Preparation of pre-service primary science teachers to develop scientific literacy: a case of a primary teacher training college in Taita Taveta County, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Ms. Mary Anyango Oluga


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Scientific Literacy (SL) is a significant learning outcome among Pre-service Primary Science Teachers (PPSTs) in the 21st century. Owing to the crucial role of primary science tutors their knowledge and skills are indispensable in preparing PPSTs to develop SL. On the contrary, tutors currently exercise their practices without the prerequisite skills needed to develop the desired skills in the PPSTs. Consequently, the need for the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) to utilize learner centered approaches, and scientific inquiry skills to unlock their potential to prepare PPSTs to develop SL hence teach primary school learners to develop the same. This study sought to find out how PPSTs in Kenya are prepared to develop SL. The study was conducted in one Primary Teacher Training College using a qualitative case study design which provided in-depth information with particular focus on the teaching approaches, teaching and learning activities and scientific inquiry skills used in teaching science. Data was collected using semi-structured face-to -face interview, classroom observations, Focus Group Discussion and document analysis. The findings revealed that, while the science tutor was aware of the learner centered approaches and scientific inquiry skills recommended by the MoEST there was inadequate utilization of the same in the classroom. The emanating challenges revealed include inadequate ITE of the primary science tutors, inadequate exposure to learner centered approaches, teaching and learning activities and scientific inquiry skills. Subsequently, the PPSTs prepared would be incapacitated to develop SL among the primary school learners hence not globally competitive for the ‘future we want’ in the 21st century. In light of these findings there is need for primary science tutors leaving college to undergo induction course to acquire adequate learner centered approaches and scientific inquiry skills for developing SL.

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