Full Project – USE OF PLAY METHOD IN TEACHING PUPILS IN SHOMOLU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS STATE
Background of the Study
Education became necessary because education is seen as the cornerstone of individual social and economic growth in the present society. Education is the cornerstone of literacy, skill development, and technological growth. That is why, according to Osakwe (2006), education is a vital instrument for nation building; it entails systematic training and teaching aimed at transmitting information, skills, potentials, and talents that allow a person to contribute effectively to his or her growth and development. As a result, contemporary civilizations place a high premium on children’s education. They provide for their minor children via what is known as a “early childhood education” program.
Early childhood/pre-primary education is schooling provided to children between the ages of three and five years in order to prepare them for primary school. Early childhood/pre-primary education, according to Omozeghian (1995), is education for children aged three to six years. Early infancy is a time of preparation, which is why the government took an interest in recognizing its value. Due to the fact that this level of education must begin in childhood. Early childhood/pre-primary education is described by the Federal Government in the National Policy on Education (2004) as “education provided in educational institutions to children prior to their entry into primary school.” The crèche, nursery, and kindergarten are all included. With the following objectives: ensuring a smooth transition from home to school, preparing the child for primary education, providing adequate care and supervision for children while their parents are at work, instilling in the child a spirit of inquiry and creativity through exploration of nature, the local environment, and playing with toys, teaching the child the fundamentals of number, letters, colors, shapes, and forms through play, and instilling socia (P. 147).
For young children, play is their most natural activity; it not only aids in their growth but also provides them with happiness and delight, as well as assists them in reaching their full potential (Ibiam, 1997). Additionally, Machmanorvitch (1990) said that play is the origin and basis of creativity in the arts, sciences, and everyday life. Morffitt (2003) defines play as an exploratory or educational activity that fosters knowledge seeking behavior. It is a strong inner force via which a youngster communicates with his surroundings, including movement and a variety of sensory modalities (Aleke, 2011). When a youngster is able to walk about, handle, and manipulate items, he or she seems to learn more. He/she learns a great deal about the qualities of matter and develops strategies for adapting to a complicated world via play experiences involving cause and effect. Children who are deprived of a diverse variety of sensory motor (play) experiences during these formative years owing to sickness, overprotection, or other factors are disadvantaged.
It seems unlikely that some types of cognitive information will evolve in the same manner in the future. Additionally, play refers to a variety of voluntary intrinsic activities that are often connected with satisfaction and pleasure. Additionally, it entails the manipulation of items in the environment by a person in collaboration with others. Curry and Arnoaud (1995) noted the following:
Play is a legally predictable phenomena that exhibits distinct developmental patterns, while the extent to which these patterns are represented is highly dependent on the child’s surroundings. The purpose of play is to help children integrate complex cognitive, emotional, and social elements into their thinking and behavior.
Disturbances in play often reflect disturbances in the child‟s personality and social functionality while Hirsch (2005) argues that play method consists of key elements of experimental learning. Kolb (2003) observed that play method allows pupils to apply concepts and problems that reflect reality introduced through lessons and readings. Play method can, therefore, be viewed as a beneficial teaching tool because it has been found to help in the development of practical professional skills, as well as academic knowledge.
The above may be seen as the reason why the National Policy on Education is regarded as the document with the most suitable method in teaching tender age children.
Play method of teaching which was advocated by the National Policy on Education was expanded to involve manipulation of objects in the environment which are pleasant to children (Okon 2007). This means that when the activity pleases the children (learners), the tendencies of learning taking place is high. The main purpose of the study is to specifically find out the extent of instructional material available because the availability will help in the study, also the extent of utilization of the available materials.
Owing to the above claim by Ejieh (2006), perhaps the ineffective utilization of this method of teaching pre-scholars may be as a result of the nature of the school environment (location) in which these school were situated or as a result of inadequate instructional materials needed in play method and even the teachers expertise in handling play method of teaching.
Children begin learning from the time they born, to learn is to gain knowledge or skill by studying from experience. A learner is a person who is finding out about a subject and how to go about it. According to Onyemerenkeya (2001) learning has been defined as a process by which man acquires and retains attitude, knowledge, understanding, skill and capabilities that can not be attributed to inherent behaviour pattern of physical growth. Naturally, children like to play and it is their characteristics to play, enquire and explore, that is why Mariamentosori advocated for a prepared environment which gives children opportunity to explore and learn.
Statement of the Problem
The goal of teaching and learning is to effect desirable behaviours on the learner. Methods used by teachers in teaching are critical to the achievement of the envisaged goals as stipulated in the National Policy on Education. The play method of teaching that is advocated in the national policy on pre-primary education seems not effectively used in most schools, perhaps because teachers are not well trained or may be because the materials used in play method of teaching are inadequate. This situation is worrisome and has motivated the researcher to carry out this study.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to find out the use of play method in teaching pupils in Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State in Shomolu LGA. Specifically the study sought to:
- Find out the availability of instructional materials needed in play method of teaching.
- Find out the extent of utilization of these instructional materials in teaching and learning situation.
- Find out the extent of teachers‟ skills in the use of play method of teaching.
- Find out the influence of location of schools on the effective utilization of play method of teaching in teaching and learning process.
The following research questions guided this study:
- To what extent are instructional materials needed in play method available in schools?
- What is the extent of utilization of these instructional materials in teaching and learning situations?
- To what extent do teachers possess skills in the use of play method in teaching and learning process?
- To what extent does location of schools influence effective utilization of play method in teaching and learning?
The following null hypothesis that was tested at 0.05 level of significance guided this study.
Ho1 There is no significant difference in the mean responses of head teachers and teachers on the availability of instructional materials needed in play method of teaching.
Ho2 There is no significant difference in the mean responses of head teachers and teachers on the extent of utilization of instructional materials needed in play method of teaching.
Ho3 There is no significant difference in the mean responses of head teachers and teachers on the extent of teachers‟ expertise on the use of play method of teaching.
Ho4 Location of schools will not have significant influence on the effective utilization of play method of teaching in the pre primary schools under study.
Scope of the Study
This study was delimited to Shomolu LGA of Lagos State, involving teachers and head teachers in nursery schools. The study examined the availability of instructional materials needed in play method of teaching, utilization
of these materials, teachers‟ proficiency in the use of play method and influence of location of schools in effective implementation of play method of teaching in pre-primary schools in the area of study.
Significance of the Study
The findings that will be generated from this study will be beneficial to the teachers, pupils, curriculum planners, school administrators, ministries of education and the society.
The teacher is in a key position to study and adjust to the effects of new materials and methodology upon the learning process with the aim of using such adjustment to improve teaching and learning. Through this research, the academic standards teachers set for their pupils are met by the teaching techniques they have adopted.
This study will be beneficial to the pupils in developing individual learning skills and problem-solving skills which will promote pupils‟ creativity. The study will help curriculum planners to appreciate and assess the impact of this method (play method) in delivering instruction and thus help in modifying or redesigning curricular for pre-primary schools.
Adequate knowledge about the use of an effective play method could also help the school authority or inspectorate unit to supervise teachers and assess if they are meeting the required objectives.
The study will help educational authorities through the required specific agencies and ministries to wake up to the challenge of developing measures or steps in using the play method to teach in pre-primary schools and also in organizing seminars and workshops for teachers in order to upgrade their knowledge in Nigerian schools.
The society at large will benefit from this study because the end product of what goes on in the schools is for the benefit of the entire society. Other researchers who are working on similar topic may draw some inspiration from the findings of this study.
Operational Definition of Terms
Play: A learning method which involves spontaneous, voluntary, pleasurable and flexible activities involving a combination of body, object, symbol use and relationships.
Learning tool: The teaching design adopted for learning
Early Childhood: The period from birth to three years old, marked by remarkable brain growth.
Attentiveness: The ability to pay attention.
Learning Environment: This refers to the physical conditions, context and ideological atmosphere under which students learn.
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Full Project – USE OF PLAY METHOD IN TEACHING PUPILS IN SHOMOLU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS STATE