Enhancing Gender Equity and Lifelong Skills Acquisition of Pre-service Teachers through Cooperative Group Research Project

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G. O. Esiobu

Abstract

The world is becoming increasingly global, hence Higher Education (including Teacher Education) is being called upon to find ways and means of responding to the new changes and challenges in the workplace of the millennium. For Teacher Education, this, of course, has the potentials to increase quality. Specifically, the growing concern over globalization, among other things, has made the acquisition of lifelong skills imperative for all categories of undergraduate students, Furthermore, gender discrimination remains a major challenge to girls in science and science-related fields. Evidence abound in the literature that cooperative learning enables students achieve better perceptions of others, thereby, addressing the problem of gender biases and discrimination as well as acquiring lifelong


skills. This paper reports on an intervention study undertaken in a higher institution in Nigeria, not just to enhance undergraduate experience of pre-service teachers through the innovative group research works but to improve pre-service teachers ' professional competence, confidence and readiness to adapt to the changing society and the workplace. Findings show that the intervention strategy was very effective in encouraging pre-service teachers acquire life-long skills irrespective of gender. Other findings and their implications for Teacher Education and curriculum development are discussed.

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