Teacher initial conception of profession and eventual in-service practice and self-realization tendency in Central Uganda
Genza, Gyaviira Musoke
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Following allegations of numerous constrained in-service practices among secondary school teachers, which warranted questions of why such individuals joined teaching; the researcher set out to establish secondary school teachers’ initial conceptions of the teaching profession and to examine the influence of those conceptions on teachers’ eventual in-service practices and self-realization tendencies in central Uganda. The study employed a cross-sectional descriptive simple correlational design over a sample of 600 teachers, using stratified random, purposive, and convenience sampling techniques. The study also utilized other stakeholders such as head teachers. Questionnaires, interviews, Focus Group Discussions and document analysis were employed. Findings were analyzed using thematic, descriptive and correlation analysis. The study discovered that the majority of teachers were propelled into teaching by dysfunctional conceptions; for many teaching was a “forced” choice. Secondly, there is no influence of initial conceptions on teachers’ role-espousal practices. For influence on teachers’ knowledge-mediation practices, there was limited influence. Finally, there was a significant influence of initial conceptions on teachers’ self-realization tendencies. The study concluded that both during teacher training and in-service, individuals’ initial biases towards the profession do not change substantially. However, the biases fail to influence teacher in-service practices strongly because other mediating factors are more “prepotent” for teachers of either initial conception type. The study recommends that policy-makers should boost up the existential appeal of teaching, by improving on teachers’ working conditions. Also teacher training institutions should orient trainees towards currently neglected teacher roles such as involvement in co-curricular activities. The MoES should also orientate the current secondary school syllabus and UCE-UACE examination demands more towards depth than breadth to minimize rote knowledge. Finally, school administrators and BOGs need to do more to enhance teacher morale for more committed service and existential self-realization.