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Material Resource Management Skills Needed By Preschool Teachers In Ondo State

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Abstract

The study investigated material resources management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State. Specifically, it determined skills needed by preschool teachers for planning, organizing, controlling and evaluating the use of material resources in their classrooms. Four research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey research design was adopted. The area of the study was Ondo State. The population for the study consist of 892 respondents. These include 196 Headmasters/mistress, 679 preschool teachers and 17 Home Economics lecturers from tertiary institutions in the State. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in selecting the 197 respondents which include 90 preschool teachers, 90 preschool management members and the entire 17 Home Economics lecturers in tertiary institutions in the State. The instrument for data collection is a 68-item structured questionnaire titled: “Resources Management Skill Needs Questionnaire (RMSNQ). The instrument was subjected to face validation by three experts. To obtain the reliability of the instrument, 20 copies of the questionnaire were trial tested on 20 similar respondents from Ekiti State. The data collected from the trial testing were analysed using Cronbach Alpha reliability method in which a reliability coefficient of 0.75 was obtained for the entire instrument. The data for the study were collected by the researcher with the help of three research assistants. Out of the 197 copies of the questionnaire distributed to the respondents across the state, 186 copies were completely filled and retrieved representing about 94% return rate. The data collected were analyzed using mean for answering the research questions while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for testing the hypotheses at p≤0.05 level of significance. Findings of the study include: 68 material resources management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State which specifically include: 15 material resource planning, 14 material resource organizing, 19 material resource controlling and 20 material resource evaluation skills. There were no significant differences in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool teachers, preschool management and Home Economics lecturers on the materials resource skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State. Based on these findings, the following recommendations among others were made that: the educational administrators in the state should ensure that preschool teachers are skilled in planning, organizing, controlling and evaluation of the use of material resources in preschools in the state; that the identified skills in planning, organizing, controlling and material resource evaluation that are required by preschool teachers should be made a focus to organize conference and workshops for preschool teachers for skill update in material resource use evaluation.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Pre-school education is education given to a group of children between the ages of three and five in preparation for primary schools. According to Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) (2004), pre-school education includes the crèche, the nursery and the kindergarten. It is an early childhood programme that should be ran by professionally trained adults (Barnett, 2003). A pre-schooler according to Lindberg (2009) is a child between the ages of 3 to 6 admitted into elementary school for educational group experience. The characteristic needs of a child at the pre-schooling age which the school should be able to provide for include creative play, social interaction and natural expression. A pre-schooler is also expected to be taught social skills and provided with an academic foundation for first grade.

The objectives of pre-school are given in the National Policy on Education 2004 to include: providing effective a smooth transition form home to the school; preparing the child for the primary level of education; providing adequate care and supervision for the children while their parents are at work; inculcating social norms in the child and inculcating in the child the spirit of enquiring and creativity through playing among others (FGN, 2004). To achieve these laudable objectives, efforts must be made by the major stakeholders in preschool education to ensure adequate management of the required resources.

Resources are assets used to accomplish goals (Anyakoha, 2007). These resources include human and material resources (Okoye, 2002). The material resources according to Ezenwa & Patrick (2000) are assets in form of material possessions or anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person, company or an organization. In the pre-school, the human resources are care givers and teachers. This group of people are to possess necessary skills, talents and expertise required for effective caring of the preschoolers. On the other hand, the materials within the school environment that can be used to facilitate teaching and learning are needed to be managed by the human resources in the school (Maclean, 2006). The material resources that are needed in the preschool include indoor and outdoor play materials, flashcards, toys, clay, paint, sand, pram or tricylcle among others. These material resources are important at the preschool level because young children cannot comprehend facts presented in abstract forms. The material resources can also be utilized to appeal to all the sensory channels of the children thereby facilitate effective learning of the preschool children. The material resources permit the child to see, touch, hear, smell and in some instances taste. For the material resources to fulfill these functions, they must be properly managed by the preschool teachers and other persons charged with such responsibilities.

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A teacher manages learners, the learning experience and the learning environment which include classrooms, facilities and other material resources in the preschool. A teacher is a person that is trained professionally in the act of teaching in order to be able to impact knowledge and attitude to learners (UNESCO, 2006). A preschool teacher is either a male or female person who has undergone the necessary and recommended training as a teacher and is charged with the full responsibility of managing the classroom as stipulated by school in such a way as to facilitate necessary leaning. The preschool teacher operates under the authority of the preschool management. The preschool management is made up of the Head teachers and the assistants who coordinate the preschool. To facilitate learning at the preschool level, the material resources such as instructional materials and other facilities in the school must be properly managed.

Resources management is a specific activity of an organization to achieve positive end results (UNESCO, 1994). The material resources in the preschool are the instructional materials such as writing materials, the tablets, chairs, board, books, indoor and outdoor games, toys, the classrooms, the play field and other infrastructural facilities in the school. Resource management in preschool involves a coordinated effort to effectively manage the available material resources in the school to promote learning through careful planning, organizing, controlling and evaluation of available material resources in the school.

Planning for material resources in the preschool involves thinking ahead and deciding on actions to take in using the instructional materials and facilities to improve learning in the school. Through planning, the preschool teacher also prepare and maintain the material resources to facilitate teaching and learning in the school. Organizing involves arranging the tasks and the materials needed to put plans into operation (Foster, 1986). Organization implies arranging or putting the required material resources in order which will take into consideration the materials to use, the time of use and the activities or play to be performed.

The control of the use of the materials resources is also very important for effective teaching and learning in the preschool. Controlling involves being in charge of the use and access of the preschoolers to the materials resources in the school environment. Evaluation of the material resources is also an important responsibility of the preschool teacher. Evaluation is the last component of the management system to monitor whether the objectives of the organization or the school system are being achieved. Evaluation deals with the assessment of situations in order to determine their relationships with the stated goals and objectives (Redmond, 2009). Evaluation involves assessing from time to time the relevance, the condition, the effectiveness and the utilization of the material resources for instructional delivery in the preschool. Therefore, the preschool teacher must be very skillful in managing the available material resources in the school if the objectives of the system are to be met on continuous basis.

Efficient management in the preschool will ensure maximum utilization and management of the existing school resources in order to make educational institution a huge success. The management of school to a large extent is influenced by a number of factors which include location (urban and rural) and school management (private or public). On the location for instance, schools in rural areas are at disadvantage in terms of availability of required material and even human resources. Also, the possession and management of resources in private schools tend to be more effective than that of the public schools due to strict management practices in private schools.

To ensure effective management of the available material resources of the preschool on sustainable basis, the management activities and skills of the preschool teachers is an important factor. The resource management activities of the preschool teachers cover careful planning, organizing, controlling and evaluation of the available instructional materials and other facilities in the preschool in order to create conducive teaching and learning environment for the teachers and the preschoolers. Unfortunately, preschool school education system in Ondo State is challenged with gross mismanagement of the available material resources in the preschools. This is a situation that undermines the achievement of the stated objectives of the preschool education in the state. Therefore, the researcher deemed it necessary to identify the material resource management skills needed by the preschool teachers using Ondo State as case study.

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Statement of the Problem.

Preschool education is the education given to a group of children between the ages of 3 to 5 years in preparation for primary school education. It includes the crèche, the nursery and the kindergarten. The objectives of preschool education in the National Policy on Education 2004 include: providing smooth transition from home to school, providing adequate care and supervision for the children when parents are at work, preparing children for primary education, teaching the rudiments of numbers, alphabets, colours, letters, forms and shapes using play method and teaching good health habits.

Based on the needs of the society, many individuals in Ondo State established different nursery schools in the state. The researcher was opportune to visit some of the pre-primary schools during teaching practice supervision of some of her students posted to the primary schools. This opportunity enabled the researcher to see what the children were doing. Amazingly, some of the material resources were not well utilized, organized and stored by the care givers. Some of the materials were spoilt and not replaced. Some pupils struggled over play materials claiming ownership and everywhere was rowdy. In some of the schools visited, the material resources were not available while in some the resources were packed in the cupboards and baskets to the extent that the care-givers will be struggling searching for them to be used by the preschoolers.

The experience made it appear to the researcher that there is little or no effective management of material resources in the preschools in the state. With the interaction of the researcher with the care-givers, the researcher was able to note that most of the care-givers were secondary school graduates who were not trained on how to handle the children (preschoolers) and the resources for effective teaching in the preschools but were source of cheap labours to the proprietors. Therefore, if appropriate material resource management skills were identified and the care-givers were exposed to it, there is every likelihood for improvement in material resource management. It was based on this premise that this study was conducted to investigate material resource management skills needed by the preschool teachers in Ondo State.

Purpose of the Study.

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the material resources management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State. Specifically, the study sought to identify:

  1. Skills needed by preschool teachers for planning the use of materials resources in their classrooms.
  2. Skills needed by preschool teachers for organizing material resources in their classrooms.
  3. Skills needed by preschool teachers for controlling the use of material resources in their classrooms.
  4. Skills needed by preschool teachers for evaluating the use of material resources.

Significance of the Study.

The findings of the study on resource management skills needed by the preschool teachers in planning, organizing, controlling and evaluating available materials resources will be useful in a number of ways to the preschool- teachers, the parents and preschool management, education policy makers’ and researchers with special research interest in improving the quality of education at the preschool level.

The findings of the study will be of benefit to the preschool-teachers by providing them with necessary information on skills needed for material resource management. The training information will create awareness in them about the usefulness of the resources and the skills needed in supervising and managing these resources so that they can be used to achieve the objective of preschool.

This study will provide information to parents on the usefulness of material resources such as toys play materials which are utilized for effective teaching and learning. This study will also encourage the government to enforce the policies of employing qualified teachers to teach in nursery schools and have those teaching presently retrained in resource management for the purpose of effectiveness.

The study will serve as a guide to private school proprietors and proprietresses on the provision of adequate facilities, equipment and make provision for qualified teachers. Results of the study will also create a conducive environment where the children can be taught, sanitation and personal hygiene.

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Educational policy makers at the state and national level will be provided with research- based information  that will be made available by this study for the formulation of necessary policies that will promote quality teaching and learning at the preschool level. The findings that will emanate from the study will provide curriculum planners at the preschool level with the required information for curriculum review and update and the provision of the necessary material resources in the school. Academics with research interest in preschool education will be provided with information that will help to sharpen the focus of their studies.

The findings of this study will revalidate the theoretical significance of the theories of management and Maslow theory of need. Theory of management is concerned with the art of achieving goals through combination of the available organizational or institutional resources. In this study, effective combination and management of material resources is required for the achievement of goals and objectives of preschool education. The theory of need accurately describes many realities of personal experiences. It is believed that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities, which means that, humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom in their career or profession. The preschool teachers in the study are seeking for improvement for effective service delivery in the preschool education system. Therefore, the findings that will emanate from this study on material resource management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State will further validate the significance of resource management theory and Maslow theory of need on which this study was

theoretically anchored.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study.

  1. What are the skills needed by preschool teachers for planning the use of materials resources in their classrooms.
  2. What are the skills needed by preschool teachers for organizing material resources in their classrooms.
  3. What are the skills needed by preschool teachers for controlling the use of material resources in their classrooms.
  4. What are the skills needed by preschool teachers for evaluating the use of material resources.

Hypotheses.

The following hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool management, preschool teachers and Home Economics lecturers on the skills needed by preschool teachers for planning the use of materials resources in their classroom.

Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool management, preschool teachers and Home Economics lecturers on the skills needed by preschool teachers for organizing material resources in their classroom.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool management, preschool teachers and Home Economics lecturers on the skills needed by preschool teachers for controlling the use of material resources in their classroom.

Ho4:  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool management, preschool teachers and Home Economics lecturers on the skills needed by preschool teachers for evaluating the use of material resources in their classroom.

 Scope of the Study

The study was delimited to the identification of skills for management of material resources needed by pre-school teachers in Ondo State. The skills are those that deal with planning the use of material resources for teaching and learning, organizing the material resources for teaching and learning, controlling the use of material resources for teaching and learning evaluating the material resources use in classroom for teaching. The public preschool administrators and preschool teachers constituted the respondents from which data that were used to answer the research questions were collected.

Preschool administrators were selected as part of the respondents for this study because, they are directly involved in the procurement of material resources in the preschool and also in the recruitment of preschool teachers. The preschool teachers on the other hand who are part of the subjects for this study are considered important in providing the needed data since they are directly in charge of managing the material resources in the preschool to teacher the preschoolers. The study focused on preschools in Ondo State.


Pages:  143

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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