Use of instructional materials in facilitating classroom interaction in pre-primary education centres in Juja zone, Kiambu County, Kenya
Gachoki, Lucy S. Warui
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Pre-primary education is globally recognized as important in laying the foundation for a child's further education and character formation. As the most significant resource in schools, pre-primary school teachers are critical to ensure that learning takes place at the pre-primary education centres. The competent use of instructional materials in pre-primary education is expected to enhance classroom interaction which results in effective learning and positive outcome in education. However, with the mushrooming of preprimary education centres across the country, lack of proper supervision and regulation of pre-primary education, there are concerns as to whether there is proper use of instructional materials in classroom interaction in Juja zone, Kiambu County, Kenya. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of instructional materials in facilitating classroom interactions in pre-primary education Centres in Juja zone, Kiambu County, Kenya. Lev Vygotsky theory of social constructivist historical theory was used to guide this study. The study used qualitative and quantitative research approach to achieve the set objectives. The dependent variable was classroom interactions while the independent variables were; types of instructional materials, criteria used in selection of instructional materials for pre-primary education, condition of school environment, and challenges faced in use of instructional materials. The target population was all the pre-primary school teachers,· children and administrators of the pre-primary centres within Juja zone. The sample size consisted of 8 administrators and 24 pre-primary school teachers. An interview schedule for administrators, questionnaires for pre-primary teachers and observation protocol were used to collect data. The information was broken into phrases or sentences, which reflect a single, specific thought which created various themes. The collected data was analyzed qualitatively based on the study objectives. The findings of the study were presented using percentages and tables. The findings of the study revealed that 4 (50%) of the centres did not have adequate instructional materials in relation to the number of children in the centres. Further results also showed that 4 (50%) of the centres did not have adequate outdoor environment and fixed equipment. Challenges encountered in the use of instructional materials, includes limited number and variety of materials, lack of funds to buy and maintain appropriate materials, wear and tear of the materials and lack of support from the various stakeholders. The results revealed that the challenges affected the process of 'classroom interaction by time wastage, limiting children interaction period with materials leading to poor learning outcomes compared to the standardized curriculum levels.