Full Project – THE STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

Full Project – THE STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Teaching is an important part of the process of education. Its special function is to impart knowledge, develop understanding and skill (Aggarwal, 1995). Teaching and learning are opposite sides of the same coin; a lesson is not learned until it has been taught. Teaching,therefore, should be thought of as a process that facilitates learning. One of the main objectives

of the secondary school 8-4-4 system in Kenya is to prepare students for self-reliance, training and further education. The Christian Religious Education curriculum is broad-based and is built upon the concepts, principles and skills established through the integrated relationship with

other subjects and the learners’ environment (Kenya Institute of Education [KIE], now Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development [KICD], 2000).

Christian Religious Education in secondary schools in Kenya occupies a key position in the 8-4-4 curriculum. This is so because it enables the learner to integrate all subjects of the curriculum into a more mature view of self, their relationship with the environment, both physical and cultural, other people and God (KIE, 2000). One of the objectives of Christian Religious Education in Kenya is to help learners acquire social, spiritual and moral insights to help them make appropriate moral decisions in a rapidly changing society (KIE, 2000), yet observations of CRE students indicate that this objective is not being achieved. This could beat tributed to the way the subject is taught. Like any other subject, CRE needs to be taught by use of audiovisual resources and the right methods for students to understand and for the subject to be relevant to their lives.

The Wangai Committee (2001) tasked with investigating student discipline and unrest in secondary schools acknowledges that the decay in moral values and norms of the society to a great extent influence the behaviour and character of students. Despite acknowledging moral decay, the Wangai Committee (2001) never investigated whether or not CRE as a subject is achieving its intended purpose of inculcating moral values in learners. The Committee also never looked at an instructional approach that would help more effectively impart skills,knowledge and attitude to students which would help them during and after school life.Because of the development of modern technology, teachers no longer have to rely solely on mere lectures to deliver their teaching content. There is a great variety of materials that can be used to make meanings more vivid and more interesting. These materials are often referred toas instructional aids; devices used to supplement or complement the teachers’ task. Like any

other subject, CRE content can be made clearer, more interesting and relevant if audio visual media are used in teaching.Aggarwal (1995), citing a research done by Cobun (1968), indicates that more is learnt and retained when audiovisual media are used during teaching. If CRE was taught by use of audiovisual media, the students would understand and retain more of what they would have learnt and this is likely to have a positive moral impact in their lives. Based on research done in 1969 by Chiba Prefectural Education Centre in Japan, Bishop (1986) observes that there are considerable educational advantages with the application of educational technology in primary and lower secondary schools. If CRE was taught by use of modern technology students would gain more than if it was taught by verbal communication only.

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