Effectiveness of Teaching Methods for Daily-living Skills to Learners with Mental Retardation in Special Units in Primary Schools, Kasarani Sub-county, Kenya

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Ruteere, Rosallin Kananu
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The aim of this study was to establish the effectiveness of teaching methods for acquisition of daily living skills by learners with mental retardation. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Dependent variable for this study was acquisition of daily-living skills while independent variables were methods of teaching, how teachers applied the methods; challenges encountered and teaching/learning materials used by teachers. The study used purposive sampling to select the district, special units, learners and teachers. The target population in this study was eighty four respondents. The sample for the study was the same as the target population, as this number was manageable within the time available. The study used semi-structured questionnaires for teachers and head-teachers, and observation checklists for learners to obtain the data. Spearman order correlation coefficient was used. The reliability level was 0.6 for questionnaires and 0.5 for observation checklist. The study was carried out in special units for learners with mental retardation in public primary schools in Kasarani sub-county, Kenya. The data was analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. It was then presented in narrative passages and tables using frequencies and percentages. The findings of the study showed that learners with MR were not taught DLS effectively because teachers did not use appropriate teaching methods, strategies, or correct teaching/learning materials. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of teachers in the units for learners with MR were not trained to teach such learners. Only 22% of the teachers were trained in the area of MR. The findings show that forty-eight (80%) of learners did not get sufficient DLS as the methods and teaching/learning materials used were neither appropriate nor relevant. Consequently, the study concluded that learners were not taught DLS appropriately for acquisition of independent living. The study recommends that government should develop cost-effective training for teachers in the area of mental retardation to curb the problem of understaffing and ineffective teaching. It also recommends that schools with special units need to be headed by teachers who are specialists in the area of mental retardation because they can understand the needs, abilities and interests of learners with MR and provide appropriate learning environment, and also offer necessary support to the teachers in the units.
Department of Special Education, 75p. 2013