Teacher Management of Pre-Primary School Children Learning: Reading Arithmetic Skills Through Visual Media

Teacher Management of Pre-Primary School Children Learning: Reading Arithmetic Skills Through Visual Media

Majiyd Hamis Suru
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9750-7.ch003
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Children learning are affected unpredictably by the objects they see around them and teachers' management of the scenario proximal to a child may have positive or negative consequences on reading, writing, and learning arithmetic skills. The chapter examines teachers' management of pre-primary school children learning to read arithmetic skills through visual media (VM) in selected pre-primary schools in Dodoma Municipality in Tanzania. Purposive sampling technique was employed to get five head teachers while random sampling was used to obtain nine pre-primary teachers from five pre-primary schools. Semi-structured interviews, observation, document reviews, and questionnaires were used to collect data. Pre-primary school teachers demonstrated frequent use of visual media in teaching and learning at pre-primary schools. Acquisitions of arithmetic skills by pre-primary school children were extraordinarily expressed through teachers' experiences. Inadequate classrooms were found to hold back the frequent use of VM in the teaching of arithmetic skills among pre-primary school children.
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The current study is guided by Bronfenbrenner theoretical postulate, which is expounded by mesosystem and exosystem models (Bronfenbrenner et al., 1986; Hickey et al., 2012). Mesosystem models explain the influence of the family on children development and child’s progress in school. The mesosystem models postulate that events at the family level influence a child in complex directions, as the events at community level that affect the family members (parents) influence child learning and progress at school (Bronfenbrenner et al., 1986). Exosystem models hypothesize that developing children in the family is affected by what happens in the environments in which children spend their time and by what occurs in the parents' world of work and parents' circle of friends and acquaintances (Bronfenbrenner et al., 1986; Hickey et al., 2012). To improve modern reading practices, it is equally important to institute appropriate teachers’ management of pre-primary school children learning of arithmetic skills. Appropriate teachers’ management of pre-primary school children can be attained by involving family and community members. Despite the significant role of teachers in assisting learners, but improving collaboration of schools, community and family is compulsory in enhanced learning to read arithmetic skills, especially for pre-primary school children of five years old.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Literacy and Numeracy Education Support (LANES) Program: LANES is an education programme implemented in Tanzania between 2014–2018) to improve the acquisition of reading, writing and numeracy skills (3Rs). The focus the programme was to support children of age group of five to eleven years in and out of schools, special attention was to marginalized children and those in hard to reach and hard to serve areas. The intent was to support age group of two- to four-year-old children in day care centres, and 9 to 13 year-old children in Non-Formal Education programmes.

Pre-Primary School Children: Pre-primary school children are teenagers aged five years or below and enrolled to pre-primary school, which is attached to a public school. However, large number pre-primary children are enrolled in pre-primary schools other than public schools. Most parents in urban areas, particularly from elite groups prefer to enroll their children to highly expensive English Medium-based pre-primary schools.

Education Quality Improvement Programme in Tanzania (EQUIP-T): EQUIP-T is an evaluation programme, which was conducted by Oxford Policy Management (OPM) in 2014 across seventeen districts across Tanzania Mainland. The districts had similar contextual characteristics, including relatively low pass rates in the primary school leaving examination. Evaluation of the programme that most teachers are trained and have good early grade subject knowledge in Kiswahili and mathematics.

Ubongo Kids: In Tanzania, ubongo kids are moving TV cartoons specifically made to help children learning of reading, writing and arithmetic skills at home. TV cartoons are weekly episodes in different TV channels in Tanzania to help children learn at their pace during weekends.

Headteachers: Headteachers are pre-primary or primary school administrators appointed by District Education Officers from among teachers or class teachers to manage school resources. Appointment is done by identifying an individual from among teachers with right credentials to manage primary schools. A headteacher in Tanzania is responsible to manage school resources, including teachers, school facilities, keeping and handling of confidential information, examination, and financial management.

School Culture: School culture is the set of shared values, beliefs and norms that influence the way teachers, pupils and headteachers think, express, feel and behave in and out of school compounds. School culture is demonstrated through symbols, songs, dressing, school vision, mission, and core values.

Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP): PEDP is a Tanzania brainchild education plan, which was formulated in 2001 to implement Tanzania education and training policy of 1995 to ensure expanded and improved primary education.

Pre-Primary School: In Tanzania education system, pre-primary school is a specified level of schooling for children of five years. In Kiswahili, the official language in Tanzania, these schools are popularly called “Shule Shikizi”, meant attached classrooms to a public primary school. At this level of schooling children spend two years before joining primary schools. However, large number of pre-primary schools in Tanzania are owned and managed by individuals, religious organizations, and philanthropists in the name of Non-Governmental Organizations.

Competencies: Competencies are attributes that characterize an individual who demonstrate the ability to perform different tasks, applying combination of skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours required to achieve the stated goals of activities. Competency is an outcome of learning process, which a graduate of a particular level of schooling demonstrates in the real-world practice. Pre-primary children must demonstrate the ability of reading, writing and arithmetic skills that enable them to enroll and learn actively primary school.

School or Classroom Climate: School climate are the norms guiding how the teacher and students interact with one another in a school or classroom the pursuit of both shared values and behaviour. School climate is a condition, which demonstrates shared values and behaviour at the school level while classroom climate is an arrangement of pupils and students so it engages and brings learners together based on shared interests, feelings, beliefs, age group and sex. In classroom climate pupils/students can be grouped heterogeneously or homogenously, interacting across the relatively varied range of their abilities, interests, goals, and status.

Visual Media (VM) or Visual Aids (VA): Visual media: In this study visual media (VM) refers to the visual designated materials that may be locally made or commercially produced. These can be in form of wall-charts, illustrated pictures, pictorial materials, computers, and other electronic gadgets used to help facilitate instructions in the learning and teaching of children at pre-primary schools.

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