Influence of teaching strategies on students’ performance in academic achievement and cocurricular activities in public secondary schools in Nandi County, Kenya
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The current teaching practices in public secondary schools are not inculcating the critical skills and competences to the students to prepare them for the world of work and sustainable future. This raises great concern to school administrators, teachers, students, parents and policy makers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of teaching strategies on students’ performance in academic achievement and co curricular activities in public secondary schools in Nandi County. Four specific objectives of the study sought to investigate the influence of the independent variables (student centered instruction strategy, teacher centered instruction strategy, assessment strategy and resource-based instruction strategy) on students’ performance. The study tested six hypotheses and employed mixed methods research design. The theory of instruction guided the study. To determine the sample size, a stratified random sampling technique and simple random sampling was used to select the public secondary schools to participate in the study. Purposive sampling was used in selecting the County Director of Education, principals, teachers and the students. The sample of the study was 30 public secondary schools with 481 respondents consisting of 30 principals’, 85 teachers’, 365 Form Three Students’ and 1 County Director of Education. The study used questionnaires, interview and observation schedule as instruments to collect quantitative and qualitative data and were pre-tested for validity and reliability. Cronbach Coefficient Alpha value was 0.826 indicating high reliability of the instruments used during the study. The descriptive data was analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analysis and presented using tables and figures. Qualitative data collected was analysed thematically. The findings of the study showed that teachers encounter challenges in implementing quality instructional strategies to realize optimal improvement of students’ performance. The F value was significant at 0.05 confidence level and resulted in rejection of null hypothesis. The correlation and regression analysis revealed that there was significant and positive relationship between the teaching strategies and students’ performance. The multiple regression analysis revealed that student centered instruction strategy was significant, followed by assessment strategy, resource-based instruction strategy and teacher centered instruction strategy. Regression analysis results showed that in a situation of scarce resources, resource-based instruction would be appropriate. The findings revealed that government policy had mediating influence on the relationship between teaching strategies and students’ performance. The findings further show that the Gagne theory of instruction was relevant as it emphasizes arrangement of conditions of learning to attain instructional goals. The conclusion of the study showed that it is not only the teacher who influences the students’ performance, but also school management, students, resources and government policy. The conclusion further indicates that poor students’ performance results from student indiscipline, use of theoretical teaching, assessments not being administered frequently and inadequate teaching and learning resources, which hinders provision of quality education. The recommendation is that teachers should be retooled to improve their teaching pedagogies. Further research need to be undertaken to replicate the study in tertiary training institutions in Kenya and investigate the extent to which students’ self-concept, and discipline development influences their performance in public secondary schools in Kenya.