Professional challenges encountered by teacher trainees with visual impairments in Asumbi and Machakos teacher training colleges
Nasiforo, Mukarwego Beth
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The purpose of the study was to investigate academic challenges encountered by trainees with visual impairments at Asumbi and Machakos Teachers Colleges. The researcher specifically sought to investigate on the professional challenges encountered by teacher trainees with visual impairments, teaching problems encountered by tutors of learners with visual impairments, availability and adequacy of learning resources and the attitude of tutors towards learners with visual impairments. The study was guided by David Kolb's Experimental learning theory, (1994) and related literature was reviewed under the following main topics: • General education of persons with visual impairment • teacher education • Teacher • Inclusion of trainees with visual impairments in Kenya • attitudes towards persons with disabilities The target population of the study comprised teacher trainees and tutors at Asumbi and Machakos teacher training Colleges. Purposive sampling technique was used. The study used a descriptive research design with a survey approach for collecting data. Three sets of questionnaires were used to collect data, one for the sighted teacher trainees, one for teacher trainees with visual impairments and another for tutors. To determine validity and reliability of the instrument, Piloting of the questionnaires was done at Machakos Teachers College with students who were not going to be included in the main study. Data was analysed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Descriptive statistics that was, frequency distribution, mean and percentages were used. The findings indicated that there are no proper arrangement - put in place to cater for the needs of teacher trainees in teacher training colleges in Kenya. Therefore there was need to prepare all the communities who interact with these trainees during their training. There was also evidence that tutors lacked knowledge and skills to assist trainees with visually impairments. There was a lot of delay in giving feedback to the trainees with visually impairment as compared to their counterparts. The following were the recommendations arrived at after the analysis of the data. • In order to minimize professional challenges faced by teacher trainees with visual impairments, colleges should be prepared in terms of facilities, resources and personnel who are well trained in the area of special needs in education. The government should ensure that reading materials and other resources for use by teacher trainees with visual impairments were readily available. • There should be frequent seminars and workshops organize for trainers of teacher trainees with visual impairment to equip them with the necessary skills. • That teachers and pupils where students with visual impairments carry out their teaching practice were prepared before hand so that they were not negative towards those students. • Schools where teacher trainees carry out their teaching practice should be prepared before hand so as to have positive attitude towards them. • Technical challenges faced by students with visual impairment, in Kenyatta University. • Professional challenges encountered by teachers with visually impairments teaching in regular primary schools in Kenya.