An investigation into the availability and use of the resources for the teaching and learning of Christian religious education in primary schools in Njoro division in Nakuru district
Mungai, Veronica Waithira
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Resources have been in use from the earliest times. Great teachers like Plato, Erasmus, Comenius and even Jesus Christ used resources effectively. Today teachers still depend on teaching tools to make their teaching effective and interesting. Though our modern tools are in some respects sophisticated than those of old we still use tools in much the same way as our ancestors did; to make things clear; to make instructions real, to spice the teaching and learning processes and to enable pupils to teach themselves. Thus resources are the basic tools for educational development. The purpose of this study was to investigate into the availability and use of resources for the teaching and learning of Christian Religious Education in primary schools. The emphasis of the study was to establish which resources were available and accessible for use by teachers and pupils; how these resources were acquired, selected and used by teachers and pupils, whether teachers had been inserviced in the use of resources and whether there were any problems in the acquisition and use of resources. Two research instruments, a questionnaire and observation / Checklist schedule, were used to collect data. All the CRE teachers for standards five and seven in the eight randomly selected schools from Njoro Division were given the questionnaire to fill. Eight lessons were observed by the researcher to counter check information obtained from the questionnaire. It was found that a limited range of resources were available, e.g. the main textbook, One in Christ Teacher's Guide series, the 'Chalkboard, a few supplementary books and few improvised resources like maps, charts, diagrams and posters. As such very few resources were accessible to both the teacher and pupils. Most of the few available resources were mainly accessible to teachers. Further findings were that due to lack of funds and materials for improvisation accessibility of these resources, especially to pupils was minimal. Further findings also indicated that teachers employed criteria for the selection of resources which mainly, involved the topic of study, lesson objectives, age of pupils and teacher’s Guide recommendations. It was also found that resources were mainly acquired through being bought by schools and parents; from donations and from being improvised by teachers and pupils. It was also found that a few in-service courses has been attended by same teachers and they were helpful in the effective use of resources. However there were complaints that these course were hurriedly organised to fully equip teachers with the necessary skills. Further findings indicate that in the actual teaching majority of the teachers relied on the Teacher's Guide and the chalkboard. Teachers mainly used the whole class model in the use of resources due to lack of time and resources especially the pupils' textbook. On the basis of the findings various recommendations were made for educational policy and practice in Kenya and a few research suggestions were also made.