Determinants of Teachers’ Use of Instructional Strategies for Enhancing Literacy Skills Among Grade One Pupils in Busia County, Kenya
Children who possess adequate basic language skills develop cognitive and social skills required in life and workplace. It also enhances smooth transition, performance, and retention and completion rate. The purpose of this study was to establish the determinants of teachers‟ use of instructional strategies to enhance grade one pupils‟ literacy skills in Nambale Sub-county, Busia County Kenya. Nambale Sub-county was selected because it constitutes the highest number of primary schools within Busia, which recorded low levels of pupils‟ performance in literacy achievements reported by Uwezo study. Grade one was chosen because it forms a basis for pupils‟ achievement in upper primary education, their personal holistic developments and gains in abilities to solve social problems faced later in life. The study was anchored on Paul Freire‟s theory of Participatory Learning Approach (PLA). Descriptive survey design was employed in the study to find out the teacher qualities which influence the use of instructional strategies to promote pupils‟ literacy skills during instruction. The study methodology used in the research was quantitative. The dependent variable of the study was; instructional strategies teachers use to promote pupils‟ literacy skills. The independent variables of the study were; teachers‟ professional training, teaching experience, and scores in English in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations. The target population were grade one teachers and pupils in all primary schools within Nambale Sub-county. The sample size was grade one pupils and teachers in forty seven primary schools within the sub-county. Purposive and stratified sampling techniques were employed to select sample for the study and data collected using questionnaire and observational checklist. A pilot study was conducted in two schools to ensure validity and reliability of the instruments. Content validity was used to measure validity of instruments while test re-test method was used to measure reliability of study instruments. Reliability co-efficient were calculated using Cronbach‟s alpha whereby the acceptance co-efficient was .70. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics that is Independent Sample t-test and ANOVA with the help of a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results were presented and discussed using tables and texts. Results revealed that there was no significant difference in use of instructional strategies across teachers‟ level of professional training, teaching experience and scores in English in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The study recommends that school board of management should organise teacher-capacity-refresher trainings on use of variety instructional strategies to meet diverse needs of pupils. This would stimulate teachers to consistently use variety instructional strategies to enhance literacy skills among children during early years of school and increase their overall academic outcomes and social performance later in life.