Sunday, September 25, 2011

Experience has shown that the Vocational/Technical teacher (processes and product) teaching in the school workshop/laboratory aims for success; while the other teachers observed in classroom interactions with students aims mostly for the exercise of judgment generally....

Experience has shown that the Vocational/Technical teacher (processes and product) teaching in the school workshop/laboratory aims for success; while the other teachers observed in classroom interactions with students aims mostly for the exercise of judgment generally. However, for the science teachers, teaching in the Laboratory interwove success and judgment. For this success, in the workshop/laboratory activity, time is always counted, whereas the classroom is generally the place for ‘thinking that takes its own time’ (Ma’aji 2002). Or again, in the workshop/laboratory mistakes are criticized as professional errors, whereas in the classroom they should be allowed because they enable students to correct themselves with time. Moreover, it is in the classroom, and not in the workshop, where student acquire an ability that is extremely useful in the world of work: the ability to innovate.
Research findings on vocational/technical teachers now henceforth classified as technical teachers with other discussions on and about the development of (a ‘permissive’ or 'democratic' ) school social climate that have been existing in most Secondary Schools in Nigeria: with reference to vocational technical education introduce a long line conventional subjects in the secondary schools today. Two main issues always re-occur of the school principal Administration.
1.           If the principal: fixed in conventional (traditional) methods of school
administration, insists upon a well-disciplined school, how can the demands of instructional skills training be done, so that students can acquire and be skillful in technical education?
(The Principal if technically biased may ask a similar question when his staff are conservatives in conventional method of secondary Education).
2.           How can I (the technical teacher) established child-centre methods for the necessary skills (in instructional and supervision term) when I have a prescribe syllabus to follow?
In some critical circumstances with reference to vocational theories (Okorie 2001) the answers would have to be, "That it would be impossible to established a democratic social climate" Since the technical teacher(s) are observe to be in the minority in our present system of secondary school. However on closer examination of the situation and understanding of the influences operating, ways of overcoming the difficulties can be developed. This by understanding the aspects the technical teacher(s) will have to play as roles in the administration of the secondary school. 
These are an unstated assumption (from experience) which underlies much current educational practices in       secondary schools that oppose technical education.
These assumptions had been noted to include:-
a.            Presentation equals learning.
b.            Feelings are not related in education
c.            Students cannot pursue their own learning
d.           Aim of education is to accumulate step by step of factual knowledge
e.            The school authority is to be trusted, and valued more than independent judgments.
f.             Discovery knowledge, in any case, none of student business.
g.           Passive acceptance is more desirable than active criticism.
Administration concept which seem to be appropriate to this issue (as the topic) is that conceive by Edem (1987) quoting Cambell and Gregg: that it is, "the total of the process through which appropriate human and material resources are made available and made effective for accomplishing the purpose of an enterprise '(in this case the secondary school: in which the technical teacher(s) provide training of skills to the adolescents.
It has been observed that, the position of the technical teacher whose role is expected by the secondary school authority always lay in two contradictory sets of expectation in conventional method of teaching/learning. This is because the teaching/learning which is knew as instruction/supervision in technical education demands a child (or student) center-method of teaching,     instructing and supervision of skills acquisition.                                          

Our secondary schools are made of adolescents, who never really know how they stand in the Society (Eieji 2001, Okeke 1996). This, the technical teacher(s) always find himself in a conflicting role in the school administration with some conflicting theories of education (general education and vocational technical education). Therefore the knowledge of these factors that could contribute his/her effective role in the administration is suggested and presented for the way forward to be aware and adjust  his position in the secondary school system.                THE TECHNICAL TEACHER'S ROLE(S)                                                 THE FIRST QUESTION
If the principal, fixed in conventional (traditional) methods, insists upon a well disciplined school, how can the un-conventional-using machines and tools- teaching (instructions) be adopted for student(s) to be skillful in the art of technical education?
The question above carried deeper implication(s) for the technical teacher(s): since it is observed that most Nigerians do not easily accept new (innovations) for administrative changes - than the winning of the principal's permission to embark upon the new methods (Edem 1987 and Peters 1978). The very fact of the questioned above being asked suggests that the technical teacher is aware of his subordinate place in a professional or administrative hierarchy and of limitations which this imposes upon his behaviour_ (Brown 1965 and Peters 1978) on his teaching subject introduces along line conventional subjects in the secondary school.
These limitations are obvious because they are to some extent at least part of the accepted structure' of school organisation. They are not the only factors which modify or determine a technical teacher's activities in secondary school. Instead of answering the above question directly, an attempt will be made (base on inspectoral experiences) to examine some of these determining factors in the hope that a greater understanding of their significance may help the technical teacher(s) to overcome the difficulties they cause.                    PERSONALITY INFLUENCES
Most writers (e.g. Ezeji 2001, Grace 1994: Okoro 1993 and Nwachukwu 2001) on educational method lay some stress upon the technical teachers personality as an essential for successful teaching. The students will react to the technical teacher's manner, his way of doing things, his behaviours. But, for a technical teacher to be told. that one must develop a 'pleasing manner' a stimulating personality, or a 'sympathetic attitude' is not much help. Technical teachers need to understand what makes them behave as they do in various situations with which they are faced with in conventional system of education. Umeano, 1999 and Nwoke 1997, gives a useful definition of personality:
'Human nature is socially acquired'. The individual becomes a person only through social interaction: These deduce the basic definition of personality: which Ezeji 2001, inform us personality is the person's concept of his role in social groups. Brown 1965 stated, 'personality, however, is not fixed and static, but is constantly changing in terms of the roles, assumed or actual, which the person ascribed to himself in relation to his environments’. Because of experiences which shows a person's status varies in different situations the plural is use deliberately: From these many concepts of status, the technical teacher accrues a more stable sense of his own role so that his behaviour in a given situation can be predicted with some assurance.

Therefore, this concept of the personality of the individual, of the technical teacher, emphasizes the importance of his own concept of the role he is playing: Namely:
1.         His concepts of himself as a technical teacher, and of
2.         His activities, will largely determine his attitudes and behaviour towards his student
3.         (And theirs toward him) and will therefore be a major factor in determining the social climate of the school workshop or laboratory.
In the complex social situation which the average workshop/laboratory presents with the constant interplay of thirty or more students, the technical teacher fills many supervision roles:
(a)       the instructor dispensing knowledge
(b)      the assessor estimating standard of achievement,
(c)       the moralist giving judgements upon right and wrong
(d)       the judge determining quilt
(e)       the policeman maintaining school 'law' and inflicting punishment, and
(f)       the legislator making new 'laws'                                       These, and the many like them mentioned above, are the changes supervisional roles which every technical teacher plays so often that he may no longer observe the change in his behaviour.
In the last discussion we have seen that the technical teacher's roles changes depending on the situation. It might be in the act of promoting training safety the technical teacher experiences and observe these (a —f) chameleon-like changes in the last [page/above l in his behaviours during a normal school day.
However, behind these transitioning role he/she may identified others which are more general and more significant to the technical teacher who attempts to clarify his responsibility as leader, who does plan and organize a democratic school group as:-
1.A member of the teaching hierarchy in the conventional school system.                                                                             2.   An advocate of a particular subculture (Grace 1994)
3.   The subject matter expert, acknowledge superior of his class in this specialized knowledge (Okoro 1999, Qkorie 2000).
4.   The methodologist, the expert in procedures for study and learning (Nwachukwu 2000)
      5. The counselor, assessing, advising, and arranging situations  
           to overcome tension and facilitates development (Ezeji 2001).
    6. The representative of Adult society, to whom the children will react in different ways, as they do to other adult.
These roles in 3&4 warrant more detail consideration as it affects the method of technical teaching that warrant asking of the second question in the overview. Since the secondary school system operated mostly in conventional mode before the introduction of vocational industrial education along side.
The second question, how child-centre method can be established when a prescribed syllabus has to be followed, is asked by most technical teachers who wish to change in the classroom/workshop organization or teaching method.
It is true that the prescribed syllabus does set limits upon technical teacher, and the more rigidly prescribed the course, the greater the limitation since .technical education observed the environment first as fundamental base for effective teaching. It is usually in the secondary school syllabus in Nigeria, the courses set out are rigid even if the environment for learning doesn't content fixture to facilitate such learning. To some extent, the technical teacher is not free, under certain conditions to adapt the prescribed content of subject taught. It is not sufficient for him simply to vary the subject matter presented to the student, although there might be some advantage in meeting especially strong interest by such changes where possible.
Where the syllabuses are prescribed in broad outline ' and not in detail, a considerable measure of local adaptation is possible. Much planning falls upon the principal and technical teacher. Overall planning must be done at general staff meetings. Details must then be considered by the technical teacher(s) and of desirable goals and methods. The next stage of planning is set in the workshop where teacher and students together decide upon objectives and consider methods of reaching them. Further planning of individual activities may then be the function of small groups within the workshop.
The technical teacher(s) in our secondary school(s) system do have and perceive contradictory role position both in teaching methods and administrative procedural in getting student(s) learn and acquire skills. The two questions commonly asked by almost all technical teachers have been examined and carefully explained. This in order to remove and overcome those difficulties observed of.
In the discussions and presentations of the main text above, we have seen that, there is the need of the technical teacher(s) to conceive and appreciate his position in conventional method of administration and teaching role. This suggestion above is to get, the best out of two worlds of general education dealing with judgments over time and vocational technical education dealing with (process/product) success. The technical teacher(s) should use his personality’s influence on success and technical superivisional role on tolerance with the methods required in the profession (technical teaching) for skill training in influencing the conventional process of school administration for the best democratic social climate in technical education success.                                                                OTHERS
Brown, (1965) 'Social Psychology' London Collier-Macmillan Limited,
Edem, D. A. (1987) 'Introd.yction to Educational Administration in Nigeria' lbadan: Spectrum Books .Limited.
Ezeji., S. C. D. A. (2001) 'Guidance and Counselling in Education' Nsukka Chulbson International Press.                            
Ma’aji C. Z. (2001) strategies for effective evaluation of student practical skill
               In technical education subjects through process/product techniques’
               in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
Nwoke, D. U. (1997) "Educational Psychology"Nsukka UNN
Okorie, J. U. (2000) 'Developing Nigeria's Workforce" Calabar: Page Environs Publishers.
Okoro, 0. M. (1999) 'Principle & Methods in Vocational & Technical Education Nsukka: University Trust Publishers
Peters, R. S. (1978) 'Ethics in Education' London: George Allen & Unwin.
Umeano, E. C. (1999) 'A First Course in Educational Psychology' Enugu: Magnet Business Enterprises.