TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE INFLUENCE OF SELECTED FACTORS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NYANDARUA COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Physical Education (PE) is an important subject in the school curriculum because it helps students develop the competencies and beliefs necessary for incorporating physical activities in their lives. Despite its importance, most schools countrywide and more so in Nyandarua County are faced with critical issues of finances, availability of facilities, time allocated to PE and teachers proficiency. This study examined teachers’ perceptions of the influence of finance, facilities; time allocated for PE and PE teachers proficiency on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The target population was 1824 teachers who comprised of 100 principals and 1,724 teachers of public secondary schools in the Nyandarua County. The study targeted 40 schools arrived at through stratified random sampling. Purposive sampling was used in determining Principals’ and teacher who are targeted in the study. The total number of principals was 40 while teachers were 80 meaning the total sample size was 120. In the study 116, (38 principals and 78 PE teachers) responded to the questionnaire representing a response rate of 96.7%. Data was collected using a questionnaire for teachers. Content, construct and face validity of the instrument was checked by research experts from the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Management of Egerton University. The reliability of the questionnaire was estimated using the Cronbach Alpha method. The estimated reliability coefficient for the questionnaire was 0.82. The data collected was organized, edited and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages with the aid of the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. The study found that teachers were of the view that challenges such as finance, facilities, time allocated for PE and proficiency of teachers are major factors influencing implementation of the PE curriculum in secondary schools. The study recommended that more funds should be allocated for the implementation of PE curriculum and provision of PE equipment and facilities and that time allocated for PE in schools should be increased. The study further recommended that PE teachers should be trained while in-service training for PE teachers should be advanced. The findings of this study could help the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) formulate better curriculum content for PE. It could also help the Ministry of Education formulate better PE policies as well as help school administrators improve implementation of PE curriculum in secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Introduction
This chapter covers the background to the study, the statement of the problem, specific objectives, the research questions, the significance of the study assumptions of the study and the operational definition of terms.

Background to the Study
The Physical Education (PE) in a school curriculum help learners develop competencies and beliefs necessary for incorporating physical activities in their lives. It promotes hygiene, healthy eating habits and enables the learners to manage stress. Dogra (2011) observes that for overall development, children should participate in physical activities such as sports and exercises. Daily quality PE in the nation’s schools is an important part of a student’s comprehensive, well-rounded education program and a means of positively affecting life- long health and well-being. PE contributes towards the growth of a child into a healthy, intelligent, confident and level-headed adult. Students who participate in PE have high energy levels, are more alert, academically perform better and are more productive that sedentary students, condition that can be lifelong (UNICEF, 2007) .

Success in PE enhances achievement in other learning areas and is closely inter-related with an individual’s intellectual and social development. To an individual, PE contributes to maintenance and improvement of health, providing wholesome leisure-time occupation and enabling a person to overcome drawbacks of modern living (Light, 2008). It builds self- esteem, motivation, co-operation and concentration, and forms an important part of a balanced curriculum. Meyer (2006) argues that PE should develop the abilities, will-power and self-discipline of every human being as a fully integrated member of society throughout his life time. At the community level, PE enriches social relations and develops fair play which is essential not only for sports but in social life too. At international level, Datar (2004) observes that PE can contribute to the preservation of lasting peace, mutual respect and friendship, thus creating a conducive climate for solving international conflicts. International games indicate that PE is a universal language that facilitates collaboration between national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies, based on respect for the specific competencies of each.

A balanced education system must assign the requisite place and importance to PE (Kahn, 2002). Since PE aims at developing motivation, competence, excellence and active participation that are central in an active healthy lifestyle, it should be used to raise achievement by developing physical talents of students to the full. Consequently, students should participate in energetic physical activity more frequently than set in their schools’ curricular programme. Findings in a report by the Kenyatta University and Ministry of Health (adopted from Gathura, 2014) on Physical activities and body weight of children and youth revealed blames ‘pampering’ or ‘spoiling’ children through ‘unhealthy’ eating and less physical exercise that has been replaced by much watching of television. Inclusion of PE as a central component in coordinated school health programs helps to reverse the growing epidemic of childhood obesity which threatens to undo decades of progress in the fight against cardiovascular and other lifestyle diseases. PE helps the learners promote healthy, fit and general growing bodies. Efforts made now will help children avoid a lifetime of chronic disease and disability (Arnold, 2000).

The preamble of PE syllabus from the Ministry of Education (2011) states that as a medium of learning and expression, PE is an integral part of the education process within and outside the learning institutions. PE shares and reinforces the contribution of disciplines like music, drama, dance and visual arts and subjects such as literature, science and humanities. Through the use of suitable and organized physical activities the learner is able to acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes of sportsperson ship for participation in sporting activities. Given the importance of PE in the total development of the individual, the activities provided in the syllabus are intended to give learners thorough practice within the framework of gradual progression of skills in games, athletics, gymnastics, swimming and dance among others.

Ministry of Education guidelines (2011) sets the general objectives for PE learners in secondary schools. This includes developing physical and neuromuscular skills, supporting performance of both skilful physical movements and efficient mental coordination. It supports development of knowledge and experience of movement concepts for expression and communication. Through PE, learners appreciate and participate at both national and international sports and dance which develops understanding, respect and preservation of own and others’ cultures. It enables learners to explore and appreciate the environment through physical activities. Through PE, learners nurture and develop individual talents in specific sports, develop creativity and ability for inquiry and individual initiative. Learners who participate in PE enjoy and appreciate participation in movement for its own sake, and develop self-discipline through the understanding and application of rules and regulations in games and sports. Through PE, the learner is able to develop a variety of skills for recreation and positive use of leisure. Lastly, PE develops awareness of safety skills and preventive measures (Arnold, 2000).

A report by Ongong’a, Okwara and Okello (2010) on sports in secondary schools in Kenya revealed that as Government policy since 1980, PE is a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools alongside Mathematics, English and Kiswahili. In secondary schools, PE is allocated 40 minutes in Form 1 and 2, and two periods of 40 minutes each in Form 3 and 4. However PE is not examinable at the final exam. Toriola (2005) points that in Nigeria, PE is taught and examined at Ordinary (‘O’) and Advanced (‘A’) levels while in Uganda it is timetabled but not examined at the end six years in secondary school. There is a belief that if a subject is not examinable teachers will not teach it because there is no accountability (Otieno, 2010).

A number of factors influence the implementation of a curriculum and the resultant learning, ranging from the professional qualifications of teachers, administrative factors, gender related issues, social aspects, a school’s culture and policy, school’s performance in final exams, parental influence, environmental factors (Fisette 2010) and finances (Onyeachu, 2006). Learning can broadly be defined as change and which is influenced by perception. Learning either focus on individuals (the product of learning) or how they learn (the process). It is about how individuals’ change and adapt, grow, and develop from the inside out (Berens 2000).

Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system but subjectively effortless because it happens outside conscious awareness. Through perception an individual’s can organize, identify, and interpret sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. Adu and Alatundum (2007), links perception to curriculum implementation and argue there are many people with poor perception of the actual scope of PE thus affecting implementation of its curriculum. In this study the environment is represented by the school and the PE subject. The teacher is the custodian of knowledge and instructor of instruction. Quality teacher preparation is important to student academic achievement. Stipek (2010) argues that teachers' beliefs about students affect their behavior toward students. Walter (2011) shows teachers’ perceptions do influence the learning process. In addition, teachers’ perceptions regarding school environment have an impact regarding teachers’ effectiveness. Nyandarua County is a County in the northwestern part former Central Province of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Ol Kalou. Nyandarua County constitutes 5 constituencies (Kinangop, Kipipiri, Olkalou Ol'Jorok and Ndaragwa) and has population of 596,268 in an area of 3,304 km². The county contains the Aberdare Ranges. Nyandarua is known for athletics being home to John Ngugi, late Kamau Wanjiru, Bidan Kaloki, Nyaruai, among other notable athletes. During the Central Region Cross Country, Nyandarua County dominated the Championships taking almost all the top positions in all categories at Karatina stadium in Nyeri County on 26th January 2015 (Kanyi, 2015). This bespeaks of the huge sports potential that the county has.

Nyandarua County has 100 secondary schools. Students in these schools have got sporting talents that can be developed well during schooling life (Onyango, 2012). However in line with Gathura’s argument (2014), attention to PE lessons in the county are replaced with that of examinable subjects. A preliminary research conducted by the author in the third term of 2011 in some of schools in Nyandarua County showed that during PE lessons, students are given an option of either attending PE or completing other class assignments. This implied that teachers’ perception to PE was unfavorable.

Realization of full benefits of PE in the county requires proper implementation of the course. However, though Ministry of Education policy requires public secondary schools to allocate not less than 40 minutes of PE lessons in the school curriculum, PE lessons, where scheduled, are being used to teach other examinable subjects (Gathura, 2014). Many schools authorities largely put less emphasis on teaching PE and overemphasis on examinable subjects. This study aimed at finding out how teachers’ perceptions on influence of selected factors impacted on implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County. These factors are teachers’ perceptions of the PE Curriculum, the influence of financial allocation, facilities and equipment, time allocated to PE, and PE teachers proficiency. These factors have been selected purposively since they together play a considerable role in influencing curriculum implementation (Fisette 2010, Onyeachu, 2006)

Statement of the Problem
Physical Education (PE), is important to students because it leads to the development of physical, mental, emotional, health and social aspects of the learner. Public secondary schools in Nyandarua County follow government prescribed PE curriculum developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). Despite the importance of the subject, PE curriculum implementation at secondary schools in the county is not strict since students either do class assignments or play in the field without a teacher during PE lessons. This study aims to establish the reason behind this situation. There is scanty empirical data that shows factors that influence implementation of PE in the county. Literature reveals that implementation of a curriculum depends on various factors like funds, equipment and facilities, time allocated to PE and proficiency of personnel handling PE. The PE curriculum in schools is implemented by the teachers and its success depends on how they utilize these factors. The study therefore sought to examine teachers’ perceptions on the influence of selected factors namely: finance, PE facilities and equipment, time allocated for PE and PE teachers proficiency on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to examine teachers’ perceptions of influence of selected factors on implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

Research Objectives
This study was guided by the following objectives:

i. To determine teachers’ perceptions of the influence of financial allocations to PE on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

ii. To establish teachers’ perceptions of the influence of facilities and equipment on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

iii. To find out teachers’ perceptions of the influence of time allocated to PE lessons on the implementation of its curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

iv. To determine teachers’ perceptions of the influence of PE teachers’ proficiency in teaching of PE on the implementation of its curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County.

Research Questions
The study sought answers to the following research questions:

i. What are teachers’ perceptions of the influence of financial allocations to PE on the implementation of its curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County?

ii. How do teachers perceive the influence of facilities and equipment on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County?

iii. What are teachers’ perceptions of the influence of time allocated to PE lessons on the implementation of PE curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County?

iv. How do teachers’ perceive the influence of PE teachers’ proficiency in teaching of PE on the implementation of its curriculum in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County?

Significance of the Study
The findings may have offered insight that could be useful to PE teachers and principals who may get to know teachers’ views of the factors that influence the implementation of PE curriculum. The findings may assist institutions which train PE teachers to develop programmes for the student teachers and may help them improve on their training techniques. The findings may also be helpful to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), which is charged with curriculum development. The findings may also sensitize the policy makers and curriculum planners in enhancing implementation of PE curriculum in secondary schools. The Ministry of Education could also get insight on the current status of PE in public secondary schools which might help in improving.

Scope of the Study
The study was conducted in public secondary schools in Nyandarua County. The study examined teachers’ perceptions of the influence of finances, facilities and equipment, time allocated for PE as well as PE teachers proficiency on the implementation of the PE curriculum. It focused on PE teachers as well as principals of the sampled secondary schools.

Limitations of the Study
An anticipated limitation in the study included generalization difficulties since different schools are endowed differently with the selected factors such as facilities and equipment, proficiency of PE teachers and funds allocated to PE. To overcome this, the study focused on schools that have almost same level of resources endowment and within the same local area. The other anticipated limitation was skepticism from teachers who could have thought the research was meant to expose their shortcomings. To overcome this, the researcher assured them that the research was purely academic and all information they gave would be handled confidentially and not for any other purpose apart from academic. In addition, the respondents did not indicate their names on the data instruments to ensure they gave honest answers.

Assumptions of Study
The study was guided by the following assumptions:

i. Those who participated in the study gave honest responses to the items in the questionnaire.

ii. That the teachers’ were well versed or conversant with the requirements for effective implementation of the PE curriculum in schools.

iii. Selected factors influence PE curriculum implementation.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 70 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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