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The Social Sciences
Year: 2009 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 37-41
Teacher-Trainees’ Ranking of Teachers’ Effectiveness Characteristics and the Implication for Teacher Education and Counselling
J.T.B. Oluwatimilehin
 
Abstract: This study was aimed, at determining the characteristics of teachers perceived to be correlates of effective teaching and learning experiences by students. Eight hundred and five student teachers from Tai Solarin University of Education were involved in the study. The results and discussion of the study suggest that the critical factors of subject matter characteristics, the teachers’ personality or self perception characteristics are determinants of teacher effectiveness. Implication of the findings for the training of teachers, counseling and assessment of teachers are discussed.
 
 

INTRODUCTION

The research for effective teaching has been a focal point in educational research over the years in the educationally developing countries of the world. Recently, there have been a lot of hues and cries about what has been described as the fallen standard of education in Nigeria. This assertion is inferred from the poor performances of our students in public examinations in every succeeding year. Also, increasing pressure for academic accountability has drawn the attention of teachers to the evaluation of instruction in the secondary schools and how best to prepare prospective as well as in-service teachers so that they can effectively teach their students. It is noted that today, teachers’ efforts to create a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning are often difficult to achieve. One technique for evaluating teacher or instructional effectiveness is the use of student rating of instructions. Salifu (1997) and Doyle (2008) concluded from their researches that student rating of instructions they received are valid and reliable in assessing various criteria of instructional effectiveness. Ajayi et al. (2006) research on student ratings of their instructors and courses they taught. Their studies entailed the utilization of factor analytic techniques to uncover the underlying judgmental dimensions considered in the evaluations of teaching behaviours. Factors that were rated in these studies include course organization, workload, difficulty level of courses, student teacher rapport and interaction, general teaching skills as measured by knowledge of subject matter and the style of delivery of subject matter, stimulation and interest and grading and evaluation methods.

Emeraton (2000) maintained that the greatest achievement of students take place in classroom, where emotional climate is essentially neutral and where the teacher use only a moderate amount of any one good behaviour. Ilogu (2005) reported that good teaching is characterized by maximum student involvement, maximum students’ freedom, awareness and a personal concern for students. Abisamra (2006) found that 3 items that students perceive as the most important for the effective teaching of science are: The conscious and systematic use of (getting and giving) feedback from science teaching, ability to communicate effectively and a thorough knowledge of the subject matter of instruction. Ogunsaju (2004) revealed that congenial relationship between the teacher and the students has been described as the most important factor in teaching success. He identified 3 critical areas of relationship between the teacher and students’ achievement that enhance effective teaching which are the teacher’s own personality, his understanding of the general nature of learning in relation to teaching methods and his insight into the characteristics and problems of the adolescent.

The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics or qualities of teachers perceived to be correlates of effective or successful teaching-learning experiences by student. The study was aimed at developing a characteristics profile of teacher effectiveness characteristics as perceived by students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The following hypotheses were generated for this research:

There is no significant difference between male and female student teachers’ perception of the characteristics of good teachers’ effectiveness.

There is no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of good teachers by the Arts and Science oriented student teachers.

There is no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of good teachers by in-service student-teachers and beginning student-teachers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Subjects: The subjects of this research were students of the University of Education, Ijebu-Ode in Nigeria. The choice of this population is made because these are teachers in training who are involved in Practical teaching. The subjects were 805 students of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode. This number included students in part II, III and IV of the degree programme. The subjects were randomly selected from all the colleges namely COAEVOT, COSMAS, COHUM and COSIT. Data for the research was collected in February 2007.

Instrumentation: The research instrument Teachers’ Effectiveness Rating Scale (TERS) designed by the researcher based on identified characteristics of good and effective teachers in previous researchers of Ajayi et al. (2006), Ilogu (2005), Salifu (1997) and Emeraton (2000) was used. The SPCS contained 156 items, which followed the Likert procedure. The subject was instructed to consider al the teachers he had during his school career in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions and think of the characteristics he had likes best in them that make him classify them as successful or effective teachers. Without mentioning any teachers’ names, rate of rank him/her on the characteristics listed on the scale ranging from high to low. The test re-test reliability of the TERS indicated reliability score of 0.67.

RESULTS

Subject matter characteristics are regarded as the most important characteristics of an effective teacher. These characteristics are: Ability to possess good knowledge of subject matter and ability to explain lessons clearly; ability to personalize his teaching ad to make work lesson interesting; ability to plan work properly and execute it well and willingness to be flexible and direct as the situation demand; ability to have good skills in questioning and willingness to provide good study habits and ability to establish a definite and valid evaluation procedures.

Next in important to the subject matter characteristics are the ones relating to the self perception of the teacher. These are also shown in order of importance to be: ability to see himself/herself as a person of consequence, dignity and integrity and a person who has control and good discipline, ability to be friendly, understanding and enhancing rather than hostile and threatening; ability to possess a good sense of humour and capacity to reflect an appreciative attitude; ability to be trustworthy, reliable, dependable, fair and impartially, ability to feel basically adequate and identify with staff and students and ability to see himself as wanted, he sees himself as likeable and attractive.

Characteristics relating to the perception of others by the teacher come last in the hierarchy. These are: Ability to see the students as trustworthy, creative, dynamic and have capacity to solve their problems: Ability to have patience and concern for students and capacity to perceive world from students point of view; ability to understand the causes of students behaviour in terms of their current thinking, feeling, beliefs and understanding and finally ability to see students as being of worth and possessing certain dignity and integrity.

There is no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of good teachers by male and female respondents. Both sexes agree that subject matter characteristics are the most important factors in determining the effectiveness of the teacher. This is followed by the self perception of the teacher that and that the way the teacher perceives other come last in determining his effectiveness in classroom.

It was also found that there is no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of effective teachers among the Arts and Science oriented student teachers. Both the Arts and Science oriented students agreed that the correlates of teaching effectiveness are related to the subject matter characteristics followed by self perception characteristics of the teacher and his perception of the others’ characteristics come last in that order. While, the Science students believe that most important characteristics is the self perception of the teacher, which relates to his integrity, dignity and control and discipline. The Arts students believe that the subject matter of ability to possess good knowledge of subject matter and to explain lesson clearly is the most important.

It was also noted that there is no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of good teachers by in-service students’ teachers beginning student teachers. The two agreed that the effectiveness of the teacher is determined most importantly by the subject matter characteristics followed by the self perception characteristics of the teacher and lastly by the teacher perception of others characteristics (Table 1-5).


Table 1:

Profile of characteristics of effective teaching

Table 2:

Ranking of characteristics of effective teaching by males and females



Table 3:

Ranking of characteristics of effective teaching of subject disciplines

Table 4:

Ranking of characteristics of effective teaching by in-service student teachers and beginning student teachers



Table 5:

T-test analysis of difference in mean ranking of characteristics of effective teaching

N = 15 in all the cases; Level of Significance p<0.01

DISCUSSION

The findings of this research show that it is possible to identify the main characteristics of an effective teacher. These characteristics have been identified as the subject matter characteristics relating to the perception of others by the teacher. This result is supported by earlier studies of Salifu (1997) concluded that students’ ratings of instructions they received are valid reliable assessment of various criteria of instructional effectiveness. This result is also supported by Ogunsaju (2004), who found that effective teachers have a wholesome and healthy view of themselves and that their self-perception are positive, optimistic and conditioned by self concept. The study is in agreement with Emeraton (2000), who reported that good teaching is characterized by maximum student involvement, maximum students freedom; personal concern for students. This finding is also in agreement with the findings of Emeraton (2000), who identified 3 critical areas of relationship the teacher and students achievement that enhance effective teaching as: the teachers own personality, his understanding of the general nature of learning in relation to teaching methods and his insight into the characteristics and problem of the adolescent. Also, the result that there was no significant differing the perception of, males and female students teachers on what constitutes effective teaching is against the finding of Ajayi et al. (2006). Also, this result does not agree with Emeraton (2000), who found that the females consider the personality characteristics more than other characteristics. This is clear because the subjects are teachers in training who have been subjected to general principles of teaching and quality of good teachers and who have been subjected to teaching practice and supervision by experts in teaching. This reason also goes for the fact that there is no difference in the perception of the unservice and beginning student teachers as subjects of the study.

Though, the findings show that there is no significant difference in the characteristics of effective teachers among the Arts and Science oriented teachers, the science-oriented teachers believe that the most important characteristic is the self perception of the teacher. This finding is supported by Ajayi et al. (2006) which found that female secondary school science students seem to perceive effective science teaching to consist more attributes of style more than the attributes of the substance of instruction.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS

The patent questions and hypotheses addressed in this research, dealt with determining the dimensions of effective teaching as perceived by student teachers. It also dealt with how these perceptions are affected by the gender, discipline and training of the subjects. The findings of the study suggest the following conclusions: there is a profile that characterized effective teaching. These characteristics are those of subject matter; self perception of the teachers and characteristics relating to the perception of others by the teacher. It also revealed that there was no significant difference in the perception of the characteristics of effective teachers among the males and females; among the Arts and Science oriented student teachers and also among the student teachers who have already undergone teaching practice experiences and those who have not but exposed to general principles of teaching.

The findings and conclusion of this study suggest the following implications for effective teaching and learning in our schools.

Teachers in training are in a good position to determine the characteristics that are correlates of effective teaching: Therefore, teachers should re-orient themselves towards the effective understanding and use of these identified characteristics.

It should be noted that every student has a distinct personality which he expects the teacher to recognize and respect, the teacher’s own personality is also of great importance in establishing a good quality of relationship with others. These identified characteristics of the teacher’s perception of others that will lead to effective teaching should be imbibed by every teacher.

Teacher education programmes should purposefully plan their pre-service and in-service programmes to inculcate in their products these identified characteristics of effective teaching. These characteristics are also recommended as the criteria to be used in assessing and counseling practicing teachers and teachers in training.

It is significant to note that this research study is inconclusive because there are many other factors other than subject matter, self perception of the teacher and the teachers’ perception of others characteristics that affect students learning and achievement. Such factors include facilities, equipment and teaching materials, students’ characteristics and time on task and other attending behaviours. While, the present study has contributed to teachers characteristics, further studies on other factors are recommended.