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Open Access Patterns of teaching style and active teaching: do they differ across subjects in low and high performing primary schools in Kenya?

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This paper focuses on the patterns of teaching styles and active teaching across subjects and between low and high performing schools in an attempt to examine what accounts for differences in performance between schools which are within the same locality. It uses data collected in 72 primary schools spread across six districts in Kenya. Video recordings of 213 lessons in maths (72), science (71) and English (70), and interviews with subject teachers in primary schools, were used to generate evidence on patterns of teaching styles and active teaching. Results show that teaching practice across subjects is inclined towards the command and task styles that do not promote critical thinking among learners. The dominant teaching activity was individual seat work in maths lessons; recitation in English lessons; and whole class chorus in science lessons. Overall, active teaching accounted for 62% of the lesson time. The one way ANOVA results show insignificant variation between subjects and school category on active teaching, and therefore this may not be the source of differential performance between low and high performing schools.

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Keywords: ACTIVE TEACHING; ENGLISH; MATHEMATICS; PRIMARY SCHOOL; SCIENCE; TEACHING STYLES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2012

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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