THE EFFECT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN BETWEEN 0-8 YEARS OLD

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PROJECT INFORMATION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Early childhood education is the term commonly used to describe the formal teaching and care of young children by people other than their family or in settings outside of the home. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) the developmental definition of early childhood education, spans the human life from birth to age eight. However, typically early childhood education covers the period from birth to when a child starts school and this can be as early as five years of age. Early childhood development and education is the overall development of the child socially, physically and intellectually. It encompasses the care, development and education of children below the age of six years. Maduewesi, in Osakwe (2009). Pre-primary education as defined by Omozeghian (1995) is the education meant for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years. The National Policy on Education (2004) sees pre-primary education as the education given in an educational institution to children aged 3-5 years plus prior to their entering the primary school. That is to say that early education is a special kind of education provided in an institution for children, prior to their entering the primary school. Early childhood education, in the context of formal education can be said to be “a formalized educational process to which children between the ages 2½ through five plus are subjected to in designated pre-school institutions” Mezieobi (2006). Early childhood education involvement according to Barnard (2001) positively affect home and school participation in education at the long run.

A child who fails to acquire early education may suffer emotionally, socially, intellectually and even physically if he or she is trusted into the primary school without a sustainable early childhood education involvement that will give him a solid foundation in the primary school. Infact, for the effective and efficient unfolding and development of a child’s latent abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of positive values in the society in which he lives, early childhood education becomes very imminent. This is of utmost importance because researches on early childhood education have shown that early childhood education involvement have great impact on every facet of a child’s development and had suggested that the first teacher is an extremely important person in the child’s life, hence he becomes a role- model to the child.

According to Feeney, Christensen and Moravick (1987), early childhood education is an asset of immense value in the later academic pursuit of a child and much more lately in life. This early involvement exposes the child to all fields which make him more apt to learn in the primary level as the confidence in his learning capabilities which he acquired from the nursery school is lifted to the primary school. This eventually aids and facilitates his learning. The early childhood institution aims at developing the cognitive and affective potential at an early age. Anderson (2002) is of the view that when children are exposed to early childhood education, they develop superior communication skills, necessary physical ability and social unity needed in adult life and an increased cognitive and effective educational balance. Researchers in the field and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood process. Early childhood education takes many forms depending on the beliefs of the educator or parent. In today’s world, parents and families contribute as much as teachers, students and administrators to the educational process or even more. More than any other time in history, involving community players represents a high priority of most school settings. The measured and researched positive effects of parent involvement on student academic achievement pushes this area into focus of most school district and early childhood prograqmme goals. Miedel and Reynolds (1999) are of the opinion that when families are involved in their children’s early education, children experience greater success once they enter primary school and even in later life. The formal school setting in early childhood education is a supplement to the home and a substitute. It promotes the complete development of the child that the house can easily provide. Most parents are limited in what they can give such as space, variety of equipment, educational materials and experiences of their children.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Early childhood education very importance to the children between 0-8 years old in that it will help in mental development of children and academic performance however, there are still some challenges faced by the school management as regard early childhood education. One of the challenges is the parent level of trust on the school management for proper care of their children. Many parents are burdened with their own concerns that they are unable to provide the guidance that a child needs as he faces problems and frustrations especially where mothers are the sole support or the breadwinner of the family. Children may be left in the care of untrained and unhealthy people in crowded apartment devoid of play materials and playmates that children need leading to neglect and deprivation which may result to lasting severe and negative effects in the life of the child. If however the formative years are characterized by exposure to a wide variety of learning activities and social contacts, skilled teaching, and intelligent guidance, then healthy growth and adjustment occurs. Early childhood education give children a group experience which extends values of family given then a total experience in democratic living in which cooperation is strengthened and competition minimized. Also there have been little or no research trying to link early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old; hence a need for the study.

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aim of the study is to determine the effect of early childhood education on the academic performance of children between 0-8 years old. The objectives of the study are:

  1. To determine the relationship between early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old
  2. To determine the importance of early childhood education to children between 0-8 years old
  3. To identify the factors affecting early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old
  4. To recommend ways to improve the academic performance of children between 0-8 years old

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 The following research questions guide the objectives of the study:

  1. What is the relationship between early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old?
  2. What is the importance of early childhood education to children between 0-8 years old?
  3. What are the factors affecting early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old?
  4. What are the ways to improve the academic performance of children between 0-8 years old?

1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS

H0: there is no significant relationship between early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old

H1: there is a significant relationship between early childhood education and academic performance of children between 0-8 years old

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study on the effect of early childhood education on the academic performance of children between 0-8 years old will be of immense beenfit the education sector, parent and children. The study assist parent in decision making as regard early childhood education of their children. The study will also educate the management of primary and secondary schools on importance of early childhood education of children. The study will serve as a repository of information to teachers, researchers and students that desire to know more about early childhood education. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on the effect of early childhood education on the academic performance of children

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study covers on the effect of early childhood education on the academic performance of children between 0-8 years old   

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 DEFINTION OF TERMS

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: Early childhood education is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children from birth up to the age of eight. Traditionally, this is up to the equivalent of third grade. 

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.




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