Influence of Classroom Environment on the Learning of Social Studies in Public Pre- Primary Schools, in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya.
Awinja, Naomi Crispo
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Social Studies in Pre-Primary Schools refers to the learning of all human activities and the people in the society that one lives in. Global Studies show that a child who is effectively taught social studies obtains social skills and values in the society. The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of the classroom environment on learning of social studies in pre-primary schools in Eldoret East Sub-county in Uasin Gishu County. The specific objectives of the study were guided by three research objectives; to establish the suitability of the classroom setting, to find out the availability of instructional materials used in teaching and to evaluate the appropriateness of the teaching approaches used in teaching social studies. The study was guided by the social learning theory by Lev Vygotsky, (1896- 1934). The theory purports that social learning occurs in three themes; interactive activities, pairing a learner with more knowledgeable others (MKO) and giving tips to a learner on how to handle difficult tasks in their zone of proximal development (ZPD). The study employed descriptive survey design. The target population comprised of 9 zones with 150 Pre-primary schools, 150 head teachers and 440 Pre-primary teachers. Stratified random sampling was used to select schools, while simple random sampling was used to select individual participants. Hence the sample size was 3 zones, 108 schools, 15 head teachers and 205 pre-primary teachers. The data was collected using the questionnaires, interview schedules and observation checklists in which the teachers and the researcher administered on the instruments respectively. The data was organized and analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis is descriptive statistically displayed in frequency tables, percentage while qualitative data was analyzed using themes. The findings showed that learning of Social Studies in pre-primary schools was majorly influenced by availability of instructional materials at 24.0%, followed by the appropriateness of the teaching methods at 8.1%, while classroom suitability influenced learning of Social Studies at 4.8%. The study may be useful to the policy makers, curriculum developers, curriculum support officers and the school managers who may utilize the findings by ensuring that the classroom environmental conditions are conducive for learning. The study may be a source of information for teachers to improve on the teaching and learning standards of social studies in Pre-primary schools, and finally the learners’ academic scores in social studies will increase and skills and values will be expected to improve.