EFFECT OF BASIC AND FUNCTIONAL TEACHING METHODS ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATIONin
This study was conducted on the effect of conventional (basic) and functional (reading) teaching methods on students‘ performance in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano, Nigeria. Five research questions were raised to guide the study. Five null hypotheses were formulated for the study and tested at the probability 0.05 level of significance. Quasi-experimental research design was used for the study. The population of the study was one hundred and two (102) business education students and the selection of the sample size was purposive and it comprised of eighty-six (86) respondents. The data collection exercise lasted for three (3) weeks. Descriptive Statistics (mean and standard deviation) were used to answer the research questions and Pearson Product Movement Correlation was used to test null hypotheses one and two and T-test was used to test the null hypotheses three, four and five respectively at 0.05 level of significant. The findings of the study revealed that there was a significant difference between the performances of students taught shorthand using basic method and those taught functional method. The study also revealed that there was no significant difference between the performances of male and female students taught with basic method of teaching shorthand. The study further revealed that functional method of teaching shorthand is better than lecture method in Federal College of Education Kano Nigeria. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher proffer three recommendations, amongst which is basic method of teaching shorthand should be adopted for teaching business education students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, that in the absence of basic method of teaching, functional method of teaching shorthand should be adopted etc.
1.1 Background to the Study
Federal College of Education (formerly ATC/ABU) Kano started from a very humble beginning in 1961 as Kano Men‘s Training College at the native authority loaned premises of Gwale Senior Primary School before it was moved to its permanent site in 1965. The college was established through the joint efforts of the United State Agency of International Aid (USAID) and the Ministry of Education of the then Northern Region under the distinguished leadership of Late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto.
The initial intake of thirty-four (34) students was pivotal student teachers that were usually those who had a Teacher Grade II certificate or those who had completed secondary school and desired to qualify as Grade II teachers. The five years advanced course began in January 1962 with an intake of 121 post primary students. Exactly a year later, the name of the College changed from Kano Men‘s Training College to Kano
Teachers College. In 1965, the Nigeria Certificate in Education programme was introduced in the College. This was based on the recommendations of the Ashby Commission 1960. With the commencement of the NCE programme the name of College becomes Advanced Teachers College.
In 1990, Federal Government took over the College with the promulgation of Decree Number 4 of 1986. With this development, the name of the College once again and later changed to its present name, the Federal College of Education Kano. The College has achieved autonomy in the running of Pre-NCE, Remedial certificate, Diploma and NCE courses. However, degree programmes are run in affiliation to ABU Zaria. Studies on teaching methods are not something new in educational research. A large number of studies have been done on this area. These show both increased interest and knowledge in
the area of teaching strategies and learning theories. Teaching is an attempt to help someone acquire or change some skill, attitude, knowledge, idea or appreciation.
For many decades, the search for better teaching methods to provide the best learning has been the goal of education. However, teaching method is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. It has been observed by Obi (2002) that any method of instruction chosen by the teacher must be relevant to the instructional needs of the teacher and sufficiently motivates students, so that teaching can be productive, resulting in students learning. Two factors – teachers and students are mutually exclusive in determining the success of a teaching and learning activity. The teacher remains the key factor that can create a conducive teaching/learning environment for pupils to learn. Overbaugh (2003) also observed that teaching is the science and art of assisting a person to learn. To him, the science in teaching entails use of acquired knowledge from natural and behavioural sciences in order to help appreciate the circumstance and personality of the learner while the art aspect of teaching involves the use of creative and demonstrative skills in aiding the delivery of instruction.
The effect of teaching methods on students‘ learning should be the interest of every teacher and student. In the field of business teaching, there have been various studies done in an attempt to measure teaching methods. Recently, more research in business studies has suggested that teaching methods that involve small group learning have a positive effect on student learning. Xu and Yang (2010) acknowledged the positive impact of social interaction in groups.
Teaching is a systematic presentation of facts, ideas, skills, and techniques to students. Although human beings have survived and evolved as a species partly because of a capacity to share knowledge, teaching as a profession did not emerge until relatively recently. The societies of the ancient world that made substantial advances in knowledge however, were those in which specially designated people assumed responsibility for educating the young. The phenomenon of teaching has been recognised as the art of imparting of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values by the teacher to students. When reviewed from the layman‘s perspective, teaching would appear to be an easy task but the reality reveals a series of much more complex and dynamic activity that depends on among other things the skilful choice used by the teacher of teaching methods and techniques relevant and appropriate to bring about effective teaching and learning.
The changing nature of school settings and diversity of students‘ population and work skill requirement have necessitated the need for educators to evolve new teaching methods and techniques. The central purpose of teaching is to effect desirable changes in students‘ behaviour (that is, promotion of teaching). For learning to be promoted, students must respond to the learning experience to which they have been exposed, to determine whether or not instructional objectives have been achieved. The teachers, on the other hand must be continuous learners as they cannot promote learning if they are ignorant of what it takes to learn. They must therefore, know their specific subject matter areas such as accounting, commerce, shorthand, and typewriting among other relevant requirements.
Business education is an integral part of vocational and technical education. Amoor and Udoh (2008) noted that business education plays a significant role in economic development by providing knowledge and skills to the learners thereby enabling them to adequately impact knowledge into others and handle sophisticated office technologies and information systems.
Business Education can begin at any level, it can be continued throughout the life span of an individual. It includes education for office occupations, distribution and marketing occupations, accounting, business teaching, business administration and economic understanding. The foregoing points out that business education covers a wide range of spectrum of economic-like activities in any society, and also refers to the pedagogical and desirable business competencies necessary for self-employment. Thus, business education can, by appropriate training, ensure for individuals full employment even in our present decadent economy by equipping them with life-long skills for self-employment. However, nations that cannot provide for her citizenry basic skills for employment or self-employment continue to wallow in poverty and deprivation of good life for her citizens.
Shorthand is the art of representing spoken sounds by written signs. Words heard and pronounced in English are represented by certain signs/symbols invented by Isaac Pitman and Englishman. Shorthand is a subject/course of study that secretaries and journalists undertake so that they can take down words or speech as fast as possible.
Reading (functional) methods of teaching shorthand is a method whereby reading of shorthand outlines is emphasized more than writing, students are encouraged to read very well before writing down words. Writing (conventional) method of teaching shorthand on the other hand emphasizes on writing more before reading.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Shorthand is one of the core courses taken right from NCE I to III in the department of Business Education Federal College of Education Kano, Nigeria and passing it is very important to business education students. Dexterity in writing and reading of shorthand assist students in other areas of study especially, in spoken and written English, spelling etc. Since the commencement of business education course in Federal College of Education, Kano, performance of students in shorthand had been fair and good based on past examination records, but from 2004 to 2014 the percentage in pass rate of NCE I students in shorthand have dropped from 50% to 39%. These data are shown in table 1.1 labelled appendix VIII.
In the same vein, the researcher has had interaction with some students and teachers in Business Education Department in Federal College of Education Kano and their views on the decline in pass rate were due some reasons. These reasons include, the methods adopted in teaching shorthand by the teachers, lack of motivation from the teachers‘ part, poor learning environment etc. Some teachers on the other hand, said that inadequate teaching materials, inadequate number of teaching staff, perception of society on learning of shorthand etc contribute to the ineffective teaching of shorthand which thereby leads to poor performance of students in this subject.
Other researchers have also shown effect on performance of students in shorthand, some on the motivation of students to learning shorthand, some on learning materials, some on attitude of students towards learning shorthand. The researcher decides to research on effect of basic and functional teaching methods and gender on students‘ performance in shorthand in Federal College of Education Kano, Nigeria. It is based on these reasons that the problem of the study is built upon.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to assess the effect of basic and functional teaching methods on students‘ performance in shorthand in Federal College of Education Kano, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to;
- determine the effect of basic method on performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano.
- establish the effect of functional method on performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano.
- ascertain the differences between the performance of students taught shorthand using basic (writing) and those taught using functional method of teaching in Federal College of Education, Kano.
- find out the differences between the performance of male students taught shorthand using basic (manual) method and those taught using functional (reading) teaching method in Federal College of Education Kano.
- determine the differences between the performance of female students taught shorthand using basic (manual) method and those taught using functional (reading) teaching method in Federal College of Education Kano.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the specific objectives of the study, the following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
- What is the effect of basic method on performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano?
- What is the effect of functional method on performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano?
- What is the difference between the performance of students taught shorthand using basic and those taught using functional (reading) method of teaching in Federal College of Education, Kano?
- What is the difference between the performance of male students taught shorthand using basic (manual) method and those taught using functional (reading) teaching method in Federal College of Education Kano?
- What is the difference between the performance of female students taught shorthand using basic method and those taught using functional (reading) teaching method in Federal College of Education Kano.
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance;
- Basic method has no significance effect on the performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano.
- Functional method has no significance effect on the performance of students in shorthand in Federal College of Education, Kano.
- Basic method and functional method of teaching shorthand have no significant difference in the performance students in Federal College of Education Kano.
- The performance of male students taught shorthand using basic method has no significant difference in the performance of those taught using functional method in Federal College of Education Kano.
- The performance of female students taught shorthand using basic method has no significant difference in the performance of those taught using functional method in Federal College of Education Kano.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings of this study will be of benefit to the following; business education students, teachers of business education, curriculum planners and future researchers. Business education students will benefit from this research work in that the study will improve their study skills and enhance their performance in shorthand.
Business education teachers will significantly benefit from this work and it will at the same time assist them to choose effective teaching method of shorthand to the students and affect good performance in examinations. Curriculum planners of business education will also benefit in that they will identify how best to plan curriculum of shorthand. Academic (educational planners) will
benefit from this study as the findings will help in adopting the more effective teaching method of giving instruction to students in shorthand.
Finally, future researchers on shorthand will find this work a useful reference.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
For the purpose of this study, the following assumptions were made;
Basic (manual) method of teaching shorthand makes students perform better in examinations
Combining functional and basic teaching methods to teach shorthand improve students‘ performance in shorthand.
Male students taught shorthand using basic method perform better than female students using basic method.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study was delimited to Federal College of Education, Kano, Kano State, because Federal College of Education Kano is the central focus of this study. The study was delimited to two methods of teaching shorthand, basic (writing) and functional (reading) methods as these are the two major methods of teaching shorthand.
The study was also delimited to NCE I students of business education. This is because NCE I is the level where basic foundation of shorthand writing is introduced, and the study was delimited to first group of consonants, joining of consonants and second group of consonants and short forms.