Lecturers’ Competencies and the Effective Teaching of Computer Science : Current School News

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ABTRACT

The computer science discipline is evolving with problems in both technological and pedagogical aspects almost worldwide.

With the advent of new technologies and approaches for teaching programming at all ages, many countries including Turkey have revised their computer science curriculum.

These revisions have resulted in serious training needs being highlighted for teachers with inadequate competencies to meet the expected learning outcomes.

Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore; (a) the self-perceived competencies of teachers about the topics in the curriculum, (b) perceptions about programming, programming tools and approaches, and (c) contribution of university education to their teaching profession.

The findings revealed that most teachers believe they are not sufficiently competent to be an effective computer science teacher.

Related to this finding, most of them especially mentioned their training needs for programming, emerging tools and technologies.

Plus more than half of the participants think that the higher education curriculum is inadequate to meet teacher expectations and to create competent teachers.

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

Effective teaching of Computer Science courses requires certain competencies. Generally, all people employed as lecturers need to develop the competencies and skills which will enable them to deliver on their job effectively.

There is also the need for lecturers engaged in the teaching of Computer Science courses to maximize the use of teaching resource to enhance students learning and to prepare them to cope up with life in today’s society in which life style, attitudes and skills are challenging on a daily basis as a result of technology.

The term competency has been defined in different ways by several authors. Hornby (2000) defined competency as the ability to do something well in a particular job or for a particular task.

For Ozioko, Ezeani and Omeje (2009), it is the required skills possessed by some people or those expected to be possessed by them in the discharge of their professional duties.

Competencies in the views of Vathanophas and Thai-ngamare (2007) are the characteristics or abilities of an individual that enable him to perform appropriate specific actions.

It represents the capability that an individual brings to the job and when the responsibilities of the job to produce the desired results require the demonstration of specific actions, the individual draws from inner resources for the capability to respond.

As noted by Ezeugbor (2008), lecturers’ teaching competencies embrace skills, standards, methods and capabilities required when engaged in the teaching and learning process.

According to Ocholla (2003), there are competencies that will make Computer Science courses lecturers to be very effective in the discharge of their teaching duties.

These competencies include competency in classroom management, competency in planning of practical lessons, competency in improvisation of instructional materials, competency in teaching methods and competency in lesson presentation.

Classroom management refers to the ability of a teacher to create a good learning environment that engages all the learners effectively while teaching is on.

It involves how a teacher manages or ensures physical convenience to determine the level of students’ participation in lesson.

When the classroom environment is conducive, students seem to put on positive attitude towards that particular subject, but if the learning environment is not conducive there could be negative reactions by the students.

A well-organized class with a subservient learning environment portrays the background of the teacher concerned. That is why Anderson (2001) maintained that the achievement of students relates to the classroom climate and learning environments.

There are different levels of classroom management competencies that lecturers should possess in order to create an effective teaching.

The teacher is expected not only to impart knowledge but to foster the adjustment of students, understand students’ basic cognitive and social problems, match curricular offerings to levels of mental development, make curricular specifications relevant; and provides a smooth transition from home to school and from one level of education to another.

Lecturers who create warm and accepting yet professional atmospheres by improvisation of good instructional materials will promote persistent effort and favourable attitudes toward teaching and learning.

This strategy is successful in children and adults. Interesting visual aids, such as booklets, posters, or practice equipment, motivate learners by capturing their attention and curiosity (Lepper, 2008).

In the same way, strong and lasting memory is connected with the emotional state and experience of the learner. People remember better when learning is accompanied by strong emotions.

REFERENCES

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Akuegwu, B. A., Udida, L. A., and Ntukidem, E. P. (2011). Nigerian graduating students access to e-learning technology. Implications for higher education management. Business Education Journal, 6(2), 120-128.

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Amalaha, B. M. (2009). The Teacher in the Classroom. In Ukeje, B. O. (Ed) Foundations of Education. Benin-City: Ethiope Publishing.

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