Family life education ''carrier subjects'' in the secondary school curriculum: a study teachers' attitude and instructional methods in the Nairobi province
Mwendar, Rose A.
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This study is an investigation into the instructional strategies used by teachers of Family Life Education (F.L.E.)'' carrier subjects'' and their attitudes towards F.L.E as integrated in the secondary school curricula in Kenya. This was in recognition of the report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies (NCEOP) the Gachathi report of 1976, which recommended that secondary schools should train for community leadership, family life and sex education; and that teaching methods should emphasize requirements in making education help solve problems. Literature review by the researcher revealed that the youth the confronted with a number of problems related to sexuality, reproductive health, social and cultural problems as society experts them to eventually fulfill adult roles. The society at large has expressed concerns over those problems, yet the government does not have in place a clearly defined F.L.E programme in and out of school. An important argument from the existing literature is that F.L.E. is an important intervention measure against adolescent pregnancies, abortions, STDs and H.I.E./A.I.D.S. The review also provided insights and suggestions into ways of tackling adolescent problems hence the need for this study. The research was undertaken in Nairobi Province where a total of 75 teachers of F.L.E. '' carrier subjects'' were randomly selected for purposes of the study. Data were collected using three instruments, namely: a questionnaire, classroom observation and post-lesson discussion schedules. The questionnaire was administered to all the 75 respondents. Classroom observation was done in four schools; one girls' school, one boys' school and two mixed schools. A total of 12 teachers of three F.L.E 'carrier subjects'; Biology, Social Education and Ethics and Home Science were observed in classroom settings. A post-lesson discussion was held with each teacher who had been observed. Responses were analyzed to provide data that would help answer questions raised by the researcher. The data revealed that: 1) Teachers of F.L.E ''carrier subjects'' generally disregard heuristic and learner-centred methods such as role-play, educational drama, fieldwork, and value clarification response skill among others. They largely use expository techniques such as lecture and note taking which do not stimulate affective responses in learners and in the acquisition of positive values. 2) In general, teachers of F.L.E. ''carrier subjects'' have positive attitude towards F.L.E and are not embarrassed when handling F.L.E related topics. 3) Teachers lack frequent refresher courses to cultivate various skills with respect to student activities and teaching methods. Some Social Education and Ethics teachers were not trained to teach the subject, therefore lacked confidence. 4) Teachers of F.L.E. ''carrier subjects'' considered educational specialists, parents, teachers the popular choice for deciding on the formal F.L.E. content. Government (policy makers) and religious organizations were considered secondary. The study recommends that a more aggressive policy on F.L.E at the secondary level be developed in consultation with the religious organizations so that a consensus is reached on the role of the school as a channel of information for adolescents. The Ministry of Education should in-service all teacher on various counseling skills with respect to the implementation of H.I.V./A.I.D.S. education.