Role of Teachers and Parents in Preschool Children Reading Habits Development in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Kenya
Kamunge, Jennifer Wangui
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The Kenya Early Childhood Development policy framework and the service standard guidelines outlines the roles of parents, teachers and other Early Childhood Education stakeholders. Inspite of this, parents/caregivers and teachers hold different perceptions towards parental involvement and are ignorant of their Early Literacy Development roles in parent teacher partnership. Parent teacher partnership in Early Childhood Education is low in Kenya. The purpose of the study was to establish teachers’ and parents’ roles in preschool children reading habits development with the aim of promoting parent teacher partnership in Early Literacy Development. The objectives of the study were to identify factors that influence children reading interest, determine parents and teachers perceptions towards parental involvement in Early Literacy Development and to establish parents’ and teachers’ roles in preschool children’s reading habit development. The descriptive survey design was used in this study. The target population was 162 preschool teachers and 4,385 parents. A sample size of 367 parents and 115 teachers was selected. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Quantitative data was collected from the questionnaire and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists Software. The data collected contained descriptive data which included frequencies and percentages which were presented in form of tables. The study established that parents, teachers, home and classroom environments, books, library facilities, motivation and teaching of reading, age of the child are among factors that influence children’s reading interest. It also established that parents and teachers play roles in preschool children reading habits development and should therefore collaborate. It also established that the teachers’ roles in preschool children’s reading habits development includes: Facilitating a literacy rich classroom environment and supporting literacy related activities, providing reading materials, providing literacy knowledge and skills in form of print awareness, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, vocabulary and comprehension skills through direct instruction, encouraging storytelling and singing songs; setting a library corner outside the classroom, assessing children literacy development, guiding parents on effective literacy practices at home and organizing parents literacy workshops and collaborating with parents. The study also established that the parents’ roles in preschool children’s reading habits development includes: Facilitating a literacy rich home environment and literacy related activities; providing appropriate children reading books, magazines, play and drawing materials, reading space with comfortable chairs, tables and proper lighting, supporting and participating in shared reading, reading aloud, modeling reading, encouraging children to read signs in the environment, telling and listening to stories. Visiting libraries and bookshops with their children, presenting books as presents to children and collaborating with the teacher. The study recommended Parental involvement policies and programs of Early Literacy Development to be formulated to ensure high levels of parent- teacher partnership in Early Childhood Education Development.