Background to the Study
There is a certain report that claims that man arrived to earth in nearly the same manner as the wild animals surrounding him, without weapons, buildings, and language. The history of this topic is not certain when man began occupying this world, but there is one tale that implies this. Because man gained knowledge about his surroundings, he was able to distinguish between foods that were fit for consumption and those that should be avoided. The educational pursuits of the period were straightforward yet useful in the sense that they focused on preparing students to contribute to the many requirements of the community.
According to the findings of the previous investigation, even though early man was not as evolved as we are now, he had a tremendous potential, which was determined by circumstances, to learn a large number of things for the survival and for the welfare of his surroundings. As a result, man is fundamentally an animal capable of learning, and his education should provide him with the difficulties that are essential for him to do so. It should come as no surprise that humanity and education are intricately linked to one another. The English term “education” comes from the Latin word “educare,” which literally means “to pull forth.” Therefore, education may be seen as the process of bringing out and developing the potentialities of a person. To put it another way, education is a process through which an individual is exposed to and provided with the opportunities of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that develop cumulatively with the aim of: 1. Preparing him well to enable him to satisfactorily integrate effectively in the society; 2. Pursuing a career; and 3. Sharpening his quest for continuous learning. Education is a systematic process through which an individual is exposed to and provided with the opportunities of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that develop cumulatively (Ekwueme ,2020)
Education serves a variety of purposes. It makes it possible to make economic, social, cultural, political, and scientific development, among other kinds of advancement. Education is not simply the process of passing on information and cultural traditions from one generation to the next; it also involves giving individuals with the knowledge and abilities that will allow them to analyze, diagnose, perform, question, and ponder. According to the World Forum on Education (2015), the fields of early education and early childhood education have been significantly influenced by the processes of industrialization, migration, and urbanization. These have an effect on changes in the structure and composition of the family as well as a decline in infant motility, which necessitates attention being paid to the education and development of children who are now surviving despite possibly engaging in behaviors that negatively affect development.
Because children are the future leaders of their respective civilizations, no country can afford to ignore the importance of education for its own children. Children are the future. According to Wheeler (2021), every civilization teaches its own children in order to make those youngsters conform to the expectations of that society. According to Stenhouse (2020), society is the one that determines both the curriculum and the expectations for an individual’s educational experience. This kind of education begins in the early years of a child’s life, and its overarching aims stem from the desire of society to assist, stimulate, and steer the developing processes of the child in the direction of competence. The educators in Nigeria have come to the realization that the future of the Nigerian society is dependent on laying a solid foundation for the children in the early years of their lives. As a result, it is extremely important that the children be provided with early educational experiences that are appropriate and meaningful to them.
Early childhood education, whether it takes place inside four walls or outside of any educational institution at all, is a legacy left by the nation’s colonial rulers, much like the other educational systems that exist in this country. Between the years 1842 and 1848, there was a significant uptick in missionary activity. The ladies of the colonial masters were left behind in their homes when the men originally arrived. Over time, the women made their way to be with their husbands. The need of enrolling their children in a school of their own. The name “nursery of the baby church” was given to the first school to be built in Nigeria, which was located in Badagry and founded by missionaries in the 1840s. Despite the fact that its name suggested otherwise, the institution was a primary school. During that time, the colonial ruler gave little attention to the education of children in pre-primary schools. Typically, a nursery is linked to every primary school. The nursery classes that were founded in this way were protected and turned into feeder schools. The education of children aged three to five was not included for the very first time until the national curriculum conferences held in 1969. These conferences took place in 1969. The daycare center, which provides care for children as a replacement for that of the home and is available to children whose parents or the children themselves are deemed to be in particular need of such assistance, is one of the three fundamental components that comprise pre-primary education. Children who are between the ages of three and four are encouraged to enroll in the kindergarten. The nursery school takes in children between the ages of four and six years old and helps the child develop his linguistic and mathematical skills in order to get him or her ready for entry into the primary school. In addition to this, the nursery school serves other purposes, such as helping children whose homes are socially or educationally unsatisfactory; helping children whose mother had to go to work; and helping as a place where early diagnosis of individual handicaps could be made and paper remedial treatment gi could be given.
The concept of nursery education originated in the western world, where it was reserved solely for the infant children of wealthy parents. This remained the case until the masses achieved a breakthrough through government pronouncements that made kindergarten or nursery school mandatory and free in many parts of developed countries. The significance of early childhood development was acknowledged in a proclamation that was signed by 38 African nations and presented to the international conference on education for all (EFA) in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990. The EFA summit was held in New Delhi, India, in 1993. It saw basic education as the basis for lifelong learning and human growth, on which a nation may methodically construct other levels and forms of education and training. This view is shared by the United States Department of Education. As a result, it strongly recommended that early childhood development activities be expanded, as well as the exploration of all available instruments of information, communication, and social action, with the goal of assisting people in acquiring the minimum amount of basic learning required for a better life.
Learning on the part of the learner should be the ultimate goal of any instructive endeavor if it is to be considered successful. The phrase “change in behavior” is used to represent the effect of learning. This helps to explain why “change in behavior that is consequential on or owing to experience” is a common definition of learning (Akande, 2019). A guy with a great deal of learning is also a man with a lot of understanding, and so is a man who is educated. On the other hand, teaching is a collection of activities and expressions that take place in a classroom and involve an exchange of ideas and materials between a teacher and the students with the goal of developing cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and aesthetic goals in the students. Teaching can be thought of as a cluster of actions and expressions that take place in a classroom. According to Ekwueme (2020), it is the responsibility of the teacher to provide for experiences that will assist, excite, and organize the children’s education in order to bring about a development or comprehension that is suitable to the child’s specific capabilities and requirements. Therefore, it is essential for the educator to use instructional materials or help in order to generate teaching and learning experiences that are straightforward, engaging, methodical, constructively interactive, and significant for the students.
It is impossible to place enough emphasis on the significance of instructional resources and tools in the learning process. It has been suggested that the use of materials crafted in the immediate area is advantageous to the growth of the children who attend a nursery. Although these resources could be accessible, it’s possible that the instructor isn’t making good use of them. Either that, or the teacher just doesn’t have the skills necessary to use them. During the process of training a kid’s senses, the youngster will accumulate experiences, which will later serve as the building blocks for their knowledge. When teaching anything, it’s important to engage as many of a student’s senses as possible so that they may get the most out of the experience (Akande, 2020).
The goal of educational activities is to assist the kid in becoming aware of his or her human nature, to equip the child with the fundamentals of knowledge, and to establish a connection between the child and the natural world. According to UNICEF (2018), it is important to keep in mind the following: “That concern for comprehensive child development naturally includes concern for the survival, health care, and growth monitoring of children and attention to the learning and stimulation required to help them realize their full potential, the intellectual, social, and emotional aspects of the child’s development.” When it comes to the mental and social growth of a young kid, a stimulating atmosphere should be created with careful consideration and attention to detail. The activities should be adapted to the specific circumstances of the area, and their goals should be to both use and bolster the resources that are already there in the family and the community. To ensure that programs for children aged 3 to 6 years old address a broad range of urgent developmental needs, especially those of children living in poverty and affected adversely by forces or social-economic change, special attention should be paid to the needs of the mother while she is pregnant as well as the needs of children from birth to two years of age. In addition, special attention should be paid to the needs of children from birth to two years of age.
This phenomenon is characterized by the environment having either a direct or indirect impact on man in a particular location. Components of the environment include human people, human behaviors, society law, values, and traditions, natural, physical elements, and the preexisting sociopolitical conditions. All of these aspects of the setting have some influence on the subjects that are taught, when they are taught, how they are taught, and where they are taught. When certain academics (Smith, Stanley, and Shore) state that the “curriculum is intertwined with the social fabric that sustains it,” they appropriately emphasize the role of environment. In this sense, environment refers to society. The social fabric is the network of interdependent factors that have a direct or indirect impact on educational activities within a particular location. This may be either positive or negative. The challenges and possibilities that are present in a particular area serve as the inspiration for educational activities. The environment provides the source for educational resources, such as learning experiences and audio-visual aids, which are generated from the environment. Educationists have also shown that there is a subtle link between the influence that the environment has on children and the research that children do on the environment. This relationship has been found to exist between the two. In addition to the social environment, what is deemed vital in the classroom is both the context and the substance of the education that is received. The actual institution of education itself is an essential component of the community. Because of this, when students are taught knowledge about the environment, they also learn about themselves at the same time. Taking into consideration all that has been said so far, the use of teaching and learning aids and materials is recommended in order to produce educational experiences that are straightforward, fascinating, methodical, positively participatory, and meaningful.
Statement of the Problem
The educational activities, particularly those that are focused on the education of young children, are based on the challenges and opportunities that are present in a particular environment. Furthermore, the educational materials that are used for teaching are comprised of learning experiences that are derived from the environment (Tomopoilous, et al, 2020). It has come to the attention of educators that there exists a subtle connection between the impact that the surrounding environment has on children and the way in which children learn. As a result, the establishment of an atmosphere that is both exciting and supportive of the psychological and social growth of young children should get a great deal of attention. Activities should also be adapted to the local environment, and they should strive to both draw from and improve the resources that are already available in the family and the community (Tomopoilous, et al, 2020). Taking into consideration everything that has been stated thus far, educational instructional materials for teaching and learning should be utilized in order to make educational experiences during the early childhood years simple, interesting, systematic, positively interactive, and meaningful educational encounters. It is impossible to place enough emphasis on the significance of instructional materials and aids in the learning process, particularly in the formative years of school. Because of this, improvisation is necessary anytime these resources are unavailable. There is evidence that using items that are produced in the immediate area is advantageous to the intellectual development of toddlers and preschoolers (Tomopoilous, et al, 2020). It’s possible that some schools have access to these resources, but whether or not they’re used in a productive way is ultimately up to the classroom instructor. It’s possible that they won’t be available in some situations, in which case a teacher who isn’t familiar with improvisation should avoid using them when instructing and guiding students’ learning. Otherwise, the educational process won’t be as effective, and the child won’t be able to develop their communicative skills as they should. When there is a shortage of instructional materials, the majority of teachers are unable to improvise with what is available in their environment in order to effectively drive home lessons taught and improve communicative competence in early childhood learners. This is a problem because improvising can be an effective way to improve communicative competence in early childhood learners.
Purpose of the Study
The general objective of the study is to investigate the use of locally made instructional materials in the teaching and learning of primary school children. Specifically, the study is designed with the following objectives.
i. To find out the efficiency of locally made instructional materials on students’ learning outcome
ii. To investigate if locally made materials can be used as a substitute to expensive, standard instructional materials.
iii. To find out if effective implementation of available locally made instructional materials promotes effective teaching
iv. To evaluate the relationship between locally made instructional materials and academic performance of primary school pupils
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
i. What is the efficiency of locally made instructional materials on students’ learning outcome?
ii. Can locally made materials be used as a substitute to expensive, standard instructional materials?
iii. Does effective implementation of available locally made instructional materials promotes effective teaching?
iv. Is there a relationship between locally made instructional materials and academic performance of primary school pupils?
Significant of the Study
These study attempts to identify the use locally made materials in the teaching of primary school children as a distinguish factor for school effectiveness and efficiency. However, this study will be significant to school proprietors and school heads such as head Masters/ Mistress, head teachers etcetera understand the fact that the use of locally made materials is a cogent factors if the school is to attain its aim of producing, breeding individuals that will be useful to themselves and to the society at large. Furthermore, this study will enable the government understand there is need for the use of locally made materials in the teaching of nursery school children in order to bring about the intended learning out come in individuals.
The study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the Study
This study will find out the efficiency of locally made instructional materials on students’ learning outcome. The study will also investigate if locally made materials can be used as a substitute to expensive, standard instructional materials. The study will further find out if effective implementation of available locally made instructional materials promotes effective teaching. Lastly, the study will evaluate the relationship between locally made instructional materials and academic performance of primary school pupil. Hence this study will be delimited to Ebonyi state.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend 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), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Definition of terms
Locally made: done in, made in, or connected with a particular area
Instructional material: the content or information conveyed within a course.
Teaching: the occupation, profession, or work of a teacher.
Learning: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.