School Determinants of the Level of Involvement in Active Play among Preprimary Pupils in Embu County, Kenya
Kariuki, Winfred Joy Gicuku
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Play promotes development and learning of children in early years. Studies have however reported limited play in preschools, and given little attention establishing the school factors that have contributed to this situation. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the contribution of school factors towards the level of preprimary children involvement in active play in preschools in Embu County, Kenya. The study objectives were to establish the availability and adequacy of preschool play resources, find out whether the level of teacher training, experience and workload influence level of play among preschool children and to determine the influence of utilization of curriculum on the level of play among preschool children in Embu County, Kenya. The study was guided by Froebel’s theory on play. The study adopted descriptive research design. Simple random sampling technique was used to sample respondents. The target population comprised of 483 teachers and 17345 children in the preschools making a total of population of 17828 subjects. Validity of the instruments was determined through content analysis by experts whereas reliability was ascertained through split-half method and Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of 0.802 was obtained. The sample size comprised 97 preschool teachers and 1735 preprimary school children. The data collection instruments were questionnaires and an observation schedule. Validity of the instruments was determined through content analysis by experts whereas reliability was ascertained through split-half method and Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of 0.812 was obtained. Data collected was analyzed descriptively using statistical package of social sciences and presented in tables and percentages. The study findings showed that most of the preschools had inadequate play facilities which were shared by a large number of pupils. Majority of the teachers had vast experience and were trained, hence encouraged children to be actively involved in play. Play was also integrated in most learning activities. The study recommended that appropriate and adequate play resources should be provided to preschool children to increase the level of play among children.