Ethical issues are capable of guiding our activities here on earth. The ten commandments of God as laid out in the holy book- the bible- are quite ethical. Earthly professions draw their inspirations from God’s commandments. The teaching profession is no exception.
Teachers in all fields of human endeavour, educational managers and administrators and those who play supervisory roles such as ministry officials need to take a good advantage of the issues raised in the book to enhance a positive impact in the life of the children God has placed under our care. Three papers were presented in the workshop that was held on 21st of February 2014. However, this book has five parts made up of the three papers presented. The fourth is a paper presented in the previous workshop while the fifth is a paper commissioned to further enlighten the teachers. These five articles, the chairman’s address and the welcome address of the representative of the Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Baptist School formed the seven parts of the book. The book begins by presenting an opening address where in the participants were introduced by the chairman of the school management board who also declared the workshop open. The welcome address by the representative of the Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Baptist School formed part two of the book. The vision of the board and the lectures of the Guest Lecturers were commended.
Teaching as a profession was pointed out and the essence of the workshop was clearly stated. Ethical issues in the teaching profession formed part three of this book.
The code of conduct as stipulated by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) before the professionalization of the teaching profession and those spelt out after the professionalization by the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria were the areas of focus. They have to do with the principles guiding teachers commitment to students, parents, community, employer and professional bodies. Furthermore, the paper discussed elaborately the major acts of misconduct for teachers under the education law in Nigeria. The penalties for such acts were also comprehensively spelt out. There was a highlight on all relevant laws associated with teacher’s performance.
Various aspects of relationships that form the foundation for teacher’s code of conduct as built by the Teachers’ Registration council of Nigeria were highlighted. Teachers relationship with colleagues, learners, parents, guardians employers society as well as teachers roles as administrative/academic leader were discussed.
The paper justified the need for the establishment of ethical standards.
The fact that the main goal of education which is to ensure an all round development of children may be a mirage without the effective contribution of teachers formed part four of the book. Since the classroom is one of the main avenues for teacher student interactions, it becomes necessary that activities in the classroom be properly managed to achieve effectiveness in the education sector. Key factors that affect classroom management were elaborately discussed. They include but not limited to: teacher’s authority, teacher’s efficiency, teaching methods, classroom arrangement and discipline. There was also a focus on leadership styles that may enhance classroom management effectiveness. The use of the democratic type of leadership was advocated for the classroom even though other types may be employed, depending on the environment, characteristics of pupils and circumstances amongst others. The paper argued that the learner centred method of teaching should be preferred by all modern day educators because of its benefits.
Part five dealt predominately with the importance of motivation in the achievement of educational goals. It is a force that naturally brings about goal oriented reactions. Emphasis was on the two basic types of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Four major assumptions about motivation were also discussed. Furthermore some major theories of motivation were highlighted. They are: Need theory, drive theory, and incentive theory. The section made an elaborate attempt to itemize valuable strategies that teachers may use to motivate learners. Some of these techniques include the right lesson presentation, active participation of students in teaching/learning activities, proper use of positive and negative reinforcement, creating conducive atmosphere in the classroom, effective classroom management, right appropriation of classroom discipline, and prompt assessment of students’ assignments.
Some useful suggestions toward fostering proper motivation were listed. They include active participation of students in planning and execution of learning activities, provision of variety and interesting classroom activities as well as teaching aids and choosing curriculum contents that are relevant and capable of meeting students’ needs.
Before the goals of education in any institution can be achieved, the health and safety of pupils, students and staff members should be well handled. Part six identified and described hazardous and dangerous things that may jeopardize the health and safety of all persons in the school community. They are the nature of school buildings, play ground, chairs, fence, chemicals in the laboratory, trees in the school premises, broom sticks, open well, poorly covered crss-pit etc.
The paper further discussed in details four major reasons why health and safety management system should be adequately put in place in schools. There are economic, moral, legal and ethical reasons for managing safety, health and welfare in schools. A systematic approach to health and safety in schools was advocated. In doing this, the infrastructure of the school should ensure emergency preparedness. All barriers to communication during emergency have to be adequately taken care of. The caliber of staff in the school should be security compliant – no criminal or questionable character should be employed; also students and staff must be exposed to quick response to emergency. This calls for the right exposures to necessary information on procedures to be taken to ensure health and safety even in emergency situations. Strategies for promoting health and safety were carefully analysed.
In conclusion, there was a clarion call for effective monitoring and evaluation of all approaches to ensure health and safety in schools. Such periodic evaluation will help to assess the effectiveness of all the safety measures already in use.
Part seven focused on the importance of libraries as veritable tools for an all round educational development all over the world. The quality of a school library may be a yard stick to determine the quality of the pupils and students that a school produces. The library is a source of provision of resources and services for all persons connected with the school system. Libraries collect, stock, process, organize, disseminate and distribute information/knowledge. The paper extensively discussed the: concept of school library, purposes of the library, the library as a mentor and the contents of a school library. A library is an information centre and a tool for information, communication and technology (ICT) and national development.
There are different kinds of libraries but they are all established to serve as sources of information and knowledge for diverse groups of people. The main aim of the library is to classify, acquire, organize and distribute relevant information to the set of people it is established for. The school library ideally should offer learning services and provide books and non book resources that enhance all members of the group/community to acquire information for educational development. Specifically, the school library plays supportive and subsidiary service to all stakeholders in the school system hence; it is now regarded as an academic mentor.
This is because just like mentors, the library provides knowledge, advice and support to all its users. The paper concluded that the philosophy that established the library and its services have their foundation on the mentor/mentee structure. Since the library serves as a source of document provider, it is logical to conclude that the library plays exactly the roles of mentors.
The paper recommended that before the school library can effectively perform its roles as academic mentor, school administration must make sure that all primary and secondary schools have functional libraries. Librarians and library assistants should also be trained to mann these libraries. Furthermore, teachers should be acquitted with the use of the library