Evaluating The Effectiveness Of Teaching Styles In Early Childhood Education

Project and Seminar Material for Child and Basic Education

Evaluating The Effectiveness Of Teaching Styles In Early Childhood Education


Abstract


This study is on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education. The total population for the study is 200 staff of some selected nursery and primary schools in Lagos mainland. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up headmistresses, head teachers, class teachers and teachers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


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 hat 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 learnability 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 Objective of the Study

The specific objectives of this study are 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 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.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: There will be no significant relationship between teaching styles and teaching effectiveness at the early childhood education

H1: 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.

H2: There will be significant relationship between teaching styles and children’s academic performance at the early childhood education.


1.5 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:

To the Children:

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

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.

To the Teachers:

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

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.

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.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study is aimed at evaluating teaching effectiveness in selected public and private early childhood institutions in Lagos Mainland of Lagos State and the findings may be generalized to the whole state or other states in Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

A) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Teaching Styles:

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

Early Childhood Education:

Formal education that is received from three to six years.

Teaching Effectiveness:

The ability of the teacher to achieve the stated objectives at the end of the teaching.

Teaching Techniques:

Teacher’s ways or method of teaching.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain evaluating the effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education


5.2 Summary

This study was on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching styles in early childhood education.  Five objectives were raised which included: Emphasize the need to use appropriate teaching styles and techniques in early childhood institutions, identify some teaching styles that are highly effective in teaching young children, ascertain the impact of inappropriate use of teaching styles and techniques for the child,  examine the teaching styles that are commonly used by teachers in some selected early childhood institutions, find out whether 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. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of some selected nursery and primary schools in Lagos mainland. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up headmistresses, head teachers, class teachers and teachers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

The study has identified the different learning styles that can be found in children. These have been discussed in relation to different learning style models that have been advanced to explain different preferences in children towards learning. The paper further focused on the different methods that can be used by a teacher in recognition of the different learning styles in children at ECD. The paper notes that Science is a practical subject, and as such children have to explore, discover, observe, and share ideas as they learn. In conclusion, it can be noted that there is no one particular teaching and learning method that suits all children, and as such the teacher has to vary the teaching methods to cater for different preferences among children. Furthermore, the paper noted that the environment has a role to play, not only in promoting the children’s learning styles, but developing a positive attitude towards different learning styles as they work in groups.


5.4 Recommendation

The study recommend the predominant style still in the early stage in school, the teacher has the possibility of promoting an education which develops characteristics of the other learning styles, which can play in a significant manner in the students’ academic background. It is known that during the school years, they will have contact with different teachers and, consequently, with different Learning Styles and also different teaching from their teachers. The identification of the predominant style in the stage of Early Childhood Education allows the student to reinforce the other styles in different learning situations, being able of achieving more meaningful learning.


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