Relationship between Teachers’ Demographic Characteristics and Levels of Utilization of Instructional Materials in Pre-Primary Schools in Kenya
Research indicates that children who obtain quality pre-primary education have a head start in life. It is also evident that early exposure and good use of instructional materials (IM) prepare children to be well adjusted later in life. Children are also well equipped with problem-solving skills that are important in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE). Instructional materials are core to effective teaching and learning in the formative years. The purpose of this research was to establish whether there was a significant relationship between teachers’ demographic characteristics and levels of utilization of instructional materials in pre-primary schools in Kenya. The study adopted the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning Framework (CTML) and Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner. Besides, the study applied a cross-sectional survey research design. A random sample of 168 teachers comprising of 76.2% females and 23.8% males participated in the study. The Chi-Square test results indicated that gender (x2= 1.335; d.f. =1; p= 0.030), level of education (x2=8.165; d.f. =5; p=0.024) and professional training status (x2= 13.620; d.f. =5; p= 0.020) had a statistically significant linear relationship with the level of utilization of instructional materials. These results implied that female teachers were more likely to use instructional materials than their male counterparts and teachers who were more educated and highly trained were more likely to use instructional materials than their less trained counterparts. However, age, marital status, and duration of teaching experience had no statistically significant relationship with the utilization of instructional materials in pre-primary schools. It was concluded that professional training of pre-primary school teachers is critical for effective teaching and learning at the foundational level. It was recommended that teachers should promote the utilization of instructional materials in their classrooms for interactive and experiential learning of pupils.
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