is doubt on the validity of the students- teacher’s teaching technique. Marsh (1987) also observed that several recent reviews of studies in this area are supportive of their values. This inconsistency may be due to the fact that teaching effectiveness is multifaceted and that any students’ rating that focuses on a single overall score of lecturers may be inadequate. David and Adebowale (1997) cited that a lecturer who was well organized may not be a best of communicators. To them, failure to separate these different components of effective teaching has led to conflicting results of research findings.
However, institutions are beginning to appreciate the fact that there are many sources of information about teaching effectiveness and many ways of bringing that information to bear upon the evaluation of teaching practice. According to Richmond (2003) and Clifford (1999), student opinion is of particular importance because it represents an important addition to the data customarily used to judge competence of student teachers. It teaches the one source of direct and extensive observations of the way student-teachers carry out their daily and long-range tasks.
David and Adebowale (1997) noted some benefits of the students’ evaluation to include among others, that it increases the chances of recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching; provides means of interaction between the teacher and the taught; provides the only direct and extensive information about the teacher; and provide tangible evidence of students’ recognition and involvement in rebranding teaching profession. In other words, students’ teaching practice can be used to improve classroom instruction, student learning, and to foster professional growth of the prospective student teacher, and also the results of such evaluation can make the student employable in the labour market. From the available literature, the question of whether or not students should be subjected to teaching practice is not the issue, rather, the question is largely who should do it?, for what purpose?, and by what means?. It is on this premise that this study is based to find the effect of teaching practices on the cooperative teachers, the basic science students and the student.

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 History of Basic Science

 Science was first coined by William Whewell in the 19th century. The history of science is the study of the historical development of science and scientific knowledge including both natural sciences and social sciences (the history of the art and humanities). From the 18th century through late 20th century, the history of science, especially of the physical and biological sciences, was often seen as a narrative true theory replacing false ones. More recent historical interpretations portray basic science as a body of empirical, theoretical and practical knowledge about the natural world through observation, explanation and prediction of the real world phenomenon. The dawn of modem science is traced back to early science during which is known as scientific revolution which occurred in 16th and 17thi century. Scientific methods are considered to be the most fundamentals to modem science that consider earlier inquiries into nature to be pre-scientific. Traditionally, historians have defined science sufficiently broadly to include those inquiries.

Statement of the Problem

 Several studies (Ngidi & Sibaya, 2003; Marais & Meir, 2004, and Kiggundu & Nayimuli, 2009) have been conducted on student- teachers experiences during teaching practice, but a review of the literature indicate that there are limited studies that have been conducted on education assessment of the quality of students teaching practices which has been comprehensively viewed by lecturers in the Faculties of Education as they are crucial stakeholders in the sector. Science is the fundamental key to national development. As a result, society is faced with the challenge of unqualified basic science teachers. This study is out to investigate the impact of teaching practice on the basic science student teachers, the cooperating teachers and the students they teach.

 Purpose of Study 

• To investigate the effect of teaching practice on basic science student teachers’ in terms of classroom teaching preparation and attitude to teaching.
• The impact of teaching practice on the cooperating teacher in terms of social relationship and knowledge formation.
• The impact of teaching practice on the students in respect to the student attitude, interest and content knowledge in basic science.

Significance of the Study 

This study would develop the attitude and classroom preparation of basic science student teacher in preparation for efficacy, efficiency and professionalism in teaching in science with reference to; Content knowledge; that is, ability to provide solutions to provide solutions, to reason scientifically thereby providing answers to question from the students.
Pedagogical knowledge; that is, collecting data systematically, analyzing the data, interpreting data and synthesizing analyzed data through practical means and theoretical understanding.
Working habits; that is, as a science teacher, there should be clarity, structured experimentation of facts and nature-like instructional material that would help the students understand the basis of science. Fostering best practices; that is, development of good communicative skills, positive attitudes during teaching, the methods adopted in teaching and ability to render a good learning content in the classroom.

The study will determine positive attitude and thoughts in basic science students thereby choosing a career in teaching and to reveal the essentiality of teaching practices as a means of acquiring the basic techniques on which future knowledge can be built upon. The study will alert and put in check the social relationship that exit between the cooperating teacher and the student teacher during teaching practice. Also, to investigate cooperating teacher point of view about teaching practice.

Research Questions 

The following research questions were raised to guide the study and to screen if teaching practice has an effect on the cooperating teacher, basic science students and the student:

1. What is the effect of teaching practice on the student teacher in terms of classroom preparation and attitude to teaching?
2. What will be the impact of teaching practice on the cooperating teacher in terms of social relationship and knowledge formation?
3. What is the impact of teaching practice on the students in respect to interest, attitude and content knowledge of basic science?

Research Hypothesis 

The following Null hypotheses were tested on a level of 0.05% to define the study;
H01: There will be no significant effect of teaching practice on the
basic science student teacher in terms of classroom preparation and attitude to teaching.
H02: There will be no significant effect of teaching practice on the cooperating in terms of social relationship and knowledge
H03: There will be no significant effect of teaching practice on the students in respect to interest, attitude and content knowledge of basic science.

 Scope of the Study 

This study is restheted to the Junior Secondary School students at Ijero Junior High School located at Educational District 3 Ebute-metta Local Government Area and Morocco Comprehensive School located at Educational District 2 Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Also the study will be limited to the basic science student teacher at the University of Lagos, Faculty of Education focusing on the concept of congestion and principal conservation of the study.

Definitions of Terms 

Teaching Practice: This refers to a periodic evaluation of student teacher. It involves a systematic gathering and analysis of information on the basis of which decisions are taken regarding the effectiveness and efficiency teacher.
Pedagogy: This is an art and science of organizing, preparing and teaching in a classroom. It is an approach to teaching and learning to impacting of knowledge or content of the subject areas.
Basic Science: This is a fundamental science or a science that describes the most basic objects, forces, relations between forces and matter.
Cooperating Teacher: A cooperating teacher is a facilitator and a guide to a student teacher during a principal apprenticeship practice called teaching practice.


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