In-service training needs in an African context: a study of headteacher and teacher perspectives in the Gucha District of Kenya
Onderi, H. and Croll, P. (2008) In-service training needs in an African context: a study of headteacher and teacher perspectives in the Gucha District of Kenya. Journal of In-service Education, 34 (3 ). pp. 361-373. ISSN 1367-4587
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13674580801950832
Improving the quality of teaching is an educational priority in Kenya, as in many developing countries. The present paper considers various aspects of in-service education, including views on the effectiveness of in-service, teacher and headteacher priorities in determining in-service needs and the constraints on providing in-service courses. These issues are examined though an empirical study of 30 secondary headteachers and 109 teachers in a district of Kenya. The results show a strong felt need for in-service provision together with a firm belief in the efficacy of in-service in raising pupil achievement. Headteachers had a stronger belief in the need for in-service for their teachers than did the teachers themselves. The priorities of both headteachers and teachers were dominated by the external pressures of the schools, in particular the pressures for curriculum innovation and examination success. The resource constraints on supporting attendance at in-service courses were the major problems facing headteachers. The results reflect the difficulties that responding to an externally driven in-service agenda creates in a context of scarce resources.