THE USE OF OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE GROWTH FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
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The purpose of the project is to brief “the use of objective knowledge growth framework (OKGF). This research work evaluates the overview of classroom management through the use of OKGF as a complex decision-making process rather than a simple implementation of procedures. The framework is used in order to guide the growth of professional knowledge among a group of pre-service teachers. The research work makes use of the undergraduate students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU). Three hypotheses were tested. A self designed questionnaire was used to elicit information from educated respondents. A sample total of 50 respondents were used for the study. The data were statistically analyzed by using chi-square at 0.05 level of significant.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In today’s competitive world education is necessity for man after food, clothing and shelter. Education is the solution to every problem; it is the only thing which promotes good habits, values and awareness towards anything like terrorism, corruption and much more. Education is the strength to a person and a need to a person. It is the only fundamental way by which a desired change and upliftments in society can be taken into effect. Education is the Backbone of every ones life. Education is a rope that can carry us to greatness. It is one of the most important things in life because without education one cannot contribute to the world or earn money and lack of knowledge. Knowledge is power, so where you know what you can do, you can go that mile further. The following are required in education:
1. Research its benefits or how it will brighten up your life.
2. Find your role models.
3. Work hard.
4. Be social.
5. Learn about the environment.
6. With knowledge you can do experience to test flight or other things, not only it is fun and beneficial but you are learning.
7. Find motivation.
According to Brembeck (1966), Education can heal or kill, bind up or tear apart, lift or deprave. Broadly defined, it is the aggregate of all the process by means of which a person develops abilities, skills and other forces of behaviour of positive value in the society in which he lives (Fafunwa,1982). Education is seen as a tool used for the integration of the individual into the society so that he/she can achieve self-realization, develop national consciousness, promote unity and strive for social, economic, political, scientific, cultural and technological progress (Afe, 1995). Without a good education, they will be less likely to get a job and look after their families in the future. With fewer people in work and more people in need of support, they will struggle to prosper, holding their own countries back and ultimately the global economy.
High quality education can change this, helping to transform countries for the benefit of us all. Quality education helps citizen work together to create strong, one institution and societies. An extra year of good schooling lifts countries richer and in the long run, less in need of foreign aid and more able to trade. The main priorities of education are:
i. Improving learning.
ii. Reaching more children – especially those in fragile states.
iii. Keeping girls particularly the most marginalized.
There is more concentration on the primary and lower secondary education, but also, higher education skills and early childhood education are examined. In its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, value, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next. Education may include informal transmission of such information from one human being to another. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but learners may also educate themselves (autodidactic learning). Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. Education is commonly and formally divided into stages such as pre-school, primary school, secondary school and then college, university or apprenticeship. The science and art of how best to teach is called pedagogy. A right education has been recognized by some governments. At the global level, Article 13 of the United Nations 1966 international covenant on economic, social and cultural Rights recognizes the right of everyone to an education. Although education is compulsory in most places up to a certain age, attendance at school often isn’t compulsory and minority of parents chooses home schooling, sometimes with the assistance of modern electronic educational technology (also called e-learning). Education is often understood as means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and status for all (sergeant, 1999). Education is also often perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potentials, with the purpose of developing every individual to their full potential.
There has been much interest in learning modalities and styles over the last two decades. The most commonly employed learning modalities are:
Visual: learning based on observation and seeing what is being learned.
Auditory: learning based on listening to instructions/information.
Kinesthetic: learning-based on movement, e.g hands-on work and engaging in activities. Other, commonly employed modalities include musical, interpersonal, verbal logical and intrapersonal.
Education plays a very vital and important role in individual’s life. For one to live a luxurious life or for living a better life; there is a need for education. Education transforms a person to live a better life and even in a social well being. It does something constructive in our near feature. Education helps a person to show their best by their mind and spirit and gives a lot of knowledge in whatever aspects. The more you have knowledge the more you grow. According to UNESCO, More than 57 million children around the world do not go to primary school. At least 250 million children cannot read or count, even if they have spent four (4) years in school. Every child has the chance to go to school but it’s not just about getting them into the classroom. It’s also about making sure they are well taught and that what they learn actually improves their opportunities in life.
Types of education
· Formal education
· Informal education
· Non formal education
Formal education occurs in a structured environment whose explicit purpose is teaching students. Usually formal education takes place in a school environment with classroom of multiple students learning together with a trained teacher. Most school system is designed around a set of values or ideals that govern all educational choices in the system. Such choices include; curriculum, physical classroom design, student-teacher interactions, methods and assessment, class size, educational activities and more.
Informal education: this is when you are not studying in a school and do not use another particular learning method. For example, a parent teaches a child how to prepare a meal. Teacher can also get an informal education by reading many books from the library.
Non-formal education includes adult basic education, adult literacy education or school equivalency preparation. In non-formal education an adult (or a youth who is not in school) can learn literacy, other basic skills or job skills.
Pre-service teachers; – pre-service teachers have unique vantage points that are rarely considered political, pedagogical and discipline-based debates (Welch, 2010). Research suggests that pre-service teacher education often provides the first step in professional development of teachers. It exposes pre-service teachers to new perspectives as well as prepares them in knowledge and skills (Wilke, 2004). It equips them with knowledge of subject matter, and pedagogical content knowledge, or knowledge of how to teach. Pre-service teachers need to know how to organize and present the content in a way that makes it accessible for the students. They must be able to make decision about choosing materials, instructional approaches, and assessment. In addition, teachers must possess general competences in the areas of classroom management and discipline. In addition to equipping pre-services teachers in knowledge and skills, the teacher as educator must also take into consideration the perception that the pre-service teachers bring to and develop during their training (Pajares, 2004).
Qualities of pre-service teachers:- An understanding of the professional and interpersonal qualities of pre-service teacher view is useful in identifying significant learning moment for the pre-service teachers. The interpersonal and profession qualities needed for beginning professional teacher involves detailed frameworks outlining professional and ethical practices. Understanding what teacher qualities is, is most important to the pre-service teacher. Pre-service teachers consider acknowledging the importance of their personal history, what beliefs they have in them, put into teaching, and the role of socialization (Clark, 2013). Pre-service teachers are “insiders” they enter preparation with familiarities, strong images and episodes of teachers practice. Teachers qualities can be broadly divided into three areas:-
2. Instructional techniques.
3. Personal characteristics.
Pre-service teacher have the qualities of reflective and inquiring practitioner who can think critically, flexibly and creatively, become significant in the present information economy.
Teacher education; refers to the policy and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitude, behaviours and skills they require to perform their task effectively in the classroom, school and wider community. Ideally, it should be conceived of, and organized as a seamless continuum. Teacher education is often divided into these stages which are below:
1. Initial teacher training/education: – A pre-service course before entering the classroom as fully responsible teacher.
2. Induction:-The process of providing training and support during the first few years of teaching or the first year in a particular school.
Teacher education and education generally is undergoing rapid development in direct response to impose national target related to political agendas and students outcomes. Teacher development or continuing professional development (CPD) and in-service process for practicing teachers is needed. There is a long standing and ongoing debate about the most appropriate term to describe these activities. The term ‘teacher training’ which may give the impression that the activities involves training staff to undertake relatively routine seems to be losing ground, at least in the United State, the teacher education ( with its connotation of preparing staff for a role as a reflective practitioner). Generally, teacher education curricular can be broken down into four major areas:
1. Foundation knowledge in education:- related aspects of philosophy of education
2. Skills:- In assessing students learning, supporting through the use of technology to improve teaching and learning, and supporting students with special needs.
3. Content:- Area and method knowledge and skills often include ways of teaching and assessing a specific subject.
4. Practice: Practice at classroom teaching or at some other form of educational practice- using are supervised and supported in some ways, though not always.
Authors suggest that teacher education should be inclusive and take into account multiple backgrounds and variables to allow teachers to be responsive to the requirement of their students.
Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF); – provides pre-service teachers with a framework where they can conjecture a trial theory when faced with the same problem of teaching practice and improve the trial theory by trying to refute it, subjecting it to criticism so that they can uncover its errors and inadequacies and in the process eliminate the errors that criticism has uncovered. The framework is a powerful tool for carrying an entire suite of ideas. It enables teachers to ask more penetrating questions and obtain answer on important educational question to enrich the inquiry process. OKGF shows a self directed reflective approach, which can contribute to the professional development of pre-service teachers in dealing with the complexities of teaching.
Critical thinking is clear; it is a reasoned thinking involving critique. Its details, vary amongst those who define it. According to Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned and well thought out/judged. The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
According to a definition analysis by Kompf & Bond (2001), critical thinking involves problem solving, decision making, met cognition, rationality, rational thinking, reasoning, knowledge, intelligence and also a moral component such as reflective thinking. Critical thinkers therefore need to have reached a level of maturity in their development, possess a certain attitude as well as a set of taught skills.
Critical thinking is significant in the learning process of application, whereby those ideas, principles, and theories are implemented effectively as they become relevant in learners’ lives. Good teachers cultivate critical thinking (intellectually engaged thinking) at every stage of learning, including initial learning. The key is that the teacher who fosters critical thinking fosters effectiveness in students by asking questions that stimulate thinking essential to the construction of knowledge. Each discipline adapts its use of critical thinking concepts and principles (principles like in school). The core concepts are always there, but they are embedded in subject-specific content. For students to learn content, intellectual engagement is crucial. All students must do their own thinking and their own construction of knowledge. Good teachers recognize this and therefore focus on the questions, readings, activities that stimulate the mind to take ownership of key concepts and principles underlying the subject. These factors are the important criterion for quality teacher education, yet psychological approaches to teaching and teacher training are not being fully considered (Woolfolk, 2000). McBer’s (2000) research into teacher effectiveness and identified three main factors within the teachers’ control that significantly influence pupil progress. These factors are;
1. Teaching skills,
2. Professional characteristics and
3. Classroom climate.
Two of the factors, professional characteristics and teaching skills, are factors that are most significant for pre- service teachers. These are the factors that the pre-service teacher will learn and bring to the job. The belief that teaching skills can be learnt was supported. Recognizing that sustained behaviour will depend upon the deep-seated nature of professional characteristics. According to McBer (2000), effective teachers come from a diversity of backgrounds and they make the most of their professional knowledge by consistently selecting appropriate teaching strategies and exhibiting characteristics, which makes their teaching effective.
Theory of knowledge
It is believed that knowledge provides the understanding needed for the pre-service teachers to be able to link theory to practice in the classroom. Research by Core, Griffiths and Ladwig (2004, 2006) recommended a greater coherence and a firmer knowledge base for teachers. A framework for enhancing teacher education, which requires a deep commitment to ensuring that both the teacher education program itself and the preparation it provides for pre-service teachers are serious about deep understanding of important concepts. A deep understanding of important concepts is fundamental for the interactions of teachers with students through content (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993).
Gage’s (2009) view builds on this, suggesting that knowledge in teacher education cannot exist in isolation and proposes a joint consideration of process and content in educational research. The lack of recent empirical evidence has left educators without clear direction and understandings of what knowledge and practices teacher utilize in creating and managing socially complex learning environment (Martin, 2004) Borko and Putnam (1996) explain that , in their studies on teaching many researchers emphasize subject matter knowledge and many instructional aspect of teaching rather than issues relating to classroom management, despite it being considered a prerequisite for effective instructions, the most fundamental and difficult task for teachers to perform.
Managing a group of students is not an easy straight forward process for teacher and uncertainty can interfere with novice teachers capacity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in their teachers education programs (Floden & Clark,1988) the objective knowledge growth framework can play an important role in that area because it provides pre-service teachers with a structured process that takes into account the complexities and challenges of classroom management. The framework promotes reflection, which can result in higher pedagogical reasoning, a greater sense of responsibility towards students, and improved self-perception as a possibility towards students, and improved self-perception as a problem-solver among pre-service teachers. Practicing teachers are to develop sustainable professional knowledge perhaps they ought to adopt a framework for pedagogical reasoning what would allow them to uncover their inadequacies of their current teaching theories and methods by criticizing them and showing either that the theories have unacceptable consequences or that they do not solve the problems that have set out to solve.
The successive tentative theories of most of the pre-service teachers in this group are focused on either getting the entire student to comply, or getting students to comply fully. Joan’s response testifies the responses of other pre-service teachers in these categories, in the response that should focus on the students. These students love to share. They speak out, often forgetting to raise their hands, chat with the person sitting next to them, and they also have difficulty keeping their hands to themselves. Joan wanted to work on better managing the transition time when student came in from outside as her initial problem (P1). Her tentative theory was to stop and wait until the whole came in quietly, a tentative theory (TT1) that revolves around a commonly used strategy for gaining students attention. When she put the theory to test, she discovered that her method was unsuccessful as it took far too long to be effective in this situation and a great amount of time was wasted she therefore decides to eliminate this option. Joan revised her problem (P2) which was to get student attention without wasting time. She had incorporated the knowledge she gained from testing her first tentative theory (TT1). The she produce a second tentative theory (TT2), that of clapping rhythm to control the attention of the class. Her theory did not fully address the issue of student’s attention in the class. She decides to revise her problem to focus on student ability to sit down and not speak out of turn (P3). Her tentative solution (TT3), Joan introduced one of the talking feather-mimicking what she likely witnessed other experience teachers using in other context to deal with the problem of speaking out of turn. She found out that some student continued to waste time during transition. (P4) she revised her problem to include getting students not talk or waste time.
She used a point system as an incentive to get the student to settle down quickly she discovered that some the student were still having difficulty following the rules of not talking and therefore discarded the theory’s effectiveness. (P5) Joan has to create her fifth problem to that of achieving a smooth transition from the carpet to their sit. She explained her attempt to get her student to make smooth transition from one activity to another prove a challenge. She added that, this is a frustrating struggle for a teacher. She was reminded of singing during transitions. This a strategy her mentor used in the class and it worked very well, so she was advice to make use of it. Her newly articulated problem (P6) reviews that she was interested in directing her focus on maintaining the interest of her student through songs. She even suggested that she will change the song every two weeks and the strategy for maintaining her student’s interest during transition period.
Timothy chose to focus on successively finding ways to help his students, Nick to focus on the task at hand (P1). He describes Nick as: a challenge to work with because he is a very intelligent, but he lacks the attention span and the ability to work well independently. His quality of work is at or above grade level; however he does not have the concentration to complete most of his work on time. Given the initial challenge (P1), his first tentative theory was to use the hidden curriculum (TT1): that of enforcing the explicit and implicit rules of behaviour in the classroom in order to get Nick to sit and focus on the task at hand. Timothy put his theory to test by placing Nicks desk next to his thus separating him from the rest of the class (TT1) he discovered that despite the segregation and tight supervision he continued to be disruptive in his behaviour. Timothy thus, concluded that his theory was not working as planned and that he needed to think of another solution.
Timothy new challenge was to find alternative way of getting Nick to complete his work in the same manner as the rest of the class. Timothy’s theory (TT2) of modifying how the rest of the class did their work in an effort to accommodate Nick appeared to be a good one. However it did not completely solve Nicks problem, thus Timothy turned his attention to finding a way of maintaining the progress achieved, that of “getting the room much quieter” while continuing to demines the distractions. He redefined his problem to reflect a tentative theory (TT3), many novice used, that of hidden curriculum. Then there is a pervading but false assumption that attentiveness means that the material being presented has been grasped by the learner and that learning has taken place (Beynon, 2001). Timothy addressed Nicks lack of focus and motivation by seeking the support of teacher assistant as evidence in his (P4) “How to maintain student motivation, focus and concentration in the teachers presence?” He framed and reframed the problematic situation in context by basing a strategy on Nick and not on the entire class. He wanted Nick to get the individual guidance from the teaching assistance to assist him in his work completing (TT4). His idea was somewhat successful as Nick was working harder and being focus. However, Nick depends too much on the assistant attention. (P5 and P6) Timothy next problem was that of attending to Nick’s immediate need in the classroom (focusing, staying on task, etc) to finding a longer term solution. Timothy Objective Knowledge Growth Framework includes a seventh problem (P7) to show where he would focus his attention next. However, he did not attempt to put his theory to test.
In my opinion, I recommend the use of objective knowledge framework for pre-service teachers because I see the Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF) as a tool which a teacher can use to carry out an idea, not just an idea but an idea that will suite a particular problem which will in turn be a method or a theory for solving particular problem faced by a pre-service teacher. At times, not all methods are suitable for teaching, so for a pre-service teacher to teach effectively and efficiently he or she need to derive a new knowledge different from the usual methods or theory in use. Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF) can be more effective, if pre-service teachers take it upon themselves to bring a change into the teaching profession. They should not just think that they are into the teaching for that moment or period (especially their teaching practice). Pre-service teachers should look at it as a lifelong dedication in as much it is what they will do as a profession now and in the future. In addition, Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF) provides a self directed reflective approach i.e. shows the amount of knowledge, skills and abilities a pre-service teachers has acquired.
Conclusively, Objective Knowledge Growth Framework is useful in the sense that, it makes a pre-service teacher to see the situation at hand as something to reason at and not just the use of a method over and over again. It requires a change which will make teaching profession dynamic and interesting. The framework gives teachers the initiative to plan and select their own learning goals based on the assessment of their needs.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Popper (1963) argues that knowledge progresses throughout the process of conjecture and refutation. Researchers has also proven that studies carried out have little practical use to teachers and serve to perpetuate a misleading dichotomy between theory and practice (Nielsen et al, 2008). The professional development potential of Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF) in allowing teachers the autonomy to identify their own problems not only provides them with opportunities for critical thinking skill development but also allow them to question the taken-for-granted assumptions of the world of practice and of the nature of knowledge in use, the pre-service teachers do not agree and work on the bodies of the background of knowledge.
To understand a problem means to understand the difficulties, and to understand the difficulties means to understand why it is not easily soluble, why the more obvious solutions do not work .By criticizing the theories or solutions we find out why they do not work that is, there is a need to re-orient themselves in terms of rigorous thinking.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the use of Objective Knowledge Growth Framework for developing pre-service teachers’ professional skills. This study employs OKGF to explore pre-service teachers critically think and reason when they are faced with problematic situations. It seeks to understand how pre-service teachers critically think and objectively solve their problems of practice using OKGF in new or uncertain contexts where they have a limited amount of knowledge. Given the vast amount of background knowledge that per-service teachers hold regarding any problematic situation, there is no doubt that the number of possible constraints will be large. This means that pre-service teachers must find ways of framing the problems-solutions so that much of the background information does not interfere with their cognitive processing. This is where the subjectivity-objectivity continuum comes into play. Nagel (1986) defines the subjectivity and objectivity continuum as follows:
(1) Pre-service teachers must solve their problems or make them more epistemically progressive by effectively bracketing the background and focusing on one or two aspect of the situations.
(2) Need to agree on the bodies of background knowledge.
(3) The field of education is beset with conflicting theories and viewpoints all of which are based on observations or experiences,
(4) The reasons why certain theories are right contribute little to pre-service knowledge growth.
(5) Need to re-orient ourselves to think in terms of rigorous attempt refute our hypotheses instead of employing confirmation techniques.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research question that guides the study are:
(1) How do we ensure pre-service teachers use of Objective Knowledge Growth Framework?
(2) How do we ensure pre-service teachers use of different classroom teaching methodology?
(3) How do we ensure pre-service teachers to have objective interactions with the learners?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses will be tested in the study;
H01: There is no significant variety of appropriate assessment that can be used to provide additional evidence learning.
H02: There is no appropriate criterion-based scoring tool used to evaluate students products and performance.
H03: There is no criterion-based for learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the needs and experiences of the students.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The Objective Knowledge Growth Framework (OKGF) allows education to gain a grounded perspective on the issues at hand by receiving rational criticism. It preserves what works and eliminates inadequacies. The success of the teachers in learning about issue at hand will depend on the extent to which they can identify the relevant explanatory hypotheses. Teachers need to be trained on how to identify and articulate their theories to ensure that their tentative theories can be tested adequately against empirical evidence. Since teaching is highly sensitive to context, the tentative theories that are being tested will comprise many hypotheses that are potentially relevant to the observed outcomes. The study shall be relevant by describing popper’s idea that knowledge progresses through falsification which is the central idea of popper’s philosophy of science, and not through observations or repetitive tasks.
(1) Findings from pre-service teachers in a compulsory course in a teacher education program are used to illustrate how OKGF has promoted teachers critical thinking and how such an approach has help them successful make decisions in new uncertain contexts when faced with a limited amount of knowledge.
(2) Attempts to help-pre-service teachers create successful trajectories for their decisions in their teaching contexts and hence enhance the advancement of teacher knowledge.