Integration of play in instructional and learning activities in Early Childhood Centres in Nyandarua County Kenya.
Ndugo, Elizabeth Wangari
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Integration of play in pre-school learning is paramount. Research shows that play contributes to and enhances all areas of development in young children. The purpose of this study was to establish whether pre-school teachers integrate play in instructional and learning activities in early childhood centers of Nyandarua-North sub-county in Nyandarua County. The current study was guided by four relevant objectives. To: Investigate the extent to which pre-school teachers integrated play activities during instruction. Establish the pre-school teachers' attitude towards integration of play for instructional purposes. Establish the level of professional training of pre-school teachers. Determine factors that influence integration of play in ECD curricula activities. This study was based on cognitive theory of Jean Piaget. The study adopted survey design and the data was collected using questionnaires for teachers and observation schedule for the children while learning. The researcher used simple random sampling technique. The list or sampled schools from the study population was developed to ease the data collection procedure. Out of the 150 pre-schools in Nyandarua-North Sub-count) and 3629 children, a sample of 45 pre-schools was randomly selected for this study. A questionnaire was the main data collection tool. Validity was determined by scrutinizing the consistency of the content in all items and also by piloting in two pre-schools. Reliability of the instruments was determined by use of test-retest method and a coefficient of 0.7 was deemed adequate for the study. The researcher observed logistical and ethical considerations where she allowed the participants were to participate voluntarily and observed confidentiality. The study found that children were engaged in a variety of play activities to enhance mathematical skills. Outdoor materials were reported to be inadequate. During outdoor activities, children were also given opportunities to play games such as hide and seek. The findings shows that pre-school teachers did not integrated play activities as expected during their lesson development. Play materials were inadequate and it was found that most pre-schools had programs that did not allow for enough time for play. Materials influenced integration of play in instruction. Some children were found to be older than their pears. This also influenced play activities in instructions. Pre-school administration was also mentioned as influencing integration of play activities in instruction.