A critical review of assessment techniques used during teacher training in Home Science Education in Kenya
The aim of Kenyan Primary Teacher Education (PTE) is to produce teachers who have relevant knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and the ability to identify and deliver the curriculum needs of primary school learners. With the reintroduction of Home Science to the primary school curriculum, it is important that Home Science lecturers in Primary Teacher Training Colleges (PTTCs) utilize the best principles of assessment to ensure graduates acquire relevant competencies for employment as primary school teachers. This study sought teacher trainees’ perceptions of the assessment techniques used by Home Science lecturers during training and the effect this has on achievement of objectives of Home Science Education. A quantitative research approach underpinned in the post-positivist research paradigm was used in the study. A total of 348 teacher trainees from PTTCs spread all over Kenya took part in the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data on assessment techniques used by Home Science lecturers, their suitability for training, and the extent to which they affect the achievement of objectives of Home Science Education. Results indicated that end-term examinations, continuous assessment tests (CATs), oral questions, quizzes, use of group reports, practical work, project work, and field trip reports were popular assessment techniques amongst Home Science lecturers in that order. The regression analysis result of (β1=0.342, p=0.000) at 95% confidence level showed a significant relationship between assessment techniques used by Home Science lecturers and achievement of course objectives by teacher trainees. Based on the analysis, end-term examinations were the most often used assessment techniques amongst Home Science lecturers. End-term examinations comprise a theory paper which only examines teachers’ mastery of content besides the acquisition of relevant skills. Kenya is in the process of reforming its education system; hence these results will be used to inform future decisions made regarding instructional assessment during teacher training. It is recommended that Home Science lecturers embrace the use of both theory and practical-based assessment techniques to ensure that teacher trainees acquire relevant knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes upon graduation. This will help curb the current culture of studying to pass written examinations and, instead, promote understanding and acquisition of the relevant Home Science competences.