Implementation of outcomes-based education principles in the teaching of integers in selected secondary schools in Mkushi district

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Spiwe, Tafeni
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Outcomes-based education (OBE) has been practiced in Zambia since 2013. It involves directing all efforts of an education system on what is crucial for all learners to succeed after the learning experience. The Ministry in charge of education in Zambia outlined four principles to guide educators on how to implement OBE. These include; clarity of focus, reflective designing, high expectations and expanded opportunities. When OBE was introduced in the Zambian education system, mathematics syllabi were revised to suit the needs of OBE. Studies have shown the implementation processes of OBE in different disciplines. However, little is known on the implementation of OBE in mathematics and specifically in the teaching of integers. This investigation sought to contribute to the knowledge gap on how teachers of mathematics adhere OBE principle in the teaching of integers, the problems experienced during the teaching of integers and the solutions to the problems experienced. A case study using a qualitative approach was used. Two schools and four regular teachers of mathematics were purposively selected for participation. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, lesson observations, focus group discussions and document analysis. Data was analysed thematically. The findings of the study revealed that teachers of mathematics could not demonstrate any knowledge on the outcomes of education in Zambia and also outcomes of mathematics at Grade 8 level. Teachers used learner centered methods and gave formative assessments on integers to their learners. However, the teachers did not engage learners with challenging tasks on integers. Teachers could not use real-life examples in the teaching of integers. The study further established that there was inadequate school infrastructure such as desks to support the learning of integers. It further revealed that the school administrators should purchase required materials for teaching integers. Therefore, it is recommended that, school based continuous professional development activities could be strengthened on how OBE principles should be integrated in the process of teaching integers. Keywords: Implementation, Outcomes-based education, Curriculum, outcomes, integers
Competency based education--Zambia , School improvement programs--Zambia , Outcomes-based education