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SURVEY OF PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SHORTHAND AND TYPEWRITING
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
We know that most of the knowledge and skills we posses were not inherited. They haven been learned in some ways through our lives. Thus, learning amounts to a process through which our behavioral processes are modified over time. For instance, many of the things we do such as using our right hands to write or eat are learned, yet they seem “natural” (Ogan, 1987). Undoubtedly, each instance of learning involves some form of modifications. Generally speaking, some learned changes may appear to be inappropriate or restrictive as in the case of the acquisition of some of repetitive forms of behaviors and handwriting. (Howe, 1977). According to Howe, individuals differs enormously in their ability to learn.
In fact, differences between individuals in the skills and capacities they possess are often so striking and apparently fundamental in nature that it is easy to forget that most elements of such capacities actually have to be acquired through learning, there being no real short cuts. Although systematic differences between people in a range of learned abilities are easy to demonstrate, the investigation of individuals differences in learning is beset with serious difficulties.
A major problem is that only rarely is it possible to equate differences in the observed in the observed capacities with any simple learning process. A variety of additional factors contribute to measured performances in most learning situations. For instance, motivational influences intentional variables, listening and reading ability, perseverance, fatigue and perhaps most importantly, previous learning may each contribute to determining level of performance on tasks ostensibly designed to assess ability to learn. In very general terms learning could be considered as any change in behavior, that occurs as a result of past experience
There are divers problems related to learning specific operating skills. Shorthand and typewriting in particular have their peculiar problems, which may be divers in nature. Besides a lot of theories are associated with learning in all subject hence, every course is structured or has several concepts that make it different from other courses (Brunner 1960, Scandura 1977). There also the truth that in learning problems arises from many angles and from a number of interacting conditions, be it general or in specific courses.
According to (Pigott, 1984) equipment is a large area of concern. He emphasized that sufficient equipment required to assess the level of both practical and theoretical skill of shorthand and typewriting students are in short supply. He concluded by saying that this inadequacy in equipment couples with they different situations which arose when students failed to remember what they had just done, students tensions apprehensions, fears, different interest level, potentials contribute to improper skill in the courses under review.
In a related opinion, (Amaefule, 1986) skill on insufficient reported that shorthand and typewriting skills can be properly acquired only when there is adequate number of equipment and facilities for the trainer secretary.
Also, (Orupabe 1987) pointed out that the general view held by shorthand teachers is that the type of English that would most aid the students is not consistently taught them. Teachers insist that less than adequate emphasis is laid on areas that are of real relevance to the students secretary. In addition, that more time should be devoted to repetitive work on these areas that there should be attempt to make the students over learn the rules wit suitable examples until they can write them correctly unconsciously. In order to achieve this, there is need for both shorthand and English language teachers to confer regularly so that problems encountered in one department can be examined in another. Continuing, he explained that some systems or shorthand are more angular than others, Pitman and Sloan, whilst others, Gregg consists more loops and arcs. The only effective means to these systematic problems he said lies in a very rich background in English.
In a pulls in his own study in (1973) identified that the ability to think logically and put down correct outlines on paper represents about 85 percent of the ability to transcribe.
It is based on the afore mentioned factors that inhibit the teaching and learning of shorthand and typewriting in higher institutions that the following suggestion is made. Proprietors of the various institutions of learning who undertake the teaching of these core courses should undertake regular tour of these institutions.
This will help to appraise the deficiencies in equipment most importantly and other factors so as to be in a better position to appreciate the need for relevant equipment and supplies in sufficient quantity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
In most polytechnics in Nigeria, shorthand and typewriting pose a lot of problems to students. The reasons for this has not been known in sectional and terminal examinations, those students do not do well in those courses.
Many of the students have opted to abandon secretarial and other associated courses just because of problem they entertain in typewriting and shorthand.
Presently, is has not been known whether most higher institutions have a set standard entry qualification for admitting students to the study of shorthand and typewriting? To be able to cope with the numerous rules and principles guiding these subjects, students must not only be knowledgeable about the process, but also must possess some pre-requisite knowledge and skill.
Closely related question is if English language is one of the factors affecting learning of these core courses? In the word of Orupabo (1987) the only effective attitude to the systematic problems associated with shorthand is a very rich background in English language.
What else would one say about the facilities? Amaefule (1986) reporting on lack of learning materials said, typewriting and shorthand can only be properly acquired by the trainee secretary when the right quality equipment and supplies for achieving these skills are available in sufficient quantities.
Therefore, higher institutions offering shorthand and typewriting but lack learning materials such as typewriters, tables and chairs do not properly train the students.
The concern about what competencies teachers should possess yet pose another problem. According to Olson (1953) competencies clearly demonstrates that teachers do control the performances of their students. It can be seen that unplanned actions of teachers influences occurrences within and outside the classroom.
Above all, it has also not been known if students have interest in those course. In view of these short coming in the teaching and learning of shorthand and typewriting, this study investigated the problems associated with the teaching and learning of shorthand and typewriting at both the IMT and OSISATECH polytechnics Enugu.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to find out the problems associated with the teaching and learning of the typewriting and shorthand at both the IMT and OSISATECH polytechnic Enugu
Specifically, the study attempted to determine the following
1. Find out if teachers of typewriting and shorthand are qualified to teach those courses
2. Find out if students are interested in learning typewriting and shorthand
3. If there are enough in structural facilities in teaching those course.
4. Determine if there are enough credits hours for the courses
5. Make recommendations on how to improve teaching and learning of typewriting and shorthand in those polytechnics.
1.4 RESESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the studies.
1. To what extent are the teachers of typewriting and shorthand in polytechnics qualified to teach those courses.
2. How fare are the students interested in learning those courses.
3. What in structural facilities are available in the polytechnics for teaching typewriting and shorthand
4. How far are there enough teaching period for those course
5. What recommendations are necessary to improve the teaching of typewriting and shorthand in polytechnics
1.5 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study concentrated only on finding out the problems associated with the teaching and learning of shorthand and typewriting in both IMT and OSISATECH polytechnics Enugu
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The engagement of unqualified persons as secretaries result in secretaries mainly doing typewriting jobs rather than taking shorthand notes and producing correspondence from such notes. From the researcher’s experience under the students industrial working scheme (SIWES) quite a good number of typist are working as typist owing to their poor performance in their shorthand examinations to qualify them as secretaries. While some complained of their bitter experience in shorthand and typewriting examinations after unsuccessful trials, others complained of the difficulty of the subjects. But the most embarrassing situation is the exodus of persons from shorthand after some attempts.
To this end, the researcher hope that through this research, a sense of awareness will be made manifested to students studying shorthand and typewriting or those intending to study shorthand and typewriting. This research work is equally intended to serve as a guide to the study of shorthand and typewriting to both teachers and students in Nigeria.
1.7 ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
The following assumption were made to guide the study
1. If the teachers of shorthand and typewriting in IMT and OSISATECH Enugu are qualified and competent enough to teach shorthand, student will do well in shorthand and typewriting
2. If the students are interested in the course they are likely to do well in the course
3. If instructional equipment are adequate, teaching and learning of shorthand and typewriting are easily facilitated
4. If the administration of those institutions motivate the teachers of typewriting and shorthand, adequate they will increase their productivity
1.8 DEFINITION OF SALIENT TERMS.
SHORTHAND: Rapid method of writing by which normal writing is substituted by characters, abbreviations, or symbols for letters, words, or phrases.
TYPEWRITING: Are of using a machine to write
LEARNING: A process through which ones behavioral process are modified over time
PRINCIPLES: A selected rule of action.
CONCEPT: The general notion, process whereby objects are classified as a result of properties which they share in common
ABILITY: That which the organism is able to do, potential force in an organism to perform
TASK: The tracing of things to their sources and so discovering the general principles underlying individuals phenomena
HABIT: A behavioral pattern acquired by frequent repetition or developed as a physiological function and shows itself in regularity
MOTIVATION: That which must be present for efficient and effective learning to take place
TECHBNIQUE: Whereby the learner says each letter in every word aloud or silently as he strikes it.
PEPERTOIRE: A stock of pieces that a person is prepared to perform
CONSTANT PRACTICE: A little study everyday and not working all the hours of the day.
ADMONITION: Give a mild warning a gentle reproof.
I.E.P.: Individualized Educational programme.
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