1.1 Background to the Study
The business of teaching is the major preoccupation of teachers in the school system in Nigeria. For teachers to be effectively involved, they must have gone through adequate, relevant and appropriate training. This specialised training separates a trained teacher from a quack in the school system (Awoderu, 2007). The importance of adequate preparation is highly emphasised in the National Policy on Education (FGN 2004), the major educational policy in Nigeria which states that “teacher education shall continue to be given major emphasis in all educational planning and development because no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers”.
The issue of teacher preparation seems to be the uppermost concern of the educational planners and administrators (Maduewesi, 2005). Teachers are largely responsible for the translation and interpretation of educational policies, curriculum or course, instructional materials and assessment of learning outcomes at the level of learners. Besides the teacher‟s instructional leadership role, the teacher exerts a lot of influence on the character formation and the process of socialisation of the children within the learning environment. If student teachers are not well prepared, the objectives will not be realised (Oduolowu, 2009). Teacher education is an educational programme that involves a deliberate upbringing of students through training in order to acquire knowledge, skills and values to transmit to others. It is suggested that teacher trainees should be adequately trained to be able to meet the requirements of teaching, as part of the requirement of teaching profession. As part of the package, teaching practice is allocated specific period of time during which student teachers are posted to schools to teach, demonstrate in practical terms the knowledge and skills they had acquired during training. This is like housemanship in Medicine and Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) for engineers and some other related courses in Colleges of Education and Court Attachment for Lawyers. Teaching practice offers student teachers the opportunity to learn the basic skills of teaching and put their hitherto acquired knowledge into actual practice (Jekayinfa, 2012). The exercise allows student teachers to get familiar with educational ethics and the rules and regulations governing the practice of education as a professional career. Through the teaching practice, students get to interact with school environment, administration and academic staff, classroom management, workload and other students in the practice school.
Statement of the Problem
Teaching Practice (TP) is one of the most important aspects of teacher preparation programme in that it is the only exercise in which the student teachers are able to put into practice all that have been learnt about pedagogical skills. Better performance in teaching practice suggests good practising teacher. Studies have shown that student-teachers are performing below expectation in the Teaching Practice (TP) exercise, a core aspect of the College of Education (CoE) curriculum. This poor performance trend in teaching practice has been partly attributed to anxiety among student-teachers.
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