Factors influencing teachers' level of implementation of Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Secondary Education( SMASSE) innovation in Nyeri County, Kenya
The Kenya government in partnership with the Japanese government took the initiative to address the poor performance of learners in science subjects at secondary level by building the capacity of teachers. Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Secondary Education (SMASSE) in-service training has been ongoing since 2004. The in-service training intervention is constructivist, its emphasis is on Activity-focused methods, Student-Centered activities, Experimenting and Improvisation (ASEI) through the Plan, Do, See, and Improve (PDSI) approach in science classrooms, referred to as ASEIPDSI classroom practices innovation. Despite the in-service training the performance of students in these subjects has remained low. The change facilitators very often presume that once an innovation has been adopted and the initial training has been completed, the intended users will put it into practice. Implementation of an innovation is seldom so simple without support. The main objectives of the study were to establish the teachers’ level of implementation of ASEI-PDSI classroom practices, identify the Stages of Concerns of both the head teachers and the teachers and their attitude towards the implementation of this innovation. Study adapted a survey design with a sample of 68 head teachers, 147 science teachers and 10 SMASSE district trainers. Data was collected by the use of questionnaires, observation schedules and unstructured interviews. Data analysis was both descriptive and inferential. Chi-square was used to test the null hypotheses. The study established that the teachers’ implementation of ASEI-PDSI classroom practices was partial, less than 5% were implementing fully. The main concerns of the implementers fell in three main categories; self, task and impact. Majority of head teachers and teachers had self-concerns less than 20% had task and impact concerns. The findings indicated that implementers who had self-concerns were not implementing the ASEI-PDSI practices and those with impact concerns were implementing the innovation. Two of the null hypotheses were neither rejected nor accepted while three were rejected and the alternative hypotheses accepted. There was a significant relationship between the teachers’ attitude and the level of implementation. However there was dissonance in the teachers’ positive attitude and their level of ASEI-PDSI classroom practices level of implementation, which was partial. The head teachers’ attitude towards the ASEI-PDSI classroom practices was negative meaning the teachers’ lacked support from the heads during implementation. Based on those findings, the researcher concluded that there was a significant relationship in the teachers’’ attitude and their level of implementation of ASEI-PDSI classroom practices. Further, there was also a significant but negative correlation between the head teachers’ attitude, the KCSE science performance and the level of implementation. This study overall conclusion was that the teachers are the major determinants of the implementation of the ASEI-PDSI innovation. The study recommended that the facilitators of change, that is, the head teachers and the innovators of ASEI-PDSI classroom practices need to urgently address the self and task concerns of the teachers so that they can start implementing the ASEI-PDSI classroom practices fully. xviii Secondly, there is need for head teachers to strengthen the supervision of ASEI/PDSI classroom practices implementation and further training should be provided for effective management of teachers after an in-service program. The study recommended that further studies could be carried out to investigate the teachers’ level of implementation in other counties.