News Update on Secondary Schools : May 21

[1] The Problem of Underqualified Teachers in American Secondary Schools

This article presents the results of a research project on the phenomenon of out-of-field teaching in American high schools–teachers teaching subjects for which they have little education or training. Over the past couple of years, the problem of out-of-field teaching has become a prominent topic in the realm of educational policy and reform, and the results of this research have been widely reported and commented on both by education policymakers and the national media. But unfortunately, out-of-field teaching is a problem that remains largely misunderstood. My research utilizes nationally representative data from the Schools and Staffing Survey, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The purpose of this article is to summarize what my research has revealed about out-of-field teaching: how much of it goes on; to what extent it varies across different subjects, across different kinds of schools, and across different kinds of classrooms; and finally, the reasons for its prevalence in American schools. The data show that even using a minimal standard for qualified teachers — those holding a college minor in the fields in which they teach —the numbers of out-of-field teachers are striking. For example, a third of all secondary school teachers of mathematics have neither a major nor a minor in mathematics. My analyses have also shown that out-of-field teaching greatly varies across schools, teachers, and classrooms. The crucial question, however, and the source of great misunderstanding is why so many teachers are teaching subjects for which they have little background. 1 examine three widely believed explanations of out-of-field teaching — that out-of-field teaching is a result of either inadequate training on the part of teachers, inflexible teacher unions, or shortages of qualified teachers. My analysis shows that each of these views is seriously flawed. The article closes by offering an alternative explanation for out-of-field teaching—one focused on the organizational structure of schools and the occupational conditions and characteristics of teaching.

[2] Secondary schools included: a literature review

For over a decade, inclusive discourse comprises the development of a school for all, both in primary and in secondary education. Facing long-standing barriers for effective comprehensive education, secondary schools show specific interests, strengths and needs in a school-wide movement towards inclusion. Reviewing literature of recent research in inclusion in secondary schools (2000–2012), current interests represent inclusive culture, policy and practices, although the balance between each of these dimensions is unequal. A large number of studies report on attitudes towards inclusion, followed by inclusive practice. A lower number of studies deal with policy issues. Staff attitudes towards inclusion, access to the general curriculum, peer support, self-determination strategies and collaborative practices in specific subject areas were identified as major topics of investigation. Considerable attention has also been paid to peer attitudes, self-advocacy and student grouping. While the adolescent perspective is emphasised, little room is left for parental involvement. Also, the central role of administrators and professional development of staff has been underexposed in current research on secondary inclusion.

[3] Modelling and supporting ICT implementation in secondary schools

In many countries the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been stimulated. To explore the implementation process and its support within secondary schools, research was conducted on modelling aspects of ICT implementation in Dutch secondary school practice. Case studies were carried out in 10 secondary schools by interviewing the school board, school leader, ICT co-ordinator, some teachers, pupils who liked ICT, pupils who did not like ICT, and some parents. In addition, relevant school documents were studied and lesson practice was observed. The information was subjected to a qualitative analysis from multilevel and school development points of view. The empirical results suggest five successive phases of ICT implementation within schools, which constitute five models representing the gradual ICT transformation of educational and learning processes. The fifth model, however, was designed theoretically as this phase had not yet been realised in educational practice. Finally, educational and policy support actions to the ICT transformation process in school are presented in a structured way. The results are worthwhile for school practice and national policies, but they also need further underpinning and validation through research in other schools.

[4] Self Esteem among Adolescents in Nigerian Secondary Schools: A Neglected Issue

Background: Self esteem among adolescents is a neglected issue in pediatrics, especially in this part of the world. Females ages fourteen to seventeen seemed to have positive self-esteem and so do the males but self esteem is low at middle ages. Females tend to have a low self esteem than males
Objectives: The objective of this study is to determine the pattern of self esteem among adolescents and associated factors.
Methods: The study was carried out among adolescents attending secondary schools from two cities; (Enugu and Abakiliki located in south eastern part of Nigeria) within age range of 10-19 yr. A structured self administered questionnaire developed from self esteem scores was used for data collection.
Pearson’s chi-square was used to test for relationship between categorical variables while student t- test was used to test significant relationship between continuous variables. Test of significance was set at p<0.5.
Results: The self esteem questionnaire used was classified into two major questions with several sub questions. The first group is about self confidence, self fulfillment and self worth and confidence, the second group include depression, hopelessness, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. We enrolled 507 adolescents in this study. The mean age of all participants was 16.3 (1.2) yr. Total mean self esteem score for all respondents is 15.77±2.769. Low self esteem was observed in 3.6% of the respondents with 4.3% of females and 2.5% of Males. Low self esteem is mostly seen in older adolescents aged 18-19 (44%) and rare among (adolescents less than 11 yr (0%). Low self esteem was more common among the female respondents in all the age ranges.
Conclusion: Self esteem is high among adolescents, though this is may be overemphasized as more research is needed in this area.

[5] Mental Health of Teachers: Teachers’ Stress, Anxiety and Depression among Secondary Schools in Nigeria

Aim: This study explored the prevalence of teachers stress (TS), depression (D) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) among selected secondary school teachers in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Method: In this descriptive cross sectional study, 471 primary school teachers were selected by a multistage sampling technique. Demographic information was obtained; the Teacher Stress Inventory was used to determine prevalence of teachers’ stress and MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview to determine prevalence of depression and GAD. All analyses were performed with the SPSS, 17.0.

Results: The prevalence of teachers stress was 72.2%, depression, 29.3% and GAD, 29.5%.  Multivariate analyses show that female gender, OR  0.51, 95% CI (0.34-0.77), P = 0.002 was a protective factors against teachers’ stress; being a private school teacher OR = 0.06, 95% CI (0.01- 0.47), and being older than 29 years of age OR = 0.10, 95% CI (0.05-0.22), P = 0.007 were protective factors against depression; being married OR = 0.28, 95% CI (0.09-0.89), p = 0.03 and being older than 29 years of age OR = 0.23, 95% CI (0.11-0.45), P < 0.001 were protective factors against GAD.

Conclusion: Our results are suggestive of incorporating the teachers’ mental health program into the school health program.



[1] Ingersoll, R.M., 1999. The problem of underqualified teachers in American secondary schools. Educational researcher28(2), pp.26-37.

[2] De Vroey, A., Struyf, E. and Petry, K., 2016. Secondary schools included: a literature review. International Journal of Inclusive Education20(2), pp.109-135.

[3] Mooij, T. and Smeets, E., 2001. Modelling and supporting ICT implementation in secondary schools. Computers & Education36(3), pp.265-281.

[4] Chinawa, J.M., Obu, H.A., Manyike, P.C., Obi, I.E., Isreal, O.O. and Chinawa, A.T., 2015. Self esteem among adolescents in Nigerian secondary schools: a neglected issue. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, pp.98-106.

[5] Asa, F.T. and Lasebikan, V.O., 2016. Mental health of teachers: teachers’ stress, anxiety and depression among secondary schools in Nigeria. International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, pp.1-10.


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