Problems Militating Against Effective Performance of Student Teachers on Teaching Practice Exercise

 Problems Militating Against Effective Performance of Student Teachers on Teaching Practice Exercise

Teaching may be briefly defined as the work of a teacher or as an occupation or profession, simply what one does for a living and as a business or enterprises activities which include among other things than talking and chalking. John (1984) noted that teaching is a cluster of activities which include among other things than talking and chalking.

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Faurant (1980) observed that teaching is the conscious and deliberate attempt by one who possesses required knowledge and skills through some normally accepted method or procedure to one who lacks such knowledge and skills, with the intention that he will later master the knowledge and use the skill in solving practical problems of life.
Teaching practice is an activity which consists of two different and important groups in the society which is the students and the teachers. But in this context, we refer to the students and the students teachers. Teaching practice is divided into two parts for student teachers. These are Micro and Macro teaching. The micro teaching lasts for four weeks, depending on the programme of the school. While macro teaching, lasts for a period of four months or a term. (a secondary schools term either, first or second term). Under macro teaching, students’ teachers are supervised critically and marks are awarded to them.
Oliver O. (1985), defined micro teaching as down sample of actual teaching which generally lasts for ten to thirty minutes ands involves four to ten students, micro teaching, has been used, by many teacher training schools, for their students teachers.
Student teachers, pass through the teacher training process. The student teachers are those that undergo the supervised training programme, in other to become qualified teacher, according to Ihuomunoye (1985) the student teachers are required, apart from passing the critical test, also pass some practical test by attaining a prescribed level of competence in performing the teaching task.
Hence, teaching practice is putting theory into practice to test the student teachers ability in class room teaching. It is a very important and compulsory programme which has been since the introduction of education course: in Teachers Training collage (T.T.C.) National Certificate in Education (N.C.E.), B. Sc Technical Education. During teaching practice, the student teachers interpret the content of the curriculum or syllabus.
According to Karren (1990), teaching practice is a preserves education of a teacher, through which his theoretical knowledge, understanding of learning and teaching procedure are put into practice over a specific period of time under competent supervision.
Statement of the problem
Teaching practice is the act of systematically presenting stimuli or cues. The pre-occupation of student teacher is to hand over to the students whatever they themselves had received from others or learnt from documents, library. Teaching practice is defined as the provision for experiences and guidance of activities designed to promote learning on the part of these engaged in the training activities.
In this context, teaching practice is defined as the provision for experiences and guidance of activities designed to promote learning on the part of those engaged in the training activities.
Cohen and Marion (1980) in their study on teaching practice discovered that off campus student teachers have been widely criticised, due to inherent inadequacy that do not bend to administrative control. Then concerning the preparation made by student teachers, the interview revealed in a conversation, that it is apparent that many student teachers feel very ill prepared for the situation that face them in the class room and then challenges of teachers (Student teachers). This could be due to the unconducive environment which they find before and within the period of the teaching practice.
Furthermore, the emphasis laid on the present approach to teaching practice preparation, should be able to encourage the student teachers with his class room planning and preparation, book at a variety of ways of organising and managing the activities, that student teachers propose to include and consider the range of teaching by which to evaluate the content to which his objectives have been realised. In the light of the poregoing the researcher, decided to investigate the problems of off-campus, student   teachers in teaching practice exercise.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to examine the problems militating against effective performance of student teachers of education in Ugwunagbo Local Government Area during their teaching practice exercise and suggest solutions in order to remedy the already existing problem.
Basically, the purpose is aimed at the following;
(1)    To determine the strategies that could be adopted to improve the teaching practice programme;
(2)    To identify the problems encountered by student teacher during teaching practice period;
(3)    To identify student teachers problem resulting from the supervision;
(4)    To ascertain the problems of the student teachers resulting from the practicing school.
Significance of the study
The findings of this research work will go a long way in making the teaching practice exercise a befitting one for the following persons or bodies.
(1)    The student teachers are made to realize the importance of the programme and likely problems he might face during the period. This is achieved from the exposition made of the problems involved in teaching practice. As a result, the student teacher will get himself ready for any of such problems.
(2)    It will make the practicing school management to be aware that student teacher are facing problems during their teaching practice exercise and practicing school management will be ready to give them maximum assistance and co-operation. Based on this, the practicing school will equally benefit from these findings of the research work.
(3)    The planners and organisers of teaching practice for effectiveness of the programme. They should make sure that slated period for teaching practice do not clash with normal lectures in the school.
(4)    The supervising lecturers will equally gain from the findings of this research work, because they will be aware of the concerns of the student teachers. This awareness, will make the supervisors adjust and be friendly to the student teachers. They will also assist student teachers in their areas of difficulty.
(5)    The findings will enable the Local Government or the ministry of education, responsible for Education in that state, to determine the extent of their supports towards teaching practice exercise. This will enhance their supportive roles to the teaching practice exercise.
Scope of the study
The study will cover the personal problems of the students such as; lack of adequate preparation, lack of financial assistance and laziness to school. During teaching practice exercise, student teachers problem resulting from the supervision which include; problems from the practicing schools such as; Environmental factors, Good class room accommodation and lack of equipped laboratory.
Research questions
The following research questions have been designed to guide the students; as follows;
(1)    What are the personal problems encountered by student teachers during teaching practice exercise?
(2)    What are the problems of the practicing school encountered by student teachers during teaching practice exercise?
(3)    What are the supervision problems, faced by students’ teachers during teaching practice exercise?
(4)    What are the curriculum problems encountered by students teachers during teaching practice exercise?
(5)    What are the problems emanating from students themselves encountered by student teachers during teaching practice exercise?
Research hypothesis
(1)    There is no significant difference of the mean response of student teachers for curriculum problems and student problems.
(2)    Supervision will not significantly contribute problems to the student teachers.

Review of related literature
The review of related literature is organized under the following sub-headings.
1.    The concept and objectives of teaching practice for a student teacher. The mode and duration of student’s teacher’s preparation.
2.    Performance of student teachers during the teaching practice exercise.
3.    Problems facing the participants (the student-teacher).
4.    Summary of the literature review.
The concept and objectives of teaching practice for a student teacher
Solami (1964) gave a historical survey of teachers training in Nigeria from 1841 to 1962 and made an attempt to evaluate the adequacy of the training given to teachers by missionaries and other agencies responsible for education in the country during the period. The emphasized the need for a through training of the teachers. he also warned against the dangers of sacrificing quality for quantity in haste to provide enough teachers for the sake of mass illiteracy. Mass literacy was first launched in Nigeria in 1976.
Logically, the education of the teachers should sour above that of any profession in the modern World, because no nation and its educational system can ever be above, what its teachers are. In other to have sound trained teachers, the federal Ministry of education (1981) stated the objectives of Nigerian teacher education to be as follows;
i. To encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers.
ii. To produce highly motivated conscientious and effective classroom teacher for all level of our educational system.
iii. To help teacher to fit into social life of the community to national objective.
iv. To provide teachers with the intellectual and professional skill to work ion their country and also in the wider world.
v. To enhance teacher commitment to the teaching profession.
In order to elaborate on the above objectives, the National policy on Education (1998) emphasized that the education of all categories of teachers will take place in the following institutions;
i.    Grade 11 teachers college for the education and training of primary school teachers.
ii.    National teachers institute for the retraining of trained but uncertificated teachers, due to their reference in school systems at the grade 11 teachers examination.
iii.    Teacher centers for conducting professional in-service seminars and conferences.
iv.    University institutions of education for in-service education in the nature of long vacation Sandwich courses   especially for those experienced Grade 11 teachers to pursue courses leading to the award of Bachelors of Education Degrees. NCE.
v.    Colleges of Education for the production of NCE and B.Ed. Degree holders to teach in our secondary schools and teachers training colleges.
In the past, the government of the former Eastern Region of
Nigeria had laid similar stress as contained in the policy for Education. Official documents (1982) stressed that cardinal aim will be to improve the quality as opposed to the quality of teachers in our schools.
To achieve the aim as stated in the National policy on Education (1998), the teaching practice exercise was introduced.
According to Saylor and Alexander (1966) teaching practice is the act of systematically presenting stimuli and cues. The preoccupation of student teacher is to hand over to his student what they themselves had received from others, such as TV Treat books. Teaching practice may be defined as the provision for the experiences and guidance of activities designed to promote, learning as the part of those engaged in the activities.
In their own perspective, Curtiz and Andrew (1985) proffered that the purpose of the teaching practice is to provide opportunities under guidance, for the student teacher.
To develop and evaluate his competences in the major areas of teaching activities in school. They went further to emphasis that it provides the student teachers with professional knowledge, professional skill and professional judgment. Teaching practice cannot fulfill any useful purpose student teachers are not part and parcel of its content implementation. It becomes a basis for determining the instructional materials to be used, the activities in which pupils will engage and procedures the teachers will employ.
Cohen and Mario (1977) in their study on teaching practice, discovered that off-camp student teachers has been widely criticized due to inherent inadequacies that do not bend to administrative control. Regarding the preparation made by student teachers, Cohen and Marion (1977) pointed out that some of the students they interviewed revealed in a conversation that it is apparent that many students teacher feel very ill-prepared for the situation that face them in the classroom.
Further more, they emphasized that the present approach to teaching practice preparation should encourage the student teachers to develop clear praise objectives in connection with his classroom planning, and preparation look at a variety of ways of organizing and managing the activities that propose to include and consider a range of technique by which to evaluate the extent to which his objectives have been realized.
The mode and duration of teacher preparation for teaching practice
Various students who participated during the teaching practice revealed that:
Twelve weeks of teaching practice was better than six weeks (Wraggs, 1962). In the students own view, (British National Union of Teachers, (1970) preferred long  bloc practice teaching of 12 weeks to short ones of 6 weeks. Lope (1971) interviewed students as we;; as supervisors and found out that they all felt that the duration of teaching practice was generally too short.
In the programme of ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY they run a two term period of teaching practice for their students. One in second year and one in third year. The duration of each being 6 weeks.
Gurtis and Andrews (1954) list the responsibilities of student teachers during teaching practice as among other things no matter the differences in durations:
a. furthering and supervising pupils growth in the Educational Programme.
b. supervising classroom programme to ensure orderliness.
c. Organizing and supervising extra curricular activities.
d. Pupils guidance and counseling.
e. Administrative relationship.
f. Professional staff growth. In effect they feel that student teachers should develop skills necessary to work effectively in each of the above areas. They suggested too, that college supervisors’ responsibilities should include;
a. Directing or counseling the classroom teachers on the co-operation in the school, and also matters concerning the general planning of the student teachers experiences.
b. assisting in the day to day guidance of the student teachers.
c. Holding weekly group conference with the student teachers.
d. Observation of the student teachers at work in the school.
e. Arrange seminar for classroom teachers to permit dissemination of information among the student teachers and students.
f. Making the final evaluation of the student teachers.
Problems facing participants of teaching practice programme (the student teachers)
Adelekan, (1980) submitted that the exercise of teaching practice training is a requirement of any student in teachers training colleges (TTC), National certificate on education (NCE) and Bachelors in Education (B.Ed).  It is an exercise that involve student teachers in a classroom in the field where he impacts knowledge to students and demonstrates various theories and principles of education in the field he wishes to practice, what he/she has learnt from books and lectures and to be evaluated of his/her performance as a teacher.
A quite contrary approach closely related to the master of the teaching model approach is adopted by those who regard teaching as a part of the behaviuoral sciences. There is then a growing volume of materials available on which to base a scientific approach to teaching.
The students’ own way of learning, before, during and after practice may now be assured in an objective fashion which can determine low output of teachers or otherwise student teachers inclusive as non availability of teaching facilities, inadequate equipment in schools and general environment of the schools could effect.
To further show how practicing schools constitute problems for effective teaching practice for student teachers, Nwiteh (1984) commented that a visit to some of our post primary schools commends a sorry sight. This according to him because students have to provide their own seats; (each student must provide a private seat), some schools are made up of one building  containing classrooms, principles office, staff office and that there are no laboratories or libraries yet such offer such vital subjects like physics, chemistry, Biology and Agricultural science, computer science.
Nomuola (1989) puts that student teachers suffer in their beginning practice as one of their problems. According to him, many student teachers at their first day n schools, approach it with attitude that are Luke warm and carefree. Some of them experience what has been called “Reality shock” which is as a result of four, lack of confidence and inferiority complex.
Performance of student teachers during the teaching practice exercise
i. Availability of adequate facilities: Availability of good facilities increases the degree of success of practicing teaching. Since the teaching practice takes place during two or more periods during training course, it is desirable that every student teacher should have the opportunity of practicing in a good school at least for one of the periods of the teaching practice. All teachers utilizing available local materials such as glass bowel, stove. Etc.
ii. Availability of qualified Regular teachers: Many schools, experience acute shortage of with professionally and technically competent teachers, particularly in some subject are. Most of those schools make use of teacher’s competence only in certain subject areas to teach other subjects in the schools.
Though such schools may be willing to participate in teaching practice, the teachers may not be qualified to serve competent co-operating teachers in all subjects the scarcity is aggravated at post primary level. The student teachers may be studying for a higher degree than that being held by the regular school teacher. But to improve performance of the student teachers, the student teachers should not   look down on the regular school teacher or permanent because the teachers contribution towards the students teachers development arising from his experience as well as his academic qualification.
iii. School Environments: A school environment support inquiry activities by providing tools, materials, and space for them. A stimulating school environment enables the teacher to plan a variety of activities with brand ideas about what his student are likely to engaged in or respond to. This makes it possible for both the teacher and the learner to work co-operatively and productively towards achievement of important educational goals. It also makes schools, a good and satisfying place where meaningful interaction can occur between the teacher and the students for the purpose of bringing about changes in behaviour. In a school environment where apathy, failure an inadequate success in achieving the curriculum intended learning outcomes prevail, prospective teachers,   success in achieving the curriculum intended learning outcomes prevail, prospective teachers, however, well prepared, they will not be effective in demonstrating the acquired professional skill.
iv. Co-operation of the principal and staff of participating school.
Most of the schools may allow student teachers to practice in their schools merely because of the standing policy on education that such schools should made available for educational experience, of student teachers. Many regular teachers may view the student teachers as people interested in obtaining professional certificate rather than as people interested in the educational growth of the student and the society.
v. Time and Duration: The timing and duration of teaching practice exercise should be done in a period that will suit the students. The lecture period should be a Maximum of 8weeks for each contact, (Olaitan and Agusiobo, 1981).
Summary of literature review
In this chapter, the researcher discussed the concept and the objectives of teaching practice for a student teacher like to encourage further the spirit of pontuallity, creativity and boldness in teachers; to help the teachers to fit into teaching of the community to national objectives etc. the duration of teaching practice was also discussed. The problems facing participants of teaching practice like reality should be write based on present literature review, shock etc, was stated. Finally, to enhance the performance of the teachers during teaching practice, adequate facilities and availability of qualified teachers is necessary to ensure success.

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