Evaluation of SMASSE training on teachers' sourcing and usage of instructional materials for teaching chemistry in Bungoma East District, Kenya
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SMASSE training was designed for serving secondary school teachers of Mathematics and Science subjects, it was meant to bring about a pedagogic paradigm shift in teaching through an introduction of ASEI / PDSI instructional approach. It was projected that such an approach would improve the performance of students in K.C.S.E examinations. This study was executed to investigate abilities of Chemistry teachers to source and integrate instructional materials in their regular teaching as influenced by SMASSE project training. The study was guided by four objectives; to determine availability of instructional materials in schools, to establish modes of acquiring teaching resources, to ascertain the degree of learner participation in lessons and to assess the role of SMASSE training on teachers' modes of instruction. The researcher applied a descriptive survey design to a sample size of; 18 secondary schools, 25 Chemistry lessons, 42 Chemistry teachers and all heads of science department within sampled schools. The raw data was analyzed using a computer software, SPSS. Results were presented in form of descriptive statistics using percentages, frequency tables, and histograms. Findings showed that; (a) Chemistry teachers declined to acknowledge having been influenced by SMASSE training in their regular teaching, (b) most schools had laboratories which are inadequately stocked with necessary facilities and equipment, (c) schools were predominantly acquiring instructional materials through purchasing, (d) expository teaching strategies were still prevalent in Chemistry lessons and (e) learner participation in classrooms was limited to students' responses to their teacher's questions. Additionally, newly established schools were found to be severely disadvantaged in terms of having qualified teachers and requisite facilities for teaching Chemistry. Consequently, the following recommendations were made; (1) goals of SMASSE training should be changed from lesson improvement to focus more on teacher improvement since teachers are charged with overseeing classroom learning activities, (2) SMASSE national trainers should conflate all emergent issues which arise in various INSET centers across the country into an annual publication, and then avail its copy to schools as a stand by guide for Chemistry teachers, (3) the MOEST should set basic minimum requirements for all laboratories in schools, (4) the MOEST should conduct impromptu visits to schools to ensure that Chemistry teachers are totally adhering to proper teaching methodologies that satisfactorily address the practical aspects of Chemistry, (5) The MOEST should develop modalities to start awarding students' manipulative skills in chemistry practical paper during national examinations and (6) the MOEST should develop and supply audio-visual instructional resources for topics/experiments whose facilities have continued to remain scarce in schools. Empirically, the core alms of the SMASSE training are not yet fully integrated in classrooms by Chemistry teachers.