Factors influencing teacher interventions for primary school pupils with slow learning in Kasarani division, Nairobi, Kenya

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Kamunge, Jane Wangeci
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The purpose of this study was to establish factors influencing, teacher interventions while assisting pupils with slow learning abilities in public primary schools. Specifically, the study aimed at determining whether teacher-related factors, learning environment-related factors and pupil-related factors influenced the nature of intervention strategies used by teachers in a bid to enhance learning of these pupils. The study was conducted in Kasarani Division, Nairobi Province, Kenya. The study employed ex post facto research design and focused on primary school teachers and head teachers. Random sampling technique was used to select eight schools from twenty-five public primary schools of Kasarani Division, Nairobi Province. One stream of class six was randomly selected from each of the sampled schools for a Mathematics and English lessons observation where there was more than one stream; otherwise, the stream was purposively selected where there was a single stream. Data was collected using three main instruments: Teachers' Questioniiaire (TQ), Head Teachers' Questionnaire (HTQ) and Lesson Observation Schedule (LOS). A total of 128 teachers and 8 head teachers filled in the TQ and HTQ respectively while two class six lessons of Mathematics and English were observed. Data from the field was coded numerically and analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative analysis involved making inferences from the teachers' and head teachers' responses from the open-ended questions and from lesson observation schedules using thematic approach Quantitative analysis made use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to give descriptive statistics such as mean, percentages, frequencies and tabulations. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to determine significant differences of intervention strategies used by teachers. The study revealed that the primary school teachers used some in i ,,rvention strategies to assist pupils with slow learning abilities in their classes which were not significantly different. However, the teachers' individual attention to such pupils was locking during the lessons and mainly used a whole class instructional approach. This contributed to their low academic attainment and hence learned helplessness. In view of this, it was recommended that teachers become sensitized on the importance of paying attention to these pupils in the teaching and learning process. The findings of the study indicated that the teachers were all trained but only very few had Special Needs Education (SNE) background This probably influenced the effectiveness of intervention strategies used by the teacher; to assist pupils with slow learning abilities. Going by this, it was recommended that more teachers be trained or in serviced in SNE. The study also revealed that there was a tendency of teachers with less number of pupils in their classes and especially those trained in SNE to pay attention to those with learning difficulties as compared to those with large class sizes and more so if they lacked SNE background. Thus, it was recommended that that MOE through TSC employ more teachers to ease the shortage, a suitable class size be determined and adhered to in all schools in a bid to achieve maximum potential for every child.