Analysis of adequacy and utilization of instructional resources for learners with mental retardation in special schools in Nyanza Province, Kenya

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Orao, Remi Odero
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The major purpose of this study was to analyze the adequacy and utilization of instructional resources for learners with mental retardation in special schools in Nyanza Province. The study also aimed at finding out the type of instructional resources available in the schools and how they were acquired. The study was guided by five research objectives which were to find out the types of instructional resources that are available for learners with mental retardation; to determine teachers' opinions on the importance and suitability of resources in the instruction of the learners, to establish how teachers acquire the instructional resources and whether or not they were able to improvise some of them; to determine how teachers used teaching and learning resources in the instruction of learners with mental retardation. Descriptive survey design utilizing quantitative and qualitative approach was used in the study. The target population of the study comprised of four (4) special schools for learners with mental retardation, fifty (50) teachers and 300 learners. The schools were spread throughout the province. The four schools that participated in the study were the only fully fledged special schools in the province for learners with mental retardation. Simple random sampling was used to select one teacher each from schools that took part in the study. Complete questionnaires were received from 26 teachers, and this gave a return rate of 92.9%. Questionnaires for head teachers and teachers were used to gather information from the respondents. The questionnaire was piloted at St. Catherine Special School for the mentally retarded, Butula. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (S.P.S.S.) computer software employing descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequency distribution and mean scores. The findings revealed the following: graphic materials were the most commonly used type of resources by teachers, all the four main types of instructional resources namely visual materials, graphic materials, audio visual/ aural and equipment and facilities were either inadequate or not available, with audio visual/aural largely unavailable. Information about instructional resources was mainly obtained from K.I.E. media catalogue. Lack of sufficient and/ or inappropriate training negative attitudes and limited funds were established as some of the factors that hinder acquisition and effective use of instructional resources. On the basis of the findings, the study recommended the following: a similar study should be carried out in other provinces in Kenya to establish whether or not the study findings apply to other areas to enable generalization of the result of this study, a study of this kind should be carried out in other areas of special needs to determine the relationship of the findings of this study with other areas of disabilities, a detailed study should be undertaken to investigate the attitudes of teachers towards the use of instructional resources in teaching and leaning of persons with mental, retardation
Department of Special education,118p. LC 4638 .K4O7 2010
Children with mental disabilities --Education --Kenya, Teaching --Kenya --Aids and devices