Instructional quality of lower grades natural science classes: the case of primary schools linked to Kemise College of Teacher Education
The main aim of this study was exploring the quality of natural science education classroom instruction in lower grade primary schools linked to KCTE. The study also sought to assess the extent to which classroom instructions is helping in filling the gap of students` science learning. The study employed mixed method within the descriptive survey research design. Of 14 primary schools linked to KCTE, eight of them were selected by using convenient sampling. Grade three, four and six sections were selected using probability sampling using lottery method. Grade three, four and six science teachers in the selected schools and eight schools` principals were selected using availability sampling. Questionnaire, interview and observations including recording were used to collect data. The collected data were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The finding of the study showed that the science classroom instructions have gaps in providing professional knowledge, practices and in exploiting methods of integrating science subjects. Based on the findings it is recommend that natural science teachers need capacity building training on pedagogical and subject matter issue, closer support and supervision. It is also recommended that Natural Science Department of KCTE should offer workshops on practical science teaching-learning and on selected topics of science content for the primary schools science teachers and school science department heads. Principals and cluster supervisors should work together to support the teachers and to make close supervision of the classroom instructions. Science teachers in schools need to engage themselves in professional dialogue.