Professional Development, Agriculture Teachers, Teaching Effectiveness
Waiganjo, Mary M.
Udoto, Maurice O.
Wambugu, Patricia W.
A nation is made great by its teachers as they educate the future generation. A nation may have, equipped schools with up to date facilities and resources and an excellent curriculum that has the potential to meet the needs of the society but, if the teacher is not well prepared to implement the curriculum, the whole programme is likely to be ineffective and a waste. Professional development for teachers is a structured professional learning that seeks to develop teacher practices and improve students learning outcomes. Professional development for teachers is therefore a necessary curriculum development activity that needs to be given the attention it deserves. A survey done in Nakuru County sought to find out the agriculture teachers’ views about professional development activities organized for them. The survey utilized three instruments namely; Agriculture teachers’ questionnaire, Agriculture teachers’ Focus groups and classroom observation guide to collect data. The Cronbach’s coefficient for the Agriculture teachers’ questionnaire was 0.752. A sample size of 151 agriculture teachers were the respondents to the Agriculture teachers’ questionnaire, three focus group discussions were conducted and ten classroom observations were done. The findings of the study were that, though agriculture teachers face numerous challenges in teaching the subject, professional development activities for agriculture teachers are insufficient. Some of the challenges the agriculture teachers face include, large class sizes, lack of adequate resources, special needs students in class, high teaching workload and increased diversity among the students to which the agriculture teachers are often unsure of how to handle them correctly. The agriculture teachers also expressed a desire to have regular professional development forums where they can share their experiences as well as learn from experts and peers. Recommendations made from the findings of the study is that, there is need to have a deliberate effort right from the policy formulation level to implementation in having professional development for agriculture teachers being purposeful and continuous. The government should therefore consider allocating more funds towards professional development for teachers so that professional learning can be more regularly availed to agriculture teachers. This is pertinent as Kenya implements the competency-based curriculum, the 100 percent primary to secondary transition policy as well as working towards achieving the Sustainable development goals.