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Participation involves working with a partner or in a small group and brainstorming in order to create a stimulating learning environment. The role of instructional materials is to glue information into learners mind as what is seen is understood more than what is heard. During the formative years, learners add increasing qualities of knowledge to what is already learnt through explorations as they grow and expand horizon on the quality of content mastered. To widen mastery of concepts, rich leaning environment which is filled with a variety of instructional materials tend to foster faster acquisition of requisite skills for sustained learning and development. Such an environment should be enticing learners to observe, actively participate, make choices and experiment which in the process results in acquisition of additional knowledge. In the absence of reach learning environment modeled by the teacher to capture requisite skills, knowledge and competence. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of use of instructional materials on learners' participation in science lesson in preschool in Kiine Zone Kirinyaga county Kenya.
The objective of this study was to establish importance of grouping of learners on participation in science classroom, to study the extent to which availability and adequacy improve learners' participation and to determine the effect of management of records on the improvement in learners' participation in science classroom. The study reviewed literature on effectiveness of instructional materials on participation in science classroom. This study was guided by experiential learning theory. This theory was propounded by Kolb (2008). Kolb proposed a four-stage learning process with a model that is often referred to in describing experiential learning Beaty (2009). The study involved a descriptive survey research design where qualitative data was collected. The design was nonexperimental soliciting information from teachers on the IM they use in teaching pupils in the pre-school. This study used stratified sampling since the population embraces a number of distinct categories of teachers' qualifications.
The study found that instructional materials are not effectively used in the study area due to large of number of learners per class, lack of enough compound in ECE centers, lack of learners confidence, language barrier, teachers' negative attitude, lack of professional skills and domestic violence. The study recommended that ECE centres be increased to cater for the large number of learners per class. On the same, the study recommended that more teachers be employed and deployed to various ECE centres in the study area. The study further recommended that more playing ground be purchased to enable learners be participating fully especially while experiencing moving air by the use of kites they need to run over to note the moving air. Learners should be encouraged to handle IM even in the absence of teacher that is at home to gain confidence. Parents of the learners who are shy should be improvising IM at home and encourage children to continue practicing what they learnt at school. The study recommended that teachers to ensure learners with language barrier get information taught in class by the use of language they understand better as
English and Kiswahili is introduced slowly by slowly. The study further recommended that GOK to employ ECE teachers with better pay. Finally the study recommended that the 5 untrained teachers and those with certificates work on the professional skills by going for Diploma course in ECE as lack of these skills deny any teacher the knowledge required in showing and teaching learners on how to handle IM during participation.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
This chapter begins with the introduction of the background of the study, followed by statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives and concludes with definition of terms.
1.1 Background of the Study
Participation involves working with a partner, or in a small group, and brainstorming in order to create a stimulating learning environment Cooke (2001). Participation in ECE involves use of different mechanisms for the public to express opinions and ideally exert influence regarding political, economic, management or other social decision. Participation is affected by the appropriate and relevancy of IM used, such as containers, kites, textbooks, strings and blackboard Armstein (2004). For examples, a teacher uses textbooks to get information needed and explains on the blackboard, learners use water in containers and blow it using straws to produce bubbles Pre-schools handbook (2008). Blowing water to produce bubbles shows learners that there is presence of air in water and this enables them gain the skills of observation.
According to Obanya (2001), IM are didactic materials things which are supposed to make learning and teaching possible. While in views of Abdullahi (2003) they are materials or tools locally made or imported that could make tremendous improvement of a lesson if intelligently used. In the same vein, Isola (2010), referred IM as objects or devices, which help the teacher to make a lesson much clearer to the learner. In support of these views, Agina (2005), describe IM as concrete or physical objects which provide sound, visual or both to the sense organs during teaching.
The components to success in participation include availability and adequacy of IM Pre-school handbook (2008). In participation the teacher should ensure that materials to be used are enough for a particular science lesson by ensuring she/he has lesson plan before the lesson. According to Sasson (2009), the quantity of materials depends on the number of learners using them, organization of the materials, group arrangement, time management, and records management. Ensuring availability and adequacy of IM, the science lesson will be learner’s centred instead of teachers centred and therefore motivate learners. This is because all of them will be involved in participation using the available IM instead of listening to the teacher explain in class. For example Adequacy of IM means that the teacher should ensure that materials to be used for a particular science class are enough depending on the number of learners using them Jacinta
According to Preschool handbook (2008), teacher need to group learners according to their different abilities so that they can assist one another. The teacher will also need to be guided by the lesson plan, where less time should be used on introduction and conclusion while most of the time should be left to learners to do the task at hand. In participation in a science lesson, IM can be used for the learners to experience air by been engaged in activities such as flying balloons and kites. The movement of kites and balloons shows that there is air in a vacuum Esther (2009).Use of straws to blow soapy water helps produce bubbles, and these bubbles enable the learners to realize that there is air in water. These activities boost participation by involving all the learners during a science lesson
Preschool handbook (2009).
Wales (2009) was of the opinion that the use of IM would make discovered facts glue firmly in the memory of learners. IM make them enjoy participating in science lessons and even make them repeat the activity during their free time. This enables the learners to keep the idea in their long term memory. According to Savoury (2003), a well planned use of IM in lessons should do much to banish apathy. In addition, he said that selection of IM which are related to the basic activity of a lesson helps in in-depth understanding of such a lesson by the learners, in that it makes the lesson attractive to them, thereby arresting their attention and thus, motivating them to learn and participate. Participation helps teachers to discover their learners’ potential, to realize their talents and raise their self-esteem. In turn this can help them to question their boundaries and explore issues, voice aspirations, identify needs and facilitate their learning and personal development Clark (2005).
Education is a fundamental human right which every child is entitled to
Constitution of Kenya (2010). It is critical to our development as individuals and as societies. It helps pave the way for a successful and productive future
Children’s Act (2004). The government through the Ministry of Education
(M.O.E) fund pre-schools with only one percent of the schools’ annual budget.
This amount cannot cater for buying adequate IM and paying teachers. Considering the significant role played by IM in participation in science lessons, teachers are forced to improvise different IM from the localities. According to DICECE database (2011), the government does not employ teachers, and therefore the burden is left to the parents and the society. This makes some parents unable to take their children to pre-school and wait until the age of primary school which is free.
1.2 Statement of Problem
According to Sasson (2007) a problem is an existing negative state of events that avoid in attaining the set goals, in this study the existing problem in ECE centres in Kiine zone is lack of effective use of IM during participation in science lesson. IM play a vital role in participation in a science lesson. They form a focal point and attract attention, arouse interest and promote a desire to learn, supplement description and help to explain words and processes, give an accurate impression of the concept, illustrate relationships, promote retention and memory, help to consolidate what has been learned, help to save teaching time, make learner to have self esteem, learners get motivated and have the idea of sharing in participation in science lesson Kothari (2001). The issue of concern in this study is the effort of IM on the general participation in Science lesson in public preschools in Kiine Zone Kirinyaga County.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of use of instructional materials on learner participation in science lesson in preschool in Kiine zone Kirinyaga county Kenya.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The study was guided by the following objectives:
1. To identify why IM are not effectively used during participation in science classroom.
2. To establish the importance of grouping of learners on participation in science classroom.
3. To verify the extent to which availability and adequacy of IM improve pupils’ participation in Science lesson.
4. To study the effect of management of records on the improvement in pupils’ participation in science lesson.
1.5 Research Questions
1. Why IM are not effectively used in SC during participation.
2. What are the advantages of grouping learners in science lesson during participation?
3. To what extent availability and adequacy of IM improve pupils’
4. Effects of records management in the improvement of pupils’ participation in science lesson
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study findings will enable the stakeholders realize the importance of IM in participation in science lesson activities. The teacher trainees will be guided by the study findings to choose the most efficient IM in sciences classroom activities. Also guided by the study, the parents will be able to choose pre-schools centers with the best IM. The findings of the study will also form a basis for further research on the role played by IM on participation in pre-schools science classroom.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Limitations are aspects of the study that negatively affect the results of generalization of the study but which a researcher has no direct control over. The main limitation of the study arises from the fear of teachers which affected the filling of the questionnaires. The teachers feared that the information they gave in the questionnaire about participation in science classroom may threaten their job security. However, the researcher assured them that the information will be treated with confidentiality and will be used for the purpose of the research only. Due to the fact that the researcher is employed, the time available to do the research was not enough for excellent results.
1.8 Delimitation of the study
The study will be delimited to sampled ECE teachers in Kiine zone Kirinyaga county. The study will involve UT, diploma and certificate holders in ECE centres. The study leaves out the parents and guardians of the learners in the study area together with the community since mainstreaming is expected to take place within the ECE set up.
1.9 Assumption of the Study
The researcher assumed that teachers working environment is conducive, they are motivated and therefore be able to respond to the research questions with an open mind. The respondents will respond positively and answer questions without being biased.
1.10 Definition of terms
Participation in science classroom: Participation involves working with a partner, or in a small group, and brainstorming.
Instructional Resources: They are didactic materials things which are supposed to make learning and teaching possible. They can also be defined as materials or tools locally made or imported that could make tremendous improvement of a
lesson if intelligently used.
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