Full Project – THE INFLUENCE OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOL
1.1 Background to the Study
Young children learn best by experimenting with their environment through hands-on activities and play, which is why learning environment are such a vital part of the preschool classroom. Using learning environment to give children the hands-on experiences and play opportunities they need is important, but there are a variety of factors that influence which learning environment would work best for your space, how you should set them up, and the materials you should include in each. Research indicates that a well-organized classroom helps children learn and motivates them to interact positively with each other which in turn enhance children academic performance (Zakariyah, 2012).
The definition of Early Childhood Education (also known as Early Childhood learning and Early Education) varies in scope and seem to be closely linked to geographical locations. While the main thrust of some definitions is based on age bracket, some consider the environment within which the education is delivered, others combine both. ECE has been considered to be a pre-school, semi-formal education outside the home (Oyewumi, Alhassan and Ofoha, 2010). It includes the crèche, the nursery and kindergarten (Olaleye, Florence and Omotayo, 2009).
This program was introduced for children between the ages of 0 – 5 years. In Nigeria, ECE came into being in order to assist and bring early child care within the reach of majority of Nigerian children, particularly those in rural and low socio economic areas. Hence, the Nigerian Educational research and Development Council in collaboration with UNICEF is implementing a low cost, community based and non-formal day care program. Locally sourced educational materials are introduced to caregivers, to provide avenues for cognitive, affective and psychomotor development of the child (Zakariyah, 2012).
The early childhood classroom is set up to be an environment that supports learning. Furniture, equipment, and materials are carefully chosen and arranged to appeal to children and promote the curriculum’s content goals. The learning environment encourages a mix of independence and cooperative play and provides materials that reflect the diversity of children’s family lives. “Interest Areas” or “Learning environment” are specific places in a preschool room’s physical environment where specific activities are arranged for the children to explore (Nakpodia, 2011).
Preschool classrooms are usually organized around interest areas or learning environment. These defined areas allow children to play and explore materials with the guidance of the teacher either individually or in small groups. Low dividers often separate the corners, but children move freely among them. Skills that lead to reading and writing and math are not confined to specific corners, but rather reinforced in different ways throughout all the corners via communication, exploration and play.
The environment of the classroom communicates to students what is expected of them. Independence and a joy of learning is what should be conveyed. In the early childhood classroom, the use of learning environment is a key component to ensuring the success of students. Three basic settings are needed when planning where to set up corners: a place for the whole class to work together, a place for students to work independently, and a place for teacher-directed small group work. It is helpful to use a map of the classroom with scale cutouts of furniture and equipment to try different arrangements.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the commencement of the implementation of the National Policy on Education in Nigeria which seeks to ensure an optimal and qualitative ECE, stream of concerns have been raised by stakeholders in respect of the quality of education in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) and its actual implementation.
Despite all measures put in place by the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, there are still some lapses in the implementation and non-implementation of this program. There is no doubt that the implementation of Early Childhood Education requires the collaborative effort/input of all stakeholders, including the government, parents/guardians, and school authorities. While the government is expected to provide necessary teaching and learning resources, the availability of relevant age-grade pupils, and the cooperation of parents/guardians in enrolling their children/wards cannot be overemphasized.
Another challenge affecting Early Childhood Education is the huge capital involved in establishing learning environment in Nigeria’s environment which is costlier to afford. The establishment of learning environment can strive more in advance country than in Africa e.g Nigeria because of economic recession and inflation on the prices of materials and electronic gadgets.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of learning environment on childhood education in public school. Basically the study will look into:
- The relationship between learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance.
- The relationship between learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance in early childhood education.
iii. Strategies for enhancing preschooler’s performance through impactful learning environment study methods.
- Find out how learning environment Space can be maximized to enhance Children in Nursery Schools’ performance.
1.4 Research Questions
The study is guided by the following research questions:
- To what extent do learning environment relate to preschoolers academic performance?
- Is there any relationship between learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance in early childhood education?
iii. What are the strategies for enhancing preschooler’s performance through impactful learning environment study methods?
- How can learning environment Space be maximized to enhance Children in Nursery Schools’ performance?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were stated for the study:
H0: There is no significant relationship between learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance.
H1: There is significant relationship between learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study are stated below
The findings from the study will enlighten care-givers, school owners and Government on the factors affecting learning environment and Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance in early childhood education.
The study will serve as a guide to care-givers on how to strategically enhance learning environment and as such district education officers, district inspectors of schools to realize the influences of poor learning environment on Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance.
It will enable pre-nursery school proprietors to be able to plan systematically for the provision of good classroom which enhance children’ academic performance.
It will contribute to the existing body of knowledge and will help other researchers when working on related issues.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covered all the care-givers or instructors or teachers who are currently working in pre-nursery schools located within Education District IV Lagos State. Only the aspect of learning environment on the Children in Nursery Schools’ academic performance in pre-nursery school will be covered.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Caregiver: A caregiver is an unpaid or paid person who helps to look after the preschool children.
Instructor: An instructor person who teaches a subject or skill: someone who instructs people — instructor in a sentence.
Preschool: A preschool is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children, usually between the ages of three and five, prior to the commencement of compulsory education at primary school.
Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education (ECE) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight.
Classroom: A classroom is a learning space, a room in which classes are held.
Education: Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
Learning environment: Learning environment is a special learning activity for nursery children which strongly promotes Independence and Love of Learning.
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