Effects of 5-8 Year Old Children’s Aggression on their Educational Progress in Mwingi Central District, Kitui County Kenya
Walumoli, Alex Lusweti
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the educational effects of children’s aggression. Aggressive behaviours include the behaviours that are directed in harming others and is found to be a nuisance to many people and causes poor educational adjustment in children. The study was guided by the social cognitive learning theory by Albert Bandura which says that children learn behaviour through observation, modelling and imitation. Children who are exposed to aggressive experiences are at risk of becoming aggressive. The objectives of the study were to: determine the factors that contribute to aggression among children in Mwingi Central district; determine the effect of children’s aggression on their educational progress; assess the effort of teachers and other children institutions in helping children with aggressive behaviours and find out the teacher’s challenges in handling children with aggressive behaviours. The study adopted descriptive survey design among children aged 5-8 years. The study took place in Mwingi Central District in Kitui County. Through stratified sampling, the researcher picked 10 pre-schools (5 private and 5 public) out of 104 total schools in Mwingi Central District. In each school simple random sampling was used to pick children from nursery to class three. Thereafter with the help of the class teachers, two most aggressive children identified for observation. All the teachers in preschool and lower primary (4 teachers per school = 40 in total) were issued with questionnaires while 40 parents of the aggressive children were randomly selected for interviews. The DICECE (District Centre for Early Childhood Education) officer and the district special education officer were purposively picked and issued with questionnaires. Checklists were used to collect information on children’s behaviour. In order to understand children’s academic performance, children’s progress records were scrutinized. The instruments validity was ensured through review by the early childhood experts and the reliability was ensured through test retest method with a consistency of 0.80was established. Permission from NACOSTI was sought before data collection. Data collection took 32 days; 3 days per school where observations were conducted first followed by interviews then analysis of the children’s academic progress records and finally administration of the questionnaires. Data collected was organised and presented on tables. Content analysis (designation analysis) was used to analyse qualitative data. Quantitative data was analysed through descriptive statistics and linear regression. The study established that aggression in children is contributed by many factors; there is significant relationship between aggressive behaviours and academic performance. However it was revealed that children with aggressive behaviours have low class participation and task completion. They fail to attend schools but rarely drop out of school. The study further established that teachers are not well prepared to handle the children with aggressive behaviours and the DICECE and special education office do not have sufficient funds to organise seminars and workshops for teachers. The study concluded that children with aggressive behaviours face challenges in their academic progress. Therefore there is need for increased funding and research to help these children. Further studies especially longitudinal ones are necessary to understand these children and design strategies of helping them. The government should increase the funding in early childhood programmes like training and research. The programme that is highly recommended in this study is child counselling programme and it should involve teachers, parents and the community.
- OGR-School of Education