PERSPECTIVES ON THE TEACHING PROFESSION IN KENYA
Thuranira, Taaliu Simon
Klees, Prof Steve
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Education, and by extension teacher education is a dynamic process. It is usually influenced by changes in society which tend to create new demands. This dissertation sets out to research the challenges, implications and the way forward for the teaching profession in Kenya. This is a qualitative multiple case study of teacher education and the teaching profession and how people perceive it in Kenya. The brightest students shun teaching in Kenya. According to degree choices among high school leavers, the best students do not even consider teaching as a career. Yet, most parents want their children to have the best education, but they do not want them to be teachers. In the Kenyan situation, many students who take teaching do so as last resort, having failed to make it to other perceived lucrative careers. This study aims at illuminating how high school students make career choices and how this influences their future professions in Kenya. By exploring different socio-cultural, and economic factors that influence different stages of students' career choice process, this study hopes to contribute to identifying the most appropriate policies and practices in teacher education in Kenya. The study also illuminates students' and community's general perceptions of the teaching career and why teachers decide to stay or leave the profession. The research also looks at the free primary and secondary education programs and how they impact on the education sector, especially in regard to the freezing of employment of teachers in the public schools and the new (2010) controversial issue of contract teachers being recruited by the government of Kenya. Finally, this study gives recommendations on what might be done to improve teacher education in the country.