Objectives of the study:
To observe and analyze in detail the ongoing process of D.Ed programme in terms of their;
teaching learning processes in the classroom
practice teaching classes – school experience programme
To analyze the student teachers and teacher educators perceptions with regard to the on-going processes of elementary teacher education programme.
To suggest and devise alternate frame works for improving the pre-service elementary teacher education programme.
what are the prevailing on-going processes in the prevailing D.Ed teacher education programmes?
How do the student teachers conduct their practice teaching in the schools?
What are the student teachers and teacher educator’s perceptions of the prevailing teacher education programme?
What are the recommendations for the improvement of the prevailing D.Ed education programme?
Sample of the study:
The present study is confined to four D.Ed colleges located in and around Pune city. Since the college is the unit of the sample, their selection was done purposively to ensure that they represented different geographical locations and management. 3 aided and one unaided colleges were selected in which two of them are having English as the medium of instruction and the rest were having Marathi as the medium. In these 4 colleges, 2 are located in Urban area when one is in semi-urban and the other is in Rural area. Also, 216 teacher educator’s classes and 294 student teacher’s classes were observed. The feedback was obtained from 122 student teachers and interviews were conducted with 12 teacher educators.
Observation Schedule for Teacher Educators
Observation Schedule for Student Teachers.
Feedback Questionnaire for Student Teachers
Interview Schedule for Teacher Educators
The present study envisages to study in detail the classroom process of the elementary teacher education programme in Maharashtra. Since, the classroom processes has largely been captured through observations, both qualitative and quantitative data has been collected.
Mean, Standard Deviation, Frequency count and percentage analysis
Teacher educators from four different teacher education institutions were observed and a total of 216 observations were conducted. The behaviors of the teacher educators were recorded on the developed observation schedule. The study findings are as follows:
The proficiency of teacher educators in terms of knowledge adequacy was found to be above average.
Majority of the teacher educators adopted lecture method, followed by discussion and demonstration. They rarely adopted seminar or other methods.
The extend to which the teacher educators indicated their class was found to be below average. The mean score obtained was 2.14 and standard deviation was 0.87.
Majority (60 per cent) of the teacher educators utilized support material while teaching. Close to one-fourth of them (23 per cent) did not utilize any support material while teaching.
The teacher educators extensively used text books or self-notes (37 per cent) during teaching and a small percentage (24 per cent) utilized other teaching aids like flash cards, real objects, apparatus and relevant documents. Teaching aids like charts, OHP, LCD projector and computers were rarely used.
The teacher educators rarely facilitated student teachers to participate while teaching. They were found to be 'below average' in this regard. The mean score obtained was 1.75 and the standard deviation was 0.80.
The teacher educators seldom established linkages of the subjects they taught with other subjective or social context. This implied that they adopted unidisciplinary approach rather than multidisciplinary approach while teaching. The average mean score obtained on this aspect was 1.77, implying 'below average performance and the standard deviation was 0.77.
A little more than 50 per
cent (54 per cent) of the teacher educators provided
examples while teaching and the rest (43 per cent) did not share any illustrations
or examples while teaching the subject.
The scope of the content taught by majority of the teacher educators (79 percent) rarely went beyond the subject being taught, they confined to the content given in the text books. The average mean score obtained was 1.88 implying below average performance and standard deviation was found to be 0.71.
The frequency of the questions raised by the teacher educators lied mostly in the range of 1 to 10 questions in a class (37 percent). However the number of questions ranged from 11 to 20 in more than the quarter (27percent) of the observed classes. Among the total observations conducted, 18 percent of the teacher educators did not raise any question in the class.
The teacher educators largely (42percent) asked close-ended questions and the remaining (26 percent) raised open ended questions. These questions were commonly spread over 1 to 15 students in a class.
By and large the number of student teachers who responded to the questions raised by the teacher educators in the classrooms (62 percent) varied in the range 1-15.
In majority (76 percent) of the classes, no queries or questions were raised by the student teachers in the classes. The student teachers were found raise questions in only 5 percent of the classes and the maximum number of questions asked in a class was found to be five.
The extend of interaction between the teacher educator and student teachers was found to be high in majority (49 percent) of the classes. The average mean score was 3.27, indicating above average interaction.
The extend of interaction between the student teachers and teacher educators was found to be below average in majority (51 percent) of the classes. The average mean score was 1.89 implying below average interaction.
The interaction within the peer group ie, student teachers in selected the teacher education institutions was found to be low in majority (50 percent) of the observed classrooms. The interaction was below average in one fifth of the observations and above average in close to one quarter (23 percent) of the classrooms. The mean score obtained was 1.86 implying below average interaction.
In majority (54 percent) of the observations, the teacher educators displayed confidence while teaching and lesser percentage (38 percent) were somewhat confident and the remaining (6 percent) showed lesser confidence. However the mean score calculated was 3.62 indicating sufficient confidence among teacher educators.
The teacher educators were by and large found to be self-motivated in most (63 percent) of the classes. The motivation was below average or low in one third of the classes (34 percent). The mean score and standard deviation obtained was 2.80 and 0.83 respectively.
The classroom environment in majority (72 percent) of the classes was below average or least teacher oriented. High or above average student oriented environment prevailed in one quarter of the classrooms. The average mean score obtained was 2.25 and the standard deviation was 0.76.
The audibility of the teacher educator’s voice was found to be above average and more than fifty percent (66 percent) of the classes had a mean score of 2.65.
The language fluency of the teacher educators was found to range between below average and above average. The mean score obtained on language fluency was 2.49 and the standard deviation was 0.72.
The language clarity among the teacher educators voice was found to be above average. Yet a small percentage (37 percent) showed low language clarity during their lessons. The mean score obtained was 2.63 and the standard deviation was 0.65.
little more than one-fourth (26 percent) of the teacher educators did not utilize the black board while teaching. Among those who utilized, a majority (53 percent) used for writing illustrations and keyboards and less than one-tenth used for writing statements (7 percent), drawing charts (4 percent) or maps (one percent).
The teacher educators seemed efficient in maintaining eye contact with the student teachers. They received an above average score of 2.94 and standard deviation is 0.73.
with regard to physical space, it is seen that majority (60 percent) of the teacher educators preferred to remain confined to their chair or table while teaching. A small percentage (37 percent) used a large physical space while teaching.
Majority (63 percent) of the teacher educators were efficient in using gestures and voice modulation while teaching in their classrooms. However, the remaining (33 percent) were not as efficient in the same. The average mean score and standard deviation for this ability was found to be 2.3 and 0.68 respectively.
In general while teaching it was seen that the teacher educators obtained feedback from the student teachers by asking questions(35 percent), or giving home work (1 percent), writing assignment (2 percent) or asking them to perform (5 percent). Among the observations conducted, majority (49 percent) did not obtain feed back from the student teachers during or after completing their class.
The overall performance of majority (71 percent) of the teacher educators in their classroom was found to be above average. Nearly one- fifth (21 percent) were below average and minimum were low (one percent). The performance of few teacher educators (4 percent) was rated as high. The average mean score obtained was 2.79 and standard deviation was 0.53.
Practice Teaching Processes
The classroom processes of the student teachers during teaching practice programme were observed, since they reflected the inputs received during the teacher training programme. A total of 294 observations were conducted and summary of the findings are given below.
The student teachers rating on knowledge adequacy was found to be 2.49, indicating "below average performance. However, 50 per cent of the student teachers had shown above average' ability in subject knowledge and the remaining were 'below average'.
The student teachers commonly adopted lecture method (36 per cent) while teaching in schools and close to one-forth (17 per cent) adopted lecture cum demonstration method. Less than one-fifth (8 per cent) adopted demonstration and text reading with questioning during their practice teaching lessons in schools. The techniques rarely adopted by student teachers were narration, games. dramatization, questioning and discussion.
The rating received by the student teachers on initiating the class was found to be 'below average. It was seen that majority (53 per cent) were not successful in initiating the class, while the remaining (39 per cent) were able to initiate interest, curiosity and gain attention of the students during class initiation. The mean score obtained was 2.30 and standard deviation of these scores was 0.87.
More than three-fourth (86 per cent) of the student teachers utilized teaching aids during practice teaching. Teaching aids in the form of pictures (43 per cent), and charts (35 per cent) were largely used by the student teachers. Less than 10 per cent utilized aids like maps, models and flash cards.
The student teachers utilized more than one teaching aid while teaching in the practice schools. This ranged from one to above six. By and large the student teachers utilized one teaching aid (45 per cent), followed by those who utilized two teaching aids (26 per cent) and three (9 per cent) and very few (3 per cent) utilized 4-6 teaching aids in one class.
The mean score for appropriateness of the teaching aid was found to be 2.59, indicating a 'below average' score. However, it was seen that close to half the percentage (49 per cent) of the student teachers received above average' rating for the appropriateness of teaching aids. The remaining (37 per cent) received 'below average' or inappropriateness for the utilized teaching aid.
The student teachers received a rating of 2.27 as a facilitator and the standard deviation of their scores was found to be 0.75. This indicated that the student teachers showed 'below average' performance on being a facilitator during practice teaching lessons. From the observations conducted, one-third (34 per cent) of them were able to facilitate interaction and learning while teaching and the remaining (56 per cent) were not efficient in this regard.
Little more than one-fifth
(12 per cent) of student teachers were able to establish
inter-linkage of the content they taught. while the rest (85
percent) did not link
the content they taught to other subjects or real life situations. The mean score obtained was 1.52. implying below average performance and the standard obtained was deviation of the scores was 0.71.
Most (82 per cent) of the student teachers confined the concepts they taught to the subject, few others related the content to daily life (18 per cent) or obtained daily life examples from the students in class (13 per cent).
Close to three-fourth (73 per cent) of student teachers did not provide any illustrations while they taught, the rest (25 per cent) gave illustrations while teaching.
Majority (84 per cent) of the student teachers confined their content to those prescribed in the textbooks and only a small percentage (13 per cent) made an effort to teach content beyond the textbook. The mean score obtained in this regard was 1.72, implying below average performance and the standard deviation was 0.69.
The number of questions asked by the student teachers in the classrooms largely lied in the range 1 to 10 (56 per cent). One third of them (33 per cent) asked questions in the range 11 to 20 and a small percentage (4 per cent) raised 21 to 30 questions in the class.
Most of the student teachers (87 per cent) asked close-ended questions, and the least asked open-ended (one per cent) and probing questions (4 per cent).
The questions asked were
distributed mostly (41 per cent) among 6 to 10 students.
while the rest were spread over 1 to 5 (26 per cent) or 11 to 15 students (20 per cent) in the class.
In none of the practice teaching classes, queries were raised by the students to the student teachers.
The extent of interaction between the student teachers and school students has largely been 'above average'. Only a small percentage (28 per cent) of the student teachers showed below average or low interaction in the class. The mean score obtained was 3.27 and standard deviation was 0.85.
The interaction between the school students and student teachers was below average or "low in majority (57 per cent) of the classes and in the rest (39 per cent) of the classes above average performance was noticed. Such interaction was high only in one per cent of the classes. The mean score and standard deviation obtained was 1.89 and 0.70 respectively.
The interaction between the students themselves within the classroom was below average. The mean score and standard deviation was 1.74 and 0.94 respectively.
Nearly half the percentage of the student teachers had shown above average' or high level of confidence. The remaining had shown below average' (30 per cent) confidence and the least (16 per cent) were anxious. The mean performance score in this regard was 2.53 and the standard deviation was 0.57.
Although majority (37 per cent) showed below average motivation to teach more than fifty per cent (52 per cent) showed above average or high level of self-motivation. The least percentage (8 per cent) had low motivation. The obtained mean score and standard deviation was 2.80 and 0.83 respectively.
Majority of the student teacher were not fluent in the language they spoke or taught with the school students. The mean score obtained was 1.92, indicating below average' and standard deviation was 0.72.
The ability to explain concepts was also found to be 'below average' among the student teachers. The mean score was 2.17 and standard deviation was 0.65.
The student teachers largely utilized the blackboard for writing keywords (76 percent) and illustrations (20 per cent). Very few wrote statements, or drew diagrams on the blackboard.
Most (56 per cent) of the student teachers were able to maintain a distributive eye contact with the students in the class. However this was less prevalent in remaining (28 per cent) and the eye contact was more selective among the least (14 per cent). The mean score in this regard was 2.54 and standard deviation was 0.74.
Majority (82 per cent) of the
student teachers preferred to confine to limited
physical space while teaching. In other words, the student teachers hardly moved around while they taught. The mean score obtained was 1.97 referring to below average utilization.
Most (55 percent) of the student teachers had below average skills related to gestures and voice modulation. The mean score obtained was 1.94.
The student teachers occasionally sustained the attention of the students in the classroom. Less than 10 percent (7 percent) did not take efforts to sustain the students attention while little more than one-fourths (26 percent) made significant efforts to sustain attention of the students while teaching, while majority occasionally took efforts. The mean score in this regard was 2.21.
The student teachers commonly evaluated the students learning after completion of the lesson through several methods viz, by asking questions, fill in the blanks, match the following or solve the given examples. Least percentage (15 percent) did not evaluate after they completed their lesson.
The overall performance rating of the student teachers was rated to be below average, however, it was seen that more than half the percentage (52 percent) of the student teachers rating was above average.
The practice teaching classrooms had the following characteristics in more than 80 percent of the classes observed.
Student made noise while the student teachers taught.
They turned around and spoke to their friends while the teaching was on.
Students were engaged in other tasks.
Student Teacher’s Feedback:
The student teachers were moderately satisfied with regard to the following aspects in teacher education programme;
Teaching techniques adopted by teacher educators
Teaching aids utilized by the teacher educators while teaching.
Whole examination system
Theory test- marking system
Practical report marking system
Feedback after practice lesson.
Theory teaching conducted in college.
Practical work/ input given in college.
Admission procedure adopted.
College facilities- ICT, Science lab, Classrooms.
Majority of the student teachers opined that the content taught during the D.Ed programme could often or always be applied in school situations. The average rating score in this regard was 4.11 and standard deviation was 0.89.
According to the student teachers, among the different teaching techniques taught in the D.Ed programme, methods like discussion, self-study and play way method could be adopted often in schools, while the rest could only be adopted sometimes.
The student teachers experiences with respect to the following were not satisfactory;
Allotment of class for practice teaching
Carrying teaching aids to the practice schools
Transport facility from home to practice schools.
Teacher Educator’s Perception
The perception of teacher educators was diverse and this varied within and between the teacher education institutions. Their variations were related to selected features like the appropriate classroom size, entry qualification, subjects to be taught and the whole programme framework. On the whole, the teacher educators were in favor of revising the curriculum of the prevailing elementary teacher education and insisted that the theory taught should be related to the social context, the work load of the student teachers should be reduced, practical activities should also be lesser in number and ultimately the programme should be based on realistic principles.
The elementary teacher education curriculum should be revised keeping in view the perceptions of teacher educators from elementary teacher education institutions, elementary school teachers, DIET faculty and SCERT staff.
Regular in-service training should be provided to the elementary teacher educators to orient them on the current practices expected from primary school teachers and establish linkages between theory and practical experiences.
To strengthen linkages between elementary teacher education and school education, DIETs and SCERTs should conduct common discussion forums for teacher educators and school teachers.
As and when textbooks are revised, a mechanism could be introduced by the SCERTs or DIETs or The Maharashtra State Text BookBureau communicate to the elementary teacher educators introducing them to the revised textbooks.
The time and marks weightage for the different subject offered in the D.Ed programme could be re-looked to ensure there is less workload for student teachers.
Suitable grants may be provided to the teacher education institutions to purchase or develop teaching aids which student teachers could utilize during practice teaching.
Teacher eduction institutions should be encouraged to develop networks with schools to enable smooth functioning of their practice teaching programmes. In this regard, DIETs and the SCERTs could initiate development of such networks in teacher education institutions.
Keyword(s): Elementary Teacher Education, Classroom practices