A study of the relationship among Kenya diploma teachers - trainees' academic performance, achievement motivation and attitudes towards teacher education.
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Attitudes and motivation have commonly been said to be major determinants of various aspects of human behaviour. In this study, diploma teacher-trainees' attitudes towards teacher-education and achievement motivation (n-Ach) were assessed with the aim of establishing the relationships between the two of them as well as between each of them and trainees' academic performance (performance in college examinations and in teaching practice (T.P.) each considered separately). In addition, the study further aimed at establishing the relationship between trainees' performances in examinations and in TP. The study covered five (5) diploma teachers' colleges in Kenya and was conducted in two (2) stages namely, a pilot stage and the main study. In the pilot stage only a single variable, n-Ach, was studies. The purpose of the pilot study was: a) to provide the researcher with a further opportunity for thematic apperception test (TAT) pictures administration as well as for subsequent scoring of TAT stories. b) to enable the selection and refinement of the TAT pictures and test instructions respectively. Forty (4) second-year trainees were randomly selected in the pilot study and a set of ten (10) TAT pictures administered to them under Neutral condition for a test of their n-Ach. Subjects were shown the pictures one at a time for twenty (20) seconds and asked to write an imaginative story for each picture using some guideline questions. The stories were scored for n-Ach using the scoring system developed by Smith and Feld (1958). From the ten TAT pictures used in the pilot study, five were selected based on their ability to provoke achievement imagery among both low and the highly achievement motivated subjects for use in the main study. In the main study a total of 206 second-year trainees from four (4) other colleges were used. Their n-Ach was assessed using the selected five TAT pictures following similar procedures as for the pilot stage. Their attitudes towards teacher-education were tested using an attitude scale adopted from Patel (1974). In order to get the trainees examinations performance scores their marks in the teacher-education courses and subject area courses commonly undertaken in all colleges were collected, standardized and their averages obtained for use. Likewise, standardization of their T.P. marks provided with the scores used in the main study. A consideration of trainees' examinations and T.P. performances revealed that 56% of the sample obtained scores below average in college examinations while 39% scored below average in T.P. Their n-Ach levels were found to be quite low with almost 90% of the sample scoring between 0 to 15 scores out of a maximum score of 50. About 75% of the sample was found to possess positive attitudes towards teacher-education. The findings on the relationships between these variables revealed that significant positive relationships exist between trainees’ n-Ach levels and attitudes towards teacher-education and between their examinations and T.P. performances. Also, a significant but inverse relationship exists between trainees’ n-Ach levels and T.P. performance. However, no significant relationships were shown to exist between trainees' attitudes and academic performance and between their n-Ach levels and examinations performance. Among the recommendations advanced by the study is the use of multisensory aids by teacher-trainers and the increase of interaction among the trainees, college teacher - trainers, university lecturers and professors through participation in educational seminars, workshops, reading of educational journals and so on. Such interaction it was hoped, would improve trainees' academic performance. Further recommendations were made for researchers to carry out studies similar to the present one at the other two levels of teacher-education in Kenya namely, primary teacher-education and university levels. Finally, it was recommended that studies in other types of trainees' attitudes be conducted in order to note the ones, which facilitate, inhibit or those with no effects at all to academic performance.