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Assessment of In-Service Training of Secondary School Science Teachers.

Byline: Muhammad Akram Shah, Muhammad Yousaf and Pervaiz Iqbal

Abstract

The quality of education is directly linked with the quality of teacher education. In the field of science education, in-service training plays a vital role. In-service teacher training programs are implemented as a way to improve teachers' quality. The present study was aimed to assess the quality of in-service training of secondary school science teachers. The population of the study comprised of secondary school science teachers working in Multan, Lodhran, Khanewal and Layyah districts. The researcher used questionnaire as a tool to collect the quantitative data. The data were analyzed by calculating frequencies, percentages and chi-square as a test of significance. The main findings of the study were that the contents of the text book were taught according to the schedule of the programme. The secondary school science teachers did not get command over teaching methods during in-service training, and A.V. Aids were not used during training.

Therefore it is recommended that training should be focused on modern methods of teaching and use of A.V. Aids.

Key Words: Science Education Project (SEP), Secondary School Science Teachers, In-service training, Teaching methods.

Introduction

Science education is considered to be an important aspect in school curriculum.

Development of scientific attitude is the objective of teaching of science. The development of scientific attitude makes learners open minded, helps them to make critical observations, develops in time intellectual honesty, curiosity, unbiased, critical and independent thinking. A science teacher assumes different roles as a counsellor, a guide, an administrator, a leader, a custodian, a facilitator, an evaluator, an innovator, a change-agent and a learner etc. The question is whether a science teacher can perform these roles effectively or he/she needs some guidance for fulfilling his/ her duties properly. Teacher needs some training for his/her professional growth which increases attractive competencies and applications for him/her. Iqbal (2002) has described the importance of INSET in these words:

"In-service education is a tool to mould better teachers by improving their knowledge, providing ways to help them improve their effectiveness in the classroom and by instilling in them a desire to do a better job of teaching."

Little (1992) describes that teacher development is marked by four types of growth growth in knowledge, growth in skill, growth in judgment (all of which are classroom related), and growth in the contributions teachers make to a professional community. It has been noted that effects of evaluation on teacher development have been almost negative in which schools' system claim that the process of evaluation was designed to improve teaching. Stodolosky (1990) observed that first they do not yield insight into teachers' thinking. Second, they do not provide information on how teachers plan. Third they give no data on how teachers' work with colleagues, students and parents.

Asia and The Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) (1993) defined INSET as "In-service training includes all training activities which address the differentiated needs of teachers in school (including teachers without pre-service training) to improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes for better instruction". The aims of INSET, stated by Eraut (1987) are (i) to develop their professional competence and relevant knowledge. (ii) To evaluate their own work and attitude.

National Education policy 1998-2010 states the status of INSET in these words: "In-service training programmes for teacher educators are almost non-existent. There are no institutionalized arrangements for providing regular training to teachers and teacher educators. Sporadic training opportunities, if any, lack in quality".

No doubt, a teacher is an innovator and a catalyst of change and when he/she is equipped with quality training, he/she may play an excellent role in producing good students who would be helpful for betterment, progress and prosperity of a nation. Well trained teachers who go on developing themselves professionally may change the whole structure, composition and complexion of a society. Similarly, Mirza (2008) described that the quality product can be obtained through using effective instructions at all stages of educational system including objectives, teaching-learning environment, training, assessment, supervision and feedback. All these aspects are very necessary and need suitable attention of all concerned. Burke and Kenzie (2007) carried out a study on students' learning and found that ...in particular, the broad consensus is that "teacher quality" is the single most important factor to achieve the goal of quality education.

Teachers' qualification and their training are essential for preparing qualified teachers. Similarly other researchers (Saeed, 2006 and 2000; Mirza, 2003; Mirza and Iqbal, 1994) specifically described that the in-service training of teachers is necessary to improve their abilities in term of contents, pedagogy, administrative and managerial skills.

If teachers are un-trained and incompetent then an appropriate and operational policy may become collapsed (Malik et al. 2008). Therefore, teachers' training is essential for achieving the national goals and quality education for the prosperity of country and nation. Villegas-Reimers (2003) states that in-service teacher training, which can be used to improve teacher quality and student educational performance in developing countries, has also been included as an important component in social development programs. In developing countries, pre-service teacher preparation (that is, graduating from college with a teaching credential) is not always required; as a consequence, in-service training is often the only preparation teachers receive. In- service teacher training is used to improve teacher quality and ultimately affects educational performance of students.

Joshi (2005) describes that a teacher's personal qualities, educational qualification his professional training, his managerial skills and the place he occupies in the school and in the community contribute to the quality of his teaching.

Tolerance and patience of a teacher are cardinal principles while teaching/training with susceptibility to accept the new trends and changes in the field of teaching and training. A rigid, inflexible and harsh attitude of a teacher during teaching/training would not only destroy the congenial atmosphere and the taught as well. Effectiveness of such training can only be achieved with keeping these stated principles in heart and mind.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were:

1. To assess the present system of in-service training of secondary school science teachers.

2. To analyze the opinions of secondary school science teachers who got training under Science Education Project (SEP).

3. To assess the needs of secondary school science teachers for training.

Methodology

The present study is descriptive in nature. In order to achieve the objectives, a sample of 724 teachers out of the total population of 2191 secondary school science teachers was taken from randomly selected districts of Multan, Lodhran, Khanewal and Layyah. In order to collect the data, a questionnaire was developed, which composed of 38 items in which 37 items had four options and one open ended question in which suggestions regarding improvement of in-service training programme were sought. Different aspects like training objectives, administration of pre-test, textbooks contents teaching, use of A.V. Aids, contents comprehension, teaching methods command, etc. were covered in the questionnaire. The questionnaire was validated by seeking experts' opinion. Data collected through questionnaire were tabulated and analyzed in term of frequencies, percentages and chi square test of significance.

Findings

The findings drawn out from the data collected through the questionnaire are given below:

Table 1. Training Objectives

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Are you informed about###Oftenly###204###46.89###27###20###231###40.52

the objectives of training###Seldom###121###27.81###30###22.22###151###26.49

course in the beginning?###Always###97###22.29###73###54.07###170###29.82

###Never###13###2.98###5###3.70###18###3.15

Table 1 reveals that 40.52% trainees stated that they were oftenly informed about the objectives of training course; 29.82% opined that they were always informed; 26.49% stated that they were seldom informed and 3.15% viewed that they were never informed. Male trainees (46.89%) were of the view that they were oftenly informed while only 54.07% female teachers responded that information about objectives of training course was always given in the beginning. The value of kh2 =54.653 with significance value 0.0000 shows that there is strong impact of introducing training objectives in beginnings of training.

Table 2. Administration of pre-Test

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Is pre-test administered###Oftenly###208###47.81###22###16.29###230###40.35

in the beginning of###Seldom###75###17.24###3###2.22###78###13.68

training course?###Always###142###32.64###105###77.77###247###43.33

###Never###10###2.29###5###3.70###15###2.63

Table 2 indicates that according to 43.33% teachers, pre-test was always administered in the beginning; 40.35% declared that pre-test was oftenly administered; 13.68% stated that pre-test was seldom administered and 2.63% viewed that pre-test was never administered. Male teachers (47.81%) respondents stated that pre-test was oftenly administered while 77.77% female teachers were of the view that pre-test was always administered in the beginning of training course. The value of kh2 =91.555 with significance value 0.0000 shows that there is strong association between pre-test administration with the training.

Table 3. Textbooks Contents Teaching

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

The contents of###Oftenly###214###49.19###50###37.31###264###46.31

textbooks are taught###Seldom###115###26.43###43###31.85###158###27.71

according to a schedule###Always###91###20.91###30###22.22###121###21.22

of programme.###Never###15###3.44###12###8.88###27###4.73

Table 3 indicates that 46.31% participants (49.19% male and 37.31% female) stated that the contents of textbooks were oftenly taught; 27.71% indicated that contents were seldom taught; 21.22% opined that contents were always taught while 4.73% teachers responded that they were never taught the contents of textbooks according to a schedule of training programme. The value of kh2= 10.899 with significant value 0.0123. shows strong relation between text book contents and training.

Table 4. Use of A.V. Aids

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Are A.V. Aids used###Oftenly###126###28.96###40###29.62###166###29.12

during the training###Seldom###229###52.64###48###35.55###277###48.59

course of science?###Always###56###12.87###42###31.11###98###17.19

###Never###24###5.51###5###3.70###29###5.08

Table 4 shows that according to 48.59% respondents (52.64% male and 35.55% female) A.V. Aids were seldom used; 29.12% opined that A.V. Aids were oftenly used; 17.19% opined that A.V. Aids were always used on the contrary 5.08% respondents were of the view that A.V. Aids were never used during the training course of science. The value of kh2=26.803 with significant value 0.0000 shows that there is strong association between use of A.V aids and training.

Table 5. Contents Comprehension

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Do you get full###Oftenly###217###49.88###63###46.66###280###49.21

comprehension of the###Seldom###130###29.88###32###23.70###162###28.42

contents during the###Always###81###18.62###35###25.92###116###20.35

training course?###Never###7###1.60###5###3.70###12###2.10

Table 5 reveals that according to 49.21% trainees (49.88% male and 46.66% female) they oftenly got full comprehension of the contents; 28.42% opined that they seldom got; 20.35% indicated that they always got whilst only 2.10% stated that they never got full comprehension of the contents during training course. The value of kh2=6.451 with significant value 0.0916 shows weak association between contents comprehension and training.

Table 6. Teaching Methods Command

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Do you get full###Oftenly###154###35.40###43###31.85###197###34.56

command of all the###Seldom###175###40.22###57###42.22###232###40.70

teaching methods during###Always###79###18.16###27###20###106###18.59

the training course?###Never###27###6.20###8###5.92###35###6.14

Table 6 shows that 40.70% teachers (40.22% male and 42.22% female) indicated that they seldom got full command of all the teaching methods; 34.56% responded that they oftenly got full command; 18.59% opined that they always got full command on the other hand 6.14% respondents were of the view that they never got full command of all the teaching methods during the training course. The value of kh2=0.677 with significant value 0.8786, shows no relation between command of teaching methods and training.

Table 7 indicates that 44.37% participants (44.13% male and 46.66% female) opined that lecture method was frequently used; 29.82% were of the view that activity method was frequently used; 20.35% stated that demonstration method was frequently used while only 5.08% responded that project method was frequently used in the training course of science subjects. The value of kh2=9.131 with significant value 0.0276, shows association between commonly used teaching method and training.

Table 7. Teaching Methods Command

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Which one of the###Lecture###192###44.13###63###46.66###255###44.37

teaching methods is###method

frequently used in###Activity###120###27.58###50###37.03###170###29.82

the training course###method

of science subjects?###Project method###24###5.51###5###3.70###29###5.08

###Demonstra-###99###22.75###17###12.59###116###20.35

###tion method

Table 8. Teaching Material Quality

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Which quality###Explains the###64###14.71###22###16.29###86###15.08

does the teaching###basics of subject

###Fulfils the###54###12.41###10###7.40###64###11.22

material possess?###psychological

###needs of

###students

###Explains the###124###28.50###50###37.03###174###30.52

###teaching

###methods

###Explains the###193###44.36###53###39.25###246###43.15

###main points of

###textbooks

Table 8 shows that 43.15% trainees (44.36% male and 39.25% female) responded that teaching material explained the main points of textbooks; 30.52% stated that it explained the teaching methods; 15.08% opined that it explained the basics of subject on the other hand 11.22% respondents were of the view that teaching material fulfilled the psychological needs of students. The value of kh2=5.550 with significance value 0.1357 shows that the teaching material quality is not linked with training.

Table 9 indicates that according to 55.78% trainee teachers (52.41% male and 66.66% female) writing board was the frequently used; 21.92% viewed that charts were frequently used; 19.64% stated that overhead projector was frequently used while only 2.63% trainees were of the view that computer was the most frequently used as an A.V. Aid during the in-service training course of secondary school science teachers. The value of kh2=14.081 with significance value 0.0028, shows strong association between commonly used A.V aids and training.

Table 9. Commonly Used A.V. Aid

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

The most frequently###Computer###10###2.29###5###3.70###15###2.63

used A.V. Aid

during the training###Overhead###87###20###25###18.51###112###19.64

course is.###projector

###Chart###110###25.28###15###11.11###125###21.92

###Writing board###228###52.41###90###66.66###318###55.78

Table 10. Reason for Not Better Teaching

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Training courses do###Programme

not better your###schedule###67###15.40###48###35.55###115###20.17

teaching due to one###unsuitability

of the reasons.###Only use of

###lecture method

###144###33.10###12###8.88###156###27.36

###Short duration

###of training

###102###23.44###22###16.29###124###21.75

###Lack of

###interest of###122###28.04###53###39.25###175###30.70

###master trainers

Table 10 reveals that 30.70% trainee teachers indicated that training courses did not better their teaching due to lack of interest of master trainers; 27.36% stated that courses did not better their teaching because lecture method was only used; 21.75% opined that training period was very short and 20.17% trainees were of the view that the schedule of training programme was not suitable. Male teachers (33.10%) opined that lecture method did not better their teaching while 39.25% female trainees viewed that lack of interest of master trainers was the reason by which training courses did not better their teaching. The value of kh2=49.455 with significance value 0.0000 shows strong relationship between training and reason for not better teaching.

Table 11 indicates that 48.94% trainees were of the view that post-test was always administered; 34.38% viewed that post-test was oftenly administered; 14.56% responded that post-test was seldom administered and only 2.10% stated that post-test was never administered. Male secondary school science teachers (41.60%) declared that post-test was oftenly administered while 77.77% female respondents pointed out that they always took post-test at the end of training course. The value of kh2=66.272 with significance value 0.0000 shows strong relation between administration of post- test and training.

Table 11. Administration of post-Test

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

Is post-test###Oftenly###181###41.60###15###11.11###196###34.38

administer-ed at

the end of training###Seldom###73###16.78###10###7.40###83###14.56

course?###Always###174###40###105###77.77###279###48.94

###Never###7###1.60###5###3.70###12###2.10

Table 12. Incentive Pertaining to Training Course

###Male = 435###Female = 135###Total = 570

Statement###Responses

###%age###%age###%age

What incentive###Advance

ought to be given on###increment

###172###39.54###73###54.07###245###42.98

completion of a###Promotion to

training course?###next grade

###88###20.22###50###37.03###138###24.21

###Cash award###22###5.05###5###3.70###27###4.73

###Merit

###certificate###153###35.17###7###5.18###160###28.07

###award

Table 12 shows that 42.98% trainees (39.54% male and 54.07% female) suggested an advance increment should be granted to the trainees on successful completion of a training course; 28.07% were of the view that merit certificate should be awarded; 24.21% indicated that trained teachers should be promoted to next grade but only 4.73% teachers opined that they should be awarded cash on successful completion of a training course. The value of kh2=50.487 with significance value 0.0000, shows strong association between incentive and completion of training courses.

Conclusions

Most of the teachers expressed the views that they were informed about the objectives of training course, pre-test was administered in the beginning of the training course and a wide range of topics from the text book were taught. Majority of the teachers had consensus that A V Aids were not used during training course and they got comprehension of the subject matter that was taught during the training. They also stated that command over teaching methods lacked during training,lecture method was frequently used, the material provided during the training was helpful in explaining contents and pedagogy and most commonly used A.V. Aid was writing board, however charts were also used during training. Lack of the interest of master trainers and over emphasis on lecture method were shortcomings of the training and post test was administered at the end of the training. They further opined that advance increments and merit certificates ought to be given to the participants at the completion of the training course.

Recommendations

On the basis of findings and conclusions, following recommendations are made in order to up lift the quality of in-service training of secondary science teachers.

1. The in-service training of science teachers should focus on use of AV Aids.

2. The emphasis should be on use of various instructional methods and participants should be made to practice over various methods during the training.

3. Lecture method should be avoided in training courses for science teachers.

Methods like activity method, project method and demonstration method should be given more weight age.

References

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Iqbal, M.Z. (2002). Trends and Issues in Education. Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University, 208.

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Mirza, M.S. (2008). Quality Education at Primary Level. Proceedings of International Conference on Embedding Quality Education for All: District Initiatives across Pakistan March 5-6, 2008 at Fasilabad. Retrieved on 07-02-2009 from http: //www.faisalabad.gov.pk/download.aspx?fId=284andfPat h=/Files Colle- ction/ Sections/Education/Reports/edu_conf_proceedings.pdf.

Saeed, M., and Salamat, S. (2006). Evaluation of In-service Training Programme and its Impact on Head Teachers' Performance at Secondary School Level. Journal of Educational Research, 9(1). Bahawalpur: Department of Education, the Islamia University.

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Author:Shah, Muhammad Akram; Yousaf, Muhammad; Iqbal, Pervaiz
Publication:Journal of Educational Research
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 30, 2015
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