Factors that influence pre-school teachers' attitude towards teaching mathematics: a study of Kasarani division, Nairobi province
Bitengo, Teresa Mwoma
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The objective of creating Kenyan citizenry who are mathematically grounded can only be achieved if effective mathematics teaching and learning starts at pre-school level. This is because attitudes towards mathematics, whether favorable or unfavorable are developed in the formative years of a child's development. The main purpose of this study therefore, was to learn more about the factors that influence pre-school teachers' attitudes towards teaching mathematics. The study was guided by the component theory by Zanna and Rempel (1988), the self-efficacy theory by Bandura (1982) and Bruner's theory of instruction (1966). A questionnaire comprising of an attitudinal scale and demographic information were utilized for data collection. The independent variables comprised mostly of subject variables including, academic level, score in mathematics, training status and teaching experience. The dependent variable was attitudes of pre-school teachers towards teaching mathematics. The population of the study was pre-school teachers from pre-schools in Kasarani Division, Nairobi Province. The sample of the study was randomly drawn from the area of study using random numbers. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square were utilized to analyze data collected. Findings from descriptive statistics indicated that out of the 81 pre-school teachers who participated in this study, 89.9% of the teachers were form four leavers while 10.1% were primary school leavers. Twenty one percent of the teachers had scored a grade of `C' in mathematics while 79% of the teachers had scored a grade of `D' and below. On raining status, findings revealed that 44.4% of the teachers had trained while 55.6% of the teachers were undergoing a two-year in-service training. On years of teaching experience, it was revealed that 65.4% of the pre-school teachers had taught for between one and three years, 29.2% of the teachers had taught for between four and twelve years, while only 4.9% of the teachers had taught for thirteen years and above. About Pre-school teachers' attitudes towards teaching mathematics it was found that 67.9% of the pre-school teachers had positive attitudes towards teaching mathematics while 32.1 % , of the teachers had negative attitudes. Chi-square statistics indicated that, there was a significant relationship between preschool teachers' attitudes towards teaching mathematics and their academic level, whereby p=0.048 < alpha=0.05. Score in mathematics, training status and teaching experience were not found to have any significant relationship with teachers' attitudes towards teaching mathematics.