AN EXAMINATION OF HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICES AS AN INVESTIGATION OF THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT TEACHERS DURING teaching PRACTICE EXERCISE
Keywords:instructional materials, teaching, learning, chemistry student teachers.
An integral component of teacher education, training and preparation is teaching practice. It affords student teachers experience in the actual teaching and learning environment. The major focus of teaching practice is for teachers to bring theories and ideas developed about teaching into practice in actual classroom settings. This qualitative study investigated the challenges encountered during the teaching practice by Chemistry student teachers. The study was conducted primarily to identify the challenges encountered by chemistry education students on teaching practice and to proffer possible solutions to these problems all in a bid to make the teaching practice exercise more effective. The research design employed for the study was cross-sectional survey research design while the sample was drawn by the use of purposive sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was a researcher-made questionnaire, validated by three experts in the department of science and technology and two other professionals in the Faculty of Education giving a total of five experts. A total of 40 students which comprised of over 80% of the entire population was used for the study. Six research questions were stated and analysed using simple mean, percentages and frequency. From the analysis, it was discovered that student teachers were faced with the problem of availability of instructional materials and laboratory facilities. It was also discovered that school managements did not assess the lesson plans written by student teachers prior to lesson delivery. The research however pointed out that student teachers enjoyed cooperation from, pupils, subject teacher and school management. Student teachers were also able to cope with the amount of workload given to them during the course of the exercise. It was also recommended that sufficient prerequisite courses be attached to the teaching practice exercise, the teaching practice supervision be made more comprehensive and exhaustive, and small stipends be given to the student teachers after the teaching practice exercise to encourage, reinforce and motivate them in the teaching profession.