Current Research Journal of Social Sciences 3(2): 59-65, 2011 ISSN: 2041-3246 © Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2011 Received: November 11, 2010 Accepted: March 08, 2011
Published: March 30, 2011
Influence of Teachers’ and Students’ Attitudes Towards Performance in Shorthand in Technical Training Silvia Kanyaa Vundi, Joseph W. Nasongo and Eunice Majanga Department of Educational Foundations, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya Abstract: Scholastic achievement is the goal of any training. The trainee’s attitude to a subject greatly influences the outcome. This study sought to look at the influence of the learner’s attitude towards shorthand subject on one’s performance in the subject by examining the ‘self’ and the ‘significant other’ variables namely subject teachers and course peers. The case study method was used where all the 40 students and 6 teachers in the Secretarial Section of Thika Technical Training Institute, made the study population. The results are a significant basis for effective policy making on shorthand subject in Tertiary Level Institutions in Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative data was elicited through questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. Data was developed by use of the SPSS text editor. The findings indicated that labeling the subject as ‘difficult’ through peer influence had resulted in the ‘self-fulfilling prophesy’ of incapability in the subject. Further, majority find the subject obsolete in today’s technologically automated world of a secretary. The curriculum developers need to review the place of shorthand in the secretarial career today because cultivating a positive self-concept in a subject is not just about the ‘significant others’ influence but also springs from appreciating its normative dimension. Key words: Attitudes, performance, self concept, shorthand INTRODUCTION Most students who enroll in Secretarial Studies at either certificate or diploma levels do not get certificates at the end of their training because of failing in shorthand - considered a key subject in the training of secretaries, (Eddy, 2002). Its performance in national examinations today continues to be poor because the intrinsic desire to excel is lacking in many learners. Waweru (1982) in Muasya (1992) asserts that the factors that contribute jointly to determine students’ achievement among experts on scholastic achievements continues to be a controversial issue. Many researchers have concentrated on extrinsic factors namely; availability of resources, teachers’ qualifications and teaching experience, the learners’ socio-economic background and learners’ motivation to learn. This research was cognizant of the fact that the four areas had been exhaustively studied; recommendations made and implemented yet performance in exams continues to remain poor. The researcher thus chose to address attitude; an intrinsic factor that also has a bearing on performance. A student’s attitude towards a subject greatly influences performance. It affects the individual’s organized manner of thinking, feeling and reacting to a study subject (Evans, 1972). Hamachek (1971) observes that an individual’s attitude towards a subject will influence their self-concept of academic ability. Nash (1976) infers that the ‘significant other’ namely teachers and peers also have a great impact in the developing of a student’s attitude towards a subject. Examples of studies done on the impact of attitudes on academic performance include: Kim (1977), Simpson and Oliver (1990), Wawire (1996) and Osborne (2003) among others. The bulk of the studies have been on Mathematics and Sciences among Primary and Secondary school students. The subjects are considered ‘difficult’ ‘hard’ ‘unnecessary evils’ by many students and a direct cause of poor overall performance in school examinations. The researchers assume that if the influences of attitudes among adolescents can be identified, they can be corrected at...
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