An examination of the research engagements of teachers of geography in selected secondary schools in Serenje district in central province, Zambia.
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This dissertation was about research conducted into the research engagements of teachers of Geography in selected secondary schools in Serenje District of Central Province, Zambia. The aim of the study was to determine how best teacher research engagement could be established and or enhanced among teachers of Geography in selected secondary schools in Serenje district. The research was guided by the following objectives: to find out the views which teachers of Geography have on ‘research’ and research engagement in selected secondary schools in Serenje district; to ascertain whether or not teachers of Geography were research engaged in selected secondary schools of Serenje district; to establish the existing barriers to research engagement experienced by teachers of Geography in selected secondary schools of Serenje district; and to suggest ways in which teachers of Geography in selected secondary schools of Serenje district could be motivated to be research engaged. This study was a qualitative study which made use of a descriptive design. Interviews were conducted with fourteen teachers of Geography, two Heads of Social Sciences Departments, one officer from Provincial Resource Centre (PRC) and one officer from District Resource Centre (DRC). Two focus group discussions were also conducted with teachers of Geography. Data was analysed thematically. The study showed that teachers viewed research as a complex and involving process. They also viewed research engagement as cardinal to the teaching and learning of Geography. Apart from that, teachers were of the view that research should be made mandatory for teachers of Geography. They had a positive view of teaching and research integration. However, engagement in research was low while engagement with research was moderate among teachers of Geography. The barriers to research engagement identified were lack of time, lack of support from administrators, financial constraints, lack of incentives, lack of access to relevant research literature, lack of research knowledge and skills, lack of recognition and expectation, lack of publishing opportunities and societal and organizational culture. These issues needed to be addressed if research engagement had to be established and sustained. Teachers had a positive view of teaching and research integration and there was a possibility that they could be receptive to the idea of being research engaged. However, if current situations in the education system and in secondary schools remained unchanged, it would not be possible to establish and sustain a culture of research among teachers of Geography in selected secondary vii schools of Serenje district. Based on these findings, the study recommends that research should be made mandatory for Geography teachers, that the Ministry of General Education (MOGE) should fund teacher research engagement, that schools and resource centres should have comprehensive library facilities and that comprehensive research training and retraining programmes should be initiated for teachers of Geography in the district. This study has contributed to a body of knowledge in education regarding teacher research engagement in Zambian secondary schools by establishing: the views which teachers of Geography have on ‘research’, the research engagements of teachers of Geography, the barriers and facilitators to research engagements of teachers of Geography in selected secondary schools of Serenje district. However, there is need to carry out a similar study using quantitative or mixed method approaches. There is also need to carry out similar studies in other districts and provinces. Apart from that, a study on whether teacher research engagement could bring about better fieldwork implementation in secondary schools is suggested.
The University of Zambia
- Education