TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Scope of the Study
1.8 Definition of Terms
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Theoretical Framework of the Study
- Theories of Perception
2.2 Conceptual Framework of the Study
- The concept of Business Education
- The concept of Classroom Conduct
- The Teaching Practice Programme
- The concept of Trainee Teacher
- The concept of Perception
2.3 Secondary school students’ perception of the Business Studies trainee Teachers
2.4 Causes of the Secondary School Students’ Perception of the Business Studies Student Teachers
2.5 Roles of the business studies student teachers in influencing the secondary school students’ perception of them
2.6 Review of Related Empirical Studies
2.7 Summary of Review of Related Literature
3.1 The Research Design
3.2 The Population of the Study
3.3 Area of the Study
3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Technique
3.5 Instrument for Data Collection
3.6 Validation of Instrument
3.7 Method of Data Collection
3.8 Data Analysis Technique
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Data Presentation
4.2 Testing of Hypotheses
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Discussion of Findings
5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies
To my Heavenly Father (GOD) who is the maker not made, the fountain of wisdom, the supreme Rabbi, the protector of my life and the infallible guardian counselor for having fortified me with all the requisite knowledge, understanding and other competences requisite for me to successfully embark on this our academic voyage of discovery.
My profuse and whole-hearted encomiums goes to my Heavenly Father whose fountain of knowledge and wisdom I have tapped from which enabled me to couch this research work. He graciously illuminating me for knowledge and granted me the requisite zeal and zest to complete this research
To my amiable, noble, dedicated, committed and conscientious research supervisor Mr. Bupo, O. Godwin for further exposing me to the world of empirical research through his scrupulous and meticulous supervising strategies. He did not only teach me the gains of honesty but also the fruits derivable from being thorough in research of any kind. Indeed, he is a worthy mentor and an inloco-parentis of good repute. May God’s grace, favour, guidance and blessings never depart from him and may God continue to improve his thinking horizon and scope of knowledge. I love you Sir!
To my Head of Department Dr. W.J. Ubulom, departmental and faculty lecturers specifically; Dr. Margaret E. Akpomi, Dr. Comfort Agi, Dr. Wordu Hilary, Dr. Boma I. Dambo, Dr. Okiridu F. Obilord and Mr. Wogboroma Nyemaekile for their moral supports, words of encouragement, motivation and inspiration as I sailed through my academic endeavours in the department of Business Education. I greatly appreciate them and implore God to continue to guide and guard them in the discharge of their colossal responsibilities.
To my most beloved parents: Chief (Sir) Christopher C. Ohaka (KSM, JP), and Lady Juliana E. Ohaka for their sincere resolve to shoulder the financial burden of my academic endeavours all through my programme despite their financial commitments. Honestly, without their financial, moral and material support, the realization of this project would have been an effort in futility. Their great roles and contributions will remain indelible in my heart. I earnestly implore God to recompense them profusely, grant them good health of mind and body and also give them the grace to live longer to reap the fruits of their assiduous labour. My love for them will remain incomparable.
Finally, to my kith and kin, I will remain immensely appreciative to you all for your moral contributions and words of advice and encouragements during the cause of my academic strides. I love you all and pray God to grant you all your earnest heart desires. Amen.
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 Population Distribution
Table 4.1 Mean analysis of the perceptions of secondary school students have of Business Studies Trainee Teachers in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools
Table 4.2 Mean analysis of the factors that influence students’ perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools
Table 4.3 Mean analysis of the role of Business Studies Trainee Teachers in influencing the students’ perception towards them
Table 4.4 Z-test showing the result on the significant difference in the mean response of the male and female students
Table 4.5 Z-test showing the result on the significant difference of the male and female students on the factors that influence their perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers
Table 4.6 Z-test showing the result on the significant difference of the male and female Business Studies Trainee Teachers on the role they can perform to influence the Secondary School Students’ perception of them
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1 Systematic Practical Experience and School-Based Experience of Teaching Practice
Figure 2.2 Student-Teacher Professional Skill Development Process
Figure 2.3 Model of Social Perception
Figure 2.4 Simple Model of the Perceptual Process
Figure 2.5 Perceptual Process
The core mandate of this study was to examine students’ perception of Business studies trainee teachers and its influence on their classroom conduct in Port-Harcourt secondary schools. Three research questions were raised to guide the study; while three research hypotheses were also developed and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted a descriptive research survey method. The total population of the study was 5,725 which consists of 5,522 Junior Secondary School (JSS2) students in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools and 203 level four (4) hundred students of Business Education department, Rivers State University, Port-Harcourt. A sample size of 509 was drawn using simple random sampling technique. Taro Yamene formular was used to derive the sample size. The instrument for data collection was a self-structured questionnaire developed by the researchers and validated by the research supervisor. The questionnaire instrument was entitled: Students’ Perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers and classroom conduct in Port-Harcourt secondary schools. Two separate questionnaire instruments were developed and administered directly by the researchers to two distinct sets of respondents: the secondary school students in Port-Harcourt and Business Studies Trainee teachers in Rivers State University, Port-Harcourt. The two questionnaire instruments contain 29 items in a whole. Mean and Standard Deviation were used to analyze the research questions, while z-test was used to test the hypotheses. With a grand mean of 2.28, the study revealed that secondary school students have a positive perception of business studies trainee teachers. It was also discovered that for the business studies trainee teachers to influence the perception of secondary school students towards them, they need to provide proper and adequate information about themselves to the students at their first day in class. The test of research hypothesis 1 revealed that there is a significant difference in the mean response of the male and female secondary school students on their perception of business studies trainee teachers in Port-Harcourt. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the way the secondary school students in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools perceive Business Studies Trainee Teachers are responsible for their classroom conduct. It was recommended that school administrators and their academic staff should always treat the business studies trainee teachers with maximum regard especially in the presence of the secondary school students so as to make the students to perceive the business studies trainee teachers in a positive perspective which in turn, influences their conduct in the classroom.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
The most pertinent priorities for the business studies trainee teachers in dealing with secondary school students’ misconduct in Port-Harcourt metropolis will be to maintain a secure and safe environment and also protect the classroom environment from threats posed by potentially dangerous troubled students. These priorities according to Amada (2010) will obviously require recognizing the warning signs of trouble and preparedness to respond appropriately and decisively. Other priorities will include maintaining a classroom atmosphere of respect and civility, avoiding being manipulated by students with unreasonable demands, responding appropriately to unfounded allegations, and protecting oneself and one’s institution from frivolous lawsuit. However, understanding how the range of students’ misconduct tends to cluster along certain distinctive, recognizable styles is empowering and helpful to the business studies student teachers (Amada, 2010).
This classroom conduct by secondary school students pertains to the particular attitude of the students towards the business studies trainee teachers, their fellow students and classroom rules. It could either be negative or positive. But irrespective of what the conduct could be, the manner with which the business studies trainee teachers handle such conduct goes a long way to contribute to what forms part of the students’ perception of them. According to Amada (2010), some of these negative students’ classroom conduct which may arise as a result of the students’ poor perception of business studies trainee teachers may include; undermining of the business studies trainee teachers’ authority, too much side attraction and distraction, spacing out or sleeping in class, frequent absence or tardiness, food and cell phone disruptions, disrespectful behaviour, plagiarism or lying (Kaizen, 2017). However, Long and Frye in Marzano, Marzano and Pickering (2003), argued that effective teachers (and business studies trainee teachers) can prevent all misconduct by keeping students interested in learning through the use of existing classroom materials and activities. The implication of this assertion is that for the business studies trainee teachers, maintaining good student classroom conduct is like surgery which requires precision – no cuts, no rambling comments and a demonstration of self discipline and good manners in the classroom. Also, the business studies student teachers need to demonstrate general understanding of business studies subject contents and one of them according to Epumepu and Igbenedion (2014) involves helping secondary school students to develop manipulative skills, inventiveness and respect for dignity of labour.
No wonder business studies is defined as a subject that prepares and arms students with knowledge aimed at creating career awareness of saleable skills that will enable them to fit into the world of work with little or no difficulty. Hence, the reason it is perceived to be part of vocational education within the entire secondary school programme across the nation. Also, it is made up of five components units namely; Typewriting, Shorthand, Book-keeping, Commerce and Office practice (Okolocha & Nwadiani, 2014). According to the Revised National Policy on Education (2004) in Okolocha and Nwadiani (2014), Business studies are classified as “practical subject”. It combines both theory and practice which makes recipients later in life to act as both employees and employers of labour. Business studies serves as an introduction to the social science subjects in the senior secondary schools. It helps students to develop manipulative skills, inventiveness and respect for dignity of labour. It develops in them the understanding and attitude needed for success to advance in their studies (Epumepu & Igbenedion, 2014).
In the same vein, a business studies trainee teacher can be considered to be a “baby teacher” who undergoes both theoretical and practical training programme in a teacher-training tertiary institution of learning so as to gain knowledge, acquire skills and form desirable attitudes. They are young teachers undergoing a teacher training programme mostly under the department of business education. Usually, they undergo a compulsory teaching practice experience where according to Georgewill (2016), they are made to apply the methods, principles, concepts, psychology and even the philosophy of education which they were taught theoretically in the classroom. In fact, teaching practice is the most vital part of student-teacher career training (Georgewill in Ohaka, 2016). This exercise makes the business studies student teachers to be exposed to the realities of teaching as it enables them to also attempt other novel methods of teaching and maintenance of good secondary school students’ classroom conduct no matter the perception the secondary school students could have of them.
This implies that, teaching practice provides the business studies student teachers some type of pre-service training which serves as an opportunity to be exposed to the realities of teaching and performance of professional activities. It also provides business studies trainee teachers the opportunity to practice the use of various disciplinary measures to regulate students’ classroom conduct. Sequel to this, business studies student teachers have been encouraged to adopt various teaching models that bring about good student classroom conduct during the practice of teaching (Ogonor & Badmus, 2016).
Notwithstanding, when talking about secondary school students’ classroom conduct, it is first imperative to consider that without order provided by effective classroom control, there will be little hope for the business studies student teachers to instruct in any consistent and effective manner. Also, some scholars argued that when business studies student teachers feel that they need to discipline students, it is often because there was a lack of procedures and routine in place (Wong & Wong in Walter & Frei, 2007). Classroom learning requires good classroom conduct and, while it may be very cumbersome, it is central to what business studies student teachers need to do.
With this perception in mind, it is contended that the greatest fear of trainee teachers across the nation is losing control of a classroom of students. These fears are well-founded, because for the majority of educators and “business studies student teachers”, this constitutes the most difficult aspect of the teaching profession they intend to venture into (Walter & Frei, 2007). Researchers Dollase and Gordon in Walter and Frei (2007) reached this conclusion when they reported that the biggest challenge that teachers face is maintaining discipline and order in their classrooms.
Thus, considering the centrality of the teaching practice programme to the student teachers’ development of professional competence, it is expected that the student teachers become more conscious of the kind of impression they create of themselves before the students in the classroom as this also contributes integrally in the students’ perceptual formation process about them which influences their classroom conduct negatively or positively as positive impression attracts positive perception. To say the least, those misconducts turns out to pose immense challenges and threats to the student teachers during teaching practice as they on their part attempt to deal with them on daily bases thereby retarding the realization of the classroom behavioral and/or instructional objectives.
Despite the above trend, it appears that some of the business studies trainee teachers have not bordered to find out how the students perceive them and whether or not such perception is what influences their conduct in the classroom. Also, in the past, several scales have been developed seeking to actually measure teachers’ perception of classroom conduct (Sun & Shek, 2012) but no studies have been out to investigate whether these classroom conduct is as a result of how the students perceive the student teachers during teaching practice especially in the business education programme. Sequel to this supposed negligence, during their teaching practice exercise, creating a good impression in order to attract a positive perception of them from the students in order to maintain better teacher-students classroom conduct, often times constituted the most significant and clear concern to some of them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
From the experiences shared at the culmination of the just concluded teaching practice programme of the Faculty of Technical and science education by the trainee teachers who taught business studies, it was observed that in some instances they wasted approximately one-half of all classroom time with some activities that seeks to maintain students’ classroom conduct other than classroom instruction. According to them, this was usually as a result of the improper conduct being exhibited by some of the students. Such misconduct includes; interfering with classroom proceedings, making irrelevant comments, causing noisy interruptions, talking out of turn, fighting in the class, physically assaulting and harassing the business studies student teacher, eating and drinking in the class, leaving the classroom without obtaining due permission from the student teacher, among others. This causes them to encounter difficulty in an attempt to manage the classroom conduct of their students which possibly crops-in as result of the students’ perception of them.
However, this improper conduct of students during classes, especially when the business studies trainee-teachers are teaching maybe traced to how these students perceive the business studies trainee-teachers. This means that, there may be a connection between how the secondary school students perceive the business studies teaching-practice students and their classroom conduct.
So, since no research, to the best knowledge of the researchers, have been carried out in Port-Harcourt to investigate how students perceive the business studies teaching practice students and the kind of influence it has on their classroom conduct, the researchers have decided to fill this gap.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
Generally, the broad based objective of this research was to examine the students’ perception of business studies student teachers and its influence on their classroom conduct in Port-Harcourt secondary schools. In specific terms, the study sought to;
1) To determine students’ perception towards Business Studies trainee teachers in Port- Harcourt secondary schools.
2) To determine the factors that influence students’ perception of their business studies trainee teachers in Port-Harcourt secondary schools.
3) To determine the possible role the business studies trainee teachers could perform in influencing the students’ perception of them.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study;
1) What perceptions do secondary school students have of the Business Studies trainee teachers in Port-Harcourt secondary school?
2) What are the factors that influence students’ perception of business studies trainee teachers in Port-Harcourt secondary schools?
3) What possible roles could the business studies trainee teachers perform in influencing the students’ perception of them?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were tested at 0.5 level of significance;
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of the male and female secondary students on their perception of the business studies student teachers in Port-Harcourt secondary schools.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of the male and female students on the factors that influence their perception of the business studies student teachers in Port-Harcourt secondary schools.
Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of the male and female business studies trainee teachers on the role they can perform to influence the secondary schools students’ perception of them.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will obviously be of optimal importance and direct benefit to the following stakeholders; Business education students, Business education lecturers, Rivers State Universal Basic Education (RSUBE) Board and the management of secondary schools in Port-Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The business education students will through the findings of this research become able to develop strategies that will help them create order and discipline in the class having discovered how the students’ perception of them could affect their classroom conduct.
Secondly, this study will put at the disposal of the business education lecturers the necessary guidance needed to help them recognize the scenarios that could cause physical risk when the student teachers are dealing with potentially dangerous students. Thereby, making them appreciate the need for the review of their course contents by way of incorporating better strategies that could allow the student teachers more instructional time and less activities that seeks to contain behavioural troubles.
Furthermore, this study will be of immense benefit to the Universal Basic Education Board (UBE) Board who are saddled with the colossal onus of supervising and regulating the activities of the registered secondary schools in Rivers State. From the results of the study, they could be a necessary consideration for an improved policy framework development and implementation for secondary schools pertaining to the teaching practice programme.
Finally, the management of the secondary schools in the Port-Harcourt Local Government Area is another group of stakeholders that will find this study beneficial. Those of the schools that are beginning to experience burnout and turnover of teaching practice student teachers as a result of difficulty usually experienced by the teaching practice student teachers as they attempt to establish and implement discipline policies on students who usually misconduct themselves in the classroom possibly because of how they perceive the student teachers.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is delimited to all the business studies student teachers that actively participated in the 2016/2017 academic session teaching practice exercise in the department of Business Education Rivers State University (RSU), Port-Harcourt and the JSS 2 students in secondary schools that admit trainee teachers from (RSU) for teaching practice programme in Port-Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers state. The study also focuses on the examination of the Port-Harcourt secondary school students’ perception of business studies student teachers and its influence on their classroom conduct.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Business Studies: It is one of the vocational education subjects specifically offered by the students in the Junior Secondary Schools to equip them with desirable skills, intellect and attitude requisite for a successful advancement in their prospective public and private careers.
Classroom: Classroom is a room or hall of studies usually with a relatively open space within an academic environment where teaching and learning mostly occurs. In the classroom, we could have a board, chairs/desks and tables. The desks are arranged in such a way that there could be free movement of teachers and students within the isles.
Conduct: is a particular way of behaviour which could either be positive or negative in the private or public domain. It is the way one comports his/herself.
Influence: is that impulsive and/or persuasive element, force or control that causes either a positive or negative change in behaviour, idea, desire, values or norms in an individual(s) and/or things.
Perception: is what one feels, thinks or sees another person/thing as. It is an intentional comprehension of someone by another. It also deals with the feelings, opinions or ideas one has about another individual(s), situation and/or things. It could be subjective or objective, positive or negative and could be formed after a first meeting or after a period of time.
Students: these are persons in Junior Secondary Schools offering Business Studies as a subject.
Trainee Teachers: these are business education students in tertiary institutions who are carrying out their Teaching Practice exercise.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter presents both the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study. The purpose of this chapter is to see how we could limit the problem of the topic, avoid unnecessary duplication, and evaluate promising research methods and to relate the findings of this research to previous knowledge.
Also, in this chapter an attempt shall be made to implicitly compare and contrast different author’s view on issues, note areas in which authors are in disagreement, show how the study relates to previous studies, show how the study relates to literature in general and conclude by summarizing what the different literature says. Thus, to address this, the chapter has been arranged in this chronological order:
2.1 Theoretical Framework
Theories of Perception
2.2 Conceptual Framework
The concept of Business Education
The concept of Classroom Conduct
The concept of Teaching Practice Programme
The concept of Trainee Teacher
The concept of Perception
2.3 Secondary School Students’ perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers
2.4 Factors that influence students’ perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools
2.5 Roles of Business Studies Trainee Teachers in influencing the students’ perception of them in Port-Harcourt Secondary Schools
2.6 Review of Related Empirical Studies
2.7 Summary of Review of Related Literature
2.1 Theoretical Framework of the Study
- Theories of Perception
This study relies on the following action based theories of perception viz; the early action based theory of perception, sensorimotor contingency theories, motor component and efferent readiness theories and skill/acquisition theories.
a) Early action-based theories of Perception
These theories have three dominant doctrines: the first states that immediate objects of sight have two dimensional manifolds of light and colour which lacks perceptible extension in depth. The second states that vision must be “educated” by the sense of touch. The widespread acceptance of both theories owes much to the influence of George Berkley (1709) New Theory of Vision (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015). These theories which started in the 19th century have two components: The Berkeleyan theory and the Lotze, Helmholtz, and the local sign theory.
The Berkeleyan theory of perception was propounded by Berkeley in his Berkeleyan project of the New Theory of Vision (1709). The theory is also called the Movement and Touch in the New theory of vision. Here, George Berkley anchored his argument on three disparate perspectives. Firstly, George Berkeley contends that visual experiences convey information about three-dimensional space only to the extent that they enable perceivers to anticipate the tactile consequences of the actions directed at surrounding objects. This line of thought however, has an axiomatic antecedent in Locke’s essay concerning human understanding Accordingly, Locke in the Essay maintained that the immediate objects of sight are flat or lack outward depth; that sight must be coordinated with touch in order to mediate judgments concerning the disposition of objects in three dimensional space; and that visible ideas “excite” in the mind movement-based ideas of distance through an associative process akin to that whereby words suggest their meanings (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015).
The implication of this theory is that, the physical previous learning experiences of the students with the business studies student teachers carry a particular impression about the student teacher to the level that they are even able to anticipate the physical consequences of their conduct before the student teacher in the classroom. This also implies that the immediate or cursory conception about the business studies student teacher by the students is merely phenomenal as they do not really make for the true and real comprehension of the nature, ability and personhood of the business studies student teachers. Again, it also means that, the students must not only physically observe the business studies student teachers but they must also critically analyze such observation in their mind’s eye if they must make an objective judgment of the disposition of the business studies student teachers. However, it may interest you to note that philosophers like; Cadillac, Reid, Smith, Mill, Bain and Dewey also lend their view that touch and sight are interrelated (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015).
Secondly, Berkeley argues that, the notion that action plays a significant role in the New theory is theological (having a prominent purpose). He further contended that sight does not only derive its three-dimensional spatial significance from bodily movement, its purpose entails enabling humans engage in such movement adaptively (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015). That is, the physical observation of the business studies student teachers does not only significantly influence their conduct, it could also make them adapt to such behaviour. If the students see the business studies student teachers as not being intellectually mature enough to guide and supervise them as they learn, they will lose confidence in the business studies student teachers which will in turn affect their behaviour towards the business student teachers. This trend may linger and eventually become the culture of the class.
Thirdly, Berkeley argued that the believe in which action is central to the New Theory is psychological, adding that tangible ideas of distance are elicited not only by; visual or “pictorial” depth cues such as object’s degree of blurriness, but also by kinesthetic, muscular sensation resulting changes in the vergence angle of eyes and accommodation of the lens. That is, the students’ inability to have a real perception or understanding of the business studies student teachers may be influenced by the unreasonable distant relationship between the student and the business studies student teachers. It is worthy of note that the Berkeleyan school of thought like other plethora of contemporary theories of spatial vision acknowledges a pertinent role for ocumulator factors in our perception of distance (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015).
Similarly, Lotze and Helmholtz as one of the key advocates of the early action-based theories haven concurred with the Berkeleyan theory re-affirmed the role played by the active movement and touch in the genesis of two-dimensional visuospatial awareness. In their Lotze, Helmholtz and the Local Sign Doctrine, Lotze and Helmoltz attempted to go beyond the thoughts of Berkeley to maintain that bodily movement also occupies a crucial part in the development of the two-dimensional visual field, which has mostly been downplayed by previous accounts of vision (Action-based Theories of Perception, 2015). Also, Helmholtz (2005), fully accepts the need for local signs in two-dimensional spatial localization, but makes an important modification to Lotze’s theory. Particularly, he maintained that Local Signs are not feelings that originate in the adjustment of the ocular musculature, but rather feelings of innervations produced by the effort of the will to move the eyes.
Conversely, the early action-based theories such as the; Movement and Touch-in-the-New theory of vision (Berkley, 1709) and the Lotze, Helmholtz, and the local sign doctrine of Lotze (1817-1881) and Helmholtz (1821-1894) encountered some problems and faced some criticisms respectively. The critics of the Berkeleyan (1709) theory such as; Bain (1868), Smith (2000) and Atherton (2005) predicated their claims on three points viz; that distance, of itself and immediately, cannot be seen, that sight depends on learned connections with experiences of movement and touch for its outward, spatial significance and that “habitual connexion” that is association would by itself enable touch to “educate” vision in the required manner. This means that, if the student must have a clear comprehension of the business studies teacher, there must be close interaction since knowledge of the perceived come with previous experiences of the character or personality of the perceived and hence assist in rightly sharpening the perception of the students towards the business studies student teacher. Also, when the students forms their perception towards the business studies student teacher from a distant, such perception is usually devoid of the real feelings and rumination on the character of the business studies student teacher, rather what they observe is their physical appearance which does not really aid objective perceptual formation of the perceived business studies student teacher. This was how Bain (1868:194) puts it in his argument; “in perceiving distance, we are not conscious of tactual feelings or locomotors reminiscences; what we see is a visible quality and nothing more”.
b) Sensorimotor Contingency Theories
The sensorimotor contingency theory focuses on the reafference theory of Richard Held and J.Kevin O’ Regan and Alva Noe’s enactive approach. The prominent notion of both theories is that perception and perceptually guided action of students should depend on their abilities to anticipate the sensory effects of bodily movements. In these theories it is contended that for the students to be a good perceiver of the business studies student teacher they must not be oblivious of the Laws of Sensorimotor contingency as postulated by O’Regan and Noe (2001:941). This has been recommended because it explicates the structure of the rules governing the sensory changes produced by various motor actions.
As one of the sensorimotor contingency theories, the afference and Visual Direction Constancy (VOC) theory has to do with how the students tends to perceive the attributive qualities of the business studies student teacher as remaining the same despite the conscious attempts of the student teacher to improve on his/her character traits. Bridgeman (2010:94) puts it this way; “perceiving a stable visual world establishes the platform on which all other visual functions rests, making possible judgments about the positions and motions of the self and of other objects”. This theory raises two pertinent questions (Mackay, 1973): (1) which sources of information are used to determine whether the observer’s relative position of an object has changed between fixation? (2) How are relevant sources of information by the visual system to achieve this function?
This theory was deployed in the 19th century to illuminate a variety of experimental findings by scholars like; Bell, Purkyne and Hering, Helmholtz and Mach. However, the most influential formulation of the theory came from Erich von Holst and Horst Mittelstadt in the early 1950s. According to what they tagged the “re-afference principle” (von Holst & Mittelstadt 1950; von Holst 1954), the visual system uses a copy of motor directives to the eye in order for the students to be able to distinguish between the visual stimulation caused by the transformations in the attributive qualities of the student teacher (exafferent) and those caused by transformations in the students physical observations (reafferent) of the business studies student teacher.
On the other hand, Bridgeman and Stark (1991), Bridgeman et al (1975), Deubel (2004). Brune and Licking (1969) and Bridgeman (1981) raised some objections to the efferent copy theory. The reference object theory of Deubel (2004) and Bridgeman (2010) denies that efference copy is used to “cancel out” displacement of the retinal image caused by saccadic eye-movements. On this approach, efference copy does not directly support VOC. Rather, the role of efference copy is to maintain an estimate of the direction of gaze, which can be integrated with incoming retinal stimulation to determine the static, observer-relative locations of perceived objects.
The reafference theory which goes beyond the accounts of von Holst and Mittelstadt in three ways was proposed by Richard Held in 1961. Firstly, he proposed that information about movement parameters specified by efference copy is not simply summated with reafference stimulation. Rather, in this case the students are assumed to acquire knowledge of the aftermath effect of their conduct as a result of perception of the business studies student teacher. This knowledge according to theory is contained in a hypothesized “correlational storage” area and used to determine whether or not the reafferent stimulations that result from a given type of action match those that resulted in the past (Held 1961:30). Secondly, the reafference theory is not limited to eye movements, but extends to “any motor system that can be a source of reafference visual stimulation”. Thirdly, the students’ knowledge of the way reafferent stimulation depends on self-produced movement of the students to control sensorimotor. That is, the action of the students in the present depends on the knowledge about the consequences of that same action pertaining to how they have perceived the business studies student teacher in the past.
Nevertheless, like other theories, the reafference theory faces a number of objections. First, the theory is simply an extension of von Holst and Mittelstadt’s reafference principle, according to which efference copy is used to cancel out shifts of the retinal image caused by saccadic eye movements. Second, the reafference theory fails to explain just how stored efference-reafference correlations are supposed to explain visuomotor control. Without elaboration, all that Held’s theory seems to explicate is why students become surprised when reafference generated by their classroom conducts are considered to be below the classroom standard as a result of their perception towards the business studies student teacher (Rock, 1966).
The enactive theory being an extension of the sensorimotor cogency theory was defended by J. Kevin O’Regan and Alva Noe (O’Regan & Noe 2001; Noe 2004, 2005, 2010; O’Regan 2011). According to this theory, spatially contentful, world-presenting perceptual experiences and feelings of the students towards the business studies students teacher depends on implicit knowledge of the way students’ stimulations vary as a function of their classroom conduct. That is, the way the students may perceive the business studies students teacher will depend on the potency and functionality of their senses.
In addition, the evidence of this theory could be sourced from three main empirical studies. The first could be sourced from experiments with optical rearrangement devices (ORDs). There Hurley and Noe (2003) maintained that adaptation to ORD only occurs when the students can relearn how systematically interdependent is their classroom conduct on their perception towards the business studies student teacher. Moreover, contrary to this theory of Stratton, Harris and Rock, Hurley and Noe argues that the reversal of the kind of student’s perception towards the business studies student teacher is dependent or genuinely hinged upon physical observation before they finally adapt to the situation. Although, Hurley and Noe did not contest the numerous sources of empirical and introspective evidence that Stratton, Harris and Rock adduced for this theory, they however rejected the theory on the basis of what they took to be an untoward epistemic implication concerning adaptation to left-right reversal (2003).
The second empirical evidence comes from the well-known experiments on tactile-visual sensory substitution (TVSS) devices that transform outputs from a low-resolution video camera into a matrix of vibrotactile stimulation on the skin of one’s back (Bach-y-Rita 1972, 2004) or electro-tactile stimulation on the surface of one’s tongue (Sampaio et al. 2001). The final source of evidence for this theory comes from the studies of the visuomotor development in the absence of normal, reafferent visual stimulation. Held & Hein (1963) performed an experiment in which pairs of Kittens were harnessed to a carousel in a small, cylindrical chamber. One of the Kittens was able to engage in free circumambulation while wearing a harness. The other kitten was suspended in the air in a metal gondola whose motions were driven by the first harnessed kitten.
Conversely, the enactive approach has been challenged on some grounds. The approach is essentially an elaboration of Held’s reafference theory and as such, faces many of the same empirical obstacles. Evidence, for instance, that active movement per se is not necessary for perceptual adoption to optical rearrangement is at the variance with predications made by the reafference theory and the enactive approach alike. Also, the theory is criticized because it is said to have been empirically falsified by evidence for the DSM (O’Regan & Noe 2001; Clark 2009): the bond it posits between what the students sees and how they conduct themselves is much too tight to comport with what neuroscience has to tell us about functional relations. But the enactivist can make two points as a rejoinder to this objection. First is that experimental findings indicate that there are a number of contexts in which information about the business studies student teacher present to the students consciousness is used to carry out their predetermined conduct in the class (Briscoe 2009). Action and perception are not as sharply dissociated as proponents of DSM sometimes argue. Second, the enactive approach rejects the idea that the function of vision is to guide actions.
c) Motor Component and Efferent Readiness Theories
Here, the theorists states otherwise as regards to the claim that perception is action or action-based is far from unambiguous. They contended that when the students develop any kind of perception towards the business studies student teacher it implicates their classroom conduct in the sense that it is taken constitutively to involves within feelings (touch) (Barkeley, 1709), Kinaesthetic feedback from changes in eye position (Lotze, 1887), consciously experienced effort of the will (Helmholtz, 2005), or knowledge of the way reafferent sensory stimulation varies as a function of movement (Held, 1961; O’Regan & Noe 2001; Hurley & Noe 2003).
According to the motor component theory, efference copies generated in the occulator system and/or proprioceptive feedback from eye-movements are used in tandem with incoming sensory inputs to determine the characteristics of the perceived business studies student teachers by the students (Helmholtz, 2005; Mck 1979; Ebenholtz, 2002). By contrast, the efference readiness theories appeal to the particular ways in the students’ perceptual states prepares the students’ conduct themselves in response to the environmental condition of the classroom created by the business studies student teacher. Further, the efferent readiness theories have two components: the modest readiness theory and the bold readiness theory. The former claims that, the way students perceives the business studies students teacher is influenced by the way their spatial attributes are represented during their physical observation is sometimes modulated by one or another form of convert action planning (Festinger, et al. 1967; Coren, 1986; Vishton, et al. 2007). While the latter argues for the stranger, constitutive claim that the students has a multiple simultaneous readiness to conduct themselves in the classroom in response to the kind of perception they have formed about the business studies student teacher, confirming that such action and will power are similar (Taylor, 1968).
Taylor’s behavioural theory of perception indentifies the conscious experiences of the students having to physically observe the physical qualities of the business studies student teacher with the passive activation of a specific set of learned conducts (Taylor, 1965). However, the cogent problem with Taylor‘s theory is also one that besets behaviourists theories of perception generally. It assumes that for every business studies student teacher they will exhibit a particular distinctive behaviour that constitutes the kind of perception the student will form about them. Matthon (1988) aptly puts it thus: “there is no such thing as the proper response, or even a range of functionally appropriate responses, to what perception tell us (p.20).
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- Nyeche Ohaka (Author), 2017, Student's Perception of Business Studies Trainee Teachers and Classroom Conduct, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/378807