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Home Science Teacher Education in Universities in Kenya: A Structural Equation Model of Antecedents of Quality Training Output

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Trainee quality, training environment, curriculum design and instructional process play a critical role in determining quality outcome in Home Science teacher education at university level. In Kenya, the challenge of Home Science teacher education has been noted to revolve around a bloated curriculum, scarcity of resources and instructional process which by extension has brought about the question on the quality of trainees channeled out of Universities offering the program. This study employed the Structural Equation Model to analyze trainee quality, training environment, curriculum design and instructional process as antecedents of quality outcome in Home Science teacher education. The study adopted the confirmatory research design that is covariance based to examine the measurement and structural models. A self administered questionnaire was used to
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
www.rsisinternational.org Page 219
Home Science Teacher Education in Universities in
Kenya: A Structural Equation Model of Antecedents
of Quality Training Output
Aming’a Robert Maina1, Prof. Kisilu Kitainge2, Dr. Charles Nyabero3
1Science Education Department, School of Education, University of Eldoret, Kenya
2Technology Education Department, School of Education, University of Eldoret, Kenya
3Curriculum and Instruction Department, School of Education, University of Eldoret, Kenya
Abstract: - Trainee quality, training environment, curriculum
design and instructional process play a critical role in
determining quality outcome in Home Science teacher education
at university level. In Kenya, the challenge of Home Science
teacher education has been noted to revolve around a bloated
curriculum, scarcity of resources and instructional process which
by extension has brought about the question on the quality of
trainees channeled out of Universities offering the program. This
study employed the Structural Equation Model to analyze
trainee quality, training environment, curriculum design and
instructional process as antecedents of quality outcome in Home
Science teacher education. The study adopted the confirmatory
research design that is covariance based to examine the
measurement and structural models. A self administered
questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 126
Home Science teacher trainees drawn from two universities
offering Home Science teacher education. Data was analyzed
using Structural Equation Model (SEM) as it allows for
simultaneous analysis of the latent variables in the model. The
study revealed that training environment and instructional
process were significant antecedents to quality outcome in Home
Science teacher education in universities in Kenya. The study
further established that contrary to expectations, trainee quality
and curriculum design were not significant antecedents to
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education. The study
concludes that quality outcomes in Home Science teacher
education require the enabling environment in terms of physical
facilities, psychological well being and appropriate instructional
atmosphere. We recommend that universities offering Home
Science teacher education program in Kenya should not only
seek to provide the enabling environment for training but should
also enhance appropriate instructional processes.
Keywords: Trainee quality, Training environment, Curriculum
design, Instructional process, Quality outcome
I. INTRODUCTION
ome Science, also referred to as Home Economics
remains critical to Kenya’s realization of a newly
industrialized middle income status as articulated in vision
2030. Various scholars have recognized the utility of Home
Science education in among other contributions; imparting
skills that guarantee a better living among individuals (Dubey,
2016); empowering individuals with functional skills and
knowledge required to cope with family life (Chibuzor, 2014);
developing skills that individuals can apply in their familial
and communal responsibilities (Tupac as cited in Chibuzor,
2014); and enabling individuals to realize health and
happiness (McCloat & Caraher, 2018).
In Kenya, Home Science education has been practiced since
1904 when it was first introduced by wives of British
Missionaries as an informal domestic education focusing on,
imparting practical skills among women housekeepers
(Wahome, 2005). The scope of the discipline has however
expanded significantly to include content that focuses on
homes, families and resources (Vyas & Shastvi, 2011);
imparts life skills in students (Gadam, 2015); prepares the
youth for handling household chores (Iregi, 2015); and
prepares man for successful handling of family and communal
life (Khaleel, 2015).
The utility of Home Science education has been experienced
across the world in various ways. In the United States, Home
Science which is recognized more as Home Economics has
been used to expose families to alternative solutions to
household and community issues (Dubey, 2016); Home
science has been used to create awareness on societal issues in
Europe and Asia; and to improve families quality of living in
Ireland (McCloat & Caraher, 2018). In Australia, Canada,
Malta and Scotland Home Science has been used in
sustainable of development (Dewhurst & Pendergast, 2011);
while in Finland, it has been integrated in other disciplines
(Haapaniemi, 2019). The important role that Home Science
education plays has also permeated the African continent
where it has been used to raise the living standards of families
and societies (Nyangara et al., 2010); and to address poverty
(Arkhurst, 2005).
According to Smith and de Zwart (2010), Home Science as a
discipline has been recognized and included in educational
systems in almost all continents. Consequently, Home Science
is a subject that requires teachers with the relevant skills and
experience required to empower individuals with requisite
functional skills. It is however noted that, Home Science
teacher education continues to be faced with challenges in
most nations which includes Scotland (Schofield, 2005);
Canada (Smith & Dryden, 2005); the US (Wehan & Way,
H
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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2006); and Botswana (Bennel & Molwane, 2007) among
others.
In Kenya, the challenge of Home Science teacher education
revolves around a bloated curriculum and scarcity of
resources. Evidence shows that the Home Science teacher
education curriculum for primary teacher training colleges is
overloaded and does not allow for mastery of concepts
(Telewa, 2008). Moreover, the integration of Home Science
with science and Agriculture as is done in the first year of
training, opens the door for tutors without experience in Home
Science to handle the subject; which then raises the question
of quality of training (Iregi, 2015). The question of the quality
of training is further brought in by the challenge of resources.
According to Telewa (2008), Home Science teacher trainees
are denied the required opportunity for hands on training due
to lack of equipped training rooms that are needed for such
training.
Ngware and Nafukho (as cited by Iregi, 2015) point out that
materials and equipment used in Home Science are often very
expensive and most teacher training colleges are not able to
afford them (as cited in Iregi, 2015). The question of teacher
competence is also highlighted among challenges facing
Home Science teacher education in Kenya. It is noted that
most tutors handing Home Science in teacher training colleges
have no prior training in the subject and usually rely on the
experience they gain while teaching it (Levira as cited in Iregi,
2015).
Although some universities in Kenya still offer the Home
Science teacher education, concerns have persisted on their
capability to impart quality training (Abwao, 2017; Appelton,
2016). Questions have arisen as to why interest in the subject
is waning among students and why the number of universities
offering Home Science teacher education has also decreased
(Abwao, 2017; Iregi 2015). Considering that Home Science
remains a critical discipline in family and community life, it
becomes necessary to examine factors which determine
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education in
universities in Kenya. Such factors if known could be used to
restore interest in the discipline and sustain development.
II. EMPIRICAL REVIEW AND HYPOTHESIS
FORMULATION
2.1 Trainee Quality and Quality Output
The extant literature shows that learner quality measured in
terms of conceptual knowledge (Ary et al., 2014; Osparuva,
2018); prior knowledge (Akareem & Hossain, 2016; Siswa et
al., 2018); learner commitment (Okioma, 2012);
metacognition (Fouche & Lamport, 2011; Jaleel &
Premachandran, 2016); and motivation (Nahid & Mohammad,
2017) acts as a basis upon which the direction, content and
assessment of learning is made (Santiago et al., 2012a; Dandy
& Bendersky, 2014). The quality of students joining the home
science teacher education program offered in universities in
Kenya is however being questioned (Kafu, 2011; Wabwoba
and Mwakondo, 2011). According to Wabwoba and
Mwakondo (2011), the Joint Admission Board (JAB), a body
mandated to conduct a joint admission of students into
universities has at times placed students in courses they did
not choose. When this happens, questions emerge as to
whether such students have the motivation, commitment, prior
knowledge and meta-cognitive potential required for the
course. We therefore postulate that:-
H01: Trainee quality is not a significant antecedent of quality
outcome in Home Science teacher education.
2.2 Training Environment and Quality Outcome
Learning environment has been recognized as the physical,
psychological and instructional atmosphere that supports the
learning process (Choi, Van Merrienboer & Paas, 2014).
Evidence has shown that the physical environment that relates
to facilities is critical to performance excellence (Putch,
2015). Moreover, the psychological environment that
encompasses personality, morals and behaviour has been
associated with positive learning outcomes among students
(Lapsley & Woodbury, 2016). Instructional atmosphere on the
other hand, is linked to class organization, mutual respect, and
class control and has been associated with quality training
(Salimi & Ramzani, 2014).
Despite the importance of the learning environment in quality
outcome, the training environment in universities in Kenya
especially the physical environment is not sufficient for
effective training in Home Science. Evidence shows that most
of the universities are constrained in terms of space (Ireri,
2015); and lack workrooms required for practical training
(Nyangara et al., 2019). We therefore question the impact that
the training environment is having on quality outcomes in
Home Science teacher education. We posit thus:
H02: Training Environment is not a significant antecedent of
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education.
2.3 Curriculum Design and Quality Outcome
The curriculum design has gained recognition as being critical
to the direction that instruction takes (UNESCO, 2019). The
international Bureau of Education (IBE, 2013) points out that
achievement of quality education is a function of the
calibration of the intended implemented and attained
curricular. In Kenya, the Home Science Curriculum provides
direction in domains such as health education, textiles,
clothing, consumer education, and nutrition. The Home
Science curriculum for teacher education aims at empowering
teachers to be innovative and creative in finding and
improvising materials and equipment for teaching the subject
(Sempele et al., 2017).
Observations have however been made to the effect that, the
Home Science teacher education curriculum as currently
constituted has failed to meet the expectations of enhancing
learner competencies (Sempele et al., 2017). Sempele and
colleagues argue that societal needs and goals of development
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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are not adequately addressed by this curriculum. In view of
these discrepancies, the fundamental question is what role the
curriculum design plays in quality outcome in Home Science
teacher education. Our postulation then is that:-
H03: Curriculum design is not a significant antecedent of
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education
2.4 Instructional Process and Quality Outcome
Instructional process that takes cognizance of the impact of
the auditory, visual and kinesthetic styles of learning on
teaching has been well documented (Arbuthnott & Kratzig,
2015; Syofyan & Siwi, 2018). Ample evidence exists that
show that individuals have diversity in preferences, capacities,
and habits of processing new information (Kozhenvnikov,
Evans & Kosslyn, 2014). According to Scott (2010), sensory
modalities such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic vary across
individuals necessitating instruction that recognizes them
particularly in professional contexts such as Home Science
education. It is however noted that teachers and educational
departments are not able to design instructional methods that
address these styles (Stahl, 1999).
Previous studies have however focused more on quality
process (Longchamp, 2017); instructional quality (Brown &
Kurzweil, 2018); quality assurance (Adamson et al., 2010);
and effective teaching strategies (Jalbani, 2014) as indicators
of instructional process. No study examines instructional
process from the learning style perspective even when courses
like Home Science teacher education require a variation of the
training approaches. We therefore question the role of the
instructional process that take recognition of teaching styles in
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education. We posit
that:-
H04: Instructional Process is not a significant antecedent of
quality Home Science training outcome.
III. METHODOLOGY
The study adopted the confirmatory research design that is
covariance based. Choice of this design was informed by the
post positivist position that advocated for the cause–effect
relationships involved in the prediction of antecedents of
quality outcomes in Home Science teacher education. The
study population comprised of 187 Home Science teacher
trainees drawn from universities in Kenya. A sample of 126
Home Science teacher trainees was constituted by first
stratifying across universities and then stratifying across the
year of study. Simple random sampling was used to identify
the required trainees from each university and year of study.
A self administered questionnaire with five sections was
developed in line with the five latent variables under study
and was used to collect data. Data was analyzed using
Structural Equation Model (SEM) which is considered as a
second generation regression analysis that allows for a
simultaneous analysis of variables in a model (Chin, 1998).
Choice of SEM was based on the latent nature of the variables
under study and on the knowledge that SEM has previously
been used for causal modeling involving latent variables
(Amir, Mehdi, & Anuar, 2012). Variable definition and
measurement is shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Variable Definition and Measurement
Variable Nature Indicator Measurement
Quality outcome(QO) Endogenous
(latent)
Acquisition of intended values
(QO1)
Acquisition of intended Skills
(QO2)
Acquisition of knowledge (QO3)
Ordinal scale
Trainee Quality (TQ) Exogenous
(Latent)
Prior Knowledge (
TQ1
)
Meta-cognition (TQ2)
Motivation (TQ3)
Ordinal scale
Training Environment
(TE)
Exogenous
(Latent)
Physical (
TE1)
Psychological (TE2)
Instructional (TE3)
Ordinal scale
Curriculum Design (CD) Exogenous
(Latent)
Curriculum goals (
CD1
)
Curriculum constraints (CD2)
Ordinal scale
Instructional Process (IP) Exogenous
(Latent)
Visual (
IP1
)
Aural (IP2)
Kinesthetic (IP3)
Ordinal scale
3.1 Measurement Model
The proposed measurement model (Fig. 1) had five latent
variables consistent with the constructs under study. Three
indicators were each regressed on trainee quality, training
environment, instructional process and quality outcome.
Curriculum design had only two indicators regressed on it.
Random errors that are a result of variable measurement were
depicted using associated error terms.
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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Fig. 1 Measurement model
Validation of the measurement model was conducted through
the Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) version 18
previously used in covariance based structural equation
models (Butler, 2014). Model evaluation was done using the
‘goodness of fit’ criterion that sought to find out how the
conceptualized measurement model fitted the sample data.
Three categories of fit indices which included absolute,
incremental and parsimony indexes were employed in testing
the model fit. The following indices recommended by Cheung
and Rensvold (2009) were used to validate the default indices
(Table 2).
Table 2
𝜒
𝑠𝑖𝑔
.
𝜒
/
𝑑𝑓
𝐺𝐹𝐼
𝐴𝐺𝐹𝐼
𝑁𝐹𝐼
𝑅𝐹𝐼
𝐶𝐹𝐼
𝑅𝑀𝑆𝐸𝐴
p
0
.
05
<
5
.
0
0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90
>
0
.
90
<
0
.
05
Source: Cheung & Rensvold (2009)
3.2 The Structural Model
The proposed structural model indicated the SEM path model
showing the direct effects of the suggested antecedents and
quality output in Home Science teacher education (Fig 2).
Trainee quality, training environment, curriculum design and
instructional process were exogenous variables being
regressed on quality outcome which was the endogenous
variable.
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Figure 2 Structural Model
The structural model was validated following similar
guidelines to those used in the measurement model.
Consequently, the default model fit indices were compared to
those suggested by Cheung and Rensvold (2009). If it was
necessary to modify the model as suggested by modification
indices, the modifications were done until a fitting model was
achieved. The path estimates (Standardized regression
weights) and the variance explained (R2 value) were used to
test for causation and power.
IV. RESULTS
The reported results relate to validation of both the
measurement and structural models, as well as, on the path
diagram showing the regression weights of the postulated
relationships between the exogenous variables and the
endogenous variable.
4.1 Validation of the measurement model
Unidimensionality was achieved for trainee quality, training
environment, curriculum design, and quality outcome. All
factor loadings for these constructs were above o.5, and were
positive (Awang, 2015). In the case of instructional process,
the indicator IP2 (Aural learning style) had a factor loading of
0.42 which was less than 0.5 (Fig 3).
Fig.3 Modified Measurement Model
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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Discriminant validity was achieved by deleting the aural
learning style indicator which was redundant. A comparison
of default measurement indices with those suggested by
Cheung and Rensvold (2009) revealed that the default indices
were largely within the acceptable limits (Table 3), an
indication that construct validity had been achieved.
Table 3 Fit Indexes for Measurement and Structural Models
Fit Category Name of
Index Level of Acceptance Default measurement
model Default Structural model
Absolute fit
Chi-square
𝑝
𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒
<
0
.
05
0.044 0.034
RMSEA
RMSEA
<
0
.
08
0.056 0.037
GFI
GFI
>
0
.
90
0.925 0.964
Incremental fit
AGFI
AGFI
>
0
.
90
0.848 0.911
CFI
CFI
>
0
.
90
0.982 0.996
TLI
TLI
>
0
.
90
0.968 0.991
NFI
NFI
>
0
.
90
0.936 0.979
Parsimonious fit Chisq/df Chisq/df
<
3
.
0
1.358 1.256
4.2 Validation of the Structural Model
The goodness fit test of the initial default structural model
revealed a not too good fit. This necessitated modification
using the modification indices. The modified structural model
was now found to fit the data well (Table 3). It comprised of
correlated error terms as suggested by modification indices
(Fig 4).
Figure 4 Modified Structural Model
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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4.3 Hypotheses Test Results
The resultant path diagram presented in Fig 5 confirmed the
following hypothesis test results. Hypothesis H01 was
supported, an implication that trainee quality was not a
significant antecedent of quality outcome in Home Science
teacher education in the context of universities in Kenya (β=-
0.09, p=0.527); Hypothesis H02 was not supported. Training
environment was a positive and significant antecedent of
quality outcome in Home Science teacher education in the
context of universities in Kenya (β=0.538, p<0.005);
Hypothesis H03 was supported. Curriculum design was not a
significant antecedent of quality outcome in Home Science
teacher education in the context of universities in Kenya
(β=0.142, p=0.339); Hypothesis H04 was not supported.
Instructional process was a positive and significant antecedent
of quality outcome in Home Science teacher education in the
context of universities in Kenya (β=0.315, p<0.026).
Figure 5 Path diagram
V. DISCUSSIONS
Findings in this study revealed that training environment and
instructional process were significant antecedents to quality
outcome in Home Science teacher education in universities in
Kenya. However, contrary to expectations, trainee quality and
curriculum design were not significant antecedents to quality
outcome in Home Science teacher education in this context.
The implication of these findings is that training environment
and instruction process account for most of the quality
expected in Home Science teacher education in Kenyan
Universities. Indeed the importance of the learning
environment and instructional process in teaching and
learning has been well documented (Kidron, 1999; Paas et al.,
2015; Putch, 2015).
According to Putch (2015), the physical learning environment
that relates to facilities is very critical in practical oriented
disciplines like Home Science. In fact, Paas et al., (2015)
contend that the Home Science class is special in the sense
that it requires unique furniture and equipment. The finding
that the training environment determines quality of training
outcome in Home Science teacher education in Kenyan
universities is therefore consistent with findings which argue
that well functioning environments, have the flexibility to
simplify the learning process. This then explains why it was
likely that the instructional process could be a significant
antecedent of quality training output. Kidron (1999) avers that
the instructional process works in tandem with the
environment through quality interaction that increases
student’s concentration.
The finding that trainee quality was not a significant
antecedent to quality outcome was rather surprising, but goes
on to vindicate the decision by the joint admissions board
(JAB) to place students in courses which they did not select or
have interest in (Wabwoba & Mwakondo, 2011). In an article
titled ‘Help! This is not the course I wanted to study’
Trainee quality
Training
Environment
Curriculum
design
Instructional
process
Quality
outcome
0.538**
-0.09
0.142
0.315*
0.81
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VIII, August 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705
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appearing in the Daily Nation dated May 19, 2017, Victor
who had hoped to study pharmacy but was picked to study
microprocessor technology stated that “I do not believe that
what you study is what you must eventually do. I have found
out that it is important to keep your options open. It helps to
adjust quickly when the door closes on your choice”. The
implication in Victor’s thoughts is that, besides trainee quality
in terms of prior knowledge and meta-cognitive potential
being necessary, remaining positive could be a factor in
quality outcome.
The finding showing that the curriculum is not a significant
antecedent of quality output in home science teacher
education though surprising, mirrors concerns that have been
raised with regards to whether or not, the curriculum as
constituted in universities plays any role to the existential
situation (Ntabo, 2015). According to Ntabo in a paper
presented at the 7th Annual Ethics conference, the model of
education in Kenya’s institutions of higher learning lacks
practical skills, character formation and relevant training for
survival in the society. Ntabo (2010) contents that the
education in these institutions fails to prepare individuals
adequately in required skills making most graduates to be
unable to sustain themselves in society. These assertions by
Ntabo, points to inability of the curriculum to guarantee
quality outcomes and corroborates the finding of this study
with regards to the curriculum design.
VI. CONCLUSION
Quality outcomes in Home Science teacher education
translates to capability of trainees’ to acquire intended
knowledge, intended skills, intended values, and to connect
theory to practice. This no doubt requires the enabling
environment in terms of the physical facilities, psychological
well being and instructional atmosphere. The instructional
process that takes cognizance of the various learning styles
complements quality output in this important discipline. The
curriculum design should however be keener on practical
skills and relevant training that can enable survival in the
society. Besides, although placement of students in courses
they had not selected does not hinder quality outcomes, it
would be prudent to allow students to pursue courses of their
interests.
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