Teaching and Learning Factors Influence on Adaptive Skills Acquisition Among Moderate Intellectual Disabilities Learners in Special Units in Murang’a County, Kenya
Kabutha, Irene Dorcas N.
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Learners with intellectual disabilities are found everywhere throughout the world. This group of learners needs to acquire some activities of adaptive skills. The proposed study sought to explore influence of teachers‟ factors on acquisition of adaptive skills among children with intellectual disabilities in special units in Muranga County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: To assess the influence of teacher related factors, to determine the influence of curriculum, to establish the influence of teaching methods, to examine the influence of teaching/learning resources on acquisition of adaptive among learners with ID in special units in Muranga County. The study was guided by Bandura‟s Social Learning Theory. The study applied a Mixed Methodology and mixed methods design. The target population was 51 teachers from 17 special units in Mathioya Sub-county in Muranga County. The sample size was 15 primary school head teachers and 30 teachers in the special units. A total of 45 respondents were used in the study. The instruments of the research were questionnaires for both primary school head teachers and teachers in special units for intellectual challenged learners and observation checklist. The questionnaire consisted of both open and close ended questions. A pilot study was conducted in a special unit at Njumbi primary school in Mathioya Sub-county. This school was used in the proposed study. Test-retest was used to estimate reliability of questionnaires. Validity of the instruments was determined by a team of three experts in the Department of Special Needs of Kenyatta University. The data collected both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in form of percentages, frequency tables and graphs. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically as per the objectives. The findings revealed that some of the teachers in special units had no training in special education at all, majority of teachers who had training in special units had no special skills to teach adaptive skills and a few were not specialized but handled children with intellectual disabilities. Head teachers did not adequately provide resources and materials suitable for the acquisition of adaptive skills among the learners with intellectual disabilities. The study concluded that learners with ID were not taught adaptive skills effectively since teachers did not use suitable teaching methods and strategies. The study recommends that special units should be staffed with teachers who are specialized in a given area of disability. It also recommends that in-service courses should be facilitated to enable both head teachers and teachers in special units improve the methods of teaching and strategies of implementing the methods towards facilitating the acquisition of adaptive skills among learners with ID. The findings of the study are envisioned to inform policy and practice of acquisition of adaptive skills for the ID children.