Teacher Characteristics and Students’ Academic Achievements in Physics in STEM Model Public Secondary schools in Nairobi Metropolitan Kenya

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue II, February 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

Teacher Characteristics and Students’ Academic Achievements in Physics in STEM Model Public Secondary schools in Nairobi Metropolitan Kenya

Nelisa Kagendo Mbaka1, Shem Mwalw’a2, & Jacinta Mary Adhiambo3
1PhD student at Catholic University of Eastern Africa
2,3The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The objective of the study was to assess the influence of teacher characteristics on student’s academic achievements in physics in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) model schools in Nairobi Metropolitan region, Kenya. The study used convergent parallel mixed method design. The target population comprised 11principals, 60 teachers and 1120 students with a sample size of 368(11 principals, 39 teachers and 318 students). The study was anchored on Brunner theory. Proportionate stratified sampling and simple random sampling was used to select students while purposive sampling was used to select teachers of physics and principals. Questionnaires, document analysis guide and interview guide were used to collect data. Descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages) were used to analyze quantitative data. Thematic and content analysis were used for qualitative data analysis. The study found out that teacher characteristics influence student’s academic achievements in physics in STEM model schools. Physics performance depended on the teaching approaches and methods used by the teacher, and mastery of physics content and experience. Moreover, teachers’ belief in students enable them to work harder, they encourage and motivate students to perform better in case they post poor grades. The study recommends that teachers strive to be passionate in teaching physics, believe in students’ abilities to perform better in physics to work harder when they post poor grades in physics and create a friendly classroom learning environment that is favorable for learning to take place. This will ensure that teachers adopt various integrated STEM learning approaches like problem based, project based and inquiry-based learning while teaching.

Key words: Professional Development, Teaching Experience, Teachers’ Attitude, Teachers Characteristics, STEM Programme, Student’s Academic Achievements

I. INTRODUCTION

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines namely science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications (Homan, 2014, Rinke, Kinlaw, Gladstone-Brown, & Cappiello, 2016). STEM education is a very broad term (Baran, Bilici, Mesutoglu, & Ocak, 2016; Bybee, 2013; Hsu, Lin, & Yang, 2017). This means definitions and STEM parameters may vary from school to school and depends on the country where it is being applied.
STEM Education was an initiative created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was originally called Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) (White, 2014). This educational initiative was to provide all students with critical thinking skills that would make them creative problem solvers and ultimately more marketable in the workforce.