Relationship between field work and performance in the teaching and learning of geography in Kiminini division Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya
Wafula, Kennedy Juma
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between field work and performance in the teaching and learning of geography in Kiminini Division, Trans-Nzoia County. The performance of geography in the National Examination within the Division has persistently been declining over the years yet a national school in the division that has judiciously used field work as noted from the survey did post positive deviation in the last three KCSE results. It is worth noting that this is contrary to when the very school used field work sparingly as revealed from the data collected. The study focused on the following objectives; firstly, to establish the use of field work in the teaching and learning of geography in the selected schools. Secondly, to find out the perception of teachers views on the use of field work in the teaching and learning of geography in schools. Thirdly, establish the position of field work to other methods. Fourthly, to investigate the factors hindering both teachers and learners from utilizing field work. The underlying theory in the study was based on the pragmatist Kneller (1971). The study used descriptive research design whose locale had 40% of the secondary schools selected from Kiminini. This translated to schools from the strata of National, Extra County and County schools. The sampled size was 56 of which a total of 24 teachers representing 100% whereas 32 students representing 15% were involved in the study. However, only 23 students representing 11% of the students‟ responses were randomly selected and used. In each school, a questionnaire for school principals, HODs, geography teachers, students and an observation schedule were used to collect data. Purposive, stratified and random sampling methods were used to select schools and form three respondents respectively. The data was analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) which involved mean, standard deviation, frequency and percentages. The findings on utilization of field work showed that 83% of geography teachers did not utilize field study as 74% of learners had no exposure to field study. Ironically, the findings on exploring teachers‟ views on the use of field work showed that 100% and 67% of HODs and teachers respectively observed that field work motivated learners. Another, 100% and 50% of HODs and teachers respectively agreed that the use of field work resulted into improved performance in the subject. A frequency test revealed that 60% of geography teachers used other teaching methods in the place of field work. The findings on the position of field work to other approaches in place indicated 8/9 with a 4% and 3% frequency use by geography teachers and HODs respectively. In conclusion, the geography teachers hardly utilized field study which affects performance. Teachers preferred other teaching methods to field work making it difficult for learners to conceptualize what the teacher covered in class. From the study, it was recommended that teachers should embrace utilizing field work. Lastly, more Geography lessons should be allocated to the discipline specifically for field work.