MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED EDUCATION
ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF FAMILY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES. A CASE STUDY OF TWO SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN RUSHINGA RURAL DISTRICT: MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE.
CHRISTABEL CHENGETO KAPURURA (R144441Y)
A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED EDUCATION IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE BACHELOR OF EDUCATION HOURS DEGREE IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES.
APPROVAL FORMMIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED EDUCATION
The undersigned certify that they have read and recommended to the Midlands
State University for acceptance a research project titled: ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF FAMILY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES. CASE STUDY OF TWO SCHOOLS IN RUSHINGA DISTRICT OF ZIMBABWE
CHRISTABEL CHENGETO KAPURURA (R144441Y)
In partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Bachelor of Education Degree in Religious Studies.
External Examiner Date
Name of student: Christabel Chengeto Kaapurura
Registration number: R144441Y
Dissertation title: Attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies: Case study of two secondary schools in Rushinga District.
Degree title: Bachelor of Education honours Degree in Religious Studies.
Year of completion: 2018
Authorisation is hereby granted to midlands state university library to create duplicates of this dissertation to lend prints for private, scholarly or scientific research only. The writer reserves the publication privileges. Neither the dissertation nor extensive extracts from it may be printed or reproduced without writer’s written permission.
Cell numbers: 0737674583/ 0778122506
Email address: [email protected]
DECLARATIONI Christabel Chengeto Kapurura declare that this research is my own original work and has not been presented for a degree in any other University. All the sources that I have used or quoted have been indicated and acknowledged by means to complete references.
Student’s Name Christabel Chengeto Kapurura
ABSTRACTThis research seeks to find out the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies as a secondary subject which was introduced by the new curriculum last year year 2017, with a case study of two schools in Rushinga District of Mashonaland Province. The researcher used descriptive research design to carry out this study. Rushinga has a total number of seventeen secondary school and the researcher used both stratified and random sampling methods. The stratified sampling was used to put the population into homogenous groups then random sampling method was used to select the sample of the study from the homogenous groups created by stratified random sampling. Questionnaires, observations and interviews were used to gather data for the research and the findings revealed that; teachers in Rushinga District of Mashonaland Central Province have negative attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies as a subject since last year (2017). The findings revealed that teachers negative attitudes are being derived by the way the way the syllabus is presented and the unavailability of textbooks for the new curriculum. Students are developing positive attitudes towards the subject because of its nature it gives room for the students to discuss different religious beliefs. Hence students they are preferring the new syllabi rather than the Bible Knowledge Syllabi. However negative perceptions towards the subject is also another factors which is contributing to negative attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS. Family and Religious Studies is being viewed as a useless subject as compared to subjects like maths, English or any Science Subjects in Rushinga District. The research recommended that students must be given a strong base on the importance of multi faith approach into the curriculum and they should be educated on the impacts of negative attitudes towards their performance, the subject should be taught by FRS teachers. The research also recommended that the syllabi should be well presented specifying the recommended textbooks for the subject to reduce its complexity in the teaching and learning process.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSNot even a single individual come up with something fruitful unless with the help of others. Firstly, I give my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisor Mr Mashingaidze for his unwavering support and guidance through to the end. His constructive suggestions, expertise knowledge and comments shaped this research into what it is today. I would like to express my gratitude to the FRS teachers, education officers, humanities heads of department, school heads and the District Schools Inspector.
My sincere gratitude is also extended to my precious family, husband and friends for enduring the lost precious family time together during this period. It is also a great pleasure to acknowledge their efforts in giving me motivation, guidance, inspiration and all the support rendered throughout my degree. Lastly and above all, I would like to thank God the mighty who have been guiding and protecting me each and every day.
DEDICATIONSpecial dedication to my uncle Wiriranai kapurura and my Untie Maryline Mbengeranwa for all the support in my career since day one, they had the chance to witness the fruits of their hard work in my life. Also to my beloved grandmother, mom and brothers Dean, Takudzwa and Tanaka thank you for always being there for me and for all the love, encouragement and support you have given me to this day. For with God nothing is impossible.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u APPROVAL FORM PAGEREF _Toc513626974 h 2DECLARATION PAGEREF _Toc513626975 h 4ABSTRACT PAGEREF _Toc513626976 h 5ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PAGEREF _Toc513626977 h 6DEDICATION PAGEREF _Toc513626978 h 7CHAPTER I PAGEREF _Toc513626979 h 91.0 INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc513626980 h 91.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626981 h 101.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM PAGEREF _Toc513626982 h 121.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626983 h 131.4RESEARCH OBJECTIVES PAGEREF _Toc513626984 h 131.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS PAGEREF _Toc513626985 h 131.6 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626986 h 141.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626987 h 141.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626988 h 151.9 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY PAGEREF _Toc513626989 h 151.10 DEFINATION OF TERMS PAGEREF _Toc513626990 h 15CHAPTER 2 PAGEREF _Toc513626991 h 17RELATED LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc513626992 h 172.0 INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc513626993 h 172.1 THE PURPOSE OF FAMILY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN ZIMBABWE PAGEREF _Toc513626994 h 172.2 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MULTI FAITH APPROACH INTO THE CURRICULUM PAGEREF _Toc513626995 h 182.3 R.E AS UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTICED IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES PAGEREF _Toc513626996 h 212.4 ATTITUDES OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TOWARDS FRS PAGEREF _Toc513626997 h 262.5 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE SUBJECT PAGEREF _Toc513626998 h 282.6.0CHALLENGES FACED BY TEACHERS IN TEACHING FRS PAGEREF _Toc513626999 h 302.7.0 STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF FRS PAGEREF _Toc513627000 h 322.8 SUMMARY PAGEREF _Toc513627001 h 36CHAPTER 3 PAGEREF _Toc513627002 h 36RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc513627003 h 363.0 INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc513627004 h 363.1.1 RESEARCH DESIGN PAGEREF _Toc513627005 h 363.1.2 DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH DESIGN. PAGEREF _Toc513627006 h 373.2 POPULATION PAGEREF _Toc513627007 h 373.3.1 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE. PAGEREF _Toc513627008 h 383.3.2 VALIDITY AND REABILITY PAGEREF _Toc513627009 h 383.4 RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS. PAGEREF _Toc513627010 h 393.4 Data collection procedures PAGEREF _Toc513627011 h 413.5 Data analysis plan PAGEREF _Toc513627012 h 423.6 Summary PAGEREF _Toc513627013 h 42CHAPTER 4 PAGEREF _Toc513627014 h 43DATA PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS PAGEREF _Toc513627015 h 434.1Introduction PAGEREF _Toc513627016 h 434.1.0 Demographic data PAGEREF _Toc513627017 h 434.2. How Family and Religious Studies is taught in Zimbabwe? PAGEREF _Toc513627018 h 474.3 What kinds of attitudes do teachers and students have towards the subject (FRS). PAGEREF _Toc513627019 h 484.4.1 What are the challenges encountered in the teaching and learning of FRS? PAGEREF _Toc513627020 h 484.5 Which are the strategies and opportunities to enhance the teaching and learning of FRS? PAGEREF _Toc513627021 h 504.5.0 DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS PAGEREF _Toc513627022 h 514.6 SUMMARY PAGEREF _Toc513627023 h 55CHAPTER FIVE PAGEREF _Toc513627024 h 55SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS PAGEREF _Toc513627025 h 555.0 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc513627026 h 565.1 SUMMARY PAGEREF _Toc513627027 h 565.2 CONCLUSIONS PAGEREF _Toc513627028 h 575.3 Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc513627029 h 59REFERENCE LIST PAGEREF _Toc513627030 h 61
CHAPTER I1.0 INTRODUCTIONThe main goal of this chapter is to articulate and to spell out the background of the study in which the researcher derived the point of interest. In this chapter analyzing of the statement of the problem is of great importance. This chapter will figure out the research questions, significance of the study, delimitations and limitations of the study. Therefore, the definition and interpretation of key terms will also be done in this chapter.
1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Anderson (1979) during the colonial era Christian religious education featured as a dominant school subject in schools. Christian Missionaries played an important role in the development and history of the curriculum. During the period between 1896 and 1942 there was no unified syllabus for Religious education. The lack of a unified syllabus was attributed to the fact that there were many missionary groups which was occupying Zimbabwe with different theological practices and religious ideologies such as the Salvation Armies, Roman Catholics, Lutheran, Anglicans and others. These groups meant different doctrines in the teaching of Religious Education.
Missionaries were using the subject as a tool to win converts. Currently, the subject has an optional status for both teachers and students. The arrival of the missionaries in Zimbabwe since 1859 is an important factor in understanding the character of education. In addition the assumption of the above denominations was to convert Africans from issues of traditional life and religion to Christianity. The essence was that R.E as a subject had multi- purposes for the colonialists and these included evangelization, colonization, and the eradication of African beliefs among many other things. Concurring with the above assertion, Zvobgo (1996) argues that religious education was introduced into the formal secondary school curriculum during the colonial era of proselytizing instrument, hence its cultural bias and prejudice.
Between 1930 and 1940 there was no official R.E syllabus for use in the secondary schools in Rhodesia and as a result it was up to the clergy to design their own curricular. Ndlovu (2004) states that it was not until 1942 that Cambridge introduced religious education which marked the beginning of an official syllabus to be used in the teaching of R.E. Religious Education from 1942 to 2017 was being known as Bible Knowledge. The syllabus was structured into two major component, syllabus A comprised the teachings and life of Christ as contained in the synoptic gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke. While syllabus B focused mainly on Luke and Acts of the apostles.
Zimbabwean independence in 1980 meant a change of the colonial educational system which was segregationist and oppressive to the majority of the Zimbabweans; hence curriculum change was inevitable in order to align pupils with the new ideology of scientific socialism, which unfortunately largely became a theoretical endeavour evidenced by the current structure and nature of Religious Studies. Shedding more light, Marashe, Ndana and Chireshe (2009) argue that soon after the attainment of independence, the Zimbabwean government, through the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Culture, recommended the teaching of African Traditional Religion (ATR) in the primary schools. The rationale was in recognition of the multi-religious nature of the new sovereign and democratic society and to champion the teaching of African cultural beliefs and practices. The recommendation of teaching African Traditional Religion was an attempt to reverse a purely Christocentric approach to the teaching of RS at ‘O’ level (an examination taken by secondary education students) and to accept the complex religious nature of the Zimbabwean society and the need to align pupils with their cultural heritage.
Education in religion was referred to as RE and all the three schooling levels (primary, junior and senior) emphasised Christianity. The Christian based-RE was performed well by students at all the levels. In January 2017 the RS curriculum at Secondary school levels changed from a single-religion to multi-faith one as way of encompassing the pluralistic nature of the society of Zimbabwe due to the influence of several studies done in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. However, the multi-faith RE had to mention religions that were to form the content due to its theme-based approach yet the available and prescribed textbooks stresses Christianity, Judaism, Islam and African Traditional Religion are not yet available.
The curriculum is now including contemporary emerThe curriculum is now including contemporary emerging issues such as HIV and AIDS, environmental sustainability, the importance of a family in our contemporary societies and the idea of umuntu/hunhu in our indigenous religion. Junior secondary curriculum was reviewed in and there was a deliberate decision to identify the religions that were to be studied because an interpretive approach was adopted which demanded that religions to be studied should be specified. The other main reason for the move was that it was difficult to assess RE that was open in content and did not isolate certain religions for study. Generally, the introduction of family and religious studies curriculum further ensured that learners be exposed and sensitized to different religions of the world as a way of instilling a sense of tolerance as well as contributing to inter-faith awareness and understanding. It is against this background that my study seeks to address attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and religious studies
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMSince the introduction of family and religious studies curriculum in January 2017 there is a general decline in the performance of the students comparing it with students’ performance during the old syllabus in most of the secondary schools in Zimbabwe. The problem being lack of resources. In addition, teachers they are having a negative attitude towards the subject because the syllabus is not well presented and it’s too broad, hence poor performance. The available textbooks do not offer adequate information and in most instances full of errors leading teachers to use wrong information. Therefore attitudes of the teachers and their students have to be positive for the successful implementation of the new curriculum
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDYThe introduction of the new curriculum has affected the teachers’ approach in their duties and students participation in the classroom. Hence the purpose of the study was to reveal people`s attitudes towards the teaching and learning of family and religious studies and It also proffer ways in which these attitudes can be addressed to improve the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies in Rushinga District and other schools in general.
1.4RESEARCH OBJECTIVESThe objectives of the research are to:
i.Evaluate the attitudes of teachers and students towards the nature of family and religious studies
ii)Explain the challenges faced by FRS teachers in teaching various religions in the new curriculum.
iii)To assess the importance of teaching family and religious studies in Zimbabwe
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS1. How FRS is taught in Zimbabwe?
2. What kind of attitudes do teachers and their students have towards family and religious studies as a subject?
3. What are the challenges faced by FRS teachers in teaching different religions in the new curriculum?
4 what opportunities and strategies are there to improve the teaching and learning of FRS in Zimbabwe?
1.6 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDYOkafor, M. (2006) says that an assumption is a condition which is taken for granted without which the research effort would be impossible.Chisiet.al (2004) indicates that assumptions are statements of what the researcher believes to be facts but these cannot be verified. The assumptions for this research are;
i.Most of the secondary students are likely to have negative attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS.
ii.Positive attitudes results in good performance by students.
iii. Teachers are likely to face some challenges in teaching FRS since some of the religions are seem to be new to most of the students.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDYThe research is of paramount importance to the researcher as it enhances the academic and professional status of the researcher by obtaining an Honours degree in education. This is so because a research project is a university requirement for one to be awarded at the end of the program.
It also brings out information on the effectiveness of teaching and learning of FRS. This information might contribute to the body of knowledge to be used by teacher educators, Education Standards Officers and teachers to enhance teaching and learning of this subject area in Zimbabwe. It may enhance deeper insights and better understanding of the problems faced by teachers and pupils.
The research could also act as a springboard for other researchers. The results can prompt other researchers to take up the research topic and expand on it or have another dimension to the topic. Thus, leading to better or more improved results as compared to those attained in this research.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDYThe researcher is a conventional student at the university and she did not have adequate time to visit other schools in Rushinga to carry out the research. However, the researcher confines her research to schools in one cluster but the results was used holistically. The researcher also faced financial challenges pertaining to photocopying, printing, travel and subsistence as well as airtime for internet subscription and getting in touch with the research supervisor .Be that as it may, the researcher finds a way to get around the challenges so that the research is carried out successfully and the intended results were realised
1.9 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDYThe research was carried out in the Rushinga District of Mashonaland Central Province. The district has twenty two secondary schools. This research was carried out using two secondary schools which are Gwaangwava High School and Kamanika secondary School.
1.10 DEFINATION OF TERMSIn this study, the terms was defined first by giving the everyday (dictionary) meaning before giving what they mean in this study.
Attitudes explains ones behaviour (Pickens, 2005). This is because attitudes determine what a person will hear and see and what he or she will think and do. In this study, the word refers to the views and opinions of teachers and pupils on the teaching and learning of FRS.
A teacher is a classroom practitioner whose duty is to impart knowledge, skills and values to the learners. Mwamwenda (1995).A teacher can also be defined as a professionally trained person to teach learners. Therefore for the purpose of this study teacher refer to FRS teachers especially those teaching ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level FRS.
Learners are recipients of knowledge skills and values from the teachers. Mwamwenda (1995). According to Shunk (1995) learners are individuals at a formal institution of learning who are assisted by teachers permanently change their behaviour due to experience. In this case learners are referring to the FRS students both ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.
The Business Dictionary defines performance as the accomplishment of a given task measured agains present known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed. Stonner et al (1997) define performance as an act of doing something in accordance with set standards or objectives.
The Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education defines curriculum as, the sum total of all learning experiences and opportunities that are provided to learners in the context of formal and non-formal education. In other words it is a plan of action or a written document which includes strategies for achieving desired goals or ends in teaching and learning.
Is the carrying out, execution, or practice of a plan, a method, or any design, idea, model, specification, standard or policy for doing something. In fact, implementation is the action that must follow any preliminary thinking in order for something to actually happen.
Something is described as effective if it produces the results it was intended to. In this study effectiveness refers to the achievement of the intended goals of the integrated curriculum and value that the new integrated curriculum approach of FRS had brought.
CHAPTER 2RELATED LITERATURE REVIEW2.0 INTRODUCTIONAccording to Mc Milan and Schumacher (1993), related literature review is that which is relevant to the problem such as previous research to investigate the same variables or similar problem. This study has its origin in the field of education which is concerned with the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies in Zimbabwe. Therefore, the challenges towards the implementation of multi faith approach syllabi are also central to this study.
In this chapter, the literature review will be conducted focusing on what other scholars have discovered concerning the teaching of FRS in their respective regions and countries. Review of literature will focus on subtopics formulated by the researcher
2.1 THE PURPOSE OF FAMILY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN ZIMBABWEAccording to FRS Zimsec syllabus (2017), the Family and Religious Studies subject is a six year syllabus that provides students with opportunities to develop cognitive, religious and moral experiences. These experiences helps the students to understand, interpret and apply religious and moral concept in their social lives. It is a multi-faith approach to the study of religion. It helps students to be tolerant on their religious identities in the context of Ubuntu/ unhu/vumunhu and religious plurality.
There are various purposes for studying religious education, Religious Education in schools contributes not only to the development of young people and personal reflection, but should also increase respect for the beliefs of others and help to build a diverse but cohesive society. To neglect FRS is to neglect the future as according to Dingani. W (2017). Long back, Religious Education plays a fundamental role to the development of young people’s literacy across a wide range of texts and resources. The ability to express questions in words, art, song, ritual, story and prayer for example, has an impact at a whole series of levels in developing knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes of the young.
FRS aims at;
•promoting the religious and moral development of the student
•Fostering an understanding on the significance of belonging to a family, religion and community at large.
•Enabling the students to appreciate religious and cultural diversity in Zimbabwe.
•Integrating the concept of Ubuntu/ hunhu/vumunhu from various religious beliefs in moulding the character and behaviour of the student.
•Promoting national identity and heritage
•Enabling the student to compromise the dignity and value of hard work and team work for sustainable development from their particular religions.
2.2 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MULTI FAITH APPROACH INTO THE CURRICULUMWhittaker & Byrnes, 2001, Wolf, 2004 state that the multi-faith RE curriculum is about the teaching of various religions. This is done to emphasise the importance of tolerance, respect for other people and mutual understanding in a contemporary and diverse world. They said that RE should be a purely educational activity and not a devotional one and that it should promote students? understanding and respect for religious and non-religious traditions. Roux (2005:472) takes the point further and explains that religious education is “the ability to develop a self-identification and to communicate with understanding” one’s opinions about the world. There should be knowledge and understanding of others in order to understand oneself.
Hand ; White (2004) refer a dialogue or being able to reflect and that it is only from this standpoint of knowing oneself that one can be in a position to tolerate others. Welingsky (2002) reveals that teachers classroom practices are rarely studied, and if it is done it is usually far removed from the classroom environment. Despite the different forms of RE, there tends to be inadequate empirical literature on teacher’s understanding and implementation of the multi-faith RE curriculum. For example in countries like Britain where it has been practiced since the 1970s (Jackson, 1999).They are studies conducted on ways of teaching RE, a case in point articles edited by Grimmitt (2000) entitled “Pedagogies of RE,” concentrated on the relationship between religion and education and how the two serve young people. It has been observed from these studies that there is little reference to RE teachers? classroom practices. Therefore in this study the researcher will try to unpack the teachers’ attitudes in the teaching of FRS as a subject in Zimbabwe.
According to Cox (1983) multi-faith approach can also be used to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS, promote human rights, tolerance and democracy. This can be supported by the introduction of Family and Religious Studies in Zimbabwe which is including topics like HIV and AIDS into the curriculum so that each and every student should have a better understanding about the epidemic disease for the benefit of the society and the future generations.
However, an attempt was done around 1998 to introduce HIV and AIDS education but it was short lived due to a number of reasons. Some critics suggested that such teaching would go against the religious beliefs of most religions in the sense that HIV and AIDS education especially sexuality issues and awareness on the use of condoms encouraged young people to be involved in sexual activities. In this study the researcher is in support with this view because in some religions in Zimbabwe it is regarded as a taboo for someone to teach issues of sexuality in public because they are specific people who are supposed to teach young children about these sexuality issues, for example in Karanga grandparents and unties occupy that duties. The distribution of prophylactics to school children masked the real problem behind the spread of HIV and AIDS especially when analysed in light of poverty, peer pressure, pornography and social media.
According to Simuchimba (etal), suggested that the other reason for opting for the integrated curriculum is that it allows the education system to be less content-based and more skills-based in approach and emphasis. It will help learners acquire life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and self-reliance. Integration will help greatly to reduce on rote memorisation and reproducing of facts and enhance the acquisition of various specific skills such as numeracy, literacy, innovation, self-expression, design and of course, religious and moral literacy. Furthermore, it will help pupils to see links between different learning areas such as to understand that what they learn has meaning outside the school; relate new learning to previous learning; and transfer skills from one area of learning to another.
A study conducted by Ferguson and Roux (2003) on pre-service teachers? knowledge and skills on how to teach the multi-religious education curriculum in South African schools, and found that many of the teachers lacked the knowledge and skills to teach this curriculum. In a qualitative study in Britain, conducted with six RE student teachers, L?Anson (2004) concluded that teachers have a world-view of their own and certain expectations which are rarely satisfied by education authorities in terms of their beliefs and emotions. The new curriculum which was introduced in January 2017 focuses on four world religions expect the teacher to deliver the knowledge of these religions equally. As such this study will try to explore teacher’s attitudes towards the teaching of FRS without bias to his or her own religion.
Gommers and Hermans (2003), investigated RE teachers in Roman Catholic secondary schools in Australia and discovered that the teacher’s ideas influenced their classroom practice and that the teacher’s ideas are affected by the socio-cultural environment of which they came from and their social backgrounds. However, this study fail to give a full insight into the teachers’ attitudes since it was done on RE teachers in Mission schools where the Christian practices of the school largely determined how they teach and make sense of the curriculum. In addition a different picture could have been brought if the study had been conducted in a secular public school. Another study by Sikes and Everington (2001) in the UK on new RE teachers concluded that not much is known about RE teachers including their classroom practices because it is taken for granted that they teach a subject that everyone has an idea about. Therefore the researcher will try to explore the teacher’s attitudes towards FRS in Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, when researching the attitudes of multi-faith RE teachers, in Mission schools in England, Cox and Skinner (1990) suggested that teachers revealed that a multi-faith RE curriculum was educational in the sense that it was mainly focused on personal, spiritual and moral growth of the learners. They also showed that in a contemporary diversity world, a multi-faith RE curriculum was fundamental and unavoidable. All of the above research studies focused on the attitudes of teachers and not on the way they teach a multi-faith RE curriculum. These studies specify only what teachers perceived as the aims of the multi-faith RE curriculum but did not show their strengths and weaknesses in teaching it. The assumptions that teachers made in various studies about their attitudes on RE may be shown by their classroom practice. This is so because Vulliamy, Lewin& Stephens (1990) conclude that opinions at times differ from practice, hence it cannot be guaranteed if the views of the teachers necessarily correlate with their teaching practices unless a way of finding out is devised.
2.3 R.E AS UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTICED IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.
According to Hull (2005) RE is not to be taught in public schools. In support of this in America religion is kept out and free from government controlled institutions, including public schools, which are not allowed by law from promoting religion or religious beliefs. The purpose of this separation is the best option because religious education should be left to parents and the trained theologians. The assumption is that, the government is left out of religious debates in public school classrooms since the USA is an ethnically diverse and religious pluralism in the society. Religious issues may be taught in subjects like Social Studies (Hull 2005). However this is different from what is done in Zimbabwe where it is the duty of the teacher to deliver Religious Education since it is included in the curriculum. As such the purpose of this research is to analyse the attitudes towards teaching and learning of FRS in Zimbabwe.
It has been posted that in some countries RE is not taught in public schools because it is regarded as a private matter which the family has to take care of, for example in France, Taiwanese province of the People’s Republic of China, and in Russia because for a long time religion was suppressed in that part of the world and was blamed for indoctrination (Kozyrev, 2005). In these countries, RE has remained outside the heart of public education because it is suspect due to its assumed tendencies of indoctrinating students. Jensen (1998) notes that many countries in Europe, including the commonly called post-communist countries in Eastern Europe, have adopted this view about RE. In these countries, RE is not part of public education and is viewed as a private matter for parents and religious communities.
In some countries like Britain, Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway the state funds RE to be taught in public schools and is placed under the Ministry of Education (Hull, 2005). In this case RE is supposed not to promote any particular religion by either converting students or strengthening their religious faith. However, there are differences within these countries regarding how RE is viewed and practiced in public schools
The Education Act of 1996 in Britain suggested that an RE agreed syllabus must “reflect the fact that the religious traditions of Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain” (British Government, 1996:213). RE in Britain, is said to be multi-faith, and aims at enabling students to know mainly about Christianity and many other religions that are represented in that country. This is affirmed by the act of daily Christian collective worship in public schools (British Government, 1988).
Even though that is the ideal, the 1988 Education Reform Act (British Government,1988) emphasised that Christianity was the main religious tradition in Britain and that could be the reason why Hull (2003) notes that it is difficult for politicians to accept the educational and not the religious status of RE. The dominant and influential religion is Christianity which is viewed as the source of values. In England and Wales, RE is part of the basic curriculum that is studied by all students except those withdrawn by their parents. In Britain, the law allows RE to be taught in public schools and in some mission schools that are supported by government. Some religions found in Britain are taught in the classrooms but are not given the prominence accorded to Christianity. It is possible that Christians may undermine other religions due to the priority of their religion. Students who belong to religions other than Christianity can be victims of embarrassment.
In an environment where Christianity is dominant, respect of other religions is likely to be appreciated. Furthermore, a partisan perspective is different to the philosophy of a multi-faith RE curriculum. This is the likely the reason why a spokesperson of the National Secular Society in Britain once complained that students that were withdrawn from RE classes, as a right in the law, were being discriminated against and isolated from their classmates (British Broadcasting Service, 2004). He cited incidents where students who were withdrawn from RE classes by their parents were instructed to sweep the school playgrounds whilst their fellow students were attending religious education classes.
However, schools in Britain are not obliged by law to provide lessons for students who are withdrawn from worship by their parents, hence resulting in discriminating against such students as well as indirectly making RE compulsory. In this sense, Christianity as a dominant religion tends to define what is religious in Britain. It is assessed as a more legitimate religion compared to others – a religion against which others are measured. Biseth (2009:14) says that in such a situation, “the education system sends a message of a normative character since what is accepted, respected and seen as normal is represented in the classroom community.”
Furthermore, the government may also be indirectly sympathetic to Christianity since government officials in the committee are likely to have studied theology at tertiary education level and before the 1944 Education Reform Act, RE in England and Wales was inspected by priests and church ministers, whilst other subjects were inspected by the national government inspectorate (Hull, 2005). The situation has not changed much because in England and Wales, religious authorities have some influence over RE. For instance, presently they are part of the local education authority that designs and helps in the implementation of RE hence this is likely to influence the nature of RE
However, it is possible that since the Christians are in the majority, they are likely to influence decisions regarding the structure and implementation of RE. Equally important to note is that, members from religious communities would be there on the basis of their religious and not professional basis and possibly get involved in RE matters as a party with interests to protect. According to Jensen (1998) submitted that religious education is not to be understood as giving leaners religious certainties but teaching students to act responsibly as part of unhu or ubuntu. Many religions promote peace, unity, justice and citizenship education. In that light, religious education relates to the social, religious and cultural levels of people as they morally develop and live together. Moral development as emphasized in religious education and citizenship development are associated when it comes to how young people are socialized in life (Sears ; Hughes, 2006).
RE is secular in the sense that it is concerned with general human issues and the educational progress of the students which is not necessarily religious. Jensen (1998) challenges the secular perception held in many so called secular states especially where Christianity is viewed as the only true religion Hull (2005) indicates that a multi-faith RE involves learning values such as sympathy, empathy and tolerance for other people and is expected to enable students to develop positive attitudes towards other people and institutions.
However, it is difficult to support the view that there is this affective development in students because the cognitive development tends to be more discernible than the affective, though it is difficult to separate the two. Similarly, it is not easy to establish that students become critical, reflective, and able to interpret situations critically due to exposure to a multi-faith type of RE Gutek (2004).
Nziramasanga Presidential Commission on Education and Training Report (1999) stresses that the goals of the Citizenship Education curriculum would be to enable students to grow into good citizens who respond to certain accepted practices and train them to hold beliefs .It also ensures the reception and acceptance of African values, ethics and civic processes by all the youth; and to enlighten learners of their civic rights, obligations and responsibilities. Hence religious education plays a significant role in nation building.
2.4 ATTITUDES OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TOWARDS FRSHornby (2000) suggested that attitude is a feeling or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that follows from him. The word attitude can be defined as an index of an individual’s thought and feelings about people, objects and issues in the environment (Oskamp, 1977). Attitudes form a mental state based on experience that directs an individual’s behaviour or response to all objects or situations around him or her. Attitudes therefore explain ones behaviour (Pickens, 2005). This is because attitudes determine what a person will hear and see and what he or she will think and do. It is important to note that attitude formation is affected by one’s belief of an object and related experience which forms his or her perception. This is the reason why at times perception and attitudes are addressed together. If perception is positive, then attitude is positive with the vice versa also being true (Pickens, 2005). According to Oskamp and Schultz (2005) an attitude may be defined as a predisposition respond in a favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given object. The focus of this project is on the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS in Zimbabwe.
Simuchimba (etal) further argued that teacher’s negative attitude and reluctance to accept change and make the necessary adjustments in their work as individuals and schools is likely to negatively affect the smooth implementation of the curriculum reforms. The liberalised supply and distribution of textbooks might also prove to be a stumbling block in the implementation of new curriculum if it fails to work as efficiently as expected and if the state fails to adequately fund the schools or District Education Boards. For FRS, it seems the most serious problem is the manner in which the pupils and teachers’ textbooks are being written. As Cheyeka (2005) argues, unless at least one professionally trained religious educator is included by all the publishers dealing with FRS topics in the syllabus will not be properly interpreted explained, and illustrated in the pupils and teachers’ books.
In addition the skills, understanding and knowledge acquired from religious education in most schools is very important to the national framework. Religious education positively supports students to mature in their attitudes positively to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others. There are four attitudes that are very important in the teaching and learning of FRS inorder to produce good or high quality results these includes:
2.4.1 Self-understanding in family and religious studies
•Teachers and students should experience self-assurance about their own beliefs, identity and distributing them with no fear of humiliation.
•Increasing a reasonable and optimistic value of their own religious, moral and spiritual ideas
•Teachers and students should become progressively more prone to the impact of their ideas and behaviour of other people
2.4.2 Value for all in FRS
•Developing a sense of listening and a enthusiasm to learn from other people’s religions
•Being able to value differences and diversity in the classroom
•Being insightful to the thoughts and ideas of others
2.4.3Open mindedness in FRS
•Willingness to learn and gain new understanding.
•Engaging in dialogues reasonably and respectfully about religious, moral and spiritual matters
•Being able to differentiate between opinions, viewpoints and beliefs in relation to issues of conviction and faith
2.4.4 Appreciation in FRS
•Teachers and students should recognise that knowledge is bounded by mystery
•They should appreciate the sense of wonder at the world in which they live
•Developing their competence to act in response to questions of sense and rationale
2.5 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE SUBJECT.
Students’ attitudes about their learning play a fundamental role in their successful acquisition of FRS knowledge. It has been observed from a certain study that was focusing on the relationship between University students perceptions of their academic outcomes, Lizzio (2002) concluded that students’ perceptions of their current learning environment were a stronger predictor of learning outcomes at university than prior achievements at high school.
Environmental, administrative and curriculum related factors influences teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards FRS are moderated by what is experienced in schools, homes and their cultural norms orientations that was according to Kithyo and Petrina (2002) Factors that affects the attitude towards the teaching and learning of FRS may be formed due to past experiences encountered identification and due to one’s past religious practices. On administrative related factors like school policy might demand that FRS is for one class per stream with less gifted learners. Wagah (2009) is of the view that this hinders nurturing of talents for students who might not be in that stream that offers the subject. According to Kiama (2007) everybody can be an artist except that the talent is never given room to grow. Hence each and every student should be given an opportunity to learn FRS.
Bain (2004) and Kealoha (2006) states that a positive classroom climate promote engaged learning. This is so because in a comfortable atmosphere students feel free to ask questions. Schweinle, Meyer and Turner (2006:276) “In classrooms that provide a significant positive effective climate, students reported considerable intrinsic, additional help seeking, positive emotions related to content and significant perceptions of task specific competencies”. As such a conducive teaching and learning classroom promotes better results.
In addition, learning environment also affects students’ performance. According to Wozniak and Fischer (1993) in education the ecological perspectives emphasizes the importance of the environment. In the sense that certain places require certain behaviour. In this respect teachers are not only supposed to know each of their individual students but they also need to know where they came from.
Class size is also another factor which influences positively the teaching and learning of FRS. In education class size has been found to be an influential factor in student achievement. The issue of class size is not a new education topic, in fact it has been there for centuries. Angrist and Lavy(1997) suggested that in the Babylonian Talmud the maximum size of a bible class had 25 students. In contrary to this, a 109 student class was compared with a 43 student class of the same course they found their achievement level to be approximately equal. Many more studies on class size at this level have been completed, Kostantopouls (2008) summarised the relationship between achievement and class size and concluded that reduced class size can be expected to produce increased academic achievement.
Furthermore, Students of less academic ability achieved more in smaller classes. It has been observed that smaller classes can positively affect the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority students. Robinson and Wittebols (2000) concluded that teaching procedures and practices that have been shown in their research reveal that greater learning occurred more frequently in smaller classes. As such smaller classes had a positive effect on learners’ behaviour and teacher morale. Hence this research will focus more on the attitudes towards teaching and learning of FRS.
According to Hidi and Harackiewicz (2000) motivation is among the most powerful determinants of students’ success or failure in education. A student’s motivation and degree of interest is a significant factor that influences learning. As such a student’s own lack of interest can affect understanding in the classroom. Driscoll (2005) defined motivation as a prominent field of study in psychology because psychologists believe that it is a driving force for action. Researchers in their understanding of motivation, they determined that motivation was influenced not only by physiological needs but by cognitive and affective demands as well.
2.6.0CHALLENGES FACED BY TEACHERS IN TEACHING FRS2.6.1 Unavailability of resources
Westhuizen et al (1999) argues that, shortage of teaching and learning aids such as posters, chats, computers and other facilities which are not available in most schools is a major problem. Thus shortage of physical facilities like libraries, books, chairs and other resources have a negative impact on pupils’ performance. According to a research carried out by Westhuizen et al (1999) many learners at the schools they visited did not have all the required books and sometimes a class of forty learners was required to share copies of a textbook or only a teacher’s text-book. From this views one can conclude that lack of adequate resources is a problem in many schools which is affecting the performance of pupils thus the researcher looked into the study focusing also on this area. However one can also have a critique to this view in the sense that pupils who have a goal and an interest in what they want will strive for the better no matter the circumstances.
The new programme is likely to face serious teething and implementation problems related to educational materials and teaching. In Botswana during the introduction of the new curriculum there was an unavailability of books and other educational resource materials and equipment. The practical aspect of the social studies curriculum, for example, was being neglected in most schools because of a lack of transportation and funding for field trips. Anecdotal evidence also suggested that teachers were not properly trained for the new curriculum. Teachers who were trained in the old British system were made to teach concepts which they understood poorly. Some teachers revealed that they were confused about the replacement of the separate social science subjects with social studies, and advocated a change back to the old system.
Cheyeka (2005) conducted an interview of some basic school teachers and Education Standards Officers on the integration of RE in SDS. His findings were that there was a huge problem with the teaching of RE in the lower, middle and upper basic school levels. The first problem was that there was a lot of skipping of RE topics by most teachers. This implies that the teachers have a negative attitude towards RE related topics. Hence this study will focuses more on the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS as a modified subject which was introduced by the new curriculum in Zimbabwe.
2.6.2 Diversity in the classroom
As a teacher it is very possible in the classroom that students can come from many different backgrounds and cultures. Even within the native Irish student community there can be elements of cultural differences. This aspect of multiculturalism is challenging for the teacher and they needs to be creative, knowledgeable as well as flexible in the classroom. It is a challenging area for the religious educator as culture is not always easy to define. However, I do support the Zimsec ‘O’ level syllabus which states that religious education has a role to play in promoting interculturalism, as religious beliefs can have a significant influence on a group’s cultural ways .Therefore diversity in the classroom can be a very influential factor which affects the teaching and learning in most schools.
2.7.0 STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF FRS.
Viens and Kallenbach (2004) revealed that when teachers understand the link between students’ beliefs and their actual academic performances then teachers can create opportunities for students to reflect on their strength and weaknesses on their perceptions. This research aims at the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS since it is a modified subject which was introduced last year (2017) in the new curriculum.
2.7.1 Empowering teachers to teach about diversity
Wasonga (2005) suggested that teachers who teach students from different religions should be skilled to handle such an environment by being ready to shed off their religious biases and should be willing to learn from the new environment that they are. In this case teachers need to be empowered by any means in order to be effective in diverse classrooms. Edwards, Green and Lyons (2000) states that empowering teachers means being exposed to skills that will improve the teaching and learning in diverse classrooms and this empowering could take place during their pre-service training. Furthermore a study carried by Edwards etal concluded that if teachers are empowered they are likely to improve their performance since they will be satisfied with what they will be doing in the classroom. Their satisfaction resulting in producing good results on their students.
To ensure effective teaching and learning to take place there is need for teachers to modify their mind set to suit the new integrated approach to the curriculum. For example in Zimbabwe primary school teachers are trained as generalists and not subject specialists. Bishop (1985) carried out a research, its aim was to find out how effective the new social studies curriculum. The teaching and learning had been developing positive attitudes to society and the environment in students educated in the integrated curriculum, as compared to those in the old curriculum during the period of overlap. The sample studied comprised of 1,170 secondary school pupils, of whom 695 were studying the old curriculum and 475 the new curriculum. It was estimated that the new integrated curriculum, particularly in social studies would help students to develop positive attitudes to society and the environment. The results however, revealed that this was not so as students in the old curriculum had a higher mean score than those in the new curriculum. Hence this research focus on the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS.
According to Chayeka (2005) states that as the new curriculum was introduced to RE teachers they had to adjust to the situation and their attitudes in order to accommodate it whilst at the same time remaining themselves for instance, they had to acknowledge and use student centred practice in teaching various religions, something that was alien to them especially those who taught the single religion curriculum. For the newer teachers, they too studied a single religion type of RE at secondary schools and teacher training programmes at college of education and Universities emphasised Christianity. This is the main problem which the researcher discovered when she was on her attachment at a certain school in Rushinga District. Hence this study focuses on the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS..
2.7.2 Adequacy of Learning Resources
Maiyo. & Ashioya, (2009) are of the view that, the adequacy and use of teaching and learning materials improve the teaching and learning of the subject. The teaching and learning resources and materials boosts the understanding of abstract ideas and enhances students’ performance. Thus adequacy of learning resources like FRS text books, good library with all required FRS text books, wall maps can therefore highly contribute to the good performance of students. Schneider (2003) found out that school facilities have a direct effect on teaching and learning in all subject. Text books are very important since they enable the students to follow the teacher’s order of presentation and also aids in understanding of lessons Ubogu. (2004).Hence improving students’ performance.
Cheyeka’s interviews with the teachers and Education Standard Officers on the integration of RE in SDS, is closely related to this study as this research partly involves looking at the attitude of teachers towards the teaching of FRS from RS. The writing and publication of school textbooks is also related to the study because teaching materials like RE textbooks have a great influence on the effectiveness of teaching FRS. Thus effectiveness is dependent on well written and produced teaching and learning materials.
2.7.3 School Administration
Schneider (2003) finds that, the good quality of school administration plays a vital role in school students’ academic performance as it is concerned with pupils, teachers, rules, regulations and policies that govern the school system. In analyzing the efficiency of school administration, the stated authority looked into facts like the frequency of staff meetings, frequency of checking teachers’ schemes of work and lesson plans, adequacy of teachers’ prior preparation, frequency of class observation by the head teacher. Thus if the administration is well versed in these area, there is high probability of improving the performance of pupils in FRS subject at the school and other respective subject under study.
2.7.4 Pupil-Based Factors
These are the factors amongst the students that could enhance or hinder their academic performance. Students’ rate of presents at the school for the lessons, Alkan (1970) is of the view that, attitudes can begin as initially as the subject is being announced, will then produce a negative or positive attitude towards the subject and this can depend on the environment they are exposed. However teachers and parents should make sure that they motivate and encourage pupils to like all the subject and study them seriously so as to limit pupil’s negative attitude towards any subject. By so doing the performance will be increased.
2.7.5 Parental support’s contribution to the performance of leaners
Parents has a significance role to play for the development of their children’s performance. Lumpsden (1994) asserts that teachers have to work closely with guardians or parents when it comes to matters involving student’s development. The same author is of the view that children’s attitudes towards learning is shaped by their home environment. Harris (2013) is of the view that poor performance is being caused by lack of parental support. He goes on to say that there is a relationship between performance of pupils and parental support in homework. Thus, in order to attain good performance of children parents need to create a harmonious and conducive environment home environment. Asikhia (2010) is of the view that families significance role in social order differ as some have more dignity, respect, money and more powers than others. Socio-economic rank of the pupils’ parents has an effect on how their kids will perform in school. Those guardians/parents who are rich can manage to pay for their children’s needs in schools and to send them to better schools, thus when it comes to field trips for FRS they can support financially. West et al. (1986) account that monetary matters generally seem to have a small but important effect on educational performance either indirectly or directly through goal commitment. Financial duties such as kids’ stationery, school fees, and buying of textbooks which has to be maintained while learning can have far reaching effects on the performance of pupils, hence contributing to performance of students
2.8 SUMMARYIn chapter two (2), the researcher looked at the review of related literature, sighting examples from the work of previous researchers which helps to unpack attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS found at Kamanika Secondary School and Gwangwava High School.
CHAPTER 3RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.0 INTRODUCTIONAccording to Creswell (2014), research methodology is the general approach the researcher takes in carrying out a research project. The chapter describes and explains population, the sampling procedures, the research instruments as well as the validity and reliability of the instruments used. The research design outlines how information was gathered to answer the research questions. The researcher used questionnaires and structured interviews as inst
ruments to ascertain teachers and students attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies. Issues such as data collection procedures and how information collected were analyzed and also explained in this chapter.
3.1.1 RESEARCH DESIGNCreswell (2014) defines the research design as a procedure for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data either quantitatively or qualitatively. A research design is a framework that has been created to seek answers to the research questions that was according to Thomas and Nelson (2003. Having mentioned these definitions one can say that a research design gives direction and arrange the study in an organized manner. There are three types of research design that is descriptive, explanatory and case study and used descriptive research design. In this particular research, the researcher conducted this study at one High School and one Secondary School in Rushinga Rural District, she collected data through questionnaires, interviews and observation. Through these methods the researcher finds best results on the attitudes towards FRS as a subject.
3.1.2 DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH DESIGN.The study employed the descriptive research design. Suresh (2015) asserts that a descriptive research design is when the researcher provides a description of an event prevailing. Therefore the researcher was able to identify opinions and attitudes of students and teachers towards the subject. This design was chosen since it helps to minimize bias because it uses a large sample size, quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Murphy (2014) is of the view that descriptive research design present an opportunity amalgamate both quantitative and qualitative data as a means to reconstruct events that are taking place at particular time and place, hence an advantage to apply it to the study. Thus, to develop information that is accurate the researcher used qualitative research methodology.
Scholars like Wimmer and Dominick (2000) favour the qualitative research design because it allows the researcher to conduct studies in the field, that is natural surroundings trying to capture the normal flow of events without controlling extraneous variables. Thomas and Nelson (2000) are of the view that in qualitative research, the researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis. Frankael and Wallen (2000) states that focus of qualitative research is on participants’ perceptions and experiences and the way they make sense of their life. Thus, in this research the researcher was directly involved in data collection and respondents were allowed freely to give their opinions and explain their experiences during the learning and teaching of FRS.
Chiromo (2006) states that target population is an entire population which the researcher is interested in and to which she would like to generalise the results of the study. The target population for the study was the heads of the department, teachers and pupils. They are chosen because they are directly involved in the implementation of the FRS curriculum in the schools. The target population for the study was three teachers from each of the two schools, ten learners from each of the two schools, five boys and five girls and two heads of the department so as to have a balance of information between males and females. Thus a total of twenty eight people was used as the population.
3.3.1 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE.According to Borg and Gall (1989) a sample is a small manageable group; representative of the entire population, from which to collect the information needed about the population. This research used a sample of twenty students, six teachers and two heads of the department. Thus a sample of twenty eight. Random sampling technique was used. Borg and Gall (1989) assert that random sampling also known as probability sampling involves the selection of the sample based on chance. Every unit of the population has non zero probability of being selected for the sample. The probability of selection may be equal or unequal but it should not be zero
Creswell (2008) maintains that the reason why samples are important is that within many models of scientific research, it is impossible from both a strategic and a resource perspective to study all the members of a population for a research project. It can cost too much and takes too much time. Instead, a selected few participants was chosen to ensure that the sample is a representative of the population. And if it is the case then the results from the sample can be inferred to the population which is exactly the purpose of inferential statics. Hence using information on a smaller group of participants to represent the whole group of participants
3.3.2 VALIDITY AND REABILITY.
Sadhu and Singh (2000) define validity of an instrument with its ability to measure accurately what it is intended to measure. They also postulated that the reliability of the questionnaire would not be of much use unless it had validity. Validity is concerned with establishing whether the questionnaire content is measuring what it is supposed to measure, (Hewit and Crammer 2005). According to Orodho (2004) validity is a non statistical method used to validate the content in the questionnaire. Content in this study was established by seeking judgement from judges competent in the area of study. The judges include my supervisor who was assisting in developing and revising the study instrument. On assessing the questionnaire and its relevance, the supervisor was giving feedback and his recommendations were incorporate to the final questionnaire. Chicora (1990) perceives validity as the degree to which the recorded description of the set of data conforms to its referent. It is the extent to which an instrument measures what it purports to measure.
Mugenda (1999) define reliability as a measure of the degree to which a research instrument yields consistent results or data after repeated trials. They go on to say the lesser the variations produced by an instrument on subsequent trials, the more reliable it is. Sadhu and Singh (2000) define validity of an instrument to measure accurately what it is intended to measure. They also postulated that the reliability of the questionnaire would not be of much use unless it had validity. Validity is concerned with establishing whether the questionnaire content is measuring what it is supposed to measure, (Hewit and Crammer 2005).
3.4 RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS.The researcher used questionnaires, interviews and observations as these promote the collection of first-hand information Shawa (2015). Each of these methods has its own strength and a weakness as far as data gathering methodologies are concerned. These methods mutually support the same goal and also give light to the project being carried out. In addition, they also assist the researcher in giving a clear picture of the current problems and the possible solutions so that they can be seen incomplete.
A questionnaire was defined by (Chiromo, 2006) as a form of inquiry which contain a systematic organization of a series of items that are sent to the target population sample. Questionnaires is a list of questions to be answered by the respondents. It makes use of mainly pre-coded questions made by the researcher and these are presented in a written format. The questionnaire were presented to six teachers and twenty pupils at the selected schools. The main purpose was to gain some in depth understanding into the current system that prevails.
Since the researcher was researching on the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS, questionnaires proves to be excellent instruments for data collection. Also, the questionnaires allows anonymous input thus precise answers were produced. The writer discovered that meaningful results were provided through questionnaires since the respondents were not afraid as they did not write their names on the questionnaires. Pupils had to state the available text books on the department, problems which they are facing in learning FRS and identifying the possible solutions to those challenges. Teachers’ questionnaires were further indicating questions about the effects of multi faith approach into the curriculum as well as recommendations to be implemented so as to improve the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS
The observation method implies direct collection of data without asking the respondents question either written or oral. According to Yin (2001), the collection of data does not include the willingness of respondent to provide data. The researcher’s main aim in carrying out an observation was to investigate the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS. Thus the target sample was six teachers of Family and Religious studies as well as the classes they teach. The observation method proves to be useful when the researcher was able to naturally observe the teaching and learning of FRS. The researcher spends five days observing the behaviour of both teachers and students although the main focus were to investigate pupils and teachers attitudes towards the subject.
3.3.3 STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS.
In order to gain information about the students and teachers attitudes towards the subject the researcher administered interviews for the heads of department. Semi structured interview questions were used in order to keep the interviews focused but at the same time allow the interviewees to express their views. The interviews allows the researcher to observe the respondents’ body language and explanations during the process. Kumar (2010) points out that the researcher can gather more information from non-verbal responses such as facial expressions and tone of the voice, to get a deeper understanding of what the subject means. The interviews gives room for the researcher to rephrase questions which the respondents did not understand. This was being done without changing the meaning of the question. The interviews gave the researcher an opportunity to seek clarity where the respondent did not answer clearly. Some ideas arose during the interview such that the researcher asked as the interview progressed. However Leedy (2004) state that it takes much time to conduct each interview, thus the researcher decided to use the interviews for the heads of the department. It was more difficult to record the responses. Therefore the researcher had to take notes and record the responses.
3.4 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURESThe researcher was granted a permission to carry out the study by the Faculty of Education at the Midlands State University. She submitted the letter to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Rushinga Rural District and to the School heads who managed to give the researcher a permission to carry out her study at their schools. Matters such as ethical considerations, privacy, informed consent and confidentiality of the research respondents were being considered. The participants such as teachers and pupils were free to participate in carrying out the research without being pressured. Those who feel that that they cannot carry on with the study were excused and the researcher observed secrecy and confidentiality as far as the participants’ withdrawal is concerned.
3.5 DATA ANALYSIS PLAN.
Data analysis refers to a systematic process of selecting, categorising, comparing, synthesising and interpreting to provide explanations for a single phenomenon under study. According to White (2000) qualitative research uncovers complexities and understands meanings concerning phenomena. Huberman (1994) defines data analysis as to break it into bits and pieces or coding it such that its characteristic elements and structure is revealed. According to Creswell (1994), data analysis involves reducing accumulated data into manageable size, developing summaries, looking for patterns and applying statistical analysis. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the objective material in the possession of the researcher and her objective reactions and desires to derive from the inherent meaning in relation to the problem. Thus, in this study the data obtained from the research was categorised according to the groups to be interviewed and also under specific sub topics. The data is presented qualitatively and as such a descriptive approach was used to present and report findings.
Quantitative data was presented graphically through the use of pie charts, column charts and tables. Qualitative data were presented by using the comparative methods and axial coding. Data was analysed by using statistical techniques. This makes the data easier for the researcher to derive interpretation or obtain answers to the research problem.
3.6 SUMMARYThe researcher chooses descriptive research design to present students and teachers’ attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS in Secondary schools .This research design is more appropriate to the type of research since it is the best tool to present the burning issues of the day. It also paved the way of chapter four .Therefore, the population to be used includes students and teachers from one high school and one Secondary schools in Rushinga District. Hence the sample to be used is 20 students and six teachers and two heads of Departments.
CHAPTER 4DATA PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1IntroductionThis chapter deals with data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Data was collected to gather relevant information related to the research questions which was focusing on how FRS is taught in Zimbabwe, attitudes towards the subject, challenges encountered in the teaching and learning of FRS, lastly strategies to enhance the teaching and learning of the subject in our country. The data will be analysed to examine the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS which was introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in January 2017. In this study, the data gathered will be presented in the form of tables, column charts, pie charts and descriptions
4.1.0 Demographic dataThis section provides information about the respondents including their age group, gender and level of education
4.1.1 Respondents age groups
AGE GROUP FREQUENCY
Below 20 18
The table above shows respondents’ age groups. This information was important to this research because it helped the researcher to see whether the attitudes towards the teaching of FRS is derived by teachers’ or students’ age or not
According to the data above the majority of the respondents were below 20 years, Followed by those from 21-30 with a total of 6 respondents. Those who were between 31and 40 were third in terms of the number of respondents with a total of 2 respondents, 41-50 and 51-60 had a total of 1 respondents. There were no respondents above 60 years.
4.1.2 Gender of Respondents
Gender of respondents
Table 2 shows gender of the respondents, this is further emphasised by the pie chart in Fig 4.1.2 below:
The information is important to this research because it helped the researcher to find out whether the sex of the teachers or students has an impact on attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and religious Studies. 50% of the respondents were males and the other 50% were females. Implying that the study is not gender biased as it contains views from both sexes. This goes in line with what have been said by Smith (2008) who asserts that when choosing sample all respondents must be given opportunity to be selected.
4.1.3 Educational Qualifications of the teachers and HODs
Qualification Frequency Percentage
Diploma in Education
Bachelor of Education
The above table shows the educational qualifications of the respondents. From the information above, none of the respondents had certificates in education. 2(25%) had diploma in Secondary Education. Most of the respondents had Bachelor’s degrees 5(62.5%) while only 1(12.5%) of the respondents had a Master’s degree .However 100% of the teachers are qualified teachers. From the list of these qualified teachers some of them are not trained to teach Religious Studies but they are given chance to teach FRS as their first subject. Hence from this research it was noted that, attitudes towards teaching and learning of FRS had nothing to do with qualifications. However, Bouman (1982) evidenced that trained teachers perform better than untrained teachers. In support of this view Nderecha (1995) postulated that teachers with poor qualifications tend to cause high failure rate. Therefore one can pin point that sometimes teachers contribute much for the performance of students.
Fig 4.1.4 below further illustrates the distribution of Table 1
4.2. How Family and Religious Studies is taught in Zimbabwe?Table 2 shows the response of students on how the subject is taught in their schools.
Number of Students Percentage
Lecturer method 5 25
From the table 2 above most the students indicate that their teachers use Learner centred approach mostly, 10 (50%) indicated the most frequently with the highest frequent, secondly the lecture method with 25%, 15% indicated that they usually learn through the seminars and lastly about 10% of the respondents indicated that they learn through field trips. Hence one can say that the learner centred approach is the most dominant teaching method in the teaching and learning of FRS.
4.3 What kinds of attitudes do teachers and students have towards the subject (FRS).
Fig 3 Shows the attitudes towards the subject.
The information presented on the column chart above shows that most of the teachers in secondary schools viewed FRS subject as a complicated subject .This is so probably because from the information presented above 75 % of teachers have negative attitudes towards FRS and only 25% of teacher participants have positive attitudes towards it. However, apart from the fact that most of the teachers in secondary schools have negative attitudes towards the subject the chart also reveals that about 70% of the students have positive attitudes towards FRS and only 30% of students have negative towards the subject. Hence Simuchimba (2000) further argued that teacher’s negative attitude and reluctance to accept change and make the necessary adjustments in their work as individuals and schools is likely to negatively affect the smooth implementation of the curriculum reforms.
4.4.1 What are the challenges encountered in the teaching and learning of FRS?Table 3 shows responses from students concerning areas in which they are facing challenges towards the multi faith approach.
Areas of Challenges
Number of Students Percentage
Judaism 5 25
The information on the table above articulated that students are facing a number of problems towards the multi faith approach. The researcher find out that about 50% of the students are facing problems in understanding the beliefs and practices of Islam, 25% are facing problems in Judaism, 15% are facing problems in the Indigenous Religion and the other 10% are facing problems in Christianity
4.4.2. Fig 4 below shows the challenges of resources encountered in the teaching and learning of FRS.
The information presented on the pie chart above shows that 50 % of the text books used at a certain school are outdated probably because the new curriculum which was introduced in January 2017 requires new textbooks with new introduced concepts. However, 20% of the resources are current but it seems that they are not equal to the number of the students. The other 20% of the resources comprises all other resources which were not mentioned .Finally the computers consist of 10% of the school resources. Therefore, it seems that the resources available for teaching FRS are not adequate enough. However, Shami (1999) postulated that the availability of resources play a pivotal role for the learning and teaching process
4.5 Which are the strategies and opportunities to enhance the teaching and learning of FRS?Fig 5 shows the students and teachers response towards the possible solutions to improve the teaching and learning of the subject.
The information provided on the bar graph above clearly shows that 15% of the participants proposed that FRS must be treated as all other subjects, 35% of the participants proposed that the resources material of teaching FRS must be improved, 20% of the participants evidenced that FRS subject should be taught by Religious Studies qualified teachers and finally 30% of the participants proposed that FRS syllabus must be well presented.
4.5.0 DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS4.5.1 How Family and Religious Studies is taught in Zimbabwe?
From the research carried out in Rushinga District it seems that the learner centred approach is the most dominant teaching method since the implementation of the new curriculum in January 2017. It is encouraging students to be active not passive during the lessons. Hand & White (2004) refer a dialogue or being able to reflect and that it is only from this standpoint of knowing oneself that one can be in a position to tolerate others. The same authority goes on to say that the lecturer method should be discouraged and students should be given an opportunity to participate in classroom discussions, presenting reports and visiting historical sites. This is why most researchers have encouraged field trips in the studying of RS. In this study about 90% of the students indicated that, they were never taken to the field trips for the academic reasons yet field trips allow pupils to learn whilst hands on. Weimer (2002) asserts that students recall information when they are involved in the learning process and when they learn whilst hands on. Having said this one can argue that teaching methods implied for teaching FRS are not that 100% effective as they are not involving pupils in the learning process
Furthermore, about 100% of the respondents proved that the multi faith approach is also one of the methods on how FRS is taught in Zimbabwe. Wolf (2004) states that the multi-faith RE curriculum is about the teaching of various religions. This is done to emphasise the importance of tolerance, respect for other people and mutual understanding in a contemporary and diverse world. It should promote students’ understanding and respect for religious and non-religious traditions. According to Cox (1983) multi-faith approach can also be used to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS, promote human rights, tolerance and democracy. This can be supported by the introduction of Family and Religious Studies in Zimbabwe which is including topics like HIV and AIDS into the curriculum so that each and every student should have a better understanding about the epidemic disease for the benefit of the society and the future generations.
4.5.2 What kinds of the attitudes do students and teachers towards FRS?
In Rushinga District the researcher found out that teachers have strong negative attitudes towards the subject than students. One of the heads of departments In Mashonaland Central Province, Mr Dokora states that “the syllabus is too broad and it’s impossible to cover the whole syllabus within two years at ‘A’ level”. About 100% of the teachers also indicated that the FRS syllabus failed to specify the recommended textbooks Simuchimba (etal) further argued that teacher’s negative attitude and reluctance to accept change and make the necessary adjustments in their work as individuals and schools is likely to negatively affect the smooth implementation of the curriculum reforms distribution of textbooks might also prove to be a stumbling block in the implementation of new curriculum if it fails to work as efficiently as expected and if the state fails to adequately fund the schools or District Education Boards. Hence for FRS, it seems the most serious problem is the manner in which the syllabus is presented.
However, it seems that most of the students have a strong interest towards the subject because from this research about 70% of the students responds shows that they have positive attitudes towards FRS. The Heads of the Departments indicated that most of the students they are preferring FRS than RS because the issue of narrating the incidents in the bible was so difficult to most of the students now FRS is including issues in our contemporary societies things that they already know. According to Simuchimba (etal), suggested that the other reason for opting for the integrated curriculum is that it allows the education system to be less content-based and more skills-based in approach and emphasis. It helps students acquire life skills such as critical thinking, decision-making and self-reliance. Integration will help greatly to reduce on rote memorisation and reproducing of facts and enhance the acquisition of various specific skills such as self-expression, religious and moral literacy through the concept of Ubuntu/hunhu which was introduced by the curriculum.
4.5. 3 What are the challenges encountered in the teaching and learning of Family and Religious Studies.
Shortage of resources for the subject is a major problem which the researcher discovered during her research. Basing on this view Zvobgo (1994) is of the view that teaching and learning resources are of great importance for the academic achievement of a student. It seems that teaching without enough resources is something stressful. In addition, Shami (1999) postulated that high failure rate of RE is caused by the shortage of enough resources. This is so probably because one can find that in a class of 40 students sometimes students share only ten textbooks. Therefore, this proved the fact that most of the students does not have access to learning resources probably because of economic challenges and also the syllabus failed to specify the recommended textbooks for the subject, hence schools are failing to buy relevant textbooks or learning resources.
The fact that in Rushinga District, students are only familiar with Christianity and African Traditional Religions so the researcher finds that as a teacher it is very possible in the classroom to skip most of the topics covering Islam. Bain (2004) states that this aspect of multiculturalism is a big challenge for the teachers and they need to be creative, knowledgeable as well as flexible in the classroom. It is a challenging area for the religious educator as culture is not always easy to define. However, I do support the Zimsec ‘O’ level syllabus which states that religious education has a role to play in promoting interculturalism, as religious beliefs can have a significant influence on a group’s cultural ways .Therefore diversity in the classroom can be a very influential factor which affects the teaching and learning in most schools.
Furthermore, Class size is also another factor which influences the teaching and learning of FRS. Angrist and Lavy(1997) suggested that in the Babylonian Talmud the maximum size of a bible class had 25 students. Therefore, it seems that if the teacher is teaching many students, teacher and students often lacks interaction. However, one can find that at Kamanika secondary school a teacher could mark seventy to eighty exercise books per day. Tomlinson (1990) evidenced that sometimes teachers fail to meet the needs of each and every student because some classes are too large .Therefore, it seems that large classes gives burden to teachers, hence lack of teacher pupils interaction causes negative attitudes towards the teaching and learning process.
As the researcher was observing the lessons throughout the week, she observed that the time table set up can be viewed as the greatest challenge encountered in the teaching and learning of FRS. Bamgbose (1999) suggested that in most schools sciences taught during morning hours. Therefore, it is crystal clear that FRS is taught in the mid or late afternoon when the students were already tired .In support of this information Gwarinda (1995) also evidenced that in most schools RS is taught in the afternoon hours .However, it is hard to teach students who look tired and weary .It seems that the prestigious value given to science subjects influences the time table designers to present their timetables in a way which only favours the teaching of science subjects hence science subjects only given precious hours.
4.5.4 Which are the strategies and opportunities to enhance the teaching and learning of FRS.
In solving problems faced in the teaching and learning of FRS about 100% of the research respondents suggested that there should be adequate resources for the subject. Maiyo and Ashioya (2009) are of the view that the adequacy materials improve the teaching and learning of the subject. The teaching and learning resources and materials boosts the understanding of abstract ideas and enhances students’ performance. Thus adequacy of learning resources like FRS text books, good library with all required FRS text books, wall maps can therefore highly contribute to the good performance of students. Chitanana (2009) evidenced that teachers and learners should use instructional technology. However, this is a challenge probably because most of the teachers in secondary schools are computer illiteracy. Apart from that in most of the schools there are no computers at all.
Furthermore, Tomlinson (1990) echoed that classes should be of reasonable size that the teacher can have enough time to interact with all different individuals.
4.6 SUMMARYThe information in this chapter focused on the presentation of the results concerning the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of FRS in Zimbabwe. The results drawn from teachers and students proved that negative attitudes presented by people towards FRS are probably emanating from the fact that the subject is still new into the curriculum and it is prone to face lots of challenges. However, from the above information teachers and students propounded a number of suggestions that can be improvised to enhance the teaching and learning of FRS.
CHAPTER FIVESUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS5.0 Introduction
This Chapter aims at exploring the summary of the entire study. The major issues focused on includes the research problem, significant of the study, related literature review to the study, the research methodology used in this study for data collection, population and sample, major findings from chapter four. This chapter also focuses on the conclusions and recommendations of the study basing on major findings from the previous chapter.
5.1 SUMMARYThis research project was focusing on picking up the attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Family and Religious studies in Secondary schools, the case of two secondary schools in Rushinga district. Due to the fact that sometimes RS was being failed than other subjects probably because people have negative attitudes towards it. Therefore, the researcher find it working that it is of great importance to figure out, how FRS is taught in secondary schools since it is a new subject which was introduced last year January 2017 by the new curriculum, the attitudes of teachers and learners towards FRS, the challenges faced in the teaching and learning processes and finally find out the possible strategies and opportunities to make the subject interesting. However, the background of the study and the statement of the problem evidenced that learners who are preferring to study FRS are very few than other subject.
The study was carried out using a Descriptive Research Design hence structured questionnaire, Questionnaires and observations were used for the data collection. All secondary schools in Rushinga Rural District were the pollution to this study, all FRS teachers, ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level students in these schools were also the population of the study. The sample comprised of 8 FRS teachers and 20 students from the two sampled schools. A stratified random sample of two secondary schools in Rushinga Rural District was selected. From these secondary schools, 8 teachers and 20 students were selected using stratified random sampling technique. The data collected was hence presented using graphs, tables and pie-charts while the data analysis was done through the use of statistical calculations like percentages.
The information presented by the findings clearly shows that teachers have strong negative attitudes towards FRS than students. The data collected evidenced that most of the teachers in these secondary schools are qualified figures but they do not specialised on RS, some teachers are given the opportunity to teach FRS whilst they are not familiar with the subject. The findings also clearly shows that the new syllabi for FRS is not well presented it fails to specify the recommended textbooks for the subject and it is too broad to an extent that it’s impossible to cover the whole syllabi within two years for ‘A’ levels. The researcher observed that in general most of the learners view FRS as a useless subject. However, students at Gwangwava High School and Kamanika Secondary School in Rushinga district proved that they are preferring FRS rather than RS in general because of its nature.
Apart from the information that teachers have negative attitudes towards the subject. However, FRS should be given the same value given to subjects like mathematics, science and other core subjects. In the case of shortage of resources schools must make sure that they have enough resources for their students. All in all the performance of students in FRS can only be improved if the curriculum designers and curriculum implementers (teachers) work hand in glove to meet the challenges that emanates within or outside the field of education. However, the curriculum designers in Zimbabwe put teachers at the bottom line of the hierarchy of the curriculum system yet teachers are the one who spend most of the time interacting with the students.
5.2 CONCLUSIONSBeing guided by research findings, the following conclusions were drawn. Students’ positive attitudes in Rushinga Rural District schools is being caused by the teaching methods especially the use of student centred approach which enables the students to engage in dialogue exchanging ideas about their religious beliefs and practices from their societies. Findings reflected that FRS teachers are no longer using the Lecture method which students finds boring and it encourages students to be active. FRS is a subject which requires hands on learning whereby learners learn by seeing actual sites of the places but findings of the study reflects that pupils are not attending any field trips. Hence it can be concluded that poor teaching methods for teaching FRS is one of the factors which can be counted for causing negative attitudes towards the subject.
Teachers and learners have the perceptions that FRS subject is a useless subject because it is not considered worthy for any job entrance .In support to this view it is hard to find an advert that needs someone with Religious Studies to get a better job. The participants show that FRS subject is very easy that it can be taught by anyone .However; it is surprisingly that why FRS students are few as compared to any other subjects. Teachers often proved that FRS is not prestigious in nature. The other perception towards FRS is that most of the people views it as a subject for the holy sisters and brothers those who desires to be pastors and they have the assumption that it cannot move a child to a better world of today.
In most cases it seems that sometimes students fail RS because of the shortage of material to use in the teaching and learning of the subject. However, teachers in Rushinga Rural District proved that sometimes a school can operate with two or three textbooks shared by the whole class hence teachers are operating without enough resources. Sometimes teachers are failing to interpret the demands of the syllabus because the subject is still new into the curriculum. Hence the subject is prone to face lots of challenges in its implementation, It is also crystal clear that due to the economic hardships of the country most schools are facings the problem of understaffing.
In addition FRS should be given the same value given to subjects like mathematics, science and other core subjects. In the case of shortage of resources schools must make sure that they have enough resources for their students. All in all the performance of students in FRS can only be improved if the curriculum designers and curriculum implementers (teachers) work hand in glove to meet the challenges that emanates within or outside the field of education. However, the curriculum designers in Zimbabwe put teachers at the bottom line of the hierarchy of the curriculum system yet teachers are the one who spend most of the time interacting with the students.
5.3 RecommendationsIn view of the conclusions above it can be recommended that-:
•Family and Religious Studies syllabi should be well presented, specifying the recommended textbooks for the subject.
•The syllabus should revised to reduce its complexity in the teaching and learning process.
•Students should be given a strong base on what is meant by multi faith approach in the teaching and learning of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and ATR.
•Teachers should organise seminars and field trips for better discussions of complex items.
•FRS should be taught by FRS teachers.
•Teaching and learning resources should be in place for easy learning.
•FRS teachers should vary their teaching methods in order to make lessons interesting always.
•Teachers should also get to know their student’s religious backgrounds first in order to cater for all pupils learning preferences.
•The ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should help and assist schools with resources for teaching and learning of FRS subject.
•School administrations should support FRS subject just like any other subject.
•FRS field trips should be supported as they enhance a lot the learning of the subject.
•Curriculum designers should consider and consult experts for any change that can be taken in the field of education
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