An Investigation of the Utilization of Community Resources by the Home Science Teachears in Secondary Schools. A Case Study of Embu and Kirinyaga Districts.
This case study was conducted to investigate the extent to which teachers of Home Science in Embu and Kirinyaga Districts utilize community resources to provide more relevant education to individual learners. Literature review was organized around six areas; importance of community resources; extent to which local resources have been used; problems encountered by teachers in using community resources; situation in Kenya that calls for urgent use of community resources; types of community resources that can be used to enrich learning experiences and some common methods, procedures and activities that can be applied in usage of community resources. The descriptive survey was used as a suitable research design. The five research instruments used included: A teachers' questionnaire, headteachers' questionnaire, students' questionnaire, an observation schedule and a checklist. The samples included two hundred and eighty eight students, forty teachers and twenty four headteachers. Based on the results of data analysis, the respondents confirmed that their secondary schools did not have enough teaching/learning materials. Majority reported to have had only a few of teaching/learning materials. x The subjects were well conversant with community resources found in their school districts. The opinions of teachers and headteachers favoured the need for using community resources as a way of making learning experiences more relevant. Home Science teachers did not seem to have made adequate and effective use of community resources during their lessons. While items found in the community were used, resource people, field trips and activities of the community were poorly utilized. The reasons volunteered by teachers for poor utilization of local resources were that they had time and financial constraints. The headteachers complained that there was lack of time to cover the assigned syllabus if attention was given to practical experiences involving use of resources not suggested in the syllabus. Recommendations The key recommendations arising from the findings of the study are as follows: 1. There is a need for a policy that encourages the use of community resources in Home Science; 2. The Kenya Institute of Education should prepare a teaching/learning guide to the use of community resources; 3. Teacher training institutions should train student teachers to use community resources; and 4. The number of students in a Home Science class should be kept between fifteen and twenty.