Teaching practice is an important aspect of teacher education. In training schools and colleges, trainee teachers basically learn about their: subject, that is, specialized knowledge in a particular subject area. The techniques of teaching subject content (pedagogy/methodology) and how children learn are acquired through courses in basic education and the study of education principles (Boulay, 1987). Through practice teaching, trainee: teachers are introduced into the teaching profession in a practical manner. This ensures that teacher education is not only theoretically supported, but also practice oriented. Therefore, teaching practice provides students teachers with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with practical way, the details of classroom procedure, control and relationship with students and immediate matters of teaching materials, syllabus, and methods of evaluation, among others (Apel, 1993). Effective practice teaching is dependent on good communication between the trainee teacher and the students. Verbal instruction, which seems to be the easiest form of instructional delivery system besides real experience, is always very abstract. Since students enter into schools with varying degrees of abilities and potentials, trainee teachers need instructional media to help them communicate effectively, and thus cope with students needs based on their abilities. Instructional media are all forms of information carriers which can be used to record, store, preserve, transmit, or retrieve information for purposes of teaching and learning. They are materials used by practising and trainee teachers to present, illustrate, and elucidate teaching posits (Agun, 1988). Educators have long recognized the intrinsic value of instructional media in the teaching and learning processes. This-recognition engendered the inclusion of components of media education in teacher training programmes. For instance, trainee teachers in Nigerian universities and colleges of education are expected to offer at least a 2-credit course in educational technology. Within the perspective of the course content are communication 127
Institute Journal of Studies in Education Vol. 2 No. 1 June 2004, ISSN 0795-2199 models, historical development of Educational. Technology, theoretical and "hand on" experience in media design, production, utilization and evaluation, and so on. There are several inherent advantages in the use of media in practice teaching by trainee teachers. First, effectively used media are vital for encouraging and facilitating students' learning. Second, through the use of media, subject content can be more carefully selected and organized. Thus, the quality of instruction delivered by trainee teacher can be improved as subject content can be delivered in a well organized, consistent, specific, and clearly defined manner. Third, trainee's delivery of instruction can be much more standardized as learners' with varying abilities can receive the same message and their individual differences catered for using media. Also, instructional media usage in practice teaching can make instruction to be much more interesting and enjoyable. The changing images and use of special effects, among others, can reduce boredom on the part of learners. Furthermore, classroom interaction can be interactive. Media can also promote student-student interaction, student-teacher interaction, and teacher-student interaction, if pre-instructional planning incorporates principles such as stimulus variation, feedback, reinforcement, learner' participation, and so on. Media also save teaching time as they require short-time to present large information. They can be used to reveal needs and stimulate students' question. Thus learners' interest can be aroused, maintained, and stimulated to promote their imaginative power. On the whole, media ensure the application of classroom-oriented communication techniques. Therefore, [earners should be assisted, encouraged and motivated not only to learn, but also to continue to learn (Blythe-Lord, 1991Farrant, 1981, Francis, 1985, Genhardt, 1982, Kemp & Smellie 1989, and Nicholls, 1975).