Levels of teacher self-efficacy and use of music activities in pre-schools in Nairobi and Kiambu counties, Kenya
Kihoro, Muya Francis
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Despite the fact that pre-school teachers undertake specialized courses to enable them to use music activities in the course of teaching, there is a lot of variability in the frequency, variety and purposes to which these activities are employed. The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of teacher self efficacy and use of music activities in pre-schools in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties. The study is grounded on the self efficacy theory by Bandura and complemented by the theory of multiple intelligences by Gardner. The self efficacy theory focuses on teacher self beliefs which are important in shaping classroom behavior, while the theory of multiple intelligences proposes several distinct types of intelligences which include musical intelligence. The study adopted a sequential mixed methods design for data collection. It endeavored to examine the levels of TSE among pre-school teachers and compare the frequency, variety and reasons for use music activities in pre-schools in Nairobi and Kiambu counties across the levels. The target population was 8211 pre-school teachers in Nairobi and Kiambu counties. The sampling frame was the 2740 pre-schools in Nairobi and Kiambu counties which were clustered into sub counties, and stratified random sampling was used to get ten sub counties. From each sub county, twenty pre-schools were randomly sampled with proportionate allocation from both public and private pre-schools. From each pre-school, one teacher was randomly sampled for inclusion in the study. One hundred and ninety-four pre-school teachers filled a modified Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale questionnaire which had been piloted on three pre-school teachers not used in the study. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and then ranked. Two groups of respondents were identified based on the ranking: the top 25% and the bottom 25% deemed as those with high TSE and those with low TSE respectively. Purposive sampling was used to get thirteen teachers for each of the two groups, who were observed and audio recorded while teaching and later interviewed. The findings indicate that pre-school teachers in Nairobi and Kiambu counties have high self-efficacy levels and all employ music activities in varying degrees in their classrooms. Using Students’t - tests, the study determined that the difference in the frequency of use of music activities between pre-school teachers with different levels of TSE was statistically significant while the difference in the variety of music activities was not statistically significant at 0.05 significance level. The study unearthed creative and innovative ways of using music activities in class which were reported qualitatively. There was a lot of similarity in the way teachers with different levels of TSE used music activities. The reasons for use of music activities were also similar for teachers across both categories of TSE. The study recommended more use of music activities in the course of teaching. It is envisaged that the findings from this study will prove useful in adding variety to the uses of music activities in pre-schools and may provide additional strategies for instruction at this and other levels of learning. The findings may inform policy at National Centre for Early Childhood Education in order to increase the levels of Teacher Self-Efficacy for the granduands.