Factors influencing attitude of Diploma Teacher Trainees towards mathematics and science in Kenya
Kungania, Martin Mwenda
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The study investigated factors deemed to influence attitude towards mathematics and science. The study examined whether perceived tutor competence, perceived adequacy of science learning resources and past (KCSE) academic achievement played a significant role in influencing Diploma teacher trainees' towards mathematics and science in Kenya. The subjects of the study consisted of Second Year teacher trainees (N = 120). Two colleges offering Diploma in Science Education were included in the study. Purposive sampling was used to select trainees taking mathematics and a science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) combination. A simple random sampling was used to select the subjects. Ex-post factor research design was used. Two instruments were used to collect the data; Mathematics and Science Teacher Attitude Inventory (MSTAI) and a Student's Questionnaire. The instruments were administered to the subjects at one sitting in each college. A pilot study was conducted in order to revise the research instruments. The SPSS computer programme was used for data analysis. Multiple linear regression analysis and pearson product-moment correlation co-efficient were used to test for significant influence. Chi-Square Test of Independence was used to test gender differences on attitude towards mathematics and science. Perceived tutor competence was found to significantly influence trainees' attitude towards mathematics (r = 1.95 at p < 0.5) and science (r = .197 at p < .05). Perceived adequacy of science learning resources significantly influenced trainees' attitude towards science (r = .228 at p < .05). Trainees' attitude towards mathematics and science was independent of their gender. Perceived tutor competence and past (KCSE) academic achievement was found to contribute about 4.2% of the total variance of trainees' attitude towards mathematics. Perceived tutor competence, perceived adequacy of science learning resources and past (KCSE) academic achievement contributed about 7.6% of the total variance of trainees' attitude towards science. From the findings, it is recommended that psychological approaches should be enhanced to increase social competence, self-assertive training and self-esteem among the trainees. Approaches to increase tutors competence and behaviour through seminars and in-service courses need to be put in place. Facilities and materials like the library and laboratories, textbooks of science, science equipments and visual aids should be improved. The study also recommends that a similar study should be carried out including more factors.