The Use of School Based Techniques in Assessing Secondary School Students' Achievement in History: A Case Study of Kakamega District, Kenya
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There is a general view by educators that assessment is a process of gathering and providing information on the learner about his or her performance on a learning task. This definition makes assessment a very important component in the learning process. For instance, formative assessment is used to monitor learning progress during instruction and to provide continuous feedback to both students and the teacher concerning learning successes and failures. Basically therefore, assessment is an integral part of the educational process, concentrating on determining the learner's achievement through application or employment of diverse assessment techniques. The study was specifically concerned with the use of school-based techniques in assessing secondary school students' achievement in history - a case study of Kakamega District, Kenya. The researcher sought to find out the basic reasons for the school based assessment, the purpose of assessment, the frequency of assessment and the type of questions and tests prepared by history teachers. The study sample consisted of history teachers in Kakamega district and their respective secondary schools. The schools selected through random sampling were grouped into girls, boys and mixed. A total of 40 secondary schools were selected to represent the general population of 80 schools in the district. One teacher was involved from each school in the District. In the subsequent stage, data was collected using questionnaire and checklist. The collected data was then analysed and the results reduced to frequencies, totals and percentages. The findings of the study indicated that majority of the teachers N 37 (97.4 percent) never attended in-service training in history. Only one teacher N1 (2.6 percent) had attended in-service training. Majority of the teachers N 19 (50 percent) indicated that class size mostly affect them in choosing assessment technique. It was also disclosed that majority of the teachers N 38 (100 percent) use oral questioning in assessing performance. N 20 (52.6 percent) use observation and N 14 (36.8 percent) use questionnaire.