Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Gary J. Dean

Second Advisor

Sue A. Reig

Third Advisor

Beatrice S. Fennimore

Abstract

Inspired by the scarcity of data to support improvement efforts in adult basic literacy programs in the Kaduna State in Nigeria, this study investigated the perceptions of 147 adult basic literacy teachers in service in the state. The study was framed by insights from a four-knowledge-domain framework proposed by the American Institute for Research (AIR) (Fedele-McLeod, et al., 2013), an eight-domain framework proposed for ESL/EFL settings (TESOL, 2008), and a four-domain model proposed by Danielson (2013a). The purpose was to understand (1) how the surveyed teachers perceive their readiness to implement the standards proposed by the curriculum as a way of providing empirical data to inform teacher education decisions. Beyond teacher perceptions, the study also aimed to document (2) whether certified teachers’ perceptions significantly differed from uncertified teachers’ perceptions, and (3) whether there were statistically significant differences between less experienced and more experienced teachers’ perceptions.

In order to reach these goals, participants were asked to complete a 47-item survey instrument and multiple choice questions intended to record participant demographics. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics; t-tests were run to determine the level of statistical significance between certified and uncertified teachers and between less and more experienced teachers.

The results revealed that the 147 teachers perceive themselves as familiar with and prepared to teach the topics proposed by the Kaduna State Agency for Mass Literacy, demonstrate effective teaching practices, and actively participate in professional development activities. Within such positive perceptions, certified teachers showed a higher degree of perceived preparedness than uncertified teachers. The overall statistical difference between certified and uncertified teachers were significant. However, more experienced teachers’ perceptions did not significantly differ from less experienced teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness to teach.

These results encourage continued efforts toward teacher certification, collaborative debates on the curriculum content, and professional development. However, further research might need to look closely at what actually happens in Kaduna State’s basic literacy classrooms in order to better understand and support teachers’ efforts.

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