Background to the Study
Teaching practice experience is an important component of becoming a teacher. It grantsstudent-teachers experience in the actual teaching and learning environment(Ngidi&Sibaya, 2013; Perry, 2014). Duringteaching practice, a student-teacher is given the opportunity to try the art ofteaching in his field of study be it in computer science or any other subject before actually getting into the real world of the teaching profession(Kasanda, 2011). Student-teachers also know the value of teaching practice as remarked by Menter (2010). According to Menter, they perceive it as ‘the crux of theirpreparation for the teaching profession’ since it provides for the ‘real interface’between studenthood and membership of the profession.
As a result, challenges in teaching practice create a mixture of anticipation, anxiety, excitement and apprehensionin the student-teachers as they commence their teaching practice (Manion,Keith, Morrison & Cohen, 2013; Perry, 2014). Teaching practice experience enables a student-teacher to integrated science concepts in a manner free of the restrictions imposed by the arbitrary subject boundaries of the separate sciences. It has a dynamic process approach to the teaching and learning of science. As noted by Marais and Meier (2014) teaching practice in this area at times possessesa challenging but animportant part of teachertraining, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria, where theeffectiveness of the teaching practice can be diminished or eroded by a rangeof challenges, such as geographical distance, low and uneven levels of teacherexpertise, a wide-ranging lack of resources as well as a lack of disciplineamong a wide cross-section of learners and educators. These challenges, if notaddressed, may affect student-teachers’ performance during teaching practiceand may in the long run affect their perception of the teaching profession(Quick &Sieborger, 2015).According to Menter (2013) there has been a shift in the concept of teaching practice (associated with an apprenticeship model) to the concept of field/school experience (associated with an experiential model).However, no matter how it is being envisaged, the notion of teaching practice is entrenched in experience-based learning initiated. Consequently as suggested by Nigeria Norms &Standards for Educators (2014), teaching practice is meant to provide for the authentic context within whichstudent-teachers are exposed to experience the complexities,challenges and richness ofthe reality of being a teacher. This process allows the student-teacher an opportunityto establish whether the right career choice has been made or not.However, despite its importance, Killen &Steyn (2011) note that teachingpractice sometimes becomes demoralising and sometimes very frighteningexperience due to the challenges associated with it. It is on account of this that has necessitated the study into investigating teaching practice experiences of computer and integrated science student-teachers, challenges and possible panacea.
Statement of the Problems
Studies conducted on student-teacher’s experience andanxieties during teaching practice show that most of the student-teachers are faced with different challenges (Ngidi&Sibaya, 2013). Marais & Meier,(2014) mention anxieties during teaching practice as a challenge to student-teachers teaching experience. However a review of literature indicates thatthere are limited studies that have been conducted regarding ways in whichstudents experience these challenges and the possible panacea associated to it during teaching practice and which might influence their perception and attitudes towards the teaching profession. Student-teachers also see teaching practice as a stopgapwhile they wait for better career opportunities in other fields due to the challenges they experience in teaching practice. Majority of student-teachers do not often have the intention of teaching after the course. During the period of teaching experience, some student-teachers maintain negative attitude towards teaching profession.Despite the enriching experiences during teaching practice,student-teachers experience challenges, which may have significantly affectedtheir ability to derive maximum benefit from the exercise. An understandingof the student-teachers’ experiences will facilitate the teacher-training institutions’ awareness of the challenges faced by student teachers, which could militate against a positive teaching practice experience. Hence, this challenges which is a backdrop in teaching practice experience, has necessitated the study into investigating teaching practice experiences of computer and integrated science student-teachers, challenges and possible panacea a case study of Enugu state college of education students.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of the study is to investigate teaching practice experiences of computer and integrated science student-teachers, challenges and possible panacea. Specifically, the study will determine,
- The challenges associated to teaching practice experiences of college of education student.
- The extent the challenges affect the perception of the student teachers.
- The need for addressing the challenges associated to teaching practice experience.
- The possible ways in which these problems can be solved.
Significance of the study
The study will benefit student-teachers, school administrator and future researchers.
Student-teachers will benefit from the study as the study will enlighten them on the possible challenges associated to teaching practice and the possible ways to address these challengesin order for the student teachers to be effective in his teaching field.
School administrators will benefit from the study asthe studentwill help them see the value of providing the necessary instructional material for student teacher to be able to cope with some of the challenges associated to teaching practice. Hence, equipping them for teaching profession.
Future researcher will benefit from the study as the study will serve as a source of material and reference for related studies.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study covers teaching practice experiences of computer and integrated science student-teachers, challenges and possible panacea. The study focus on Enugu state college of education student final year students.
In order to guide the study the following research questions are posed.
- What are the challenges associated to teaching practice experiences of college of education student?
- To what extent do these challenges affect the perception of the student teachers?
- What are needs for addressing the challenges associated to teaching practice experience?
- What are the possible ways in which these problems can be solves?