Improving Learning Environment and Instructional Materials for Nigerian Children with Developmental Disorders: Parent-Teacher Partnerships

By Lesi Elizabeth Kaegon, Lois Nkechi Abraham and Chimezie Njoku.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

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The purpose of this study was predicated on the premise that improving learning environment and instructional materials for Nigerian children with developmental disorders can be achieved through parent-teacher partnerships. Collaborative efforts in learning, which is advocated these days by many growing institutions, holds promise and ginger positive steps towards educational goal achievement, information, and communication. Four research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The study area was Rivers State in Nigeria. The population of the study consisted of 400 principals and 800 teachers in public and approved private schools. The stratified random sampling technique was used to select 160 teachers and 100 principals for the study. The design of the study was descriptive survey. Improving Learning Environment and Instructional Materials Questionnaire for Schools (ILEIMQS) was the main instrument used to gather data. The data was analyzed using mean and rank order. Some major findings emerged from the study: Both public and private school principals are aware and moderate in providing conducive environment for children with developmental disorders. In terms of availability of instructional materials, private school principals did fairly well in comparison to public school principals. The following conclusions were drawn: children with developmental disorders are very different from each other in characteristics, learning preferences, and so on. They are high achievers when properly taught by qualified professionals, provided with quality instructional materials/teaching aids, a conducive environment, and school managers are constrained with many factors that inhibit partnership development and maintenance in school management. Some recommendations were also proffered viz: Governments should establish schools with all available facilities that will aid the learners to achieve their goals and be self-reliant in life; parents should establish a positive working relationship with his/her child’s teacher and an exchange of information on the child’s progress should pass regularly between the home and school; the educational planners should involve parents and school staff in developing an educational plan to address children needs; and that there is need for other professionals such as special tutors, pediatricians, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and audiologists to assess the child’s level of strengths and promising skills.

Keywords: Learning environment, Nigerian children, Developmental disorders

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.39-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 261.476KB).

Dr. Lesi Elizabeth Kaegon

Lecturer, Department of Educational Management, Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, River State, Nigeria

Lesi E. Kaegon is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She holds B. Ed in educational management/English, M. Ed in administration of higher education and Ph. D in educational administration from the University of Port Harcourt. She has her research interest in total quality management and childhood education.

Dr. Lois Nkechi Abraham

Lecturer, Curriculum Studies & Educational Technology, University of Port-Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Lois Abraham lectures in the Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She holds B. Ed, M. Ed and Ph. D in educational technology from the University of Port Harcourt.

Dr. Chimezie Njoku

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Chimezie Njoku holds a B. Ed in social studies from Abia State University, Nigeria; M. Ed in educational management from the University of Southern Queensland Australia; and Ph. D in social studies/ curriculum instruction from the University of Port Harcourt. Presently she lectures in the Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt. She has interest in new teaching and learning pedagogies especially in social studies education.