Teaching practice is an integral part of training programme at the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) level. This study therefore focuses on assessment of teaching practice students at the College of Education llorin. A total of 80 lecturers and 60 secondary school principals in Kwara state were involved in the study. Two research instruments viz. Lecturers' Assessment of Students' Performance in Teaching Practice Scale (LASPTPS) and Principals' Evaluation of Students' Performance in Teaching Practice Scale (PESTPS) were used to obtain relevant data from respondents. Two main hypotheses were generated and tested using t-test and Analysis of Variance statistics. The study revealed significant differences in lecturers' and principals' assessment of student-teachers' performance in teaching practice and in the assessment of lecturers (supervisors) of different ranks. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that junior lecturers should be exposed to further training on teaching practice supervision. The principals of the cooperating schools should also be involved but be trained for the assignment. Introduction
Teaching practice is an integral part of the teacher education programme. It is geared towards preparation of new entrants into the teaching profession. The exercise is to acquaint student teachers with the practical knowledge of teaching and learning process including lesson plan preparation, presentation, class managem ent, communication skills, evaluation and the required personality of professional teachers. The Teaching practice exercise is accorded a high premium in teacher educational institutions and for this reason; it is allotted the highest status of six credit load. Qualified lecturers and external assessors usually carry out supervision exercise. Daramola (1991) noted that education, as a subject is not complete without teaching practice exercise. He therefore suggested that the score obtained by each student should be added to the score awarded on education theory to determine the final grade of a student. This implies that no one can be a qualified teacher without having passed teaching practice. It is in this light, that this study investigates the assessment of students on teaching practice. Statement of the problem
Teaching practice is an essential aspect of teacher education as it forms the core of teacher training programme. Therefore, it is essential that the assessment of students on teaching practice be efficiently done through proper validation. In order to ensure this, different categories of supervisors (lecturers) and principals are involved in the assessment of students on teaching practice. This study, therefore, investigates whether or not there are significant differences in supervisors' and principals' assessment of students on teaching practice as well as junior and senior lecturers' assessment of students on teaching practice.It is in this light, that this study investigates the assessment of students on teaching practice. Statement of the problem
Teaching practice is an essential aspect of teacher education as it forms the core of teacher training programme. Therefore, it is essential that the assessment of students on teaching practice be efficiently done through proper validation. In order to ensure this, different categories of supervisors (lecturers) and principals are involved in the assessment of students on teaching practice. This study, therefore, investigates whether or not there are significant differences in supervisors' and principals' assessment of students on teaching practice as well as junior and senior lecturers' assessment of students on teaching practice. The study aims at providing answers to the following research questions:1) Is there any difference in supervisors' (lecturers) and principals' assessment of students on teaching practice? 2) Is there any difference in the assessment of students on teaching practice by supervisors (Lecturers) of different ranks? Research Hypotheses.
i) There is no significant difference in lecturers' (supervisor) and principals' assessment of student teachers performance in teaching practice ii) There is no significant difference in the assessment of student teachers performance in teaching practice on the basis of supervisors' (lecturers) ranks. Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to compare the assessment of students on teaching practice by lecturers (supervisors) and principals of secondary schools and junior and senior lecturers. It aims at enhancing the validity of the grades awarded by different categories of supervisors. Significance of the study
The major objective of teaching practice exercise at college of Education llorin is to produce highly motivated teachers for the ever expanding primary and junior secondary schools in Kwara State in particular and Nigeria in general. The study would provide useful information as regards the validity of the assessment of student teachers by lecturers of different ranks and supervisors and principals. This would assist in improving teaching practice programme in the college. It would also put the college authority in a better position to explore ways of improving the supervisory skills of supervisors and consequently the efficiency of teaching practice programme. Scope of the Study
The study focuses mainly on the year three students at College of Education llorin who had completed the teaching practice. It also covers only the lecturers and principals who supervised the 300 level NCE students who participated on teaching practice in the year 2001. Literature Review
Education is essential for national development and it has remained a big industry in Nigeria. The teacher educational institutions have well designed programmes for the training of teachers. Ojibara (2000) asserted that teaching practice is an essential part of the teacher education programme. According to him, the exercise is tailored towards the preparation of new entrants into the teaching profession. Thus, teaching practice is of prime importance in educational programme at Colleges of Education leading to the award of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). Ijaiya (1991) described classroom supervision as: a process whereby the supervisor personally visits a classroom purposely to observe the teaching-learning process and assists a student-teacher to improve on his competence in order to enhance pupils' learning and attainment of educational objectives, (p.43). The National Commission for Colleges of Education (1996) highlighted the objectives ofthe teaching practice as to: i) help the student-teachers develop positive attitude towards the teaching profession; ii) expose student-teachers to real life classroom experience under the supervision of professional teachers; iii) enable student-teachers discover their own strengths and weaknesses in teaching; iv) provide a forum for student-teachers to translate educational theories and principles into practice; v) familiarise student-teachers with school routines;
vi) expose student-teachers to the total school environment; vii) provide student-teachers with the necessary skills, competencies, personal characteristics and experiences for full-time teaching after graduation; and viii) serve as a means of assessing the professional competence of student-teachers. Adekunle (2000) acclaimed that teaching practice affords the student teachers the necessary initiation into the teaching profession. He further highlighted the problems associated with teaching practice as: (i) Inadequate time which leads to a situation in which supervisors only assess the students' lesson plan without having time to assess the practical teaching, (ii) Unserious attitude of the secondary school students towards the exercise which often results to the student- teachers not gaining the skills, confidence and knowledge needed to cope with the classroom situations. One of the essentials of effective teaching practice exercise is the teaching practice seminar for both the students and supervisors. Adekunle (2000) reiterated that students seminar is organised to brief the student-teachers about the tenets of teaching practice exercise which include the general conduct during the duration of the exercise like obedience to the school rules and regulations, total integration into -the school system, guidance on lesson plan and instructional aids as well as relationship with regular teachers and student colleagues, The supervisors' seminar according to Adekunle (2000) is to bring coherence into the mode of supervision and assessment of the student teachers. It is through the seminar that every supervisor is intimated or reminded of the objectives, and plans of the exercise, it is during this seminar that kit containing assessment materials are distributed to the supervisors while suggestions for the improvement of the exercise are equally discussed. The National Commission for Colleges of Education (1991) came up with a uniform format for assessing the students on teaching practice. The format comprises three broad sections viz: (i) the basic information about the student-teacher's identity, topic, class taught and school posted to for teaching practice exercise; (ii) assessment and evaluation criteria with three columns for the mark obtainable, mark awarded, and comment; (iii) general comment by the supervisor indicating his/her identity and signature. The second section, which deals with classroom supervision, is the most important and it requires information on the skills of student-teachers Before the actual practice the supervisor is expected to employ human relation skills through which effective communication is ensued between the student and the supervisor. To this effect, Ndubuisi (1998) saw communication as an indispensable element in all aspects of educational supervisory process. It is a means of interaction between the supervisor and the supervisee, In the same vein, Hunsaker and Alesandra (1980) submitted that a good supervisor should establish and maintain productive relationsh ip with his/her supervisee. They stressed that negative, interaction between superv isor and supervisee often results to stress, frustration, " aggression, fear, and resentfulness and poor performance. In another development, Ijaiya (1991) described supervision as all legitimate efforts made by a designated professional to assist the classroom teacher to improve on his/her competence.This implies that teaching practices supervision is meant to offer guidance to the teachers in training so that they can become "competent in self-analysis, self-improvement and self- confidence. Afolabi (1999) described a supervisor as a good listener to student teachers' problem, providing counselling service and promoting harmony among the student teachers and the school community. Research Methodology Research Design The research design adopted for this study is a descriptive survey type. It employs assessment scales to obtain data from the respondents. The scales are in form of scale. They are Lecturers' Assessment of Students' Performance in Teachi ng Practice Scale (LASPTPS) and Principals' Evaluation of Students' Performance in Teaching Practice Scale (PESTPS). Sample and Sampling Technique. Out of 134 lecturers and 1,926 year three students in College of Education, llorin, 80 lecturers and 600 students were randomly selected for the study. Stratified random sampling technique was employed to select the 80 lecturers (supervisors) of different ranks (Junior, intermediate and senior lecturers) and 600 students of different departments. All the principals of the 60 secondary schools, to which students were posted also participated in the study. Instrumentation Two sets of instrument on assessment of students on teaching practice were designed to elicit information. These are Lecturers' As sessment of Students' Performance on Teaching Practice Scale (LASPTPS) and Principals' Evalua tion of Students' Performance in Teaching Practice Scale (PESPTPS). Experts in Test and Measurements validated these scales while test re-test methodology was used to ascertain their reliabilities. Besides, document containing student teachers' and supervisors' names were examined to know the number of students per supervisor in the teaching practice exercise. The data obtained were analysed using frequency count, percentage, t-test and Analysis of Variance. (ANOVA). Data Analysis
Hoi There is no significant difference in the supervisors' (lecturers) and principals' assessment of student-teachers' performance in teaching practice. Table 1: Means and t-test Analysis of Lecturers' and Principals Assessment of Student- teachers' Performance Respondents N X Df Cal. t-value Crit, t -value Lecturers 60 3.18 1.38 2.00* 1.96 Principals 80 4.40 Table 1 shows the calculated t-value of 2.00 and a critical t-value of 1.96 at .05 alpha level and a degree of freedom of 138. The calculated t-value is greater than the critical t-value, thus the null hypothesis is rejected. In other words, there was a significant difference in the lecturers' and principals' assessment of st udent-teachers performance in teaching practice exercise. This difference could be informed by the different pedagogical skills possessed by the principals and lecturers. Ho2: There is no significant difference in the assessment of student teachers performance in teaching practice on the basis of supervisors' (lecturers) ranks. Table 2: Analysis of Variance on the Performance of Student Teachers on Teaching Practice Based on Supervisors' (Lecturers) Ranks. Source of SS Df MS Cal.F- Crit F- VariationBetween
groups 134.9911 2 67.4956
6.9712 9.68* 3.00
Groups 4161.8333 597
Total 4296.8244 599
= Significant at 0.05 alpha level
Table 3 shows the calculated F-value of 9.68 and critical F-value of 3.00 at degree of freedom (2,599) and .05 alpha level. With this, the calculated F-value is greater than the critical F- value. Thus, the hypothesis is rejected indicating that there was a significant difference in the assessment of teaching practice by supervisors of different ranks. Discussion
The study revealed that lecturers (supervisors) and principals are significantly different in their grading of student teachers' performance in teaching practice. This finding can be attributed to the fact that not all principals in secondary schools are professional teachers. Thus, some of them may not have relevant skills in teaching practice assessment. Also, the study showed that supervisors (lecturers) of different ranks are significantly different in their assessment of student teachers. This finding could be attributed to the lecturers' experience. The junior lecturers are significantly different from the intermediary and senior lecturers on their assessments. Thus, the need to expose the junior lecturers to further training on teaching practice assessment cannot be over-emphasized. Conclusion
Teaching practice is an essential part of educational programme at colleges of Education. It prepares student teachers for future challenges through acquisition of relevant skills. It is therefore important to handle the exercise with a high level of commitment and dedication. The supervisors, the students and others who are involved in teaching practice exercise should be properly trained and prepared for the assignment. Recommendations
The following suggestions are made for improving teaching practice exercise in all Colleges of Education in Nigeria: Seminar should be organized for all the lecturers who are qualified to supervise students on teaching practice. The posting of student teachers to schools should be proportional to the size of the school. In other words, student teachers should not be concentrated in a school to avoid rejection. Supervisors should avoid outrageous marks. That is, marks should not be too low or too high. Where such is found, it should not be used when computing the average scores for the students. Supervisors should base their ratings purely on student activities rather than extraneous factors.
The number of student teachers being supervised by a supervisor should be minimal togive room for thorough supervision. Increasing the number of supervisors could do this. It is, therefore, suggested that a supervisor should not supervise more than five students in a school. Inter-college teaching practice exercise should be re-introduced whereby lecturers in the existing colleges of education in the state would be exchanged for supervision purpose. This would also minimize clashes that often occur when the colleges fixed their teaching practice exercises in the same period. Microteaching should be well organized for students before they go on teaching practice. Any student who failed the microteaching should not be allowed to participate in the teaching practice. Scores awarded by the school principals should henceforth, be added to the lecturers' scores in computing the average score of students on teaching practice exercise. This will help in instilling seriousness in the student- teachers and give the principals full control over the student teachers. Also, truancy and other professional misconduct's on the part of student teachers will be minimized. References
Adekunle, M.O. (2000). The role of teaching practice in preparation of social studies teachers. Forum Academia: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal of Education. (Kaduna State College of Education) 2 (1 & 2), 81-92. Afolabi, S.O. (1999). The philosophy of supervision in education. Nigerian Educational Digest^ (Journal of Kwara State College of Education, llorin). iv & v(1), 39-48. Daramola, S.O. (1991), Teaching practice and university admissions for NCE graduates llorin Journal of Education II (1) 88-94. Ijaiya, N.Y.S. (1991). A guide to supervision of instruction llorin: my Grace Graphic Repro-Co. National Commission for Colleges of Education (1996). Minimum Standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education, (Rev. ed) Kaduna: Adeclear -type Press Ltd. Ndiubisi, O. (1998). Effective Supervision: Its role in the achievement of Supervised industrial work experience. Journal of Technical Education Research and Development (Federal College of Education Technical Umenze) 9-15. Ojibara, A.T. L (2000). Towards achieving reliable teaching practice assessment score in colleges of Education in Nigeria. florin Journal of Teacher Education 1 (1), 70-85.