Utilization of improvised materials in teaching of mathematics in preschools in Mwihoko zone, Ruiru Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya
Wanjiru, Pauline W.
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The use of improvised teaching and learning materials is very important in the study of mathematics. This therefore makes it paramount to seek for a strategy for teaching mathematics that aims at improving its understanding and performance by students. Use of improvised materials in teaching of mathematics in schools is something researchers are keen to understand. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' use of improvised teaching learning materials in teaching of mathematics in pre-schools in Ruiru Sub County, Kiambu County. The study also investigated the factors influencing the use of improvised materials in teaching of mathematics. The study was based on Vygotsky's (1978) Theory of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Vygotsky's constructivist theory is renowned for its contribution to the development of modern learning theories in education especially through his concept that defines the ZPD as the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. The study reviewed literature related to use of improvised teaching and learning materials in instruction of mathematics, relationship between use of improvised materials and teachers' perception; relationship between type of school and use of improvised materials and the relationship between improvised teachings-learning materials and teachers' gender. This research adopted a descriptive survey design to investigate teachers' perception and use of improvised materials in teaching of mathematics in preschools. The population for study was preschool teachers in Ruiru Sub-County. Simple random sampling and a sample size of 60 respondents was used to select preschools teachers in Ruiru Sub County, Kiambu County. The research instruments used in this study were questionnaires and observation schedule. Before the actual data collection, the questionnaires were piloted with three preschool teachers from three preschools. The study used validated instrument to adequately address the objectives of the study and employ split half method to test the reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data were analyzed with the help of the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). First, data collected using the questionnaires were coded, assigned labels according to variables categories and entered into the computer. Qualitative data were organized into thematic areas for easier interpretation, common items were obtained in data collected and clustered according to research objectives so as to identify variables that depict general concepts of the study.