Influence of learner-centred strategies on students’ biology performance in Kenya certificate of secondary education in Kinangop sub-county, Nyandarua county, Kenya
Gituthu, Michael Mwangi
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The purpose of the study was to invest igate the influence of learner-centred strategies on students’ biology perform ance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kinangop sub-county, Nyandarua County. The study aimed to achieve this by assessing the extent to which ASEI strategy, PDSI strategy, as well as teachers’ attitudes towards leaner-centred strategies influenced students’ biology performance in KCSE. Jean Piaget’s theory of intellectual development which explains that individuals are curious, active and inventive throughout their lives was used for the study. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and targeted 15 public schools, 32 biology teachers and 1152 form four biology students. The study sampled 10 schools, 20 biology teachers and 230 form four biology students. The study adopted purposive sampling techniques for schools because only ten schools had presented candidates for KCSE before introduction of SMASSE INSET. Simple random sampling was employed for teachers and students as it is simple and saves time. Before the actual data collection procedure, a pilot study was conducted in two schools using four teachers and twenty students to check the reliability and validity of the instruments. The data obtained was used to compute the correlation coefficient which was 0.88 for the te acher and 0.92 for the student. Data collection instruments included questionnaires for biology teachers and biology students. Data analysis involved both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Data was presented in frequencies and percentages in the form of tables and figures. The study ratings revealed that only 40 percent of the schools had implemented ASEI strategy. Majority (80 percent) of the schools were applying PDSI strategy partially with a mean score rating of 20.9.The study further revealed that attitude of teachers towards learner-centred strategies was positive with a mean rating of 32.5. Among the major challenges that affect implementation of ASEI/PDSI strategies were insuffi cient time, large class size, heavy teaching load and pressure to cover syllabus. The study concluded that learner- centred strategies had influenced students’ biology in KCSE and that low level of implementation of ASEI and PDSI stra tegies coupled with negative attitude of biology teachers towards leaner-cen tred strategies has contributed to declining trends in performance. The study recommended that readily prepared lesson plans be provided by CEMASTEA to ensure that lessons are delivered SMASSE way due to the fact that teachers lacked adequate time to prepare lesson plans. The study also recommended that schools Board of Management should hire trained teachers to supplement the ones posted by Teachers’ Service Commission. The study also recommended that the Ministry of Education should establish routine inspection to ensure that ASEI/PDSI strategies are practised as expected. The study recommended that further research be done to identify institutional factors that hinder implementation of learner-centred strategies.