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CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 73  |  1033 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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CHAPTER ONE

 

Introduction

 

Home Economics is one of the vocational subjects taught in Nigerian Education system and it is designed to provide sufficient practical skills to prepare learners for subsequent training or entry into the world of work (CDC, 2013). Okpala (2005) described Home Economics as a skill-oriented, decision-making subject, that equips learners with skills and knowledge which will help them to be self- employed and at the same time, contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the family and society.  Home economics offers multidisciplinary content and environment for students to apply and practice skills and knowledge from a variety of areas, in situations related to everyday life (McGregor, 2010). Although it is multi-disciplinary, it does not teach a skill for the sake of that skill, it teaches for application, it teaches for informed decision-making in endless scenarios, it teaches evaluative and critical thinking skills; it empowers individuals no matter what the context (International Federation for Home Economics, 2008; Pendegast, 2009. As a subject in Nigerian it is taught from grade one to tertiary level. At primary level home economics has been integrated with design and technology and it is referred to as Creative and Technology Studies (CTS). At junior level grade 8 and 9 it is taught as Home Economics (food and nutrition, health education, needlework and craft and home management). At senior secondary level grade 10 to 12, Food and Nutrition, fashion and fabrics and Home Management are taught as separate subjects. This is to enable students to explore a vast array of occupations in the field before making a career choice. Anyakoha (2002) confirms that the essence of separating the components of Home Economics is to ensure that students specialize in the fields of their choice. In primary college of education, Home Economics and Design Technology have been integrated as Technology Studies. On the other hand, in secondary colleges of education it is Home Economics comprising of food and nutrition, fashion and fabrics, home management and hospitality and health education. The teaching of Home Economics as a practical subject is crucial if the needed skills, knowledge, values and attitudes are to be imparted in the learners. It is critical that teachers have the professional competencies necessary to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes to learners. As such proper teacher education need to be employed in all colleges of education. According to Farrant (1990), the quality of every formal system of education is directly responsible to the quality of teachers who perform their duties in the same system. Hence, teacher education is vital and important (p.169).  Ministry of Education (MOE) (1996) echoes that, in order for teachers to teach effectively there is need to consider the quality of Teacher Education in colleges. Training of teachers is also necessary especially in today’s environment to cope with the changing demands of the profession. As such, proper techniques need to be employed for the teaching and learning process to be real and fruitful. In other words, the quality of teacher education is as good as the quality of teacher. Adeosun (2009) stressed that teachers are important in any educational system because the quality of the teacher in any educational system determines to a greater extent the quality of the system itself. Ingersoll,  (1996) states that a measure of the teachers qualification, teaching practice, teacher certification, teacher experience and teaching preparation all define teacher quality. If the quality of teachers is poor, the quality of education will be poor. What this means, therefore is that the quality of teachers will determine the effectiveness of curriculum implementation.  Ololobou (2007) maintains that teacher education programmes are intended to impart not only a body of knowledge in teacher trainees but also to inculcate in them those skills, competencies and attitudes that would enable them to adapt effectively to the changing demands of the educational system and of the society. Through the process of teaching and learning trainee teachers are provided with intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and to make them adaptable to any changing situations in the country and the world. If they do not exhibit the required competencies and skills needed at the completion stage of their training, the goal of teacher education is defeated and becomes a mere wish by powers that be. This calls into question the quality of their training. As a teacher educator teaching courses in Home Economics and as an External Examiner involved in moderation of both coursework and examination results in colleges of education, I observed that there is poor performance of student’s teachers in Home Economics courses. I reflected more and more on what could be the cause of this situation and I ultimately began to question the effectiveness of the quality of training and pedagogy. I sought answers, but I could not come up with factors leading to poor performance of student’s teachers in Home Economics. Therefore, I decide to explore this phenomenon in depth to answer the questions above.

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