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IMPACT OF STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES ON THE INSTRUCTIONAL TASK PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN KADUNA METROPLIS, NIGERIA
This study is aimed at investigating the impact of staff development programmes on the instructional task performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis. Five objectives were generated alongside with five research questions. The study was limited to principals and teachers in private and public secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis. The literature review comprehensively discussed issues that form the objectives of the study (in-service, seminar, conferences, workshop and mentoring). The research design adopted was survey method. Thirty-eight (38) government secondary school and ninety-four (94) registered private secondary schools making a total of one hundred and thirty-two (132) forms the population of the study. Stratified random sampling was adopted to arrive at twelve government secondary schools and sixteen private secondary schools. The total numbers of sampled respondents were four hundred (400). The research instrument used for data collection was a five-likert scale questionnaire containing section A (bio-data of respondents) and section B (item statements generated from issues that form the objectives of the study). The research instrument was validated by experts in the field of educational administration and planning, a pilot study was carried out and the reliability coefficient of 0.77 was established. The data collected were analyzed using frequency tables, percentages and standard error. The results were tabulated and discussed. The following major findings were established; in-service has both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits to teachers, seminar programs give teachers the opportunity to fulfil their potentials by learning new skills, and generally improve their instructional effectiveness and quality of service through improved performance. The researcher concluded that there is a positive correlation between staff development programs and the instructional task performance of secondary school teachers, staff development help teachers create the understanding from experiences with peers and resources and reflect upon those experiences. The researcher stated the following recommendations; policy makers and administrators should revise staff development program policy, staff development programs should be organized periodically and academic mentors should be employed by administrators to help novice teachers become successful in their teaching profession.
1.1 Background to the Study
In recent years, national, state and local policy makers and educators have launched effort to improve education by creating a fundamental shift in what children learn and how they are taught. If children are to achieve at levels demanded by the high standards that states and districts have adopted, however teachers will have to help them do so. Teachers are necessarily at the centre of reform, for they must carry out the demands of high standards in the classroom, Cuban (1990). Thus, the success of ambitious education reform initiatives hinges, in large part, on the qualification and effectiveness of teachers. As a result, teacher professional development is a major focus of systematic reform initiatives Corcoran (1995), Corcoran Sheelds and Zucker (1998).
To carry out the demands of education reform teachers must be immersed in the subjects they teach and have the ability both to communicate basic knowledge and to develop advanced thinking and problem solving skills among their students. However, although teachers generally support high standards for teaching and learning, many teachers are not prepared to implement teaching practices based on high standards, Cohen (1990); Elmere and Burney (1996). Many teachers learn to teach using a model of teaching and learning that focuses heavily on memorizing facts, without also emphasizing deeper understanding of subject knowledge, Cohen, MC Laughlin and Talbert (1993).
Shifting to a more balanced approach to teaching which places more emphasis on understanding subject matter, means that teachers must learn more about the subject they teach, and how students learn these subjects. The continual Deeping of knowledge and skills is an integral part of any profession. Teaching is no exception, Schulman and sparks, (1992) and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (1989).
Staff development programme is a process designed to improve job understanding, promote more effective job performance and establish future goals for career growth. It helps staff in understanding their responsibilities. It is the opportunities available to new and experienced teachers and teaching assistants (Paraprofessionals). These activities are designed to improve the quality of classroom instruction; enable individuals to grow professionally; introduce practitioners to the practical applications of research validated strategies; and help
teachers meet their license and salary differentials. Staff development programmes can also be referred to as the process and activities through which every organization develops, enhances and improves the skills, competencies and overall performance of its employees and workers
Training is defined as “the process of developing qualities in human resources that will enable them to be more productive and thus contribute more too organizational goal and achievement”. Training is essentially to increase the productivity of employees by influencing their behaviors. The training given to a person (or an employee) varies in type and extent and according to the nature and skills of the jobs involved as well as the experience of the employee concerned, Certo (1997) and Arikewuyo (2006). The aim of training is “to equip individuals with the necessary skills to enable them to find employment, to gain promotion and to have reasonable expectation of redeployment in the event of their being made redundant. Ojofeitimi (1992) and Arikewuyo (2006).
Professional teacher training simply means teacher education and continued learning. Fafunwa (1985) viewed teacher education as the teaching and training experiences provided not only within teacher institutions but also outside them with the basic aim of preparing and grooming potential teachers for teaching activities. Teacher training programme is generally seen as having context and composed of goals and objectives, input, process, evaluation and output, Kanu (1992). Also, Harris (1980, P.18) viewed teacher education as “any planned programme of teaching opportunities afforded staff members for the purpose of improving the performance of an individual in already assigned position”. While Fullan (1995, P. 265) Conceived teacher professional development as “the sum total of formal and informal learning pursued and experienced by the teacher in a compelling learning environment under conditions of complexity and dynamic change. A common underpinning assertion of the above definitions is continuing learning process in which serving teachers acquire the knowledge, skills and values to improve the quality of teaching and students learning outcomes Fullan, (1995).
Teachers are known to be responsible for the translation and implementation of educational policies. These depend on professional practice. Teachers who are deficient in professional practice are not likely to help the students meet the challenges of learning, Ayeni, (2010). For instance, Ayeni and Akinola (2008) reporting on Ondo State, found that 57% of teachers in secondary schools were not given adequate training opportunities by their principals
while facilities to improve their professional competence through in-service training were not adequately provided.
The importance of training and re-training to career enhancement and capacity of teachers for improvement in teaching and learning processes cannot be over-emphasized. A study by Emetarom, (1992) on Owerri Urban and environs revealed that both teaching experience and formal training in administration are necessary for the appointment of principals and vice-principals into administrative posts in education. Also, a related study by Olagboye, (1999), in his study revealed that 68.9% of the respondents were in favor of appointing only experienced teachers with formal training on educational administration to the posts of principals and vice-principals while 32.1% of the subjects were not in favor. Considering the challenges posed by education quality assurance, principals are expected to be well-qualified professionally to be able to design, implement, aid and sustain relevant and effective in-service continuing professional development programmes that are participating school-based, focus on students learning and adequately address the specific training needs for teachers.
Teachers‟ professional development is particularly important because of the need for teachers to do better and raise academic performance standards of students. In order to meet the challenging demands of their jobs occasioned by technological innovations, teachers must be capable and willing to continually upgrade their content knowledge, skills and practices. For instance the results of the teacher survey by the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) on United States of America (USA) indicated that 90% of teachers participated in professional development in 1993-94, and 99% took part in 1998, in such areas as new methods of teaching, students assessment, co-operative learning, use of education technology for instruction, classroom management and in-depth study in their subject fields to improve their performance.
Although there are various approaches to teachers‟ professional development such as the cluster type workshops, mentoring and full-time in-service training; whichever approach one adopts for teachers training, the important thing is for the teachers to be professionally equipped, Ayeni (2010). It is incontrovertible that every approach has its own merits and demerits. For instance the traditional approaches to professional development such as seminars, workshops and conferences have been criticized by researchers such as Fullan (1993) and Akinwale (1999), for being relatively ineffective because they are usually short-term, typically lasting from one to eight hours; they lack continuity due to inadequate follow up and on-going feed-back from
experts; they take a passive approach to training teachers, allowing little opportunity to learn by doing and reflecting with colleagues.
Realizing this short coming, Gravani and John (2002) Stressed that the centre-periphery model of professional development in which participants were made to be passive listeners be replaced with the cluster-type in which the practitioners and policy makers are brought together into new forms of discourse communities, where teachers can share their own knowledge of classrooms, children, subjects and pedagogy with policy makers who bring their own critical and substantive expertise to the knowledge building table of the professional; this process is more likely to ensure a successful professional development enterprise. The much talked about cluster training is also much criticized; but the important thing is that any approach that is adopted must be carefully and strategically designed and implemented to provide continuity between what teachers learn and what goes on in their classrooms and school to produce long-lasting effects on teachers competencies and students learning outcomes, Fullan (1993). However the inadequacies in teacher professional development constitute gap that can possibly lower the standard of teachers‟ instructional tasks performance and the rate at which students understand the subject matter in schools.
Teachers‟ professional development is informed by the fact that if teachers are to stay motivated on the job, they must have opportunities for continuing professional development, advancement and improvement in their chosen career. This is why findings by Emetaron (1992), Fullan (1993), NCES (1998) and Olagboye (1999) indicated that effective teachers‟ professional development is critical and to a large to a large extent determines students‟ academic performance. However, gaps in teachers‟ professional development will no doubt cause set-back in teaching learning process.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Generally speaking, staff development through seminars, in-service training or workshops is one of the most promising ways for improving classroom instruction. It is an attempt to assist classroom teachers/lecturers to improve on their teaching strategies, techniques, handle new instructional materials or possessed the necessary information and skills that are required for effective lesson delivery. In essence the dream of self-reliance, skill acquisition and entrepreneurship through education can only be realized through a well-defined programme. In
most cases, staff development activities are organized by an institution, a corporate body, associations or government agency and is normally lasted for a short period of time.
For a nation building each country has to decide between investing on teachers or ignorance. Across the nation in-service education is viewed by many educators as an absolute necessity for quite a number of reasons that is if the classroom teachers are to perform their roles more effectively, Stallings, (1982). Surprisingly, some people who have attended seminars, and or workshops were reported to have come back home disappointed rather than returning with enthusiasm and encouragement to participate in such a programme if called upon again Louck & Melle (1962).
From the experience, staff development or capacity building workshops usually offer one of the best ways to improve classroom teaching and learning. In fact many educators are of the opinion that teachers have to search for the patterns of school organization and management that would give freedom to learners in order to bring about better learning outcomes. Gordons (1979)
& Ibrahim (2008B). That is, to promote better understanding, teachers need to emphasize learner/student centered approach which permits or encourage students or learners to have enough freedom to select, to participate in activities and make a self-evaluation through acquisition of necessary knowledge and skills.
Effective classroom planning and management, therefore consists of controlling teachers‟
behaviours that tend to produce high level students involvement in the classroom activities, with minimal interruptions and efficient use of instructional time. In other words, whatever actions that is required to stimulate learners‟ thinking, enlarges their imagination, promote initiative, sustain attention, make learning real and enhance teaching and learning process is worth looking at critically hunt (1976).
According to Charlotte (1979), just as teachers should reinforce good behaviours in the classroom, it has been argued that teachers training programme should consider different theories and select appropriately, depending on the situation and the age of the learners. Below are guiding principles:
- Training retraining programmes should emphasize discipline related skills in addition to considering the importance of conducive learning environment. The reason being that classroom control and management skill remain a problem in schools at all levels. For example, in public schools, students/teachers ratio or students population is more diverse
than ever before, thus making it difficult for the teachers to know all their students or perhaps to find classroom control/management difficult. Talking about individual differences apart from differences in the educational background and aptitude the number of students with emotional or learning problem is increasing. Only in the recent time that the impact of praises, responses to teachers‟ feedback and effect of micro-teaching on students‟ performance and learning are getting serious attention and investigation it deserved Akabue, (1991).
Apart from that, there is indication that many teachers entered the profession with little or no training in school discipline techniques most especially the non-professionals or HND holders. This could be one of the reasons why discipline problem are common in public schools. In fact, public criticism of schools and debilitating effect of teachers stress and burn out are closely linked to the problem of students‟ behavior Rudolf and Pearl (1972). Of course, this is the reason why it is made compulsory for most post-secondary or tertiary institutions to offer courses on classroom management and planning and curriculum studies. What is provided in their courses including psychology tends to be either theoretical or academic in nature without providing teachers with the actual competency base.
- Teachers‟ preparation programmes should emphasize the coherent relationship between theory and practice. Wolfgang and Glickman (1980) argued that teachers hardly had enough knowledge about content organization (topic selection) and about professional approaches to classroom management to facilitate students‟ learning. The problem facing educational development across the nation is lack of recognition of the importance and the differences between theory and practice in classroom teaching and learning, Ibrahim, (2008B). The overwhelming supply of conflicting theories and techniques often resulted in the teacher not knowing which is to be chosen and when to use them appropriately to alleviate the desired objectives. For example, where does a teacher begin in the process of making use of reinforcement, discipline or leadership style/strategic in the classroom? What comes first, rules or relationship? Praise or punishment etc.
- In all the training programmes, organization of learning activities and use of appropriate teaching techniques should be seen as necessary tools for classroom teachers.
In view of the above discussion, it means teaching goes beyond standing in front of the students. Apart from the good mastery of the subject matter, the teacher should be able to use appropriate teaching techniques to arouse the students‟ interest, make learning easier or facilitate teaching and learning.
Another area of concern is the lack of mentoring programme to new- inexperienced teachers after joining schools. Even national curriculum does not talk about new teacher mentoring, this situation needs rectifying. A teacher goes to school and the head-teacher or principal asks him/her to start immediately, and even sometimes the teacher is assigned to teach a particular subject or topic. What needs to be remembered is that ultimately, it is the students who will suffer the consequences of inadequate support for teachers starting out on their teaching careers. Teacher training programme in Nigeria is crawling with lots of hindrances for trifling achievements. Efforts are being made but they are insufficient. The concerned authorities are required to work hard to address the dire needs. The ministry of education alone cannot cope with all the challenges and thus other organizations of similar interests must collaborate. For this government must diversify and ease their monopolistic policy. In view of this, the researcher therefore sought to investigate the impact of staff development programmes on the instructional task performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study attempts to achieve the following objectives, to:
- examine the impact of in-service training on the performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis,
- assess the impact of seminar on the performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis,
- find out the impact of conference on the performance of secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis,
4. investigate the impact of mentoring on the performance of secondary schools teachers in Kaduna metropolis, and
- find out the impact of workshop training on the performance of secondary schools teachers in Kaduna metropolis.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- What is the impact of in–service training on teachers‟ instructional task performance in secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis?
- What is the effect of seminar programs on teachers‟ instructional tasks performance in secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis?
- What is the impact of conference on the teachers‟ method performance of teaching in secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis?
- What is the impact of mentoring on the instructional task performance of secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis?
- What is the impact of workshop training on the task performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis?
1.5 Basic Assumptions
The study is based on the following assumptions:
- Teachers‟ development is an important activity in teaching profession which determines their quality of performance
- The more a teacher is exposed to staff development programs the better his/her performance and the better the learning achievement of students.
- Staff development programme is an important aspect of teachers‟ educational and should be intensified.
- Staff development programme are widely accepted as an important exercise by the government
- There is a direct and significant relationship between the quality of teacher performance and the quality of secondary education
1.6 Significance of the Study.
The study is important to teachers as it will enlighten them on the existing staff development programmes for secondary school teachers. The study is relevant to teachers, as the programmes will help them to improve their knowledge for effectiveness and efficiency.
The study is important to the officials in the Kaduna state ministry of education as it will guide them on areas of improvement in staff development programmes. The study will
encourage secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis to go for in-service training programmes in order to improve their instructional task performance.
The study will be of benefit to the researcher to improve on profession as a teacher and as an educational administrator. The study is important to educational administrators as it will help them to incorporate staff training in to the policies of their institutions
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the impacts of staff development programmes on the performance of secondary school teachers in Kaduna metropolis. The study covers areas such as in-service training, seminars, conferences, mentoring, full-time/part-time programs and workshop training. Also, the study is limited to principals and teachers in secondary schools in Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna state, Nigeria.