Teacher determinants in utilisation of resources and resource centres in learning English in secondary schools in Vihiga District, Kenya
Lumire, Oliver A
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The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher determinants in utilisation of resources and resource centres in learning English in Secondary schools in Vihiga district, Kenya. Insomuch as availability is crucial in the use of resources and resource centres, in learning, studies have shown that availability of resources and resource centres does not guarantee their utilisation (Linek, 2009). Other factors like the teacher and organisation of resources and resource centres are key to their integration in the learning process (Beswick, 1975 Orey, 2010). The study thus sought to investigate determinants like teacher training and development~ teacher attitude; timetabling and workload; and awareness levels among teachers in utilisation of resources and resource centres in learning. The study was hinged on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) by lcek Ajzen (1985). According to this theory, behavioral intention (Bl) which precedes human behavior is predicted by attitude toward the behavior (AB), subjective norm (SN) and perceived behavior control (PBC). The study employed the survey design in which 16 schools out of 25 were selected through stratified sampling method. All English teachers and ten percent of Form Three and Four students deemed familiar with trends in the use of resources in the sample schools participated in the study. A questionnaire for teachers and students and an observation checklist were used to collect information on resources and resource centres used, teachers attitude towards them, preferred instructional methods, and teachers' workload and timetabling. Descriptive statistics like measures of central tendency, and percentages were used in data analysis. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version 11.5) was used to enhance accuracy. The findings showed that there was a positive relationship between resource availability andIor accessibility and usage. However, not all accessible resources were put to use at the same level of accessibility. Teacher determinants like awareness, workload and timetabling, and attitude also had a bearing on resource utilisation. It was established that awareness levels for resources within the school was high among teachers but the contrary was true for resources outside the school. Resource centres like those offered by the British Council recorded a low awareness ofll%. A majority of teachers indicated that both timetabling and increased workload affected use of resources and resource centres. Teachers indicated that single lessons were not adequate for proper integration of resources in learning and that successive lessons hampered preparation. The burden of an extensive syllabus to be covered against the backdrop of limited time negatively impacted on utilisation of resources and resource centres. Teachers' attitudes were significant in utilisation of resources and resource centres. Ninety-two percent of teachers strongly agreed that resources were fundamental to learning. This accounted for higher utilisation rates of available resources. However, a few teachers felt that resource centres did not meet teachers' needs and thus resource centres outside school recorded minimal regular use. This study recommended that teachers actively}participate in resource acquisition and development of resource centres. This not only shapes their attitude but also improves resource availability and hence higher utilisation. T earn work among teachers, sharing and borrowing are highly recommended. Suggestions were also made for further studies in levels of resource integration in learning. It was also necessary that a larger study with a wide range of levels of teacher training be conducted to establish accurately the impact of training on resource use.