Relationship between Pre-Primary School Learning Environment and Utilization of Instructional Materials by Teachers in Nyeri County, Kenya
Karaigua, Waigera Joseph
MetadataShow full item record
Studies show that public pre-primary schools in Kenya are characterized by understaffing, congested classrooms, inadequate instructional materials and poor working conditions for staff which contribute to poor teaching and learning processes in ECDE. The current research was designed to fill existing gaps in knowledge on the determinants of utilization of instructional materials by ECDE teachers in Nyeri County. The research was guided by the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning Framework (CTML) and Ecological Systems Theory. The specific objectives of the research were to: assess the demographic characteristics of ECDE teachers, determine the teachers’ attitude to utilization of instructional materials, assess the availability of teaching-learning resources, establish the availability of educational media and establish the teachers’ level of utilization of instructional materials. The study applied a correlational research design on a random sample of 164 teachers drawn from 132 public pre-primary schools in Nyeri County. Questionnaires were used for gathering data. Thematic approach was used to analyze qualitative data while quantitative data was summarized using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. There were four variables whose effect on the dependent variable was studied namely teachers’ age, experience, teachers’ attitude scores and class size. Hypotheses were formulated and tested in order to establish whether teachers’ age, years of teaching experience, teachers’ attitude scores and number of pupils in a class were significantly related to utilization of instructional materials in ECDE. The inferential statistics selected included Chi-square test, Pearson correlation coefficients and regression. Findings showed that female teachers were predominant and had attained a diploma or undergraduate degree, majority were professionally trained teachers in ECDE with long teaching experience and had positive attitudes to instructional materials in ECDE. The findings showed that pre-primary schools had adequate teaching-learning resources and diverse instructional media for use in curriculum delivery. The number of pupils ranged from seven to forty nine children in a pre-primary class. The hypothesis test results revealed that years of teaching experience and teachers’ positive attitudes were strong positive predictors of utilization of instructional materials. However, large numbers of pupils in class was found to be a strong negative predictor of utilization of instructional materials. It was concluded that the factors that had the greatest contribution to utilization of instructional materials were teaching experience, teachers’ positive attitudes and a small class size. Teachers’ age was not a significant predictor. It was recommended that in order to enhance effective instruction at ECDE level, there is need to adhere to the recommended teacher-pupil ratio for early learners, and to develop a policy on the provision and use of instructional materials.