A study of the utilization of learning resources in the teaching of Christian Religious Education in secondary schools of Embu in Kenya.
Gacegoh, Juliet Njeri
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The purpose of this study was to investigate in depth the utilisation of learning resources in the teaching of Christian Religious Education (CRE). The emphasis of the study was to establish which resources were available in schools, how the schools acquired these resources, the problems the schools encountered in the acquisition of these resources, how the teachers selected these resources, the types of resources used in the actual teaching, the purpose for which learning resources were used, the problems teachers encount~red in the use of resources and the quality of CRE basic textbooks. A total of 19 Secondary Schools were selected from 51 schools in Embu District. This selection was done from a stratified random sample where the schools were divided into 3 strata, that is Government maintained, Harambee assisted and Private, after which the blindfolding technique wus adopted. The sample consisted of 52 CRE teachers, 18 heads of CRE departments, 4 Curriculum developers, 2 CRE Inspectors and 2 CRE advisers. A total of 23 live CRE lessons from 12 Secondary Schools were observed. Data was obtained by means of questionnaires, interview schedule, lesson observation schedule and an instr~ment used for analyzing textbooks. DatA obtained in the study revealed that, there was an acute shortage of resources especially audio-visual resources in schools. This was mainly due to lack of funds. It was also found that, both parents and schools were responsible for purchase of learning resources. Some schools got their resources either through borrowing or donations. schools. Further findings revealed that CRE teachers and the heads of CRE departments played a significant role in the There was very little improvisation by selection of learning resources. Course objectives, nature of subject content, coverage of syllabus and time available were the main criteria in the selection of learning resources. In the actual teaching of the subject, it was found that the majority of the teachers used textbooks and chalkboard. Very few of the teachers used audio-visual and community resources. The teachers used these resources for the purpose of introducing and summarizing the lessons, while the students used these resources for the purpose of writing notes. Teachers found it difficult to use the few available resources in the actual teaching of the subject. They complained that the syllabus was too wide; they lacked support from the educational officers as to what resources to use and that the classes had large numbers of students. Further findings indicated that, although the two xiii basic textbooks were of high quality in some respects, they seemed to be of low quality in other respects. On the basis of the findings and conclusions, recommendations were made for educational policy and practice in Kenya. For further research, there is a need to conduct study to find out the relationship between the student's performance in eRE and the use of learning resources. These recommendations were meant to serve as a base for the improved utilisation of eRE learning resources in Secondary Schools.