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Teacher Education and Policy Developmen t:

The Global Agenda


Catherine Sinclair, Australia Associate Editor

Joyce Castle, Canada Designer

Colin Mably, U.S.A. Past Secretary General Editorial Board

Anne-Marie Bergh, South Africa Jan Borg, Denmark

Lam Siu Yuk (Rebecca), Hong Kong, China Roque Moraes, Brazil

Wally Moroz, Australia

Leke Tambo, Cameroon

Helen Woodward, Australia

George Churukian, Past Editor (ex officio), U.S.A.

Colin Mably, Designer (ex officio), U.S.A. Janet Powney, Secretary General (ex officio), United Kingdom

Catherine Sinclair, Editor (ex officio), Australia

Joyce Castle, Associate Editor (ex officio),

Officers/Steering Committee .

Janet Powney, United Kingdom, Secretary General

George A. -Churukian, U.S.A.,Treasurer & Records

Catherine Sinclair, Australia, Editor, JISTE Joyce Castle, Canada, Assistant Editor JISTE

Bill Driscoll, Australia, Editor Newsletter John Maurer, Australia,

Directory & Membership

. Colin Mably, U.S.A., Past Secretary General, Convenor 2000

Warren Halloway, Australia

Past Secretary General

Hans Voorback, Netherlands, Past Secretary General

Cornel DaCosta, England, Convener 1999 Ahmed Al-Bustan, Kuwait, Convener 2001 Lotti Schou, Denmark, Convener 2002 Alex Fung, Hong Kong, China,

Convener 2003

Craig Kissack, U.S.A., Convenor 2004

It is with much appreciation that JISTE wishes to thank the following ISTE members for their reviews of the articles submitted for this volume. Their tireless efforts and the feedback they provided to potential contributors have enriched the papers published. If you wish to become a reviewer please contact the editor, Catherine Sinclair

. Rich Berlach, Australia Vic Cicci, Canada

Neil Dempster, Australia

Gordon Fulcher, United Kingdom Alastair Glegg, Canada

James D. Greenberg. U.S.A Warren Halloway, Australia

Anthony Hopkin, Botswana Judy Kuechle, USA

John Maurer, Australia Roque Moraes, Brazil Wally Moroz, Australia Bob O'Brien, New Zealand

Donna Patterson, Canada Karlheinz Rebel, Germany Merle Richards, Canada Bill Stringer, Australia Sybil Wilson, Canada Helen Woodward, Australia

The JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR TEACHER EDUCATION (JISTE) is published as a service to those concerned with global teacher education. It serves as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas related to the improvement ofteacher education. Articles focus upon concepts and research which have practical dimensions or implications and applicability for practitioners in teacher education The Joumallimits its articles to those in which ideas are applicable in multiple social seUings.

JISTE is an official, refereed publication oflSTE. The goal oflSTE is to publish six to eight articles in each issue. Using the Seminar theme, articles in the rust issue of each volume are based on papers presented at the previous seminar. Articles in the second issue are non-thematic. Points of view and opinions are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those oflSTE. Published manuscripts are the property of JISTE. Permission to reproduce must be requested from the editor.

JISTE is issued twice yearly by the International Society for Teacher Education. The subscription price of $US2S.00 is included in the annual membership fee. Additional copies of the journal may be purchased for $l'S 1500. Institutional subscription toJISTE is SUSSO.OO per year. To obtain additional or institutional ':01"';" email Jenny Hand at .

Teacher Education and Policy Development:

The Global Agenda



Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education Volume 9, Number 1, January 2005

Copyright © 2005

by the International Society for Teacher Education

ISSN 1029-5968



Volume 9, Number 1, January 2005

Teacher Education and Policy Development: . The Global Agenda

Message from the Secretary General

Janet Powney iv

Message from the Editor

Catherine Sinclair v

Invited Article:

Peace and Social Justice in Teacher Education

Janet Powney I


An Effective Web-based Approach to Support the Initial Training of Science Teachers

May-hung Cheng. Wtng-mui So and Yau-yuen Yeung 13

Induction for Beginning Teachers

Sybil Wilson, Jessica Craig. and Vic Cicci 23

The School Inspection System in England: Responding to Changing Circumstances and A New Accountability

Val Banks and Peter Smith 33

A Causal Model of Some Psycho-social Factors as Determinants of Senior Secondary Students' Attitudes Towards History

Israel Osokoya 41

Student Attitudes towards the Subject of Science in Kuwaiti Intermediate Schools

Nedaa Al-Khamees 52

Index to Volume 8 63

Publication Guidelines 66

Manuscript Guidelines 66

Submission Requirements 67


From tbe Secretary General

Teacher educators cannot ignore political change; they must be both aware and wary of it. The process of political change affects everyone in the profession·at a practical level in terms of new regulations and 'guidance' for curriculum, management of educational institutions and especially in the overall allocation of money to education and the priorities within that allocation.

Do democracies have destabilising effects on educational practice? Governments are selected for a term of office during which a major part of national expenditure will be on education. Each government wants to make its educational mark while in power but only has a limited period in which to do so. This feature combined with a world .wide trend towards conservative politics has resulted in intervention and immense control being exercised over the profession at all levels of education ..

Central control in education has advantages. It guarantees that every student

. has access to a basic curriculum with safeguards to ensure that standards of learning, teaching and assessment are maintained. However such an approach reduces both teachers and teacher educators to the status of technicians implementing curricula, assessment and educational initiatives that do not require educational decision-making so much as competence in 'delivering',

Teacher education (as compared with teacher training) prepares student teachers and supports existing teachers in making professional judgements. Teachers expect to adapt their styles and expectations to individual learners but centralised control and many national initiatives are less flexible and responsive to local situations and responses. For example. the paper by Banks and Smith in this nSTE issue shows that schools inspected under a national system with judgments being made by people outside the school system meant a great increase in stress and bureaucracy and little development of self evaluation within schools since every teacher had to meet the same external, detailed requirements. A decade after this approach was introduced it has been replaced by a more locally responsive system expecting school staff to be substantially involved with self evaluation of their schools.

With changes dictated by such political shifts and fashions, teacher educators have the difficult task of balancing the political now against the unknown political expectations in the future. As members of ISTE we have a great advantage in being able to share our experiences of the impacts of many different political approaches on education and teacher education.

Janet Powney


From the Editor

Welcome to the first issue of JISTE Volume 9 for the year, Thank you to all those who submitted papers and to the reviewers who give their time and expertise so freely to enhance the quality of the papers published, However, more reviewers are needed so if you think you can help, email me at and let me know of your availability and if there are papers from any particular subject area and research methodology you would like to review.

This year our first article is an invited paper from Our Secretary General, an edited version of the first part of the keynote address she presented at ISTE's 24th Annual Seminar in Minneapolis in August, 2004. This excellent paper describes how injustices contribute to

, violence between individuals, groups, tribes and countries throughout the world, and outlines the importance of teacher educators and the teaching profession promoting social justice to enable societies to live more peaceably.

Also, please enjoy her Secretary General's comment. If you would like to respond to her comments and how they relate to your own situation, or indeed comment on any of the papers from this issue, please email me an • E-Letter to the Editor' that I may be able to

include in the next issue of JISTE. '

The next article, by May-hung Cheng, Wing-mui So and Yau-yuen Yeung reports on a website created to support the Hong Kong Institute of Education's student teachers in the development of teaching competence during field experiences. This innovation has implications for replication world wide and I know I have learnt much from this article that has motivated me to try to establish a similar website for the University of Western Sydney's elementary student teachers.

'The next article moves us from student teachers to beginning teachers as Sybil Wilson, Jessica Craig, and Vic Cicci discusses induction practices in a number of countries and asks five questions that we should ask when considering introducing an induction program. Val Banks and Peter Smith then look at changes to England's school inspection system which should give the schools and teachers themselves a greater ownership over and involvement in the inspection process.

The final two articles take us back into the classroom to focus on student learning. Israel Osokoya surveyed secondary students in Nigeria to ascertain the impact of certain psycho-social factors on students' affective learning outcome in history and the implications these have for teachers, principals, guidance counselors and teacher educators. Finally Nedaa Al-Khamees explored student attitudes towards science in Kuwait intermediate schools noting, amongst other things, the impact that curriculum had on student attitudes. Again this article has implications for teachers and teacher educators.

So sit back and enjoy a look at education and teacher education across the globe. Also again, I ask you to encourage your institutions to subscribe to the journal and offer to be a reviewer.

Catherine Sincfair


Peace and social justice in teacher education I

Janet Powney

We are faced with a kind of Pascal's wager. Assume the worst and it will surely arrive. Commit oneself to the struggle for freedom andjustice and its course may well be advanced.

Noam Chomsky


This paper covers some of my reflections about equity, drawing on my personal experience in teaching, higber education and research. Inequalities persist in the teaching profession and teacher educators are responsible for ensuring students understand how injustices can infiltrate all aspects of education. My underlying assumption is that injustices make a substantial contribution to and rationale for violence between individuals and between groups, tribes and countries. Only by persisting with actions that promote social justice will societies live more peaceably.

Education is a lottery

Over the last year I have been part of very different educational situations: a graduation ceremony in a Catholic high school for girls in Sacramento, California;' home teaching classes for Somali children of refugee families living in Cairo, Egypt; a nursery for children of poor Egyptian and Sudanese people in Cairo; schools in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank where students and teachers are surrounded and hampered by violence emanating mainly from Israeli forces and settlers; and the beautiful surroundings of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I have met learners and teachers in some of the most and the least privileged

educational environments. .

The children and students in these various educational institutions have done nothing to deserve the kind of schooling they get. Their education and ours still depends on in which country and which locality we are born, what our parents do and how much they earn. Our education also depends on our ethnicity, our religion and whether or not we have a significant disability. The Convention on the Rights of the Child makes education a basic right but falls a long way short in ensuring

I This paper is an edited version of the first part of the keynote address "Peace, social justice and teacher education for the new generations' presented at ISTE's 24th Annual Seminar, August 7 - 12,2004 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

2 Global Campaign for Education, 'A Fair Chance April 2003

every child attains this right. Nearly one in six of the 680 million children of school-going-age in developing countries never go to school. Most (\) of these are girls. At present progress it is predicted that it will not be until 2100 that Africa gets all of its children into primary school'.

At the same time many African governments, in line with other governments throughout the world, have continued to spend extensively on the military rather than basic education.

Another factor in the education lottery is what is an educational political priority. The recent series of priorities in the UK include: nursery education for all 3 year olds; imposition of a national curriculum for England (see note 1), increased access to university so that at least 50% of our under 21year olds can attend in order to enhance the life chances of young people from poor families. Despite attempts at social engineering in higher education there has not been a significant increase in students from low-income families although they may get exemption from fees; meanwhile recruitment remains healthy among students of middle and higher income families', In the US, The Education Trust reports on the effects of poor backgrounds on college graduation rates; a disproportionate number of students who fail to graduate from university are low income and minority students' although many of these are likely to qualify subsequently

through other educational and training routes. .

Education is a lottery and educational careers are also permeated with injustices for teachers in all sectors as the following research findings illustrate.

Mapping social (in}justice for teachers

Some findings from research in the UK.

Minority ethnic groups

• Male and female teachers from minority ethnic groups (See note 2) are more likely than white colleagues to apply for promoted posts but are proportionally less likely to attain them. They are structurally disadvantaged in the system (powney et al 2003).

• Qualified, minority ethnic teachers in all sectors of education are often employed on lower than average salaries, tend to be in shortage subjects and are on average older than their white colleagues at the same level (Siraj-

3 Times Higher Education Supplement 8.7.04

4 Times Higher Education Supplement 4 June 04. See also


Blatchford, 1993).

• Despite high educational aspirations and desire for qualifications (Mirza 1997; Mirza & Reay, 2000), minority ethnic teachers tend to be ghettoised in low status subject areas and pastoral roles, are less likely to be promoted and feel undervalued and isolated (Ross, 2001; McCreith & Ross, 2002; Osler, 1997; Powney & Weiner, 1992; Powney et al2002).


• Female head teachers are significantly more likely than male head teachers to live alone without families (Powney et al 2003).

• Current varied systems of entry into teaching and subsequent flexible working patterns in the profession largely benefit women teachers except those wanting to work in senior posts (powney et al 2003).

• Women make up approximately half the secondary teaching population in England but are under-represented in senior management positions (DfES, 2002).

• Criteria for appointment to senior positions may discriminate indirectly against women who are deemed to lack sufficient experience at deputy or assistant head teacher levels. (Maclean 1992; Marsh, 1989).

• Since the 1970s the proportion of women in teaching has been increasing in every phase of development, at each level in the hierarchy and across subjects, which contributes to the phenomena of 'feminisation' of the profession (Hutchings, 2001). The proportion of men entering primary teaching in England has declined to under 14% over the last decade.

• A higher proportion of women and minorities in UK higher education are employed on fixed term contracts suggesting that they are 'ghettoised' and less likely to progress on to permanent contracts (Bryson 1997; Powney et al 2002).

Disabled teachers

• Male and female disabled teachers of all ages experience stress, exhaustion and isolation and are most likely to indicate they want to leave teaching because of lack of support and of colleague awareness (powney et al 2003).

• Disabled teachers say the principle barrier for them is lack of understanding of their situation by non-disabled colleagues, including other teachers, senior managers and employers, and a lack of willingness to learn (National Union of Teachers, 2001; Powney et al2003).


• Men are promoted more quickly, and are therefore younger than women in comparable positions (Thornton & Bricheno. 1999, Powney et aI2oo3).

• An instance of reported prejudice:


If you have a good idea in your 20s, they give you the job; if you are: in your 30s, they give somebody else the job; if you are in your 40s plus, they tend to sack you for it. Part time teacher educator (powney et al

2002). .

In the early 1960's it was extremely difficult for married applicants to become teachers. It was only in 1944 in England and in the 1950s in Scotland that women school teachers no longer had to resign when they married. By the late 1960s, there was a shortage of teachers. Suddenly married women students were acceptable and even sought as offering a stable population of qualified teachers for local schools. Expansion of pupil rolls was paralleled in teacher education. The personal consequences in these changes in priorities meant it was difficult for me to train as a teacher but subsequently easy to become a teacher edu.cator. Current teacher educators face different problems, possibilities and constraints in their careers compared with previous generations. For example, now there is immense pressure for teacher educators in many parts of the world to publish research papers in order to gain promotion and to boost their institution's national ratings and therefore its income. Our one slot of time in life is going to be shaped by such political priorities as well as at least three other areas of constraints (and opportunities): personal, cultural and organizational.

Our families have an immense impact on our careers and the transitions made in those careers. Work, family and geographical mobility are linked and mutually influence each other at various stages of life. Myklebust (1998) suggests the careers of men and women move in different directions according to their social background and he stresses the differing caring roles of men and women. Our own research (powney et al2003) found that gender differences in careers are associated with caring for children rather than being a man or woman per se. Certainly domestic responsibilities - such as marriage and cohabitation, child care and children's schooling constrain career choices such as fulVpart-time working, level of seniority, and decisions to gain further qualifications, apply for promotion or move to a new job. We can add to these the personal preferences and motivations of individual teachers to see the numerous variables at play in teachers' careers and that should be considered in their education and training.

Cultural factors

Multiple identities

We gain our personal and professional sense of self through our relationships

• with other people. Moreover we are all victims and perpetrators of single identities that ignore other facets. This mutual identity game depends on the


characteristics salient at the time- appearance, age, ethnicity, height; andlor our expertise or relationship depending on the relevant context. But these are not our real selves: we are a mixture of many characteristics and subtly different experiences. that makes each of us unique and ready to protest when we are crudely labelled. Each of these identities is experienced through the others. But the general discourse is to nullify multiple identities and address one at a time. Mirza and Sheridan (2003) swnmarise this in terms of gender and ethnicity:

Black 'and minority ethnic women are often invisible occupying a 'blind spot' in mainstream policy and research studies, which talk about women on one hand or ethnic minorities on the other (Mina 1997:4). In orderto sketch a profile of black and minority ethnic women's multiple identities as a lived reality it is important that the women are seen as 'holistic individuals' and not 'objectified' in terms of preconceived political and social categories which often underpins social policy and equalities thinking.

A teacher's culture and the norms that apply within that culture to men and women of different ages are of major importance, For example Asian women interviewed in the west of England (powney et al2003) said they were 'breaking the mould' by going to work when their husbands were unemployed. Their decision was mitigated by the characteristic of primary education - a predominantly female ethos and young pupils - that made their jobs more acceptable in their community.

Why perceive disadvantage and interpret difference as a problem rather than look for the potential that is in the complex bundle that makes up each individual? In education students, members of staff or parents may not be treated as individuals but as stereotypes? For example, in the UK pupils fluent in their home language of Urdu, Hindi, or Arabic have linguistic skills that are not only ignored in their school education and assessment but may be treated as a disadvantage since they do not fit the stereotypical pupil,

Organisational ethos

Our careers are affected by the ethos of the organizations in which we work. Are we accepted and valued or seen as 'different' and even therefore as a liability? Teachers identify themselves as teachers; it is other people who determine the extent to which our combination of personal attributes (age, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) matter in our professional career. Being made aware of being visibly different from their colleagues (e.g, coming from a different race anellor being disabled) may be very stressful for teachers (powney et al 2003), Teachers, who are unusual e.g. Black female secondary head teachers


in the UK, can also experience extra pressures in terms of being seen as representative of their respective communities - women and minority ethnic groups in this example. In our study (powney et al 2003), one informant from a mixed heritage background was encouraged by her Local Education Area (LEA) to apply for a preparation for headship course because: "We need a black head teacher." What is happening here is an institutional response to just one characteristic of this' woman, a feature that coincides with being seen to conform to the equalities agenda and ignores cultural and personal factors. Our evidence (powney et al 2003) demonstrates that not all educational institutions promote the principle of equality of opportunity for staff that might reasonably be expected of organisations modelling society for young people. Those who have been labelled in some way as 'different', and therefore by implication 'not as good', have to make extra effort to succeed in their careers.

Outside the mainstream

Organisations may also make teachers feel marginalised if their colleagues, parents or students do not regard them as 'proper teachers' because they have chosen to work as supply (substitute) or part-time teachers or in a specialist support role. Parents ask to see the 'real' teacher despite the specialist knowing more about their child's difficulties and education. School and college managers construct timetables and hold important meetings without reference to part-time staff and if they can attend. Universities and colleges largely ignore the views and needs of hourly paid lecturers in planning and departmental decision making despite being dependent on such staff to provide a good service for students, Supply teachers may hardly be acknowledged in some schools and are left to find their own way around. On the more positive side, rather than expect individuals to make all the changes to fit the school, some head teachers and managers adapt aspects of the organisation to match the needs of both staff and students.

Working outside mainstream education can marginalise teachers' careers. Following one's own passions or commitments can lead to a career dead end. Teachers in units or classes for minority ethnic groups and special education develop subtle skills that may have few promotional outlets. Specialists (eg from black and minority ethnic groups) have been seconded out of teaching to join an advisory team or to be appointed a mentor for other minority ethnic teachers. The question is where can they go next as they are off the usual promotion routes? A similar situation occurs in higher education where staff specialising in (in)equaiity issues find it difficult to obtain further promotion into top management (Farish, McPake, Powney & Weiner, 1995).

Following this brief look -at political personal, cultural' and organizational factors aifecting educational (and probably other) careers, I now tum to two


areas where teacher education can make clear contributions to more equitable and harmonious societies. .

Opportunities for teacher education to promote peace and social justice

Definitions are difficult but let me start by asserting that social justice in education means equality of entitlement in terms of access, curriculum (including learning and teaching methods and language), assessment and subsequent opportunities for learners and teachers in all sectors and agencies. Such entitlement shall be regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Nor should

there be discrimination on the basis of age. .

Access, curriculum and materials, assessment and further opportunities

Among the key features and contributions that education in all sectors can make towards more just societies is to guarantee that curricula and materials are not ethno-centric in favour of the dominant culture to the exclusion and denigration of minority cultures? We know that school textbooks reflect communities' priorities and values and can be used to manipulate children and young people's conceptual development. Totalitarian regimes in the former USSR, in Germany during the Nazi regime and in China under Maoism produced texts that were blatantly propagandist. Other governments may be unquestioning of bias in texts. The UK cultures have a history of racism and imperialism in text books for many subjects - geography, history, English language and even reading primers. Religious assumptions and bias are other areas for manipulation as evidenced in much anti-Muslim media coverage (especially, but not only, in the US) post 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the last 30 years considerable attention in the UK has been given to removing racist and sexist language, illustration and concepts. Such work is still relevant. Recent collaborative work by Firer and Adwan (2004) developed through the support of Palestinian and Israeli teachers into forms of action research examining the effects of school text books on students' attitudes. Participants hope both sides can develop more rational judgments about educational approaches and promote mediation rather than confrontation in the complex IsraelilPalestinian situation. The team emphasise that a pre-requisite for the development of a common perspective is the acknowledgement that both sides have differing views of their own history.

No doubt some teacher education programmes alert students to the potential dangers lurking in curricula and textbooks. However UK institutions do not take such care in recruiting students and staff. For example, Hampton and colleagues (Hampton, Troup & Walsh, 1997) identified various barriers for minority ethnic groups engaged in higher education in Scotland - lack of accessible Information,


unfair admission processes and acceptance criteria, ethos, curriculum content and students' experiences of covert or overt discrimination. Elite higher education institutions tend to recruit staff in 'their own image' and from a very narrow band of universities (powney et al, 2002)

A common justification for ignoring issues related to provisions for minority ethnic communities is that "There is no problem here". This gives expression to assumptions that minorities are "a problem" and that that is the only reason provisions should be made. "No problem here" also ignores the effect of

. ignorance and prejudice on everyone regardless of ethnic origin - not a good preparation for future teachers. In a review of educational research related to minority ethnic groups in Scotland, we (powney, McPake, Hall, & Lyall, 1998) found there was an absence of information as well as little well-funded research at school level and teacher education levels in Scotland. There was a high level of complacency among school staff and head teachers. Believing there was 'no problem' in their overwhelmingly white communities, schools consequently failed to tackle racist issues, for example in text books and in school policies, and the need for anti-racist actions (p2S).

The match between equality legislation, opportunities to promote social justice and institutional behaviour and values

Over the last 2S years there has been a boom in legislation to protect the more vulnerable in some societies and to ensure that they can engage with education, employment and leisure in their communities as well as anyone else. In the UK, legislation has concentrated on gender and racial equality and more recently in accordance with the Buropean Union legislation has added disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation and age to the anti-discrimination laws to be in place by 2006. In Northero Ireland, religious discrimination, the declared basis for conflict there over most of the 20th century, za has been outlawed for some time.

Upgrading anti-discrimination laws is clearly necessary in view of sexism and institutional racism in UK services including the police force. The Stephen Lawrence inquiry (MacPherson, 1999) into police handling of a black teenager's murder by white youths was explicit on this matter. Five years after the report was published there is evidence that racism among police officers has not been eradicated but rather has gone underground. There are comparable problems in other countries.

Educational institutions are at least as responsible and should be as responsive to diversity as institutions in all other public and private sectors. In higher education we have suggested (powney, Hamilton, & Weiner, 1997) measures against discrimination that we argue should be embedded in all practices and operations of higher education institutions. These include diversity in appoint-


ment to the governing body and cover policies and practices related to staff and student recruitment, curricula, work placements and assessment. Mainstreaming equality through meeting statutory requirements and enforcing the law is one half of the equation. Auditing and monitoring, action plans and performance targets are all tools of achieving this.

As a tool by which equalities can be embedded in the cultural practice in the workplace anti-discrimination regulation does help to change attitudes. Thus mainstreaming equality entails considering the implications of any planned actions for different individuals. Equality and diversity are the responsibility of everyone - in management, in staff recruitment, appointment and appraisals, to day to day teaching at the chalk-face.

Responsibilities of teacher education .

An underlying principle for teacher educators is to help future teachers, and in turn all their students, to live full lives through the learning that is accessible to them. In terms of social justice, teacher educators have a dual responsibility - to ensure that equality pervades all aspects of institutional life and to support student teachers to deal with potential discrimination and conflict in their future careers in schools and working with young people.


Diversity will be an essential feature of life for new generations: diversity in populations (mobility; ethnicity, cultures), diversity in characteristics of teachers and in the nature of their contracts, diversity even of routes into teaching. For teacher educators embracing diversity may conflict with centrally controlled curricula and competitive ethos of government policies. Hans Yoorbach referred in his keynote presentation to ISTE in 1998 to the 'paradox of democracy'. The objective for us is to make the democracy work in our educational policy and this requires 'an active civil society'. It also requires not only local responsibility and engagement but also accountability and transparency in public affairs. The paradox is that power is shifting upwards away from smaller communities to the central state and then to a global centre leaving individuals impotent in relation to what is happening at the top.

Teacher education is a public matter that engages everyone in society as a learner or consumer of education with its direct or indirect effect on individuals' quality of life, the development of their economy and society. Looking at the major component of political manifestos in the UK, the US and no doubt other countries, individual aspirations and desires become converted into media-speak. What started as parents wanting their children'S all-round development to benefit from their education becomes narrowed into 'standards and targets' at risk because of


'failing schools' or even 'bad teachers'. Maybe we should cheer when targets are not attained as I suspect their current definition has little to do with creative and critical thinking which for me is essential in developing peace and social justice.

It is difficult to see how the UN target of universal primary education by 2015 will be achieved. Since 1970 there have been 30 major conflicts in Africa alone. It is estimated that there are half a million soldiers in the world under the age of 14. My own government exports arms and military equipment to over 150' .countries. The scale of both the brutality and futility of these conflicts is mind-numbing. It would be irresponsible for teacher education to ignore the denigration of our cultures since violence corrupts those who commit it.

Scottish peace debate

A remarkable event took place in June this year. The Scottish Parliament debated 'Peace Education'. This was remarkable both because the terms 'standards' and 'assessment' did not appear in the debate and because the subject was peace and not war. The debate noted that education should help to develop the skills needed for non-violent resolution of disputes and respect of differences. Here are contributions that teacher education in its various forms can make. Wars are not inevitable. The human race needs to become more sophisticated at avoiding them.

We in ISTE are by definition committed to looking at teacher education in a world context and are unwilling to sink into our own complacencies. Peace and social justice are not very sexy concepts. They arouse a sense of virtuousness and

. impressions of passivity. The opposite is true, To attain peace and social justice is a struggle. But the struggle is an imperative for teacher educators who are responsible for the education of the new generations.

Commit oneself to the struggle for freedom and justice and its course may

well be advanced


1. In the UK there are four government departments for education: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, each independent of the others. What is known as the National Curriculum is only applicable to England.

2. There are issues of definition of minority groups since traditionally in the UK it has been understood . largely in terms of ethnic origin (and negatively with being non-white). The Census statistical categories do not necessarily give us a . clear picture of women in Multiethnic Britain. 'White' ethnic groups such as Irish, Southern and Eastern European are often subsumed under 'White'. Turkish and Middle Eastern communities are classified as 'Asian Other', while significant new migrant and refugee communities, such as Somali are categorised under 'Black Other'. Similarly new and growing identities that reflect social change and complex multiplicity among minorities in the UK are defined simply


as "Mixed Race' in the 2001 Census Events in Eastern Europe in the late 1990s and the broadening of the European Union to include II new countries means that the working definition of 'minority ethnic group' needs to be extended, One of the groups recognised by the European Parliament as most socially excluded from school education and therefore further and higher education are GypsylTraveUers and Occupational Travellers.


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Powney, J., Hamilton, S., & Weiner, G. (1997). Higher Education and Equality: a guide. Equal Opportunities Commission, Commission for Racial Equality, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the UK. London:

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Janet Powney is the current Secretary General of the International Society for Teacher Education. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Correspondence to Janet Powney should be addressed to: 19 Eglinton Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5BY, +44 (0) 131 346 2643 or email: janet.


An effective web-based approach to support the initial training of science teachers

May-hung Cheng, Wing-mui So and Yau-yuen Yeung

This paper reports the processes and ways in which a dedicated website has been developed by a group of seven colleagues at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKJEd) Science Department to support their student-teachers' development of teaching competence during various kinds of field experience activities such as practicum, teaching practice and school visits etc. From the outcome of our project, a comprehensive web-based system was created to help our student-teachers develop confidence and skills for the effective teaching of various science topics in schools. A questionnaire survey was administered to about 150 students in five different teacher education programmes to col/ect feedback for evaluating the effectiveness of the website. The initial results indicated the definite success of the project. More detailed findings and analysis of this questionnaire survey and the use of this project to facilitate postlesson conference will be thoroughly discussed in this paper.

Addressing the needs of student-teachers during the field experience period

This project was formulated in an attempt to address the needs of studentteachers during the field experience period. The experience of student-teachers in teaching practice has been found to encompass mixed feelings of frustration and fulfilment (Caruso, 2000; Sacks & Harrington, 1982). According to the extensive study conducted by Sacks and Harrington (1982), student-teachers may feel inadequate or incompetent at times in the struggle to find the right way to teach and to become independent teachers. These feelings of incompetence have many implications for the confidence, attitudes, behaviour, and performance of the student-teachers. Dispoto (1980) found that studentteachers' attitudes towards teaching and school became less favourable after student teaching. One of the purposes of the project was thus to provide emotional support for the student-teachers such that they might feel connected . both to their peers and the institute supervisors while at their teaching practice schools.

Student-teachers need to be supported professionally. In synthesizing findings on the teachers' concerns (Adams, 1980; Fuller, 1974; George, 1978) and their thoughts about teaching (Kagan, 1992), three general stages that characterize the development of novice teachers are revealed. In the early stage, novice teachers are predominantly concerned about themselves, that is, whether they


can be classroom leaders and assume the general responsibilities of classroom teachers. During the second stage, in which they are more concerned about classroom management, lesson planning, and the clear presentation of information, the focus of thought moves from themselves to the pupils. In the third stage, the student-teachers are more concerned with the impact of teaching on pupils' learning. This is a more complicated stage, in which the novice teachers attempt to relate their pedagogy to children's learning. Providing support for the student-teachers as they attempt teaching approaches new to them or test out classroom management strategies thus becomes important.

In addition to providing support for the student-teachers, the project wanted to create an arena in which student-teachers can talk about their teaching. Feiman-Nemser and Remillard (1993) suggested that a teacher's knowledge is a form of situated cognition and a teacher's learning is therefore socially supported. In explaining the ways in which pre-service teachers learn, Sutton, Cafarelli, Lund, Schurdell, and Bichsel (1996) pointed out that the interaction among the student-teachers helped to inspire them in their teaching practice. Moreover, other studies (Beals, 1991; Coyle & Harrison, 1993; Doering, Johnson, & Dexter, 2003; Ng, 2002) have found e-forum to be an invaluable arena for collaborative learning during the teaching practice period or for stimulating student-teachers to reflect on their professional development. Talking about teaching supports learning and is also an integral part of the learning.

Supporting the student-teachers using an online system can also serve a modelling purpose. Researchers (Bryum & Cashman, 1993; Hamilton-Pennell, 2002) have suggested that teacher educators need to model learning and teaching strategies which incorporate the use of Information Technology (In.

The development of an online Field Experience Support Sysem (FESS)

In the past, the project team has developed a lot of on-line materials for self-learning (see Yeung, Cheng, So, Winnie & Tsang, 1998; and the HAS Centre at which can be used to provide or supplement the pre-requisite knowledge for the students at the Institute to study various Science or General Studies (GS) modules. While there are plenty of examples of the creative and effective use of those IT and related technologies for teaching and learning, they are mostly related to the acquisition of academic content knowledge, in a subject-based, a cross-curricular, or an integrated approach. However, fewer efforts have been devoted to creating online resources to support the student-teachers' development of science teaching competence at the primary and secondary levels during various kinds of field experience activities such as practicum, teaching practice, and school visits, etc. The aim of this project was to create a comprehensive online system to help the student-teachers to develop confidence and skills for the effective teaching of


various science topics in schools with levels ranging from primary one to senior secondary.

In formulating the design of the online system, our team considered the role of IT support in education. It is envisaged that the most important application of IT in education is the intensive and innovative use of the internet to support a wide variety of web-based teaching and learning activities (see, for example, Cheng & Chin, 1999; MacIsaac, 2000; Shotsberger, 1996) through its various functions or services, such as the world wide web, e-mail, file transfer, newsgroup, ICQ/chat, video conferencing, remote computer access, and application sharing, etc. Nevertheless, the application of IT in education should not be restricted to the use of computers and the internet, but should include different kinds of multimedia educational technologies, data logging systems, and 3D (see, Yeung & Ng, 2000 and Yeung, Lee, Li & Ling, 1996) or virtual reality apparatus.

The design of this online system takes advantage of the characteristics of web-based learning to support the learning of the student-teachers during the field experience period. As student-teachers are away from the Institute campus during this period. web-based learning allows students to access and use updated information for knowledge building and sharing at any time and in any location once they are connected to the internet (Kearsley, 1996).

The project team also made reference to the use of the three categories of web-based learning activities suggested by Hackbarth (1997) and Harris (1998). The former (Hackbarth, 1997) proposed web-based learning activities in three categories: communications, information retrieval, and information sharing. The latter (Harris, 1998) proposed 18 activity structures grouped into three categories: interpersonal exchanges, information collection and analysis, and problem solving (see Harris, 1998, for a more detailed description).


Based on the principles above, a comprehensive online system was developed to help the student-teachers to develop confidence and skills for the effective teaching of various science topics in schools. To this end, it is equipped with the following innovative features:

• A data bank of at least 20 video clips of exemplary parts of students' teaching performance in schools or microteaching at the Institute, as identified and selected by teaching practice supervisors or practicum tutors.

• A collection of newly-developed virtual reality resources, which includes 3D and panoramic views of typical classroom and laboratory environments.


An online Field Experience Support System (PESS) constructed on top of the Nex1Ed platform for the management of the aforementioned two types of resources in the world wide web, as well as various synchronous or asynchronous conununication channels, such as open discussion forums (with self-reflection on TP), private chat rooms, audio conferencing, video conferenc- . ing, and application and file sharing (of lesson plans; work schemes, and teaching resources); etc.


In launching the system, e-mails have been sent to over 1,000 student-teachers, who are preparing to teach the GS or Science subjects in primary or secondary schools, informing them that the FESS website resources were available for improving their classroom teaching skills through reflection, lesson analysis, and peer discussion. They were also provided with some brief instructions on how to make effective use of those resources.

Usage Programme Estimated no. of stu-
Learning activities in 4-Year Fff BEd(P) GS 130
some methods or STS Major and Minor
2-Year PIT PGDE(P) GS 100
I-Year FIT PGDE(S) 14
Biology Major
213-Year CE(S) Science 50
Support for practicum 4-Year FIT BEd(P) GS 30
tutorial or field experi- Minor
ence supervision
2-Year Pff PGDE(P) GS 30
2-Year PIT PGDE(S) 14
Phvsics Maior
2-Year PC GS elective 90
2/3-Year CE(S) Science 50
Total 508 Individual members of this project team had made use of the FESS website for teaching some General Studies, Science, Biology, andlor Physics methods modules and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) modules, supporting their


In order to evaluate the quality of this project, the project team communicated bye-mail and met formally twice to provide critical comments and reflections on various parts of the materials developed. In addition, the project team administered a questionnaire survey to about 150 students in five different programmes. The project team received a total of 90 completed questionnaires and the response rate was about 60%.


The results reported in this section draw on the findings from the evaluation questionnaire and an analysis of the contents and interactions on the FESS website. The findings from the evaluation questionnaire suggest that the FESS was successful in supporting student learning. In summary, over 85% of the respondents agree or strongly agree that (a) "The website contains useful materials related to the teaching of science in schools". and (b) "Overall, I feel this website can provide me with a good learning experience and so I will recommend it to other student-teachers." This was a new learning experience for many of the students: 40% of the respondents were unsure or disagreed that they had previously used or found other similar field experience websites in Chinese. Regarding the usefulness of the various sections of the FESS website, the classroom teaching section received the highest rating, with over 89% of the respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that it was useful; the teaching co-opt section and the communication section were given this rating by 73% and 63% of the respondents respectively. These findings suggest that student-teachers found the website beneficial to their learning.

. Since the formal launching in mid-March, 2002, the website has recorded (according to a third party's web counter) more than 4,000 visits paid by the teachers and students, and approximately 120 comments have been recorded in the communication section, with an average of 240 words per message. An analysis of the contents and the interactions on the FESS website suggests that benefits to students are multiple. The announcements and the FE calendar section on the website provided updated information to students during their field experience period. In the teaching co-opt section, a total of 23 pieces of resources were uploaded by the students for sharing among their peers. These resources included lesson plans, worksheets, experiment ideas, short video clips, photos, and PowerPoint files.

The classroom teaching and the communication sections taken together provided the most significant support. These sections help students to gain some initial experience of teaching practice in a real classroom environment; they also provide a channel for them to share their experiences and feelings concerning their own teaching and to communicate with and gain advice and


support from fellow students and supervisors during the field experience period. They thus feel less isolated when they encounter problems related to their teaching practice. In the reflections posted, students shared their feelings and encouraged each other during the field experience period. For example:

I have met similar situations in my class. However, the laboratory technician in my school would provide a little more support and distribute the materials in plastic trays. Students just need to obtain one tray. Another point is that we need to be very familiar with the content; we need to be able to answer students' questions under all circumstances (even if it is not very organized). We need to prepare related questions on the topic. I have come across this before and I was dumb-founded! Keep working!

In this response, the student shared his/her experience and reminded other classmates to be well prepared, encouraging them to work hard.

Tutors had also provided encouragement to the students using this open forum. For example:

This piece of reflection is well written. The content reveals in-depth reflection on the teaching strategies and a willingness to seek continuous improvement. This is commendable and other classmates may take this as a reference.

This interaction had served to clarifY the tutors' expectations of the studentteachers' performance and provided encouragement for students to work for continual improvement.

Tutors and students also made use of the classroom teaching and communication sections to stimulate analysis of videotaped classroom teaching episodes. In the primary education forum, a total of seven sets of episodes were posted and these attracted 29 responses from students and tutors. In the secondary education forum, a total of 16 sets of episodes were posted, along with 19 responses that analysed them. In each of these episodes, the discussion could be initiated by a message from the web-manager or a student. The message included a video clip with an invitation for comments. Responses from students covered various areas, including classroom management, ways in which to arouse pupils' interest, and alternative teaching strategies. For example:

The lesson is interesting and has aroused pupils' interest. I would suggest integrating more IT resources into the teaching, e.g., introducing some interactive games. In the meantime, the teacher needs to


strengthen classroom management.

The children may not understand why we need to protect the trees ... teachers need to arouse their interest .... This means that we would need some short video clips as teaching resources.

In this topic (conservation of the environment), we may use newspaper clippings or photos to illustrate the situation in more concrete ways.

The discussion based on the video clips of classroom teaching episodes, therefore, stimulated students to reflect on their teaching and suggest possible alternatives. These discussions are beneficial for the pre-service students in their field experience period as they strengthen peer support and interaction with the institute tutors. For in-service programmes, the students may view the video clips at any time and in any place and provide their comments or reflections in the discussion forum with the aim of improving their existing teaching practice.

These video clips and discussions provided alternative teaching strategies for tutors. They may serve a number of purposes, including the demonstration of certain teaching skills and approaches, stimulating students' reflections on critical incidents, starting debates on controversial issues related to science teaching, and allowing criticism of problematic teaching. Lecturers teaching the methods modules or conducting practicum tutorials had made use of the video clips for discussion purposes. Moreover, the FESS website by itself could be seen as a learning activity that demonstrates an exemplary use of IT in education for the teaching of some Science, Technology, and Society modules. Drawing on the experience of this project, the project team can formulate strategies which serve to further promote and support the learning of studentteachers.

Future directions of development

It is anticipated that this online platform will gradually evolve into a virtual community which will include institute supervisors, student-teachers, and school teachers, providing a range of field experience support to those inservice or pre-service student-teachers through a combination of synchronous or asynchronous communication channels, such as open discussion forums, private chat rooms, audio conferencing, video conferencing, and application and file sharing. The classroom teaching and communication sections could be structured to conduct post-lesson conferences. With the consent of the studentteachers and the teaching practice school, the tutor could videotape the lesson, post this on the forum, and invite student-teachers to join in an asynchronous


discussion in analysing the lesson. Both pre-service and in-service students could participate in such discussions and the forum might yield inspiring ideas for the teaching of science lessons.

There are many functions and computer programmes specifically developed for this website which enable itto provide Chinese input and display in the online electronic discussion, a channel for uploading teaching materials as submitted by student-teachers, announcements on the website, and an electronic guest book, etc. This website can be used as a template for other departments, units, and centres to adopt in similar projects. Therefore, it would be worthwhile for us to share our ideas and the outcomes of this FESS website with other colleagues or teacher educators in other subject disciplines through presentations in a departmental retreat, local symposium, or international conference.


We are very grateful to the HKIEd Information Technology Strategy Committee for funding this project. Thanks are also due to other project team members, to wit, M.T. Chan, S.L. Chan, Y.C. Lee and P.H. Ng who have made many invaluable contributions to this FESS website.


Adams, R D. (1980, April). A developmental study of teacher concerns across time. Paper presented at .the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA.

Beals, D. E. (1991). Computer mediated communication among beginning teachers. Journal of Technological Horizons in Education, 18(9), 74-77.

Bryum, D.C. & Cashman, C. (1993). Preservice teacher training in education . computing: Problems, perceptions and preparation. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 1(3), 259 - 274.

Caruso, J. 1. (2000). Cooperating teacher and student teacher phases of development. Young Children, January, 75-81.

Cheng, C. W. & Chin, Y.L. (1999). The effects of mentors in electronic forums for preservice teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 2(1), 75-86.

Coyle, D. & Harrison, C. (1993). The EHE-ESMAT Project: the development of awareness of electronic mail amongst student teachers. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 2,89-103.

Dispoto, RG. (1980). Affective changes associated with student teaching.

College Student Journal, 14(2), 90-4.

Doering, A., Johnson, M., & Dexter, S. (2003). Using asynchronous discussion to support pre=service teachers' practicum experiences. Tech Trends,



Feiman-Nemser, S. & Remillard, 1. (1993). Perspectives on learning to teach. In F.B. Murray, (Ed.), The Teacher Educator's Handbook (pp. 63-91). Ameri-

can Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. .

Fuller, F. (1974). Achieving affective competencies through the teacher concerns self confrontation model of personalized teacher education. Chicago, Illinois. ERIC Document No. ED090221

George, A. (1978). Measuring self, task, and impact concern: A manual for use of the teacher concerns. Texas University, Austin: Research and Development Center for Teachers Education.

Hackbarth, S. (1997). Web-based learning in the context of K-12 schooling. In RC. Branch & B.B. Minor (Eds.), The Educational Media and Technology Yearbook 1997. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Hamilton-Pennell, C. (2002). Getting Ahead by Getting Online, Library Journal, 127 (19), 32-35.

Harris, J. (1998). Curriculum-based telecollaboration: Using activities structures to design student projects. Learning & Leading with Technology, 26(1), 7-15.

Kagan, D.M. (1992). Professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers. Review of Educalional Research, 62, 127-129.

Kearsley, G. (1996). The World Wide Web: Global access to education. Educational Technology Review, Winter(S), 26-31.

Macisaac, D. (2000). Communities of on-line physics educators. The Physics Teacher, 38, 210-213.

Ng, E.M.W. (2002). Enhancing flexible and collaborative learning for preservice teachers through a web-based learning system. Journal of Quality School Education, 2, 53-63.

Sacks, S.R & Harrington, G. (1982, April). Student 10 teacher: The process of role transition. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.

Shotsberger, P. G. (1996). Instructional uses of the World Wide Web: Exemplars and precautions. Educational Technology, Mar.-Apr., 47-50.

Sutton, R.E., Cafarelli, A., Lund, a, SchurdeU, D. & Bichsel, S. (1996). A developmental constructivism approach to pre-service teachers' way of knowing. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(4),413-427.

Yeung, vs. Lee, Y.C., Li, KM & Ling, S.H. (1996). Teaching science through three-dimensional visualization: A first step toward implementation. Proceedings of the Science and Technology Education Conference, 296-302.

Yeung, Y.Y., Cheng, M.H., So, Winnie W.M., & Tsang, P.K. (1998). Using the internet for education: Training for student-teachers. In 1. Bacon-Shone (Ed.) Vision and Reality of IT in Education - First Glimpse (Proceedings of the Fourth Hong Kong Web Symposium) (pp. 215-228). Hong Kong:

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Yeung. Y. Y. & Ng P. H. (2000). Integration of IT in physics education: The scope of a subject-based approach. In K.S. Volk, Winnie W.M. So & G.P. Thomas (Eds.), Science and Technology Education Conference 2000 Proceedings. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Dr May-hung Cheng (May) is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Department of Science at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, HKSAR, China. She teaches general studies, science education and biology education in the teacher education programmes. Her specialty areas of research include teacher development, field experience and assessment. Correspondence to May-hung should be addressed to:

Department of Science, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, N.T. Hong Kong; Ph (852)2948 7657, Fax: (852)2948 7676; E-mail:

Dr Wing-mui So (Winnie) is a Senior Lecturer of Department of Science at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, HKSAR, China. She teaches teacher education programmes at degree and post-graduate levels. Her research interests include teacher development, field experience, and science education. Correspondence to Wing-mui should be addressed to: Department of Science, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, N.T. Hong Kong; Ph (852)29487656, Fax: (852)2948 7676; E-mail: .

Dr Yau-yuen Yeung is Senior Lecturer of Department of Science at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, HKSAR, China. He teaches physics and general science subjects. His research interests include IT in science education, scientific simulation of learning processes and social network analysis. Correspondence to Wing-rnui should be addressed to: Department of Science, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, N.T. Hong Kong; Ph (852)2948 7650, Fax: (852)2948 7676; E-mail:


Induction for Beginning Teachers

Sybil Wilson, Jessica Craig and Victor Cicci

Induction is seen as a good way to help beginning teachers face the challenges of their first year in the classroom and begin their journey to becoming competent. confident and effective professionals. After noting some of these challenges and some induction practices used in other countries to address the challenges. the article focuses attention on factors to be addressed before an induction program is introduced. These factors are presented as five questions that a jurisdiction. which is considering introducing an induction program. will want to work through. The article concludes by noting that of these factors. the three most critical are funding. credentialing and level of organization.


Teaching is a complex activity. It is an art, a craft and a science. While a preservice teacher education program lays the foundation for the practice of teaching, it is widely recognized that it is inadequate to prepare teachers fully for such a complex activity. Therefore a planned program of supervised activities is needed to maximize the chance of a successful transition from being a preservice teacher candidate to becoming a teacher. Such a program, widely known as induction, would help beginning teachers manage the many challenges that they face in the classroom and set them on the path to becoming competent, confident and effective professionals (Moskowitz & Stephens, 1997). The literature on induction and needs of beginning teachers has identified what their major challenges are.

Challenges of Beginning Teachers

First, who is a beginning teacher? The most commonly used definition is a full-time teacher in his or her first year of teaching (Cole & Watson, 1999; Veenman, 1984-; Villani, 2002; Weinstein, 1988). However, Britton, Paine, Pimm and Raizen (2003) say that the term beginning teacher is socially constructed and therefore varies somewhat by place, time and event. A particular event or activity for a beginning . teacher may be appropriate for teachers with up to 3 years of experience. Harg-

reaves and Fullan (2000) state that the term 'beginning teacher' should apply to anyone who is new to a school district or school. By this definition a beginning teacher is determined by place and relocation with little reference to the number of years of teaching experience. Many teachers enter the profession as part-time or supply and they have similar challenges as the new full-time teacher; so the category of beginning teacher has to be broad and more inclusive. Whatever the context and


specific function of beginning teachers, they experience similar challenges in the teaching profession. They have similar problems and these problems are well documented in the literature. Veenman (1984) reviewed the results of 83 studies about the perceived problems of beginning teachers from different countries. When the problems were rank-ordered according to frequency, classroom discipline was the number one perceived problem. Classroom discipline was followed by motivating students, dealing with individual differences, assessing students' work, negotiating relationships with parents, organizing class work, accessing sufficient material, and dealing with problems of individual students.

Brock and Grady (1998) examined the perceptions of principals and beginning teachers regarding beginning. teacher problems. They found that both principals and beginning teachers perceive classroom discipline as the number one problem that beginning teachers face. Principals also reported that beginning teachers tend to lack a range of instructional skills, do not readily interact with others, can be poorly prepared to work with students with varying abilities, and have time management problems. In addition, Ryan, (1986) identified personal life adjustment and the teaching assignment itself as two key areas of difficulty for beginning teachers. Often the beginning teacher gets the most difficult classes. They remarked that these problems lead to poor teaching and high dropout rate for teachers with students being the primary victims when new teachers fail.

Weinstein (1988, as cited in Villani. 2002) found that preservice education students tend to believe that the average first year teacher experiences less difficulty than they actually do. However, as their idealism gave way to reality, their survival needs became high priority and were most pronounced at the beginning and end of the school year. Midway through the year, curriculum and instruction were of the greatest priority for beginning teachers (Villani, 2002).

To identify the challenges that beginning teachers faced, Odell (1986 as cited in Kronowitz, 1999) recorded the types of assistance that beginning elementary teachers requested during their first year of teaching. In the first semester of teaching, they rank-ordered their requests as resources and materials, emotional support, instructional support, classroom management, information about the school system, and help with establishing a classroom environment. During the second semester of teaching, instructional needs rose to the top of this list, followed by resources and materials, emotional support and classroom management. Odell's (1986) findings support Veenman's (1984) earlier findings that beginning teachers needed orientation information which included help and

. advice with the technical aspects of teaching, accessing resources, classroom


management, assessment of students' work, communicating with parents and planning. Novice teachers also needed help with curriculum, and they needed emotional support. Cole, Cathers and Watson (1991) suggest that the most important need of beginning teachers is the opportunity for reflection and ongoing development to ensure that the first year of teaching exemplifies professional growth rather than survival for teachers. However, the teachers themselves tend to focus on survival skills.

Findings by' Gordon and Maxey (2000) affirmed and expanded the high priority needs mentioned above: managing the classroom, acquiring information about the school system, obtaining instructional materials and resources, planning, organizing and managing instruction, assessing and evaluating students, using effective teaching methods, dealing with individual students' needs, interests and abilities, communicating with colleagues and parents, adjusting to the new teacher environment and role of a teacher and receiving emotional support. This list of needs, identified by beginning teachers, mirrors the basic curriculum of an initial teacher education (preservice) program, be it concurrent or consecutive. These problems and challenges confound the transition from preparation to first year teaching and help to create Veenman's (1984) "reality shock" or "transition shock" for beginning teachers. He suggested that the more problems beginning teachers face, the more likely they are to leave the profession of teaching. If the dropout rate is high, there are significant consequences for administrators, parents and students.

Research suggests that beginning teachers, who participate in induction programs, express greater self-confidence and job satisfaction (Haling-Austin, 1991). They experience less difficulty in the first year of teaching (Cole & Watson, 1999) and with induction support, good teachers are likely to remain in the profession for a longer time. Indeed in some jurisdictions induction is a strategy for increasing teacher supply and retention.

Some Induction Practices

Practices of induction vary considerably-from quite formal to informal programs; from government-mandated and funded to individual school arrangements in response to specific needs of individual teachers; from systematic and highly organized activities to the haphazard, ad hoc and occasional. An international survey of teacher induction programs in 11 countries (Stephens & Moskowitz, 1997) showed a range of practices, from no program in Indonesia to highly organized and state-mandated programs in Japan and New Zealand. The other countries in the survey were: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Taipei and the USA. The study (known as the APEC study) found that the most commonly utilized induction activities


in the various countries were mentorship, in-service training and assessment. In another international study Britton, et a1. (2003) found three commonly used strategies across various countries: mentorship, peer-group activity and reflective practice. The most commonly used strategy from these two crosscountry studies was mentorship.

Other strategies used in the induction programs reviewed included observation, assessment, release time and reflective practice. Observation was a frequently used strategy. It was often intertwined with mentorship activities. Both new and veteran teachers observed each other and provided feedback. Observation was used to model good teaching practices so the focus was usually on classroom instruction and management (Britton, et al, 2003; Moskowitz, 1997). In some programs, assessment was seen as an effective strategy for screening out unqualified and unsuitable teachers. Formal evaluation was often linked to certification that required teachers to meet certain criteria in order to be qualified and registered. Release time was another effective strategy because it allowed new teachers to meet their mentor and take time to reflect on a variety of classroom and school concerns. Reflection was often incorporated into mentors hip activities, observation, or professional portfolios. Peer-group activitytook place as well when novice teachers shared and discussed ideas with other novice teachers, observed each other at work or did joint projects (Britton, et al, 2003).

Every induction program has a list of specified goals. From the international studies identified above, the most common goal across countries was to increase the retention rate of teachers in particular geographic locations. However, the most common goals across jurisdictions within a country were to familiarize beginning teachers with the culture of the school, increase the level of competency of beginning teachers, provide support and guidance to help smooth the transition from a beginning teacher to a professional teacher, and screen or assess new teachers for the profession (Stephens & Moskowitz, 1997). All of these goals except the last mentioned (screening) speak to the many problems and challenges that beginning teachers have and as the research literature has identified.

The APEC study (Stephen & Moskowitz, 1997) concluded that the most successful induction programs were found in New Zealand, Japan and the northern territory of Australia. They had specific goals, were mandated for all beginning teachers, had reliable financial support from the government, were regulated centrally while responding to the specific needs of teachers and schools locally, and utilized many of the strategies mentioned above. Figure 1 presents an overview of the induction practices in selected countries including Australia, Japan and New Zealand. In all cases the induction program follows initial (preservice) teacher preparation.


Figure 1

Summary of successful induction programs from selected countries

PLACE Z. Pf'Orinciat or State OR TIlE
Aus- Teacher inductioo is a provincial (stat:) BoIh ImpIcmc:nllIIiOll mxllJlllDll8l=Cllt • One-year program To acculturate new teachers and
tralia respnnsibility. M05I have imp- of the progJ3J!IS 8lC delegalCd 10 the Mentoring increase teacher retenlion in
lemented a progr.un. however methods school region or districts In-service Training isolalcd areas
vary across provinces (swes). Inductioo Pecr-probation
is provincially funded Classroom Observations
New National frameworic. of teacbcr induction Manda!cd ~ an: designed and IDIpIc- · T __ year program Advice and To meet The T cachcr Registra-
Zealand and is funded by the government mcnted at the scboollcvcl. Guidance lion Board's rcquiremcnls for full
Mc:ntoring rcgis1ration
National mandated induction program is M8Dda!cd The MiDis1Jy of Education cstab- • One year program To foster prnctica\ leading ability
Japan operating in all schools in Japan. Minisuy !isbcd teacbcr training and empIoy- Mc:ntoring and 10 ensure Ihat they fill profes-
of Education ftmds the indlJ(:tion programs ment guidelines !hat diclalc new TI3ining sional dulies.
Icacbc:rs must be provided with RcIcasc-timc
inducIWn of training and support in
all schools.
National induction s&andards 011 how 10 Mandated Schools use the national standards • 0"" r Bar progn:un To meet the national induction
England support, monitor and IIS$CS$ newly quali- 10 ~ and impIcmeD1 induction MonilOring mxI Assessment S1andards for full eenificanon
fled teachers. Funding for induction is programs for oew teachas Mcntoring and Observations
provided by the government Rclcasc-timc
The General Teaching Council for Scot- MDDdaIed <lovemrn<:nl cxpUzaIIons povide · One Year prog ....... To successfully c:ompletc the
Scotland land and the Scotbsh Executive Education guidelincs to schools on how 10 Probation probatimwy induc:lion year anc;l
Dcpanmcnt "'" responsible for adminis- provide Dew teachers with an in- Men10ring receive full registration with the
tcring. supporting and assessing the ducIion probatioo system Re~-time General Teachi1l8 Council for
teacher induction programs in ScoUand ProbaIimwy Portfolio Scotland. supports for beginning teachers contribute notably to ameliorating these problems, boosting teachers' self-confidence. and adding to their job satisfaction. While systematic evaluation reports of induction programs are few, the available evidence suggests that the most successful programs are those that:

• have government support by way of funding and setting standards

• are delivered close to the source of need, e.g., at the school or district level

• promote mentoring as a key activity

• provide release time for beginning teachers and their mentors.

Despite such evidence there are many more jurisdictions across the wor

Id where induction is a "should have" than those that have an induction program. The reason for this state is situated in how jurisdictions deliberate and respond to the following questions:

• Should induction be part of an initial (preservice) teacher education program?

• Who should plan and supervise the induction program?

• What should be the role of the faculty of education in an induction program?

• Should teacher certification and licensing be dependent on a successful induction period?

• Who should pay for the induction program?

Should induction be part of an initial teacher education program?

On this issue of the relationship between preservice and induction programs there is a distinct difference between theory and practice. The theoreticians argue for planned continuity. Hulling-Austin (1991) thinks that teacher induetion should be part of a continuum, in which induction programs are logical extensions of preservice programs. Indications are that induction should be separate from the initial teacher preparation (preservice) program. FeimanNemser (2001) says that induction should be seen as a phase for beginning teachers and not simply as an autonomous program. Fullan and Connelly (1987) also see induction as a phase subsequent to and linked to initial (preservice) preparation in either a concurrent or a consecutive model of teacher education. The practice is quite different. None of the programs described in Figure 1 integrated the two phases. Induction was separate from initial teacher preparation.

Who should supervise and plan the induction program?


From their research Moskowitz and Stephens (1997) conclude that 'level of organization of an induction program is a good predictor of success, for this factor can affect the structure, variability and formality of the program, and therefore its outcomes. They suggest that programs may be organized at four levels: national, provincial/state, school board/district and school. Usually it is not an either/or but there is cooperation across two or more levels. The idea seems to be to have the state (national or provincial) set standards and the board/district or school deliver and supervise the induction program. In the countries surveyed (Figure I) planning and supervision were shared between organizational levels. Usually standards and guidelines were set at the provincial/territorial or national level and activities were implemented and supervised at the board/district or school level. Fullan and Connelly (1987) recommended that induction programs should be developed and implemented through a joint greement of school boards, professional organizations and faculties of education.

What should be the role of the faculty of education in an induction program?

On this issue, theoreticians who conceptualize induction as a phase of teacher education that Is articulated with initial preparation, see a pivotal role for the faculty of education. Fullan and Connelly (1987) believe that induction activities should involve the faculty. Cole and Watson (1999) maintain that responsibility should be shared among all of the partners involved in teacher education; this includes faculties of education. The practices surveyed focused on the school, teachers' organizations and the board or district as the points in the system for program delivery, and the provincial/state or national government as the level responsible for setting program standards and providing funding. Though deemed desirable, the practices of induction omit faculties of education, intentionally or by default, from decision-making. This might simply be a natural consequence of geography and program diversity. Teachers graduate from a faculty of education in one location (city, state, country) and may work elsewhere, far removed from the same faculty; so continuity with that faculty's program is not feasible although programs can now be delivered by distance. While the range of programs across institutions may be considerable and programs have distinctive features, there is a core of commonality on which continuity in an induction program can be built. At minimum, there is a set of basic competencies expected of all teachers for certification and for teaching well. This is so regardless of the faculty from which a teacher graduates. Continuity of learning is one principle for developing an induction program. However, from the studies reviewed, the conclusion is that the interests, problems and challenges of the beginning teacher provide the more compelling principle for determining induction programs and activities. The faculty of education can work with schools and school districts in several ways: designing


an induction program and evaluating its effectiveness; collaborating with school personnel in delivery; reviewing components of the teacher education curriculum so that the raduates see the applicability in their immediate work situation and so are helped to make the transfer of their knowledge and skills. Where the induction program culminates in a formal assessment, the faculty is well positioned to collaborate in that assessment process, perhaps have responsibility for an assessment as external to the school district or school. In England, the assessment process is internal to the school with the head teacher being responsible. He or she recommends to the local education authority (LEA) if the beginning teacher has met the national induction standards. In Scotland, the process is external as the General Teaching Council and the Education Department share responsibility for assessment. While there is no clear directive from the literature on practice on this issue, it would seem: wise that jurisdictions that are planning to have an induction program would see their local faculty of education and university as valuable resources.

Should teacher cel1ijication/licensing be dependent on a success/III induction

period? .

Whilenot the exclusive practice, the pattern seems to be that, where there is a mandated induction program, beginning teachers are certified provisionally until successful completion ofthe induction program. Examples of this practice are Scotland, New Zealand and some states of the USA. For Ontario, Canada (which does not have a mandated program) Fullan and Connelly (1987) proposed provisional certification until successful completion of an induction period, whereas the Ontario Teachers' Federation (2000) is adamant that teachers should be fully certified before the induction period and receive the full teacher salary of their position. In some jurisdictions with provisional license, teachers receive full pay; in others they receive a percentage. This issue of license and salary is highly charged. It is cause for much debate where introducing a mandated induction program is contemplated. Central to the debate is the question of membership in the profession. When is a member a full member? What are the rights, responsibilities, privileges and rewards of full membership?

Who should pay /01' induction?

In every case reviewed, where induction was mandated, the state funded the program. In England, the state gives the funds to the LEAs. In the USA some of the states with mandated induction fund the program fully or partly. In Australia, the territorial or provincial (state) government funds the program; in Japan and New Zealand the national government does so. All of the four earlier questions above are related to funding in that the nature of the deliberation and


response has some implication for the management of resources.



Concluding Comments

Evidence from the research literature and from the programs reviewed suggests that funding, credentialing and level of organization are critical variables for ensuring a successful induction program. The program must be mandated at a state level and be delivered locally, thereby responding to beginning teachers' needs for support. The program must carry some form of credential. The program must be state-funded thereby providing equal opportunity for beginning teachers to access the program. In jurisdictions where the primary goal of an induction program is to retain teachers (e.g., in the Northern Territory of Australia) there is a significant measure of success. However, across programs, the two most commonly stated goals are to meet licensing and registration requirements and to support the development of beginning teachers. Although the research evidence from evaluation studies of induction programs is limited, there is enough corroboration from descriptive studies to indicate that systematic induction practices that are well supported have a positive impact in the classroom, They help beginning teachers face their classroom challenges with more knowledge, skills and confidence.


Britton, E., Paine, L., Pimm, D., & Raizen, S. (Eds.). (2003). Comprehensive teacher induction. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Brock, B., & Grady. M. (1998). Beginning teacher induction programs: The role ofthe principal. Clearing House, 7/(3), 179-183.

Cole, A, & Watson, N. (July, 1999). Support for beginning teachers: Ontario perspectives.

Cole, A, Cathers, P., & Watson, N. (1991). Support/or beginning teachers: A directory 0/ programs in Ontario school boards. Toronto, ON: Teacher Education Council, Ontario.

Fieman-Nesmer, S. (2001). From preparation to practice: Designing a continuum to strengthen and sustain teaching. Teachers College Record, 103(6). 1013-1055.

FulIan, M., & Connelly, F. (1987). Teacher education in Ontario: Current practice and options/or the future. Position Paper. Toronto, ON: Ontario Ministry of Education.

Gordon, S., & Maxey, S. (2000). How to help beginning teachers succeed.

Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Hargreaves, A, & Fullan, M. (2000). Mentoring in the new millennium.


Theory into practice, 39(1), 50-57.

Huling-Austin, L. (1991). Teacher induction programs and internships. In W.

Houston, M. Haberman & 1. Sikula (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education: A project of the association of teacher educators (pp. 535-548). New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing Company.

Kronowitz, E. L. (1999). Your first year of teaching and beyond (3rd Ed.). San Bernardino, CA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Moskowitz, J. (1997). Lessons learned, challenges remaining. In J. Moskowitz and M. Stephens (Eds.), From students of teaching to teachers of students:

Teacher induction around the Pacific Rim (pp. 169-183). Washington, DC: U.S.-Department of Education.

Moskowitz, J., & Stephens, M. (Eds.). (1997). From students of teaching to teachers of students: Teacher induction around the Pacific Rim. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 7,2004, from U.S. Department of Education Web Site

Odell, S. (1986). Induction support of new teachers: A functional approach:

Journal of Teacher Education. 37(1), 26-29.

Ryan, K. (1986). The induction of new teachers. Bloomington, Indiana: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. .

Stephens, M., & Moskowitz, J. (1997). Teacher induction policy and practice among APEC members: Results of the exploratory survey. In J. Moskowitz and M. Stephens (Ed.), From students of teaching to teachers of students:

Teacher induction around the Pacific Rim (pp. 7-45). Washington, DC:

U.S. Department of Education.

Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers. Educational Research. 54(2). 143-178.

Villani, S. (2002). Mentoring programs for new teachers: Models of induction

and support. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

Weinstein, C. (1988). Preservice teacher's expectations about. the first year of teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education. 4, 31-40.

Dr Sybil Wilson is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education, Brock University, Ontario, Canada with oversight responsibilities for programs in aboriginal studies and native teacher education, adult education and continuing education for teachers and principals. She teaches, advises and supervises teacher candidates in the Enterprise Education/Teacher Education program. She also teaches the undergraduate course, Diversity Issues in Schooling. Correspondence to Sybil Wilson should be addressed to Faculty of Education. Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3AI, Ph: (905) 688-5550 extension 3350, Fax (905) 685-4131, email:

Jessica Craig is a teacher in St. Catharines and is a graduate student in the Faculty of . Education, Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Correspondence to Jessica Craig should be. addressed to her email:


The school inspection system in England: Responding to changing circumstances and a new aceountability'

Val Banks and Peter Smith

Since 1992. the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) has been inspecting English schools. replacing a system begun in 1839 with Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMJ] and then Local Education Authorities [LEAs). Ofsted was set up to regulate the inspection process; to improve standards of education; to make professional and public educational judgements and. in so doing. to generate information in order to allow local. regional and national comparisons between schoolst and to give parents more regular information about their. children's schools or prospective schools. During this period. the inspection process has evolved so that the focus is now on greater involvement from schools themselves in their inspection. What has been its effect and how successful has the system been? What of the future? Proposals are now in place to change from the commercial and competitive bidding system of inspection contractors to greater use of HMI again. and greater self- evaluation by schools themselves.

The school inspection system: background

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial government department headed by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector for Schools in England (HMCI). It is independent of the Department for Education and Skills (DtES]' (DtES/Ofsted. 2003, p. 2 ). It is responsible for inspecting schools, colleges and teacher training establishments in England and providing the government with impartial advice. The name and the organisation are new, but inspection of education is not. National inspections first took place in 1839 when Her Majesty's Inspectors for Schools (HMI) sampled schools, published reports and gave guidance to teachers. Government required accountability for the money it gave directly to schools, since before that education had been provided by the churches. Before the Second World War, there were a small number of local education authorities (LEAs) that provided inspection and advisory services. The 1944 Education Act formally gave LEAs the right to inspect schools in

1 This paper is an edited version of the paper presented at ISTE's 241h Annual Seminar August 7 - 12, 2004 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA


their own areas. As their services developed, the balance between inspection and giving advice and support varied. Many LEAs concentrated on the latter to the detriment of the former (Ofsted, 2002). The 1988 Education Reform Act changed LEAs' roles and reduced their powers. Now they are responsible only for checking how schools perform and for drawing up a three-year Educational Development Plan; detailing their monitoring arrangements for local schools. In recent years the powers of LEAs have been reduced significantly, but, it is argued by them, their responsibilities have not. Nonetheless, in whatever form, accountability has a long pedigree in English education.

The fundamental changes of the last 15 years to the inspection of education had their roots in the 'Great Debate' launched in 1976 by the then prime minister, James Cal1aghan. Amongst a number of issues raised were those of 'value for money', the increased accountability of schools for what they did and the standards achieved by pupils. The influence of that debate has been profound, although it was not immediate. The most significant has been the introduction of a 'market' into education, from competition between schools for pupils, different sorts of specialist schools to respond to parental choice, to the setting up of an inspection model for schools based on competition between inspection contractors.

During the 1980s, the Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, decided that measures needed to be taken to:

• improve standards in schools; .

• identify schools that were not providing an adequate education;

• generate information needed for making comparisons between schools; and,

• provide parents with information about the standards in their child's

school or prospective school.

It was decided to inspect all schools regularly, in the first round of inspections every four years and in the second round at least every six years, though more frequently for weak schools. This meant dramatically increasing the number of inspections and refocusing the system. The Education (Schools) Act 1992, now incorporated into the School Inspection Act 1996, allowed Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools (HMCI) to organise a commercial and contracted school inspection system; and thus Ofsted was created, an organisation whose principal task with regard to school inspection was to regulate a market in inspecting schools. Contracts to inspect schools were awarded according to the quality of the inspection team and the price tendered. Teams no longer consisted solely of HMI or LEA inspectors, but entirely of people registered, trained and contracted by Ofsted. They included a lead inspector, a lay inspector (someone, with no experience of running schools, capable of offering an objective opinion), and


team inspectors to inspect particular subjects or aspects. They were, and are, monitored by Ofsted and by the contractors who tendered successfully for the inspections. The first Ofsted inspections began in secondary schools in September 1993 and in primary and special schools the following year. These inspections concentrated mainly on the national age-related standards achieved byschools. Subsequently, since comparisons only with the national picture were considered unfair to schools with disadvantaged intakes, standards now include pupils' achievements related to their capabilities and the progress they should make. This meant also that the standards of similar schools (by type, size and socio-economic profile) could be compared. The number of schools in England is about 26,000.

The present system

Today, the main thrust of an inspection is to make judgements about a school's effectiveness based on:

• the educational standards achieved;

• the quality of education provided,;

• the quality of leadership and management; and

• the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, analysing its strengths and weaknesses and reporting on what improvements are neces sary. (Ofsted, 2003)

Evidence from inspections to date has resulted in modifications to the Framework for Inspection:

• Certain groups of childre n are not doing as well as others, particularly when they are 'socially disadvantaged' (defined as when more than 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals), so greater attention is paid to social and educational inclusion, racial equality and meeting the needs of individuals.

• The most successful schools are not inspected as often as the least effective.

• The quality of teaching and of leadership and management have become more important.

As part of the regular monitoring of the quality of inspections by the contractors, HMI review the outcomes, the views of the institutions, parents, governors and the teaching profession. Substantial reports were and are written, for example in HMCI's annual reports and in phase-specific reports. (see, for example, Ofsted 1998; Ofsted 1999; and Ofsted 2004). As a result of these sorts of publications, and conferences, and consultation meetings, since 2003 inspections have become more flexible, re-designed to fit the needs of individual schools, with reports celebrating their particular strengths as' well as diagnosing their weaknesses. More importance is placed on the school's own evaluation of its performance and


on the issues that are most important to its improvement. In the most successful schools, the emphasis is on identifying why they are so effective by highlighting and exemplifying the best practices, In the least effective schools, the focus is on the most significant difficulties and how these can be overcome, There is a closer examination of the link between cause and effect. particularly of the effect of leadership and management and teaching on standards and pupils'

.Jearning, As HMCI says, 'Ofsted inspectors don't improve schools, heads and their staff do'. (Bell, 2003)

The changes to tbe system have been well received. One head teacher 'comments,

I can now think more strategically and carry out internal monitoring,

evaluation and review in the same way as external inspection. .

Other examples of comments are:

The scbool where I am a governor has improved considerably by following its post-Ofsted inspection plan. A very positive experience with excellent professionals joining in a dialogue about education with all staff in the school. The inspection days were actually quite enjoyable: children's learning was firmly at the beart of all comments and the feedback given to staff was both supportive and formative. (Wragg 2003)

However, more stringent standards on the quality of teaching-on the grounds that 'satisfactory' teaclungis not good enough to improve standards ill less effective schools-have caused disquiet among head teachers who fear that more schools could fail. (The quality of teaching is judged on a seven pointscale, with 'satisfactory' as '4' when' I' is the best.)

The result of regular inspections has been considerable, in conjunction with clearer government policies and considerable additional resources. The quality of teaching and the standards achieved by pupils have steadily improved, with more pupils leaving school better qualified. However, important concerns have surfaced:

• Boys are not doing as well as girls.

• Some ethnic minority groups, especially black Caribbean boys, and some more able pupils are underperforming.

• Although the most socially disadvantaged schools, usually in urban areas, have improved more than other schools, the gap between the most and least successful schools continues to widen, particularly in secondary 'education.


To counter these trends, some successful national programmes have been developed. They include:

• literacy and nurneracy strategies to improve basic skills, particularly in primary schools;

• Key Stage 3 strategy to improve the progress of 11-14 year olds;

• 'Excellence in Cities' programme. (In this initiative, many schools have successfully targeted gifted and talented pupils);

• 'Improving City Schools'; and,

• ' Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances'.

Where, for example, educationally disadvantaged schools and the attainment of black Caribbean boys have improved, successful factors have been identified:

• effective leadership and management,

• focused teaching with clear outcomes,

• structured and interesting lessons,

• high expectations,

• self-confident pupils who feel valued,

• careful monitoring of progress, with support provided when necessary,

• parents and the community actively involved with the school.

However, HMCI acknowledges that the pattern of improvement is patchy, particularly in urban schools, and still needs attention (Bell, 2003).

The effects of external and independent inspections on schools themselves have been marked, resulting in 'outstanding improvement' and 'excellent teaching' in many cases (DtES/Ofsted, 2004). Most schools are positive about the value of inspection. As one head teacher said,

The impact it has on schools is tremendous. I've recently undergone an inspection and found the feedback very worthwhile. Ofsted is, at its best, a useful tool for self-evaluation. At its worst.· it is overly didactic, offering misguided 'snapshots' of school life. (Wragg, 2003)

Criticisms stem from:

• Inconsistencies in the quality of teams and their reports. A small number of teams do not achieve a balanced review of a school's strengths and weaknesses.

• Many reports, in the early days particularly, were branded as punitive, bland and unhelpful. Now, as a result of changes,· the majority are shorter, clearer and more evaluative.

• Poor relationships between inspection teams and teachers. These have improved markedly since inspection evidence has been shared more openly with schools.



• Schools feeling that some inspectors lack experience of the age and phase they are inspecting, a factor which, if true, should have been addressed by the contractors and Ofsted during the team selection process.

• Teachers feeling that some inspectors are out of touch with modern classroom practices. However, inspectors undergo regular training in their subject areas and in the inspection process, and their performance is monitored regularly, reflected in their future employability.

• The stresses placed on teachers before and during an inspection.

• Inordinate paperwork and the high cost of an inspection.

So what of the future for independent inspection after two cycles of inspection? Radical proposals from Ofsted for reshaping the system again in 200S go a long way to appeasing some of the critics, bringing back a number of inspection, features that were familiar pre-1992:

• The focus of inspection will be on a differentiated approach to each school, based on the strengths and weaknesses identified by schools themselves in a rigorous process of self-review.

• HMI will lead most secondary school inspections and many primary inspections, becoming more involved in the inspection process in order to ensure greater consistency of judgements. Inspection teams will be much smaller.

• HMCI will be accountable for the quality of all reports, which will also be much shorter.

• Inspections will also be shorter, two to three days in school (instead typically of five days), and .more frequent, every three years on average, more often if there are concerns. The longest intervals will occur between inspections of the most effective schools.

• Shortening the notice of inspection to schools, from 10 to 12 weeks to two to five days, should reduce pre-inspection stress, relieve the bureaucratic burden of extensive preparation and give a more realistic picture of schools at work.

• Subject areas will be given less attention in future; surveys based on samples of schools will provide a national picture of subject standards.

Thus the emphasis of inspection will be on the school's own processes of self-review, the quality of the way in which this takes place and the management of it. Major benefits for government are that the cost of inspections will be significantly reduced, and for parents more regular and frequent information about their children's schools.

Some issues arising from the new proposals are:

• The practicality of HMI assuming lead inspecting roles, given the 38

greater number and frequency of inspections and the fact that their numbers are not being greatly increased.

• The deployment of lay inspectors is unclear, unless their role is changed by legislation. Presently they provide broad professional expertise and objective evaluations that some schools and teachers do not have.

• Whether the overall stress on teachers will be greatly reduced, given that subjects and aspects will be sampled at different times from the whole school inspection.

Nevertheless, although these issues will require further clarification, the proposals are a thoughtful way forward and should give schools greater ownership of, and involvement in, the process of inspection, and provide them with a clear focus for their own improvement. Ofsted will continue to test the schools' own evaluations and provide impartial judgements. Since there are and will continue to be variations in how well schools review their work, there will also continue to be a need for an independent process of accountability, given the significant amounts of public money involved.

The changing styles of accountability and inspection, probably coming into force in a phased way from September 2005, will have interesting ramifications for existing and new teachers, as well as teacher training. The inspection model of the last 12 or so years has been one of inspection as an externally imposed event, by outsiders; the inspection was and is to ensure accountability to a national framework, especially to see how a national curriculum has raised standards. The intention of the new model is to re-professionalise teachers to be able to evaluate their own work more fully and to present their views to the inspectors as a basic feature of the inspection, the emphasis being on inspection with the school. Based around the school's own development plan, the emphasis will be on school improvement as much as on external accountability, although it can be easily recognised that these are uneasy bedfellows at times. The national oversight will not disappear. Teachers will need to rediscover skills of self-evaluation and be able to identify the evidence to support their judgements about their teaching, the learning that is taking place and the progress that their institution is making. For teacher educators it should mean a welcome return to the 'reflective practitioner' philosophy and practices of an earlier period, in which the critical friend might eventually complement the external auditor.


Bell, D. (2003a). The key points of Oftted's annual report- David Bell, chief inspector of schools. (5/2/03). The Guardian Newspaper. Retrieved 30 April 2004 from, .

Bell. D. (2003b). Access and achievement in urban education: 10 years on. (Speech to the Fabian Society, (20/11103). Retrieved 30 April 2004 from

39 News Crumb.

DfES/Ofsted. (2003). Inspecting Schools: Framework for Inspecting Schools.

London, TSO.

DtES/Ofsted. (2004). A NewRetationshtp with Schools. p. 4 Retrieved 16 June 2004 from

Ofsted (1998). Secondary Education 1993-97: A Review of Secondary Educa-

i ' tion in England. London, TSO.

Ofsted (1999). Primary Education 1994-98: A Review of Primary Education in England. London, TSO.

Ofsted (2000). Improving City Schools. London, TSO.

Ofsted (2002). Ofsted, An Historical Background. Retrieved 30 April 2004 from .

Ofsted (2003). Inspecting Schools: A Sharper View; inspectors' course guide.

London. TSO.

Ofsted (2004). Standards and Quality 2002/03. The Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools. London, TSO.

Wragg. T. (2003). Ofsted-time for closure? Hot Seat Summaries-Extracted Learning-Online Communities-NeSL. (October 2003). Retrieved 30 April 2004 from .

Val Banks MA, BA, FRGS was an advisory teacher for ICT and an adviser for geography in Surrey Local Education Authority, England, and is now an Education Consultant, Ofsted Inspector and program co-ordinator for the Global Student Teaching Program, University of Minnesota, USA. Correspondence to Val Banks should be addressed to: Elmcroft, 8 Ethel Road, Ashford, Middlesex, TWI5 3RB, England; e-mail: banksva]

Peter Smith MA, MEd, Dip TP, C Geog, PGCE, Hon FRGS was until recently one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMI) in England, having worked previously in school, polytechnic and university level education. He is now a program co-ordinator for the Global Student Teaching Program, University of Minnesota, USA. Correspondence to Peter Smith should be addressed to: 62 Old Park Road, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 IJB, England; e-mail:


A causal model of some psycho-social factors as determinants of senior secondary students' attitude towards history

Israel Olu Osokoya

This study examined the extent to which some psycho-social . variables (study habits, test anxiety, locus of control, interest in schooling .. self concept and socio-economic status of parents) provide a causal explanation of secondary school students' affective leamtng outcome in history. Two hundred and eighty students from sixteen secondary schools in Ogun State Nigeria participated in the study. The results of the study showed that the six psycho-social variables when taken together could effectively predict secondary school students' attitude towards history.


The term attitude encompasses a wide range of affective behaviours (e.g. prefer, accept, appreciate and commit), and is 'used loosely by some writers. It is also applied in a number of contexts and with a variety of meanings, which has led to considerable confusion. Nevertheless, a distinct, yet complex definition of attitude is emerging within the literature.

Koballa (1989) defines attitude as our favourable or unfavourable feelings. To him attitudes are learned either actively or vicariously, thus they can be taught. He claimed further that because attitudes are learned they are susceptible to change, but stable enough to be enduring. He concluded that attitude is a correlate of behaviour with personal, social and cognitive variables thought to influence their level of consistency. Shannon (1994) in the same vein defines attitude as a mental state that exerts influence on a person's response to people,

. objects and situations. To him, our attitudes are a complex collection of feelings, beliefs and expectations regarding people, organizations and things we encounter.

Literature indicates that the attitude of pupils to subjects in the school curriculum has a bearing on achievement; hence, the development of positive attitudes towards school subjects had long been a major goal of educators. In essence, the concern of students' attitudes towards traditional subjects in the school curriculum has declined with regard to the possibility of decreasing enrolment. Students' enrolment in Secondary School Certificate Examination in history had been declining in the recent past, and educators had been calling for the improvement of students' attitudes to the subject (Adeyinka 1989, 1991; Osokoya 1996, 2000). Scholars in the field of educational psychology and




! I.

sociology hold the view that psycho-social factors exert a dominant influence on all the facets of life of an individual. Thus Onocha (1985), for example, claimed that man is guided and ruled by the psychological and social variables in his environment.

Psycho-social variables such as study habits, test anxiety, locus of control, interest in schooling, self concept, perception, attitude, motivation, aggressiveness, seriousness of purpose and socio-economic status of parents, play an important role not only in the academic achievement of pupils but also in their affective learning outcome. No doubt, educators and policy makers consider these factors very crucial for success in learning. Studies like those of Chacko (1999), Abe (1995), Odinko and Adeyemo (1999), Odubunmi & Balogun (1985), Okpala and Onocha (1988), and Okwilagwe (2001) have supported the fact that psycho-social variables come into play in predicting academic performance.

A critical survey of related literature indicates that previous work had not attained a reasonable degree of success in identifying the order and strengths of the intemction between the identified psychological and social variables and the affective learning outcome in history. especially when these variables are considered together. Most studies examined the influence of these variables on cognitive achievement.

The present study investigated the combined effects of these variables in explaining affective learning outcome in history from the multivariate standpoint. If psychological services are to meet the aspirations of students. they should not only be capable of predicting the cognitive and affective attainment in terms of simple correctional studies. but should also be able to identify the paths and strengths of the variables that underlie such predictions. There is also a need for more elaborate investigations that would seek to establish the causal linkages between the psycho-social variables and students' affective learning outcomes in history. The result of such investigations would shed light on the mechanism of operation involving causal linkages among selected psycho-social variables and students' attitudes towards history. It is also expected that such a study would provide the empirical basis for initiating viable counselling packages aimed at improving Nigerian students' attitude towards history.

The problem statement

The study determined the extent to which some psycho-social variables (study habits, test anxiety, locus of control, interest in schooling, self-concept and' socio-economic status of parents) provided a causal explanation of secondary


school students' affective learning outcome in history.

Specifically, the study sought to provide answers to the following questions:

I. To what extent would the six psycho-social variables. when taken together, predict Senior Secondary School (SSS) students' attitudes towards history?

2. What is the relative contribution of each of the variables to the prediction?

3. What are the significant pathways through which the variables cause variation in students' attitude towards history?



The target population comprised the senior secondary II history students of Ogun State public secondary schools in Nigeria. There were 15 Local Government Areas in Ogun State. Thirty-five secondary schools in four local government areas (LGAs) (Odogbolu, Ijebu North, Sagamu and Abeokuta North) were stratified on the basis ofLGA. Simple random sampling was then used to select four schools in each LGA to participate in the study. Each of the schools had one arm of history students with enrolment varying from 12 to 21 in SS II class.

There was no sampling of students since the intact history classes at the sampled schools were used for the study. In all, the subjects comprised 280 students (124 boys and 156 girls) from 16 schools. Their ages ranged from 13 years to 17 years (mean age = 15.62).


Six valid and reliable instruments were used to collect data for the study.

1. Interest in schooling scale (Cronbach co-efficient alpha value = 0.89).

2. Self-concept rating scale by Akinboye (Cronbach co-efficient alpha value = 0.89).

3. Serason test anxiety scale developed by Serason (1978) (reliability value ranged from 0.86 to 0.98).

4. Study Habit Inventory, developed by Bakare (1977) (Cronbach coffi-

cient alpha value = 0.80). .

5. The Rotter Internal-External control Scale developed by Rotter (1966) (Cronbach co-efficient alpha value = 0.87).

6. Socio-Economic Status Scale (Cronbach co-efficient alpha value = 0.86),

Pilot Study


A trial testing of the instruments was carried out in three non-participating schools in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria. Results of the trial testing exercise provided some measure of experience for the researcher for the study and also ensured the validation of the six instruments.

Data Collection and Analysis

The instruments were adnrinistered directly to the subjects by the investigator. Data analysis involved using stepwise multiple regression procedure to examine the influence of six psycho-social variables (independent variables) and attitude towards history (dependent variable). Path analysis was also used to show the direct and indirect pathways between the independent and dependent variables.


Question 1.. To what extent would the six pSJ'cho-soclal variables when taken together predict senior secondary students' attitude to-

wards history? .

Table 1 shows the stepwise regression of the psycho-social variables with students' attitude towards history.

Socio-psy£hologi£al. Multi- R~ Singular Standard F-ratio
variables indepen- pieR eontribution partial
dent variables to R regres-
sion eeet-
Interest in school <X..) .611 .373 .611 .S82 241.132
Self Concept Off) .695 .483 .084 .369 172.134
Socio-economic statuscx:;) .743 .552 .048 .272 86.94
Locus ofconuo1 CX,) .804 .643 .059 .148 162.S1
Study Habit (X,) .838 .702 .036 .026 46.5
Test anxiety X .849 .721 .047 .108 102.30 Table 1: The stepwise regression of psyeho-soeial variables with students' affective learning outeome (attitude) towards history

The multiple correlation for all the variables combined is .849 which corresponds to R square of .721. The adjusted R square value was computed as .7123, which implies that the combination of the six psycho-social variables can account for 71.23% to the variance of the students' affective learning outcome (attitude to history). The highest contribution comes from interest in schooling. The results are signifi-


cant at the .05 level.

Question 2: What is the relative contribution of each of the variables to

the prediction?

The fourth column of Table 1 shows the singular contribution of each of the variables to the prediction of students' attitude towards history. Interest in schooling alone contributes .611 to the multiple R-value, self concept contributes .084, and socio-economic status contributes .048, while locus of control contributes 0.059. Study habit is contributing .036 while test anxiety is having an additional effect of .047 to the overall multiple R value of .849.

Question 3: What are the significant pathways through which the

variables cause variation?

The interrelationship between the six socio-psychological variables and students' attitude towards history are evident in Table 2, while Figure 1 shows the Parsimonious Path Model showing the significant direct and indirect influence on attitude towards history.

Tahle 2. Multiple regressions showing tbe inter-relationship among the variables (see next page)


Depen- InOu- Multi· R Square B a T Sign
dent and encing pieR level
lndepen- variable
Study X) .4516 .2040 .2600 .22 20.98 .05
habit (XI)
Locus of XI .4160 .173 .0764 .02 751.3 NS
Interest in X~ .4472 .2000 .0488 .02 101.12 NS
X3 .4217 .1781 .2677 .50 175.402 .05
Self con- X4 .3818 .1458 .WI .04 61.96 NS
X6 .920 .8464 .3726 .16 20.48 .05
Xs .066 .004 .0184 .03 103.64 NS
(X.) I
Attitude XI .838 .702 .130 .086 46.12 NS
history Y
Xl .849 .721 .401 .108 102.50 .05
X3 .802 .643 .764 .148 162.51 .05
X4 .611 .373 .548 .582 241.132 .05
Xs .695 .483 .119 .369 172.134 .05 .
X6 .743 .552 .061 .272 86.94 .05 46

Figure. 1: The Parsimonious Path Model showing the significant direct and indirect influence on attitude towards history.


X, = Study habit X2 = Test anxiety

XJ = Locus of control

X. = Interest in schooling Xs = Self concept

X6 = Socio-economic status Y= Attitude towards history

From the figure, all the variables except x, (study habit) have significant direct causal direct link to attitude towards history (Y). In table I, it can also be observed that study habit is having the least singular contribution to the value of multiple R (see column 4 of the table) when compared with the contributions from other variables, though it was selected by the computer before test anxiety through stepwise regression. However, there is an interesting indirect causal link between a student's study habit and his locus of control. A unit change in the locus of control leads to .22 change in the student's study habit.

Locus of control is also affecting students' attitude towards history through interest in schooling (X4). A unit change in locus of control leads to 0.50 change in the magnitude of interest in schooling. while a change of one in the value of interest in schooling causes a change of .58 in the numerical strength of the students' attitude towards history. Locus of control also shows a direct causal link, of a path coefficient value of .15, to Y (attitude towards history). This means that a unit . change in the value of locus of control gives a direct change of .15 in the magnitude of students' attitude towards history.

Test anxiety (XJ has a direct causal link to attitude towards history (Y), a unit change in the value oftest anxiety causes a change of .11 in students' attitudes. There is no significant indirect path via test anxiety X2 to attitudes towards history. Interest in schooling (X4), from Table I is having the highest contribution to the multiple R-value when all other variables are combined. In the 'path diagram, interest in schooling is affecting attitude indirectly through locus of control and directly via a strong path with a coefficient of .58. A unit change in the value of students' interest in schooling gives a .58 change in the value of attitude towards history.

The students' self concept (X5) is also affecting Y (attitude towards history) directly and indirectly. The indirect influence is through socio-economic status. A change


of one in the socio-economic status of a student leads to a .16 change in the self concept of the student; while a unit change in the self concept corresponds to a direct change of.37 in the students' attitude towards history.

The socio-economic status (Xc;) of the students on its own also has a direct causal link to the students' attitudes towards history. The value of the path coefficient is .26.


The results of the present study reveal that the six psycho-social variables, when taken together, are effective in predicting secondary school students' attitude towards history. The observed F-ratio indicated that the R-value is not due to chance. The magnitude of the relationship between students' attitudes towards' history and a combination of the independent variables is reflected in the R square value and R square adjusted value. The variables accounted for 71.23% of the variance in students' attitudes towards history (the dependent variable).

Attitude towards a subject could be said to have a direct link with achievement in that subject, because a person would generally perform better in any task to which he is favourably disposed (Aghadiuno, 1995; Odubunmi & Balogun, 1985; Okpala 1985). Emina (1986) also claims that attitude towards a subject is the basis of cognitive development and motivation.

As reported in this study, interest in schooling could predict students' attitude to a subject, particularly history, This 'result is in agreement with Odinko & Adeyemo (1999) when they discovered that interest in schooling was the most potent predictor of students' attitude towards English language.

A number of scholars agreed that when students have positive self concept, they are likely to develop positive attitudes towards school subjects while the reverse will be the case for those who have negative self concept (Byrne, 1984; Ojokheta, 2000;Okwilagwe, 2001; Owolabi, 1996). As observed in this study, how a student feels (self concept) as far as history learning is concerned could significantly predict their attitudes towards the subject.

Socio-economic background of the students as far as history learning is concerned could significantly predict the students' attitude towards the subject. The socio-economic background of the student, also has a causal linkage with the student self concept. A child from a well nurtured home is confident and thus shows a favourable attitude towards his/her school subject including history.


The subjects in this study believed that their attitudes towards history were attributed to internal or external causes (the student's locus of control). The concept of internal versus external control of reinforcement stemmed from the social learning theory introduced by Rotter (1954), which refers to the disposition to perceive one's reinforcement as contingent on one's own efforts or on factors beyond one's control. Externally controlled persons believe that their reinforcements are controlled by outside agents-luck, chance, and fate. Those who believe that they have some control over their reinforcement are considered to be internally controlled. It can be observed in this study that iocus of control is also a function of interest in schooling (see figure. I).

The study agreed with Yeany (1980) who studied the effects of diagnostic prescriptive teaching strategies and locus of control on various cognitive levels of science achievement and attitude to introductory biology. In the area of locus of control achievement and attitude he discovered that internals were more positive in their attitude towards the instructor and tasks than externals. In this study, as shown in the path diagram, locus of control has a significant causal link with study habit. It is explicable that students' study habits in history made very little contribution to the prediction of attitude towards history. If a history student exhibits negative study habits (e.g. lack of concentration, feels bored, tired or sleepy while studying the subject, or spends little time and does not map out immediate goals to attain while studying history), it is likely that such a student may develop a negative disposition to history. To the contrary, a student who exhibits positive study habits may likely develop positive dispositions towards learning history.

Poor study habits invariably affect academic performance through a system of behaviours which are non-consistent with efficient learning at the acquisition, retention, or reproduction stages of that process. Behaviours such as inadequate or poor time allocation, delay or non-completion of homework and assignments, defective note-taking, poor concentration, lack of teacher consultation and defective examination strategies distort or limit the material acquired and stored during the learning process and the reproduction of the learned material during examination. From the path diagram (Figure 1) study habit has no significant direct or indirect path to Y (attitude towards history), though it is being influenced by X3 (locus of control). This is contrary to the submissions of Abe (1995) and Odinko & Adeyemo (1999), with respect to study habit.

The mechanisms by which test anxiety affect performance have been well documented by Alao (1990), Ojokheta (2000), Shannon (1994), Umo-Inyang and Okpala (2001), among others. Anxiety is an unpleasant, complex and variable pattern of behaviour which individuals show when reacting to internal (i.e, thoughts and feelings) or external (i.e. environment situations) stimuli. Anxiety in the various forms of its manifestations can have debilitating effects and incapaci-


tate both physiologically and cognitively. However, some dosage of anxiety is necessary for healthy personality because it helps reaction against danger and has adaptive effects, which helps to promote one into action in tackling some of the problems of daily living, of which learning is one (Spielberg, 1979).


In actual examination situations, a high level of anxiety could predispose the student to the hyperventilation syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by rapid pulse, rapid respiration or breathlessness, trembling of the hand and profuse sweating of the body and of the palm. No wonder why test anxiety in this study is found to be one of those variables having a direct causal link with students' attitude towards history.


The results reported in this study proved an empirical basis for suggesting that history teachers as well as school guidance counsellors should use the six socio-psychological variables (study habits, test anxiety. locus of control, interest in school, self concept and socio-economic status) as a set of variables to predict secondary school students' attitudes towards history and subsequent achievement in history. Secondary school principals and guidance counsellors' and educators interested in solving the problem of poor attitude towards history should therefore encourage the development of the following qualities in their students: interest in schooling, positive self-concept, and good study habits among others.


Abe, C. V. (1995). A causal model of some socio-psychologlcal variables as determinants of achievement in secondary school social studies. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Ibadan.

Adeyinka, A. A. (1989). Current problems of history teaching in some Nigerian senior secondary schools. florin Journal of Education, 9, 66-78.

Adeyinka, A. A. (1991). The objectives and methods of history teaching in Kwara State senior secondary schools. florin Journal of Education. 11, 14-39.

Agbadiuno, M. (1995). A-path analytic study of cognitive style, understanding of science and attitudinal variables as correlates of achievement in secondary school chemistry. Unpublished PhD thesis University of

Ibadan. .

Alao, E. O. (1990). A scale for measuring secondary school students' attitudes towards physics. Journal of the Science Teachers' Association of Nigeria, 26 (2), 75-80.

Byrne, M. (1984). The general/academic self-concept Nomological Network: A Review of construct validation research. Review of Educational Re-


search. 54, 427-456.

Chacko, I. (1982). Teacher characteristics as related to student cognitive and affective outcomes in mathematics, African Journal of Educational Research. 4 (1&2), 45-57.

Chacko, I. (1999). Observation in Education In Obemeata 1. (Ed.). Evaluation in . Africa.

Daniel, H. J. (1993). Student attitudes and academic background as predictors of achievement in college mathematics. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the Illinois Association for Institutional Research, Oakbroo, Terrace.

Emina, F. I. (1986). The validation of an inventory of scientific attitude. Journal of Science Teacher Association, 24, (l & 2), 171-178.

Koballa, T. (1989). Changing and measuring attitudes in the science classroom The National Association for Research in Science Teaching. No.19.

Odinko, M. & Adeyemo, D. (1999). Socio-psychological factors as correlates of senior secondary students attitudes towards history. In Obemeata, 1. O. (Ed.) Evaluation in Africa. Ibadan: Sterling-Horden Publishers Ltd.

Odinko, M. N. & Adeyemo, D. A. (l~99). Psychological factors as correlates of students' attitude towards English Language. In Obemeata J. et al, Evaluation in Africa. Ibadan, Sterling- Horden Publishers Ltd.

Odubunmi, E. 0 & Balogun, T. A. (1985). The attitude ofsome Nigerian students towards integrated science. Journal ofResearch in Curriculum, 3 (1) 3-11.

Ojokheta, K. (2000). Psychological and economic predictors of distance learners academic achievement motivation in selected' teachers. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Ibadan.

Okpala, N. P. (1985). Teacher Attitudinal Variables in Learning Outcomes in Physics Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Ibadan.

Okpala, N. P. & Onocha, C. O. (1988). Student factors as correlates of achievement in physics. Physics Education. 6, 361-385.

Okpala, P. N. (1985). Teachers' attitudinal variables in instructional assessment practices as correlates of learning outcomes in physics. Unpublished PhD. Thesis, University of Ibadan.

Okwilagwe, E. A. (2001). Non-cognitive predictors of undergraduate attitudes to academic work in Nigerian universities. Journal 0/ Advanced Studies in Educational Management. 2, 67-78.

Onocha, C. O. (1985). Patterns of relationship between home and school factors and pupils learning outcomes in bendel primary science project Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Ibadan.

Osokoya, I. O. (1996). Writing and teaching history. A guide to advanced study. lbadan: Laurel Educational Publishers Ltd.

Osokoya, I. O. (2000). Some determinants of secondary school students' academic achievement in history in Oyo State Nigeria. Journal of Education and Society. 4 (1), 70-81.


Owolabi H. O. (1996). Students' attitudes to instructional questioning critical thinking and study habits as determinants of learning outcomes in Economics. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Ibadan.

Rotter, I. (1954). Socio-leaming and clinical psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:

Prentice Hall.

Shannon, C. B. (1994). The effects of personality traits in student teacher! co-operating teacher pairs on student teacher performance and satisfaction Unpublished dissertation, Centre for Education, Widener University, Chester.

Spielberg, C. D. (1979). Understanding Stress and Anxiety. New York: Harper & Row.

Umo-Inyang, & Okpala, N.P. (2001). Socio-psychological factors, knowledge and understanding of mathematics as correlates of mathematics achievement cognitive level of thinking. Journal of the International Centre for Education, 52-62.

Yeany, R. (1980). The effect of diagnostic prescriptive instruction and locus of control on the achievement and attitude of university students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 17(6), 537-545.

Dr. Israel Olu Osokoya is a Senior Lecturer and seasoned administrator based in the Department of Teacher Education. University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His research effort has been directed essentially to the teaching and learning of history and the history and policy of education. He has built enormous human and material resources nationally and internationally. Correspondence with Israel Osokoya should be addressed to his email:


Student attitudes towards the subject of science in, Kuwaiti intermediate schools

Nedaa AI Khamees

A questionnaire administered to 196 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students in government schools in Kuwait revealed generally positive attitudes to science (mean score 2.47 out of 3). Grade eight students scored significantly lower than students in the other grades. An inverse correlation with socioeconomic class was found. Except for a lesser desire for girls to specialize in science, no gender differences were found Students whose fathers had a university degree were more positive in their attitude to the school science subject and were more likely to aspire to specializing in science.


This study is part of a comprehensive study evaluating the science curriculum of grades 7, 8, and 9 in the Arabian Gulf countries that follow the unified science curriculum. In the part of the study that measured students' achievement in science, low values were obtained. In Kuwait, the relevant figures were ,45.3% for grade seven, 39.9% for grade 8, and 46.2% for grade 9 (unpublished data).

It has been consistently shown that students with positive attitudes to science tend to have higher scores on achievement measures (Oliver & Simpson, 1988; Weinburgh. 1994). In the case of such correlations, it is always difficult to separate cause and effect but Schibeci and Riley (1986) maintained that there is support for the proposition that attitudes influence achievement rather than achievement influencing attitudes. It was, therefore, of considerable interest to ascertain student attitudes to science in Kuwait and see if these might explain the low achievement scores were obtained. It was also of interest to determine what factors might be influencing student attitudes.

Several studies (American Association of University Women, 1992; Hykle, 1993; Schibeci, 1,984; Simpson & Oliver, 1985) have found that males show significantly more positive attitudes towards science than females. However, several other investigators (Kahle & Lakes, 1983; Pogge, 1986; Sadker & Sadker, 1986; Weinburgh, 1994) have reported that lack of positive attitudes towards science by females increases throughout school, and Weinburgh (1994) found that grade level is a significant predictor of student attitudes towards sci-


ence. Although most studies (e.g., Brown, 1976; McEwen, Curry & Watson, 1986) have found no significant relationship between socioeconomic class and attitudes towards science, Breakwell and Beardsell (1992) found a negative association between class and attitude towards school science.

I This study therefore looked at these factors and also at what effect the educa-


tionallevel of the parents might have on attitudes. In addition, non-Kuwaiti

students' attitudes were compared with those of Kuwaitis. .



The attitude measuring instrument developed for the study originally consisted of 35 statements. These statements were reviewed by five experts in curriculum and teaching science and their suggestions incorporated. Further refinement was made by pilot testing on 50 students selected at random and removal of five statements that statistically failed to discriminate. Cronbach's Alpha was then calculated for the instrument and was found to be 0.75-0.95, indicating reliability.



Teachers were given verbal and written instructions on the procedures for administering the instrument, which was done during the science period before the grading period. Students were asked to circle the response (agree, uncertain or disagree) that best described their feeling toward the statement at the moment.

The instrument was administered to the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade (modal ages 12, 13, and 14) science students in one all-male and one allfemale school in each school district. Of the 496 children tested, 177 (35:7%) were seventh grade, 202 (40.7%) eighth grade and 117 (23.6%) ninth grade; 245 (49.4%) were male and 251 (50.6%) female; 440 (88.7%) were Kuwaiti. and 56 (11.3%) other Arab nationality.

Responses to each statement were scored from I to 3, with agreement with favourable statements being given a score of 3 and disagreements a score of 1, and the scoring reversed for unfavourable statements. Means and standard deviations were calculated for each statement for the children as a whole and for each grade separately.

The items were also categorized into six subgroups: attitude toward the school science subject (20 items); attitude toward the laboratory work (four items); attitude toward the science teacher (four items); attitude toward the usefulness of the school science subject outside the subject itself (nine items); attitude to future specialization in science (one item); and the total attitudes (30 items). Group means and standard deviations were calculated and the results analyzed


by determination of correlation coefficients and by analysis of variance (ANOVA).


Overall, the students had a positive attitude to the science subject. Responses to the different statements, however, varied from a very positive mean of 2.82 for Science deepens our appreciation of Allah the Creator to an uncertain mean response of2.0S for I would like to spend more time studying science and Studying science helps me to interpret some natural phenomena.

Influence of the grade level

The most obvious fact emerging from the responses is a consistent pattern of a dip in attitudes for grade eight students. For only-one statement (The science teacher encourages me to' study the subject) was the mean score higher for grade eight students than for the other grades. For all but three of the statements, the mean response for grade seven students was higher than that for grade nine students.

Statistical analysis showed that these differences were significant (Table 1). Seventh-grade students scored significantly higher than eighth grade students in all categories (P ~ 0.000 for attitudes toward the school science subject, the usefulness of the science subject outside the classroom, and overall; P = 0.013 for attitudes toward science teachers and desire to specialize in science; and P = . O,OIS for attitudes toward laboratory). Ninth-grade students also scored significantly higher than eighth-grade students overall and in the usefulness of science outside the science class.

Influence of the school district

There was a trend for increasing distance of the school district from the city centre to be associated with more positive attitudes overall and to the school science subject and the usefulness outside class of studying the science subject. This trend was statistically significant to the extent that, compared to students in the city district, students in the Al-Jahra district scored significantly higher overall (P = 0.003) in attitudes toward the school science subject (P = 0.003) and to the science teacher (P = 0.001); those in the Al-Ahmadi district in attitudes toward the school science subject and the science teachers; and those in the Al-Farwaniah district in attitudes toward the school science subject.

Influence of gender, nationality and parents' educational levels

Statistically, there was no significant difference in attitudes between males and females in any of the categories, except that males were significantly more likely (P = 0.046) to indicate a desire to specialize in science in the future.


There was no significant difference in attitudes between Kuwaiti and non-
Kuwaiti students.
Table 1: The influence of grade level on attitudes towards science
- Attitude Grade level Mean S.D. fvalue P
Attitudes toward the 71ii grade 2.42 0.36 14.55 .000 *
school science sub-
ject. 8th grade
2.19 0.43
9th grade 2.31 0.46
Total 2.30 0.42
Attitudesto~the 7th grade 2.69 0.30 8.86 .000 *
usefulness of school
science in life
8th grade 2.57 0.38
9th grade 2.71 0.33
Total 2.65 0.34
Attitudes toward sci- . 7th grade 2.73 0.36 4.41 .013 *
ence teachers
8th grade 2.60 0.51
9th grade 2.67 0.45
Total 2.66 0.45
Attitudes toward lab- 7111 grade 2.72 0.35 4.26 .015 *
oratory work
8th grade 2.60- 0.44
9111 grade 2.66 0.43
Total 2.65 0.41
Total attitudes to- 7th grade 2.56 0.27 15.41 .000 *
ward science
8th grade 2.38 0.35
9th grade 2.50 0.36
Total 2.47 0.34
Attitudes toward spe- 7th grade 2.23 0.803 .013 *
cializing in science 4.372
8th grade 1.98 0.889
9th grade 2.05 0.808
Total 2.09 0.845
* Significant at P < 0.05 level
56 Students whose father's educational level was university or higher were significantly (P = 0.010) more positive towards the school science subject and towards specializing in science than those whose fathers had an intermediate level of education. The mother's educational level had no significant effect on attitudes.

Correlations between categories

Using chi-square, a significant correlation (P = 0.000) was found between mean scores for desire to specialize in science and all the other categories. The same highly significant correlation was found between all the other categories taken in pairs.


The study indicated that Kuwaiti students in the intermediate grades have a generally positive attitude toward their study of science, with an overall total of 82.3%. However, this result is considerably lower than the result obtained in a survey of students in the first six grades, where 91.6% of students liked the science subject (Ministry of Higher Education and Teaching, 1994). This finding would seem to accord with several previous studies (Catsambis, 1995; Hofstein, Maoz & Rishpon, 1990; Weinburgh, 1994). Several other studies showed a decline in attitudes commencing from age 11 years or from the point of entry into the intermediate grades (BreakweU & Beardsell, 1992; Doherty & Dawe, 1988; Johnson, 1987). Hadden and Johnstone (l983) found no improvement in attitudes towards science from the age of nine years onwards. Recent studies (Murphy & Beggs, 2001; Pell & Jarvis, 2001) have found that children's attitude to school science declines even in primary school. There is thus a considerable weight of evidence to suggest that school science education is acting to lessen students' enthusiasm for science, rather than increasing, or even sustaining, it.

The anomalous result in our study is the pronounced dip in attitude at the grade eight level. The 79.3% rate of positive attitudes for this grade is also substantially lower than the 89% recorded for Kuwaiti eighth-grade students in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS 1995) (Beaton et al, 1996). Part of the difference in scores could be due to the fact that the other surveys merely asked whether students liked science, whereas ours explored attitudes in far more detail. This detailed analysis might shed some light on what is happening.

In the Kuwait Ministry of Education survey of younger students, the most quoted reason for liking the science subject (66%) was because of its benefits in their daily lives. In our survey, differences in attitudes toward the usefulness of science in daily life were responsible for a considerable part of the difference in attitudes


to school' science as a whole, with scores for grade eight students being significantly lower than those for both grade seven and grade nine. This finding strongly suggests that the eighth-grade curriculum in particular may have been overly theoretical and based on the old concept that science should simply be studied for its own sake and is somehow disconnected from society, a concept that Ebenezer and Zoller (1993) and Sundberg, Dini and Li (1994) suggested was the reason for the gulf they found between students' attitudes to science in . general and to science as taught in schools. It was also probably over-full, another factor that Sundberg, Dini and Li (1994) identified as decreasing both comprehension and attitudes.

Also, as Osborne (2003) has put it, to capitalize on students' interests, school science needs to be less retrospective and more prospective. In essence, the grade eight textbooks were backward-looking and contained little of the technological future offered by science, which is what appeals to and excites students.

Evidence that the quality of teaching of school science as a significant determinant of attitude towards school science has been found by Woolnough (1994), Ebenezer and Zoller (1993), Sundberg, Dini & Li (1994), and Hendley et al.(l995). However, this finding does not seem to have been a factor in this case. A separate study by the author evaluated the teaching competencies of science teachers of the same grades that are the subject of this report. Out of a possible score of S, grade seven teachers scored 4.06, grade eight scored 4.43, and grade nine scored 4.13. Thus, there was actually an inverse relationship between teaching competency and students' attitudes. Students' attitudes towards their teachers did follow the same pattern as their attitudes to school science in general but were still quite high even in grade eight.

Students were much more positive in their attitudes towards laboratory work than to the subject as a whole. Their expression of a liking to participate in carrying out practical experiments ranked the second-highest response to any attitude statement (mean scores from 2.772 for grade eight up to 2.821 for grade nine). However, they were by no means certain that the practical experiments helped them in understanding science (mean scores from 2.059 for grade eight to 2.305 for grade seven). This result again probably points to a need for

redesign of the curriculum. .

Perhaps the most consistent finding in studies of attitudes to science has been that males tend to be more positive in their attitudes (Breakwell & Beardsell, 1992; Schibeci, 1984; Simpson & Oliver, 1985; Weinburgh, 1994, 1998). Contrary to these studies, we did not find any significant differences between the attitudes of girls and boys, except that boys were more likely to express a


desire to specialize in science. This finding may be because all schools in Kuwait are sex-segregated. Colley, Comber and Hargraves (1994), in their survey of students in single-sex and coeducational schools, found that 11-12 year old girls in the former expressed a stronger preference for the science subject than did those in the latter.

There was a trend to increasingly positive attitudes (reaching statistical significance in some cases) towards school science, the subject as such and its usefulness in daily life with increasing distance from the city (which broadly corresponds with a decrease in socioeconomic class). Though most studies (Brown, 1976; McEwen, Curry & Watson, 1986) found no significant difference between socioeconomic class and attitudes to science, Breakwell and Beardsell (1992) found a similar inverse relationship to that found in the present study. They offered no explanation for their finding. The possibility that lower socioeconomic class students may view the study of science more positively because it may increase their job prospects is not borne out by the fact that they were no more likely than students in higher classes to want to specialize in science.

This result is made even harder to explain when the effect of the educational level of the parents is considered. The educational level of the parents fairly well parallels socioeconomic class. While the mother's educational level had no significant effect on students' attitudes.students whose father had a university education or higher were significantly more positive in their attitudes towards the science subject as such and towards specializing in science.

Though the results of an achievement test of the same students who undertook the attitude test paralleled the results of the attitude test, they were very poor for all grades (grade seven, 45.3%; grade eight, 39.9%; grade nine, 46.2%). This disjuncture between attitudes and achievement for Kuwaiti eighth-grade students was also noted in TIMMS 1995 (Beaton et a1. 1996), where they scored in the bottom three of the 41 countries reporting for achievement, despite a high (89%) rating for attitude. The opposite phenomenon has also been observed. The Educational Testing Service's International Assessment of Educational Progress (1992) found that only a quarter of top-performing Korean students exhibited positive attitudes toward science. Thus the association between attitude and achievement may not be the universal truth many investigators have suggested it is. The experience in Kuwaiti schools proves at least that there is more to achievement in science 'than producing positive attitudes to its study.


In conclusion, Kuwaiti intermediate school students overall had positive attitudes to school science. The dip in attitudes in eighth-grade students provided a unique opportunity for closer analysis, which suggested that the curriculum might be the prime factor in this decline, especially in failing to relate science to everyday life


and in not effectively taking advantage of the students' liking for practical activities. Though there were significant differences between students in different school districts (reflecting socioeconomic status) and between those whose fathers had a university degree compared with those whose fathers had only an intermediate education, attitudes were, by and large, global rather than specific to selected groups. The lack of significant gender-related differences may reflect the sex-segregated nature of Kuwaiti schools.


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Breakwell, G. M., & BeardselI, S. (1992). Gender, parental and peer influences upon science attitudes and activities. Public Understanding of Science. 1, 183-197.

Brown, S. (1976). Attitude goals in secondary school science. Stirling, Scotland:

University of Stirling.

Catsambis, S. (1995). Gender, race, ethnicity, and science education in the middle grades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32, 243-257.

Colley, A, Comber, C., & Hargreaves, D. J. (1994). School subject preferences of pupils in single-sex and co-educational secondary schools. Educational Studies, 20, 379-385.

Doherty, 1., & Dawe, J. (1988). The relationship between developmental maturity and attitude to school science. Educational Studies, 11.93-107.

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Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Atlanta, GA.

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Dr Al-Khamees completed a Bachelor degree in science at Kuwait University; Master of Art in Science Education at Whittier College in the USA; and a PhD. in Health Education at Southampton University in the UK. He has been teaching health education, child nutrition, and nutrition education courses in Kuwait University since 1994, and has published much research in the fields of teaching science and in health education. Correspondence to Dr Nedaa Al-Khamees shuld be addressed to: Curriculum and Instruction Department, College of Education, Kuwait University, PO Box 34812,Audailiya 73103, Kuwait; Ph: +965 534 4385; Fax: +965532 2189, e-mail: n~a_


Index to Volume 8 (2004)

Subject Index

A Post-modern Critique of Modern Educational Reforms and National Examinations in China

Lin, Qiuyun, 7·16, Issue 1.

Black Supplementary Schools In the United Kingdom, and

Theories on Black Underachievement: Carrying the Debate Forward McCaiman, Lionel, 1·12, Issue 2.

Developing Instructional Programmes for Limited English Projicient Students Enrolled in Science Colleges in Kuwait University

AI· Dabbous, Jawaher, 57.66, Issue 1.

How to Bring External Examinations Closer to Teachers and Pupils Cencic , Majda, 17·25 Issue 1.

Participants' Concerns in the Pracucum Edwin, Ralph G., 13-22, Issue 2.

Peer Teacher Learning: How teachers learn from teachers in Mpumalanga Secondary Science Initiative

Chacko, Charuvil, 26-36, Issue 1.

Science-based Teaching / Learning In Science Education Jassim, Saleh, 33·46, Issue 2.

Teacher Education and Outstanding Educators: Universal Characteristics Abrahao ,Maria Helena Menna Barreto, 48-56, Issue 1.

Teacher's Identity. Values and Moral Purposes in School Improvement: Interpretations of a Hong Kong Experience

Siu, Ina. Y. M., 37-47, Issue 1

Teaehing and Learning in the American School Kuechle, Judy and Kissock, Craig, 1-6, Issue 1.

Teaching Thinking Skills to Students with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: Policy Implications and Implementation Issues

Wll. William' Y. and Yeewan, Kwan, 47-59, Issue 2.


The Professional Know/edge of Teachers: Reflections on the German Debate on Pedagogical Professionality

Mild, Josef, 23-32, Issue 2.

The Web as Super culture-An Amalgamation of Subcultures Ganske, Ludwig and Hamidon, Zaharl, 60-72, Issue 2.

What Happens When Teachers Become Students? Boorer, David R., 73-81, Issue 2.

Author Index (by Principal Author)

Teacher Education and Outstanding Educators: Universal Characteristics Abrahao ,Maria Helena Menna Barreto, 48.56, Issue 1.

Developing Instructional Programmes for Limited English Proficient Students Enrolled in Science Colleges In Kuwait University

AI· Dabbous, Jawaher, 57-66, Issue 1.

What Happens When Teachers Become Students? Boorer, David R., 73·81, Issue 2.

How to Bring External Examinations Closer to Teachers and Pupils Cencic, MiUda, 17·25 Issue 1.

Peer Teacher Learning: How teachers learn from teachers in Mpumalanga . Secondary Science initiative

Chacko, Charuvil, 26·36, Issue 1.

Participants I Concerns in the Practicum Edwin, Ralph G., 13·22, Issue 2.

The Web as Super culture-An Amalgamation of Subcultures Ganske, Ludwig and Hamidon, Zahari, 60-72, Issue 2.

Teaching and Learning in the American School Kuecble, Judy and Kissock, Craig, 1-6, Issue 1.

A Post-modern Critique of Modern Educational Reforms and National Examinations in China

Lin, Qiuyun, 7-16, Issue 1.

Black Supplementary Schools in the United Kingdom. and


Theories on Black Underachievement: Carrying the Debate Forward McCalman, Lionel, 1-12, Issue 2:

The Professional Knowledge of'Teachers: Reflections on (he German Debate on Pedagogical Professionality

Mild, Josef, 23-32, Issue 2.

Science-based Teaching I Learning in Science Education Jassim, Saleh, 33-46, Issue 2.

Teacher's Identity, Values and Moral Purposes in School Improvement: Interpretations of a Hong Kong Experience

Siu, Ina. Y. M., 37-47, Issue 1.

Teaching Thinking Skills to Students with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: Policy Implications and Implementation Issues

Wu. William Y. and Yeewan, Kwan, 47-59, Issue 2.


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