THE EFFECTS OF TEACHER CHARACTERISTICS AND ATTITUDES ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN KCSE ECONOMICS EXAMINATION (Published)
Economics is a very important subject in the school curriculum. However, since the adoption of 8-4-4 system of education in Kenya in the mid 1980’s, the number of students registering for economics in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) has been steadily dropping. This has been attributed to the unsatisfactory student’s performance in KCSE economics. This paper sought to examine the effect of teacher characteristics and attitudes on student performance in Economics subject. The study is a field based survey conducted in secondary schools offering economics in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Simple purposive sampling was used to get the representative sample for the study. The representative sample, constituted all the fourth form students of economics in all the secondary schools in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya, Inspectors of schools in districts where economics was being offered and teachers from the schools where the subject was offered. A total of 187 students, 32 teachers and 4 district inspectors took part. Data was collected from the sample using questionnaires. The data collected was analysed using Excel software program. Basic statistical techniques were used to analyse various items in the questionnaire. These include calculating the averages, frequencies, percentages and totals. These statistical techniques were used to make comparisons in the various data collected. Conclusions on the variables analysed were finally drawn from these comparisons. The study concludes that teachers have a positive attitude towards the subject thus poor performance could be attributed to other factors than teacher attitudes. The author expects that teachers of economics will benefit from the findings on the identified factors that influence the instructional procedures and strategies and hence improve the performance of the subject in the national examinations.