A survey of the resources used in the teaching learning of geography, History and Civics (GHC- a combined course ) in selected primary schools in Kabaratonjo and Kabarnet divisions of Baringo district
Komen, Samson Chepchieng
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Resources in education have been in use for a long time now. Going as far back to days of Plato, one notes that he and his students believed in the effectiveness of resources in enhancing learning. Even the ancient Chinese believed that what is heard is easily forgotten, what is seen is easily remembered, and what is done is fully understood. There is evidence also that even Jesus Christ considered to be one of the world's greatest teachers made continual use of what were really teaching aids. We could therefore say that some of the greatest teachers are remarkable for the teaching aids they used. It is a common observation now that what is new is the scale on which resources are being used, their variety and complexity of the learning systems into which they are being fitted. Media forms a very vital part in instruction. Olson stresses that to say that media can motivate, reinforce, inform, guide, assist in recall, enhance retention and the like is to say only that media can be used in instruction. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate the various resources used in the teaching-learning of GHC, the criteria used in their selection, how they are acquired, used and stored in selected primary schools of Kabartonjo and Kabarnet divisions of Baringo district. An attempt was also made to find out the attitude of teachers involved in the study towards the use of resources in the teaching-learning process. To this end, three research instruments were utilized. These are questionnaires, a checklist and an observation schedule. All GHC teachers teaching standards three, five and seven were given questionnaires and observed in class by the researcher. The researcher also used the checklist to interview teachers. Information obtained form both the questionnaire and the checklist was then counter-checked against that actually observed (by the researcher) in class. It was found that teachers used a limited range of resources - mainly textbooks, exercise books and the chalkboard. Resources, which call for improvisation such as maps, cartoons, comics, mock-ups, diagrams, graphs, charts, flash cards etc were not used frequently. The researcher recommends that this situation be corrected. He observes that improvised materials are cheap and tailored to suit the individual needs of the learners and the teachers' teaching style, and are thus very effective in helping to achieve the desired instructional objectives. Further findings were that teachers employ a criteria in the selection of resources which involves consideration of lesson topic, objectives, class size, learners age, individual differences of learners cost of material to be used available lesson time and the teachers guide recommendation. It was also found that the resources are bought by parents, teachers, and school and are sometimes supplied by the Ministry of Education or donated by charitable organizations or individuals. Improvisation by teachers also plays a great role. Storage facilities however are extremely lacking. And even where they exist, the methods of storage are very poor. Due to poor storage methods, maintenance of such resources is also poor. Occasionally some of these resources have been stolen or destroyed by ants, termites and rodents, consequently, the researcher has recommended that teacher trainees be equipped with basic skills on the maintenance of learning resources. Last but not least the researcher found that the GHC teachers involved in the study have positive attitudes towards the use of resources in the instructional process.