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Keywords:THE USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEACHING AND READING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intention of deriving meaning (reading comprehension) and /or constructing meaning. It is the mastery of basic cognitive processes to the point where they are automatic so that attention is freed for the analysis of meaning. Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language skills, it is complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continues practice, development and refinement (Wikipedia, 2006).
Among several conceptualizations of interest the most common are to consider interest as a state and/or as a disposition. It has also been demonstrated that interest has both cognitive and affective (emotional) components. Researchers also distinguish between individual and situational interest, with the former targeting personal interest and the latter focusing on creating appropriate environmental settings (Jenkins, 2004). Individual habit has been viewed as a relatively long-lasting predisposition to reengage with particular objects and events. Increased knowledge, value, and positive effect have been connected with individual habit. Pupils bring to their academic experience a network of individual interests, some similar to and some incompatible with classroom learning. Social categories such as gender and rare also function as individual interest factors that may affect classroom engagement (Douglas, 2006).
The availability of educational resources is very important because of its role in the achievement of educational objectives and goals. The extent to which an organization like educational institution attains her objectives is directly proportional to the educational resources available and their utilization. Educational resources can be categorized into human, material, physical and financial resources. Human resources in education are the pupils, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, bursar, librarian, laboratory attendants, clerks, messengers, mail runners, gatekeepers, gardeners and cooks as well as educational planners and administrators. Material resources include textbooks, charts, maps, audiovisual and electronic instructional materials such as radio, tape recorder, television and video tape recorder. Other category of material resources consist of paper supplies and writing materials such as biro, eraser, exercise books, crayon, chalk, drawing books, notebooks, pencil, ruler, slate, workbooks and so on. Physical resources include classrooms, lecture theatres, auditoriums, typing pools, administrative block, libraries, laboratories, workshops, gymnasia, assembly halls, special rooms like sickbay, staff quarters, pupils’ hostels, kitchen, cafeteria, lavatory and toilet. Financial resources are the monetary inputs available for and expended on the education system. Theses include money allocated to education by the government grants, PTA levy, and donations from philanthropist and internally generated funds.
Individuals have perceived and acknowledge the purpose and function of resource in effective teaching and learning of reading. Hallack (2002) emphasized that the availability, relevance and adequacy of educational resource items contributed to academic achievement and that unattractive school buildings, crowded classrooms, non-availability of playing ground and surroundings that have no aesthetic beauty can contribute to poor academic performance.
According to James (2006), up to the early 1980s, the prevalent view in educational research was that proficient readers process and recall text according to its hierarchical structure. Thus it was believed that readers could recall best the more important ideas at the higher levels of text structures. The ability to read well is absolutely critical to success in life. According to Tracy (2008), reading is the only form of entertainment that is also an essential life skill. Reading is a skill that must be nurtured from a child’s earliest years. Once children know how to read, they still need support to reach their full potential as readers. Most children with learning have problems with reading and related language skills. The decline in reading among children is an offshoot of technological advancements that have brought about overall changes in family, social, and economic conditions.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, there has been a general decline in the reading skills of pupils as well as academic achievement of pupils. Educators and librarians alike blamed “progressive education” and the technological evolution for taking away people’s attention from reading to other digital media. Pupils in Nigeria prefer to spend their leisure time watching football matches and other programmes on television to investing in reading a novel or a book. In a study carried out on the reading habits of primary school pupils by James (2009) in Kaduna State showed that more than half of the pupils reading fewer than four books a year. Okebukola (2004) affirms that, through reading, humans have the tools to transmit knowledge to each succeeding generation; it allows one to listen to the wisdom and people of the ages. He asserts that every child must become fully competent in reading to succeed in school and discharged responsibilities as a citizen of a democratic society. Reading is the foundation of much enjoyment in life and is closely related to vocational efficiency. Pupils and employees in every field must read to keep abreast of what is happening in their fields. They must rely on written or digital words to convey information and data.
Instructional media are vital for the achievement of educational objectives. Generally, they provide varieties of learning experiences, make learning fun, interesting and motivating. For pupils in primary schools, instructional media are particularly useful in the provision of concrete referents which the learners are not capable of generating on their own. In spite of the importance of media in instruction, there are many problems militating against their use in public primary schools. These include, unavailability and inaccessibility of media, non-existence of Education Resources’ Centers (ERC), incompetence of teachers, large classes, lack of facilities, centralized funding and media acquisition arrangements. Based on the above statement, the researcher seeks to find out the utilization of instructional materials are used in the teaching of reading to primary schools pupils in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this research study is to investigate into the utilization of instructional materials in teaching of reading to primary schools pupils in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State. The specific objectives of the study include:
- To find out the extent to which adequate instructional materials for teaching reading is available in primary schools in Kanam Local Government Areas of Plateau State.
- To find out the effect of utilization of instructional materials on academic performance of pupils in reading in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State
- To find out the problems that militates against effective utilization of instructional materials in teaching reading in primary schools in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State.
- To find out ways of improving the standard of teaching and learning reading in primary schools in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State.
In order to facilitate the findings of this research study, the following research questions are formulated.
- To what extent are instructional materials for teaching reading available in primary schools in Kanam Local Government Area?
- To what extent are instructional materials appropriately used in teaching reading to primary schools in Kanam Local Government Area?
- To what extent does the use of instructional materials affect pupils reading ability in primary schools Kanam Local Government Area?
The following hypotheses will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.
- There is no significant relationship between the use of instructional materials and pupils’ reading ability in primary schools Kanam Local Government Area
- There is no significant relationship between pupils reading skills and their academic performance in school.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study when completed will be of great benefit to pupils, teachers, researchers, scholars and the general public.
- Pupils: The study will reveal the extent to which instructional materials are available in schools and its effects on the academic achievement of pupils in reading. It will also suggest ways though which the standard of teaching and learning can be improved in schools to the benefit of pupils.
- Teachers: The findings of this study will enlighten teachers on how they can appropriately utilize instructional materials to make the teaching and learning of reading effective and easier to the benefit of the teachers. Furthermore, the study will reveal the problems that militate against effective utilization of instructional materials for teaching and learning reading and will also suggest ways through which the problems can be tackled.
- Researchers and Scholars: The findings of this study will serve as reference point to future researchers in this field and also vital source of information to scholars in this area.
- General public: The study when completed will serve as source of enlightenment and information to any member of the public interested in knowing more about the use of instructional materials in teaching reading to pupils.
SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research study investigates into the utilization of instructional materials in teaching of reading in primary schools. The study will be carried out in primary schools in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The study sample will comprised of five primary schools in Kanam local Government Area. They are:
- Central Primary School Dengi
- Primary School Pidum
- Primary School Runji
- Primary School Mulas
- Science Primary School Jarmai
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are defined in the context in which they are used in this research
- READING: is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intention of deriving meaning and constructing meaning. It is the mastery of basic cognitive processes to the point where they are automatic so that attention is freed for the analysis of meaning.
- Instructional materials: These are teaching and learning aids used to enhanced effectiveness and understanding in the process of teaching and learning.
- Utilization: This is the act of putting into use resources of aids in order to facilitate the effectiveness and progression of an activity
- READING HABIT: This refers to how frequent students engage in reading and their general attitude towards reading.
- READING ABILITIES: This is the acquisition of reading skills to read effectively and decode meaning out of it.
- Militating: This refers to factors that stand as obstacle or hinders the progress of an activity or event
- Education: This is process of impacting knowledge, skills and value in an individual in order to make him/her literate and useful to the society.
- Academic Achievement: This is level of knowledge, skills, norms and value an individual has acquired in process of training in an educational setting.
Keywords: THE USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEACHING AND READING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
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