attempted to carry out a comparative study of outdoor play environment in
private and public preschool settings in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos
State. In this study, some relevant and related literature review was carried
out under subheadings. The descriptive research survey was used in the
assessment of respondents opinions with the aid of questionnaire and the
sampling technique. One hundred (100) teachers were selected as sample for this
study which represented the entire population of the study. Also, four (4)
hypotheses were formulated and tested using the independent t-test and pearson
product moment statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of
the data analyses, the following results emerged that: there is a significant difference
between the learning outcomes of children in public and private schools due to
the use of out-door play method, there is a significant relationship between the
use of out-door play method and other methods of teaching children in pre-primary
schools, there is a significant difference between the learning outcomes of
children in schools where out-door play equipment are available and those in
schools where they are not and there is no significant difference between the
learning outcome of children taught with appropriate teaching styles and those
taught with inappropriate teaching styles at the early childhood education.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommends the following:
the National Policy on Education should be reviewed to include among others the
education of the Nigerian child from 0 – 2 years and teachers who teach at the
early child schools/institutions, should of necessity, adopt appropriate
teaching styles that are child-learning oriented. Outdoor plays should be
compulsory for the teaching and learning processes.
of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
to the Study 1
of the Problem 6
of the Study 7
of the Study 9
of the Study 10
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 11
Child Care Development and Education (ECCDE) Project 12
of Early Childhood Development 13
National Policy on Pre-Primary Education 18
Concept, Nature and Stages of Play in Children’s
Learning Activities 20
Play and Learning Effectiveness 23
Play and Curriculum Guidance for the Early
Childhood Learning 25
Differences in Children’s Play Activities 26
Differences in Play as a Teaching Method 28
Outdoor Play and Learning Environment 32
Environment and Importance of Nature to Children 35
Learning Experience and the Natural Environment 37
Outdoor Spaces for Children’s Learning Experiences 39
Importance of Play to Children’s Learning Experiences 44
and Development in Outdoor Play 49
of the Reviewed Literature 53
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 54
and Sampling Technique 54
of Instrument 55
for Data Analysis 56
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSES AND RESULTS 57
4.2 Descriptive Analyses of Bio-Data of Respondents Based on Sex,
Age Range, Qualification, Religion and Marital Status 57
4.3 Descriptive Analyses of Respondents’ Responses Based on
Research Questions 60
of Hypotheses 66
4.5 Summary of Findings 70
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 72
5.1 Introduction 72
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 72
5.3 Summary of the Study 75
5.4 Conclusion 76
5.5 Recommendations 77
to the Study
Play has been the
natural phenomenon with children. According to Aziza (2000), children who are
healthy and not disabled (physically challenged), cannot do without playing in
their natural environments. In some climes, play has been denoted as a
veritable mark of a healthy and vibrant child. This is because, play makes a
child to be active and occupied.
artifacts and documents have proved the fact that children have been in the
natural habits of playing since the earliest times. For instance, toys have
been found in the ruins of the ancient China, Egypt, Babylonia
and other early civilizations. According to Encyclopedia Americana (1980), play
is recreation or any activity done for amusement. It includes everything from
playing with toys to participating in sports, to watching the television. Play
is different from other kinds of human behaviour. In primitive cultures, play
occasions were often regarded as sacred. Games were sometimes played in order
to gain a decision from the gods about the future of a dead man’s soul or a
tribe’s future affairs etc (Aldis, 2005).
Even today, games of
chance are played most often by those members of modern society who have the
least control over their affairs and the least scope for personal initiative. A
game of chance brings the play an opportunity that life usually does not, as the
example of the modern lottery illustrates. Games of strategy which emerged in
human culture with the appearance of social classes and specialized military
groups appear to have been developed as ways of training for diplomacy and
warfare etc (Singer, 2003).
with their innumerable toys, practice the manipulative control of objects, just
as their parents manipulate autos, thermostats, diswashers and computers. Both
adults and children live in a world where the control of machines is critical
to survival. In general however, children’s play today focuses on mental rather
than physical activities. This mental activity is typically modeled in a great
variety of types of make-believe play, the socio-dramatic play with other
children, or the constructive play with toys or with arts and crafts materials
According to Almonde
(2000), an environment is the overall surrounding of a place. He claimed that,
for any out-door play to be effective and result-oriented, the environment in
which play is carried out ought to be well prepared. This, according to him, is
because, the prepared play environment focuses on an organized and co-ordinated
set of materials and equipment calculated towards achieving a significant
learning in the child.
As Adamson (1999) puts
it, the environment on which play is done, should be prepared based on the
child’s need. The environment for out-door play ought to be well ordered
physically and conceptually to give meaning and relevance to the child’s world.
The Montessori house is part of the prepared play environment and includes a
set for rooms each for intellectual work, and there are shelters for individual
play or sleep. A recreation room for games or music, a dining room, a dressing
room, and a garden. These are conceived as part of the set-up to teach the
child self-care and care of property (Ebele, 1999).
Montessori held that
the most characteristic feature of system is the prepared play environment.
Since the child absorbs from the environment, it logically follows that the
environment should be prepared in order to ensure that what is absorbed is
wholesome. Therefore, the following should be put in place within the prepared
environment before out-door play effectively is used as a teaching method in
early childhood education:
Freedom of movement: Everything is tailed to
the child’s size, needs and interests to enhance movement. These will ensure
self motivation and activities. Learning ought to be focused towards
Order of Structure: This is as regards
arrangement and atmosphere (environment). The learning materials, for instance,
have to be well ordered, well kept and presented in such a way to lead to
greater refinement and control.
Reality and Nature: The young child should be
free to explore nature and to observe the harmony and order revealed in nature.
Reality is practicalised with the use of tools and other equipment by children
in their daily classroom activities (Amos, 2000).
observes that one of the most basic principles of modern teaching is that the
teacher should find and use the most attractive approaches to help the learner
to learn. Since the teacher cannot plaster the necessary skills, attitudes and
processes on the child, as the masson will plaster the cement on the walls, the
teacher has to resort to devicing methods sufficiently motivating to persuade
the learner to learn what is necessary. According to Uzor (2000), in the case
of young children, play is known to be their most natural activity. So natural
is playing to children that they instinctively play without being taught or
even specially motivated. Play is therefore self-motivated. It thus, follows
that this natural activity is the best and most wonderful and sensible way to
teach children, for as they play, they learn also.
There are various
theories explaining the meaning and significance of play in human culture and
human society. They include the surplus energy, which takes the position that
man plays in order to get rid of surplus energy. Another view point is that, in
out-door play, the man continuously recreates the society in which it takes
place. Some sociologists such as Enoh et al (1990), posit that play is a
symbolic process which has special significance for preparing the young to participate
later in adult activities; thus, to this group, play is a preparation or
rehearsal for adult roles. These and many other explanations have been given as
to why almost from birth, all children in all cultures play spontaneously
without prompting (Sutton-Smith, 2001).
In Nigeria, there
seems to be high quality out-door environment in the private schools than the
public ones. According to Adekoya (2002), the quality of out-door environment
determines to a great extent, the effectiveness in teaching and learning
process in the school setting. He opined that children learn more in schools
where there is provision for quality out-door environment and materials. Alimi
(2003) is of the opinion that, there is no functional out-door availability of equipment
in most public schools in Nigeria,
especially in Lagos
State. Whereas, virtually
all the private schools, especially the Montessori-based schools, have
functional, qualitative equipment and out-door facilities/materials, put in
place in a conducive play environment that warrants effective teaching and
learning outcomes of children.
In his observation,
Uzodinma (2005), studied ten (10) schools, five public and five private nursery
schools located in Lagos State to see if there is a relationship between out-door
play and learning achievement of children. The outcome of the study indicated
tat a significant relationship exists between out-door play and learning
achievement of children. Further observation that children from the private
schools where out-door equipment and materials are available, coupled with the
decent environment, out-perform those from the public schools where there
exists no out-door equipment and materials to teach children through play. With
this result, Uzodinma concluded that children perform well when they are taught
with the out-door play methods with practical experiences. And that children
learn by practical experiences than theories
of the Problem
The problems inherent
in the non-inclusion of out-door play as a veritable method of teaching and
learning in the early childhood education cannot be overemphasized. Also, the
problem of where outdoor play is done is another headache that has worried
educationists, researchers and other educational stakeholders. For instance, in
as a developing country, children between ages 2 to 6 years are educated in
both the privately owned schools and the public ones. Suffice to say that these
schools lack the appropriate and conducive environment where outdoor play is
ought to be carried. Many private and public schools in Nigeria, and Lagos State
in particular, lack spaces or play grounds, and those that have spaces, do not
have the wherewithal to prepare the environment for unhindered play.
Not only the
unwholesome play environment in many schools, there is the problem of lack of,
or none availability of play materials such as walking and running materials,
materials or equipment that allow children to jump, climb, hop, skip, slid,
tricycle freely. Other equipment that schools lack are those that help children
to throw, catch, kick, strike, bend, stretch, bounce, twist, swing and so on.
Without this equipment being put in place by owners of both the public and
private schools, it will be impossible for children to learn through the
The above problems
gave rise to the examination of a comparative study of out-door play
environment in private and public schools in Lagos State.
of the Study
The main purpose of
this study is to investigate a comparative study of out-door play environment
in private and public schools in Lagos
State. Other specific objectives of this study include to:
Assess whether there is difference between the
learning achievement of children in public and private schools due to
application of out-door play method.
Examine if there is relationship between
out-door play method of teaching and other methods of teaching children.
Investigate if teachers who teach using the
out-door play method produce better pupils than those who use other methods.
Ascertain whether the learning outcomes of
children in schools where there are equipment for out-door plays differ from
those who do not.
Find out whether there is gender difference in
learning outcomes due to the application of out-door play method.
1.4 Research Questions
questions will be asked in this study:
Is there any difference between the learning
achievement of children in public and private schools?
Is there any relationship between out-door
play method and other methods of teaching and learning?
Do teachers who teach with the out-door play
method produce better children in school than those who do not?
What extent can we ascertain whether there is
difference in learning outcomes of children in public and those in private
schools using out-door plays?
Is there gender difference in learning of
children due to the application of out-door play methods?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research
hypotheses will be formulated and tested:
There is no significant difference between the
learning outcomes of children in public and private schools due to the use of
out-door play method.
There will be no significant relationship
between the use of out-door play method and other methods of teaching children
in pre-primary schools.
There will be no significant difference
between the learning outcomes of children in schools where out-door play
equipment are available and those in schools where they are not.
There will be no significant gender difference
in the learning outcomes of children due to the use of out-door play method.
of the Study
study will be benefited to the following:
Children will no doubt, benefit from the
conduct of this study and its outcomes. This is because, the
findings/recommendations of this study, will enable care-givers to learn
probably, new method of teaching the child and keeping him busy through
Parents would also find the outcomes and
recommendations of this study very imperative as they would be able to
understand through this study, that children ought to be taught play. With this
sense of teaching the child, parents would be able also to learn the kind of
playing materials and equipment suitable for the teaching of the child.
Teachers as the surrogate parents to the
child, would find this study very important to his/her teaching method. With
the information disseminated in this study, the experienced and non-experienced
teachers would be able to understand vividly the out-door play teaching method
as the veritable teaching method of coaching the children at their early stages
of learning, especially at the pre-primary schools.
The school authorities would also be
beneficiaries of this study because the findings and recommendations of the
study would enable them to discover out-door play as a good teaching method
which is beneficial to the child’s learning at the early stage of his/her learning
No doubt, the society and researchers will see
the outcomes of this study as important as it should be. Not only that, the
public will appreciate the use of out-door play method of teaching the child as
one of the best and profitable teaching methods in the early childhood
Researchers, scholars and students would find
this study a very good reference material to further their students in similar
of the Study
study attempted to examine a comparative study of out-door play environment in
public and private schools, in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State.
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