Pre-school teachers' knowledge and attitude towards use of visual media in instruction in Kibwezi district, kenya
Mwololo, Nzika Josephat
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Pre-school is the beginning of formal education in Kenya. Evidence abounds that children who get quality pre-school education have a head start in life. Quality education for pre-school children requires interaction among the teacher, the child and instructional media. To make this interaction possible in pre-schools, the Kenya Institute of Education provides handbook for Early Childhood Development and Education with suggestions of the recommended visual and other media for pre-school teachers' use in instruction Different researchers agree that the use of appropriate and relevant instructional media in teaching promotes learning and improves retention. Researchers report that the sense of sight alone accounts for 83% of what a child learns and retains while other senses combined contribute 17%.-This means that teachers' use of visual media claims priority in the teaching and learning process. Despite many studies carried out on instructional visual media use in primary schools, secondary schools, and in teacher training colleges, not much is known on what happens in pre-schools. Onadiran (1981) did a study of school library resources in selected secondary schools in Nigeria. Wambua (1988) did a survey of resources for teaching and learning environmental education in Primary Teachers' Colleges in Kenya. Aila (2005) did a study on factors influencing the use of visual aids in pre-schools but did not include knowledge and attitude towards instructional visual use as part of those factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate pre-school teachers' knowledge and attitude towards use of visual media in instruction. Both Piaget's and Bruner's Theories of Cognitive Development were used to guide the study. Descriptive research design and survey technique were found suitable and used. The dependent variable was pre-school teachers' reported use of visual media in instruction while the independent variables was pre-school teachers' training, knowledge, and attitude towards use of instructional visual media. The study was carried out in Kibwezi District, Eastern Province, Kenya. All practising preschool teachers in Kibwezi District formed the study target population. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample. Questionnaire was the instrument used to collect data. Descriptive statistics showed means, standard deviations and percentages while the inferential statistics, t-test for independent samples, and Product Moment Correlation Coefficient were calculated. Null hypotheses were tested at alpha value 0.05. It was found that trained pre-school teachers used instructional visual media more than the untrained pre-school teachers. There was no significant difference between trained and untrained teachers' knowledge and attitude. The relationship between pre-school teachers' knowledge and use of instructional visual media was not significant, but the relationship thus between pre-school teachers' attitude towards visual media in instruction and use were positive and significant in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music and Movement and Art and Craft and specifically the overall. It was concluded that pre-school teacher training was important and pre-school teachers need to be motivated to continue using instructional visual media.