Determinants of male students’ enrolment for early childhood education training in kenya. A case of Kenyatta University
Murage, Moses Ignatius
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Both male and female role models need to be availed to a child’s environment. Doing so helps to ensure a balanced gender typing, where children become aware of their gender, recognise other people’s gender as well as behave appropriately through the adoption of values and characters required of their sex by the society. However, there is a large disparity as far as gender is concerned in the early childhood workforce. This is in spite of a continued enrolment of male students for training in Early Childhood education in Kenyan universities and colleges. The purpose of the study was to find out the factors influencing male students’ enrolment for training in early childhood education. This was intended to provide important information that will be useful in addressing gender disparity in early childhood service delivery. The objectives of the research were to find out the economic, personal and source of information related factors that influence male students’ enrolment for training in Early Childhood education. This information will be beneficial to policy makers, researchers as well as institutions. The research was guided by Donald Super’s theory of career development and Krumboltz’s social learning theory of career which presents a career choice as being affected by factors related to an individual and those in his/her environment. The research employed a case study design where interviews were used in the process of gathering data from male students pursuing diploma and degree in Early Childhood Education at Kenyatta University. The University offers early childhood education under three modes thus attracting a large number of self-sponsored and government sponsored students from across the world. The target population was 286 male students pursuing diploma and bachelor’ degree in ECE. The population sample used was 50% of all the male students pursuing diploma and degree course in Early Childhood across the three study modes consisting of Open, Distance and e-Learning, Institution based and regular modes of study. The total number of respondents was 143 male students. Three sampling methods were used in selecting the respondents. They included stratified, purposeful and simple random. Male students’ enrolment for training in Early Childhood Education formed the dependent variable, while factors that influence the male students’ enrolment for training in Early Childhood Education served as the independent variables. For the purpose of this research, the independent variables had been categorized into personal, economic and career information source related factors. The researcher established content validity through item analysis. Test-retest method was used to test the reliability of the instruments. The researcher employed qualitative data analysis. Data was organized into themes and sub-themes guided by research objectives. Personal factors influencing male student’s enrolment in ECE were found to include; high school grade, career research, high prospects of employment in ECE, view of ECE as an easy course and presence of a role model. The economic factors included limited finances to cater for other courses, restrictions placed on students’ recruitment and opportunity for job promotion. The various sources of information identified were experts, peers and the family. The research further established that most of the career information were not able to provide adequate career information. Knowledge on the factors will inform the process of addressing gender disparity in ECE especially in preschools. The researcher recommends that a further study be conducted to find out whether there is a difference among the factors influencing male students’ enrolment for training in ECE and those influencing the female students. There is also a need to conduct a study among men who have already completed training in ECE but work in other fields. Such a study would help to find out why they choose other professions even after training in ECE.