EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TEACHING STYLES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION


Content

ABSTRACT

The study attempted to investigate the evaluating of the effectiveness of teaching styles in the early childhood education in selected nursery schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, some relevant and related literatures were reviewed under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of the opinions of the respondents with the aid of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. A total of 150 (one hundred and fifty) respondents were used in this study. Three null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient for hypotheses one and two, while the independent t-test statistical tool was used for hypothesis three respectively. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the tests, the following results emerged: that there is a significant relationship between teaching styles and teaching effectiveness at the early childhood education, that there is a significant relationship between teaching styles and children’s academic performance at the early childhood education and that there is a significant difference between learning outcome of children taught with appropriate teaching styles and those taught with inappropriate teaching styles at the early childhood education.

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                            i

Certification                                                                                        ii

Dedication                                                                                           iii

Acknowledgements                                                                              iv

Abstract                                                                                              v

Table of Contents                                                                                vi

List of Tables                                                                                       ix

 

CHAPTER ONE                                                                                  1

1.0     Introduction                                                                              1

1.1     Background of the Study                                                             1

1.2     Statement of the Problem                                                           5

1.3     Purpose of the Study                                                                  6

1.4     Objectives of the Study                                                               6

1.5     Research Questions                                                                     7

1.6     Research Hypotheses                                                                  8

1.7   Theoretical Framework                                                                  8

1.8     Significance of the Study                                                             10

1.9     Scope and Limitation of the Study                                                11

1.10  Contextual and Operational Definition of Terms                             12

 

 

CHAPTER TWO                                                                                  13

2.0     Literature Review                                                                       13

2.1     Introduction                                                                              13

2.2     Concept of Teaching, Learning and Collecting as a Method of

          Teaching Children                                                                       13

2.3     Scheduling Technique as a Teaching Style in Early Childhood

          Education and Demonstration Style of Teaching Children                22

 

2.4     The Use of Describing as a Method of Teaching Children,

          Encouraging, Praising and Helping as Teaching Methods in

          Childhood Education                                                                   30

2.5     Facilitating and Feedback as Methods of Teaching Children             39

2.6     The Grouping, Listening and Questioning Methods as Teaching

          Techniques in Early Childhood Education                                       47

2.7     Reading and Singing as Teaching Methods in Early Childhood Education 60

2.8     Summary of Review                                                                    67

 

CHAPTER THREE                                                                              68

3.0     Research Methodology                                                                68

3.1     Introduction                                                                              68

3.2     Research Design                                                                         68

3.3     Population                                                                                 68

3.4     Sample and Sampling Technique                                                  68

3.5     Research Instrument                                                                   69

3.6     Validity of the Instrument                                                           69

3.7     Administration of Instrument                                                       70

3.8     Procedure for Data Analysis                                                         71

 

CHAPTER FOUR:  DATA ANALYSES AND RESULTS                           72

4.1     Introduction                                                                              72

4.2     Descriptive Analyses of Bio-Data of Respondents Based on

Sex, Age, Qualification, Religion and Marital Status                        72

4.3     Descriptive Analyses of Data Collected from the Respondents

Based on the Research Questions                                        74

4.4     Testing of Hypotheses                                                                81

4.5     Summary of Findings                                                                  84

 

CHAPTER FIVE:    DISCUSSION, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                                85

5.1     Introduction                                                                              85

5.2     Discussion of the Findings                                                           85

5.3     Summary of the Study                                                                 87

5.4     Conclusion                                                                                 89

5.5     Recommendations                                                                      89

          References                                                                                 91

          Appendix                                                                                   101


CHAPTER ONE                                 

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Education is a systematic process whereby an individual is exposed to and provided with the opportunity of acquiring knowledge, skills, values and attitudes which develop cumulatively with a view to preparing him well to enable him to satisfactorily integrate effectively in the society, pursue a career and sharpen his quest for continuous learning. Education involves teaching, and teaching has been generally defined by Encyclopedia Americana (1995) as to educate, instruct, discipline or an act of imparting knowledge to a learner. According to Ekueme and Igwe (2001) it is the art and practice of imparting to the learner skills, values and norms that can be useful to the total development of the individual (Anyanwu, 2003).

There is no gain saying the fact that the method(s) adopted by a teacher, affects the learning outcomes of the students or children. For instance, professional and well experienced teachers know the appropriate teaching methods to use at any given time of their teaching – learning process. Experienced and properly trained teachers know what to and how to teach at the various levels of our educational system (the pre-primary; the primary; the secondary, and the tertiary) levels. At the pre-primary level, care must be taken by professional teachers to adopt the down-to-earth method(s) of teaching the child because of immaturity at that level (Enoch, 2002).

According to Anyankanshi (2000), at the early childhood stage, teachers ought to apply the methods in their teaching that will assist the child to learn the necessary things he/she ought to learn, rather than being confused and failing to learn what he/she ought to learn. Anyakanshi recommended four types of teaching styles – the play-way; the gaming and stimulation; the role playing method and the demonstrator methods of teaching. He is of the opinion that, the play-way method affords the child the ample opportunity to express himself freely in a play-way environment as children love to play naturally. Concerning the gaming method, Anyakanshi opined that the gaming and stimulation method, like the play-away method, is an excellent method of teaching children at the early stage, as it makes the child to be stimulated about the things he/she is learning. The role playing method teaching also allows the child to practicalize what is going on in the classroom. This is because, the role a child plays in the classroom during teaching, ever remains indelible in the brain of the child, while the group activity method of teaching the child, enables him/her to learn from his/her peers. This method is very good as it enables the children to trade ideas and learn from one another in group (Uzoma, 2004).

Recent research on teacher effectiveness has produced a number of findings that should be of interest to those who work with young children, particularly in the primary grades. Although results of these studies are by no means conclusive, and possibly cannot be, they do provide a fairly accurate description of how effective teachers operate in their classrooms. This description suggests that effective teachers (i.e.) teachers whose classes consistently show gains in achievement rely on traditional methods of instruction, at least in the basic skills. This is not to say that open education or child-centered teaching methods are not useful in early childhood education. These methods are sometimes essential to reach certain curriculum goals. But current findings suggest the wisdom of a return to the basics in teaching methods, as well as in curriculum, for early childhood education (Blaney, 2006).

The research findings that support traditional methods for teaching basic skills come from major studies conducted in the U.S.A. and in Great Britain. The term “traditional” should perhaps be defined. Here it does not mean rigidly structured lessons for the entire class. As the word is used here it means teacher-directed instruction of small groups. Findings from a number of studies suggest that it might be wise to modify traditional methods if they are to be effective in helping young children learn, though nothing radically new or unique is suggested by the current findings. Surely, it is interesting and confronting to know the many commonly used teaching methods are effective (Adamson, 2000).

The various teaching style that one uses in a classroom can have a profound impact on students’ comprehension. In early childhood education, there are various teaching styles examples of which includes the play-way method, self discovery, group activity method, demonstrator style, gaming and stimulation style, role playing, bulletin board styles etc. Teaching styles could be seen as all embracing concept referring to the teacher’s way of getting students to learn through structured methodology in order to bring about positive learning outcome (Arnolds, 2002).

According to Glender and Gillian (2004), teaching style is the way of introducing the students to give attention to what is to be learnt. The teacher directs their attention to what is to be learnt, he observes the students and diagnoses their feelings and interests and follow as best as he can, the progress of their understanding.

Research into teacher’s choice of teaching methods suggest that many teachers have a fairly narrow and conservative repertoire of teacher’s behaviours which often mimic those teaching methods they experience in their own schooling. According to Adegbiji (1997), teaching younger children is challenging and rewarding and whatever approach or strategies a teacher adopts to teach these young ones goes a long way to bring effectiveness to their learning, hence the need to evaluate the styles.

Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programmes, policies, personnel products, methods and organizations to improve their effectiveness. Rossi and Fireman (1993) define evaluation as the systematic application of social research procedure for assessing the conceptualization, design, implementation and utility of programmes. In addition, evaluation in education can identify effectiveness of the method used in carrying out instruction and the impact of the child’s knowledge and attitudes.

The fact that early childhood is unique and precious, brings about the need for this study on what appropriate teaching styles to be used to achieve effectiveness in early childhood education. The principles underpinning the approach to teaching in this study are based on the following facts:

1.            That all children deserve excellent teaching.

2.            Teaching is highly complex and dynamic, making the process about how best to respond to the children in supporting their learning.

3.            That careful and critical reflection on teaching styles should be relevant to teaching goal.

4.            That teaching styles should be relevant to all children, that is, they must be developmentally appropriate.

5.            It is also based on the fact that teaching styles should be anti-discriminatory and drawing on information about the best practice from the research and international developments in early childhood field (Glender and Gillian, 2004).

It is in the light of these considerations that this study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education with a view to finding solution to the problems of wrong choice of teaching styles and strategies for teaching the young ones.

 

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Teaching methods or styles, no doubt, affect the learning ability of the child. This is because, the method of a teacher adopts, to a large extent, determines the outcomes of the child. Therefore, good teaching methods bring high academic achievement, while bad teaching method generally results into rote learning and low academic outcomes amongst the children, especially at the early childhood stage.

These days, most teaching styles teachers adopt in coaching the children at the early childhood education are faulty and the resultant effects have been rote learning, low academic achievement and general poor standards of education in Nigeria as a whole. This is because in Nigeria, teaching profession has been infiltrated by a lot of charlatans and unprofessional teachers who do not have any business in the classrooms. Due to the fact that the teaching profession has not been regulated, untrained and inexperienced teachers in other words, known as “cheats”, have entered the stage and brazenly bastardized the teaching profession. These untrained teachers, adopt the negative and inappropriate methods of teaching the child. Consequently, this has brought about negative results of low performance by the child, because no child will ever rise higher than the knowledge of his/her teacher.

The study attempted to examine the evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching styles in the early childhood education.

 

1.3  Purpose of the Study

The study aimed at evaluating some teaching styles and their effectiveness among teachers in some selected early childhood institutions in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.

 

1.4  Objectives of the Study

The specific objectives of this study were to:

1.            Emphasize the need to use appropriate teaching styles and techniques in early childhood institutions.

2.            Identify some teaching styles that are highly effective in teaching young children.

3.            Ascertain the impact of inappropriate use of teaching styles and techniques for the child.

4.            Examine the teaching styles that are commonly used by teachers in some selected early childhood institutions.

5.            Find out whether or not there will be any difference between learning outcome of children taught with appropriate teaching styles and those taught with inappropriate teaching styles at the early childhood education.

 

1.5  Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in this study:

1.            What is the need for appropriate teaching styles for the early childhood institutions?

2.            What teaching styles are highly effective for early childhood education?

3.            What is the impact of the inappropriate use of teaching styles in child learning?

4.            What teaching styles are commonly used by the teachers in early childhood institutions?

5.            Is there any difference between learning outcome of children taught with appropriate teaching styles and those taught with inappropriate teaching styles at the early childhood education?

 

1.6  Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses are formulated and tested in this study:

H01:    There will be no significant relationship between teaching styles and teaching effectiveness at the early childhood education.

H02:    There will be no significant relationship between teaching styles and children’s academic performance at the early childhood education.

H03:    There will be no significant difference between learning outcome of children taught with appropriate teaching styles and those taught with inappropriate teaching styles at the early childhood education.

 

1.7   Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework of the study is based on the works of:

  1. Piaget (1974) theory of intellectual development.
  2. Howard Gardner (1983) theory of multiple intelligences.
  3. Eisner (1985) connoisseurship evaluation model.

Piaget views the course of intellectual development in terms of progressive changes in cognitive structures. The stages identified by Piaget are:

1. Sensory motor period (0_2years)

2. Preoperational period (2_6 or 7years)

3. Concrete operational period (6 or 7 through 11or 12 years)

4. Formal operational (11 or 12years onward)

 

Piaget (1974) theory of intellectual development: He believes that children cannot and should not be taught concepts until they are developmentally prepared to learn them. He is also concerned with the medium the teacher uses to transmit knowledge to the children.

   The theory seeks to describe an extensive cognitive process within the individual student. It takes little or no accounts either of motivational and emotional components of the learning and teaching process or of the profound influences the learning environment and the teaching styles have on both the nature of that process and the outcome of learning.

 

Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligence: He suggests that an array of different kinds of intelligences exist in human beings. Gardner’s theory argues that intelligence as it is traditionally defined does not adequately encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display.

He argues that students will be better served by a broader vision of education wherein       teachers use different methodologies, exercises and activities to reach all students not just those who excel at linguistics and logical intelligence. The theory has been widely criticized in the psychology and educational communities. The most common criticism argues that Gardner’s theory is based on his own intuition rather than empirical data and that the intelligence is just other names for talent or personality types.

     

Eisner’s connoisseurship evaluation model (1985) He believes there are three things embedded in evaluation i.e. Description, interpretation and assessment. Eisner has recommended a process called educational connoisseurship that will supposedly produce more hard data and outcomes and furnish a rich quantitative description of educational life as a consequence of effective teaching styles and techniques. Eisner notes that to employ the procedure of educational criticism, evaluators should ask such questions as what has occurred during the school year, what are the teaching styles and techniques used in achieving the stated educational objectives? How appropriate and effective are the teaching styles?

 

1.8  Significance of the Study

It is a general belief that early childhood education is of great importance, because it is the foundation for other level of education just as foundation is the strength of the structure. The study shows some features of effective teaching styles and at the same time create awareness about some appropriate and effective teaching styles and techniques in early childhood education. However, the recommendations and findings of this work would be beneficial to the following:

1.            To the children: They will be able to enjoy the use of appropriate teaching styles, thereby making learning interesting and eventful.

2.            To the parents: They will be able to get values for their money and commitment to the education of their wards through better academic performance.

3.            To the teachers: The teacher will be able to overcome the problem of using inappropriate teaching styles and thereby experience a result oriented teaching.

4.            To the school authority: The school will be able to supervise thoroughly and ensure the use of appropriate teaching styles through their knowledge of features of these teaching styles.

5.            To the government: The government will be able to put in place policy that will make teachers to undergo training and workshop that will avail them the knowledge of different teaching styles for the institutions in the country.

 

1.9  Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study covered the evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education in Lagos State.

 

 

 

 

1.10  Contextual and Operational Definition of Terms

The study would constantly make use of the following terms: Early Childhood Education, Teaching Styles, Teaching Techniques and Teaching Effectiveness.

1.            Teaching styles: It is an embracing concept referring to the teacher’s ways of getting students to learn through structured methodology.

2.            Early childhood education: Formal education that is received from three to six years.

3.            Teaching effectiveness: The ability of the teacher to achieve the stated objectives at the end of the teaching.

4.            Teaching techniques: Teacher’s ways or method of teaching.


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