Impact of Teaching Practice Exercise on Student Teacher’s Professional Growth in Delta State
1.1 Background of the study
Teaching has been decried as an attempt to bring about desirable changes in human learning, abilities and behaviour. As a process, it involves three components; the teachers, the learner and the materials. A teacher can simply be seen as one who supervises this learning process.The terms “practice teaching and teaching practice” are normally used by educationists interchangeably, which refers to the first opportunity the student teacher has to participate in the activities involved in the teaching-learning situation. In a broad sense, carefully conceived and directed to attain a degree of expertness in understanding the science of pedagogy.
Teaching practice occupies a key position in the programme of teacher education. It is a culminating experience in teacher preparation. It provides an opportunity for beginning teachers to become socialized into the profession. Performance during teaching practice provides some basis for predicting the future success of the teacher. The incoming popularity and centrality of teaching practice is an important contributing factor towards the quality of teacher education programme. During practice teaching, working with students in schools provides a high degree of emotional involvement of a mostly positive nature. Student teachers feel themselves grow through experience and they begin to link to a culture of teaching. During practice teaching, they feel engaged, challenged and even empowered. Therefore, the aim of practice teaching is to give student-teachers the opportunity to learn at first hand the actual work of a teacher in typical classroom situations.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The call for improved standards in our school system is unequivocal. Educationists are now addressing the different aspects of the “teacher education programme” with a view to making meaningful contributions that will ultimately raise the standard of education in our country. Coming up with teachers’ training, teaching practice has been shown to be pertinent for the growth of the trainee teacher. Teaching practice provides an opportunity for the student-teacher to test his/her knowledge of what was learnt at school as well as practical learning of the art of teaching in the classroom. This opportunity exposes the student to various learning experiences, from rural and urban schools, small and large schools, organized and disorganized schools. This exposure reveals, to some extent, real-life situations in the teaching profession. A taste of the actual teaching will usually show whether the student-teacher is well equipped for the profession or not, and will reveal the areas of strength and weakness in the student-teacher’s performance. Some students think that the teaching practice period is a time for less work and freedom from work.
These students feel that they have been released from the rigorous academic work and lecture assignments. When they move to their new environment, the school of practice, they begin to learn to direct and manage school affairs and guide their own students. Often times, they are over whelmed by the great responsibilities and enormous activities which they are compelled to undertake. An unprepared student-teacher will usually begin to encounter some difficulties in handling the various responsibilities. Therefore, it is upon this premise that this study seeks to examine the impact of teaching practice exercise on student teachers’ Professional Growth in Delta state.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to examine the impact of teaching practice exercises on student teachers’ Professional Growth. Specifically, the study seeks:
- To examine the aim of teaching practice in teachers education.
- To investigate the stages of teaching practice during trainee teacher practice.
- To determine the importance as well the impact of teaching practice exercise on student teachers’ Professional Growth.
1.4 Research hypotheses
The research is guided by the following hypothesis.
HO1: Teaching practice is not important to teachers’ training and education.
HO2: There is no significant impact of teaching practice on trainee teachers’ professional growth.
1.5 Significance of the study
The study will be relevant to professional teachers but more pivotal to trainee teachers. Findings from the study will equip the trainee teacher with the need to take teaching practice seriously as it equips them with first-hand experience of what is expected from them when they turn professionals. Hence, it will prepare them with techniques and strategies for maneuvering any challenge they may face. The study will also contribute to the body of knowledge and also serve as reference material to researchers and students who wish to conduct further research in this study.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on he the impact of teaching practice exercise on Student Teacher’s Professional Growth. The study is however delimited to Delta State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
- 8. Definition of terms
Teaching Practice: Teaching practice is a period that a student teacher spends teaching at a school as part of his or her training.The purpose of teaching practise is to provide the students with an opportunity to apply their pedagogical knowledge and skills in practice.One of the aims is also that the student will be able to understand his/her role in the larger whole of the profession and in the extended operational environment of the school.
Professional Growth: Professional growth essentially refers to gaining new skills and work experience that can help you reach a goal in your career. Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice.