The study attempted to investigate the effects
of early childhood education on the cognitive development of primary one pupils
in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, extensive and
relevant literature review was carried out under related sub-headings. The
descriptive research survey was used in this study in order to carry out the
objective assessment of the opinions of the respondents selected for this
study. In addition, the questionnaire was adopted for the collection of data
necessary for this study, while the sampling technique was applied in selecting
the samples for this study. In total, four null hypotheses were generated and
tested in this study, with the application of both the Pearson Product Moment
Correlation and the t-test of independence variable. At the end of the analyses,
the following results emerged: that there is a significant relationship between
pre-primary school education and cognitive development among children in
schools, there is a significant difference between pre-primary school education
and children’s school achievement in schools, that no significant difference
exists between the speech development of children taught by parents and those
taught by teachers and that there is a significant gender difference in
cognitive development by children due to attendance of pre-primary education.
Based on the conclusions of this study, the researcher recommended that the
National Policy on Education should be reviewed to include among others the
education of the Nigerian child from 0 – 2 years.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 4
1.3 Purpose of the Study 5
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the
1.7 Scope of the Study 7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Language and Linguistic Development 8
Intellectual Growth and Potential for
Personality and Emotional Development 11
Early Childhood Education Curriculum 12
Objectives of Early Childhood Education 13
Designing a Curriculum for ECE 14
The Philosophical Bases of Pre-Primary
The National Policy on Pre-Primary
Early Child Care Development and Education
(ECCDE) Project 18
Characteristics of Early Childhood
Parental Role in Early Childhood
Parental Education 26
2.8 Effect of Pre-Primary Education on Speech Development of
Summary of Review 31
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design 32
3.2 Sample and Sampling Technique 32
3.3 Population of the Study 32
3.4 Instrumentation 33
3.5 Reliability of the Instrument 33
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection 33
3.7 Method of Statistical Analysis 34
FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1 Interpretation of Data 35
4.2 Testing of Hypotheses 41
4.3 Summary of Findings 44
FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of the Study 46
5.2 Conclusions 47
5.3 Recommendations 47
1.1 Background to the Study
baby is in the making as soon as conception takes place. Normally, it takes 9
months for a full grown baby in the womb to be born into the world, barring all
accidents and pre-mature delivery. A baby right from conception, is a unique
individual with his or her special characteristics, Caplan and Caplan (1995).
According to them, the nature of children is such that no two children are
completely the same or alike in everything not even identical twins. Thus,
there are obvious differences that differentiate one child from another.
Nwagbara (2003), the complexities in children result both from nature and
nurture. Children go through different stages of development that is, from
birth to young adults. This early years from 2 years to 6 years are critical in
their development. During this period, children’s physical, mental and
psychological development take a leap as they are in a constant state of flux.
They are in the process of undergoing great changes and making significant
development strides, especially in the area of language acquisition and
is believed that children’s reading matter should be linked to their own spoken
language as well as to their interest and experiences for intellectual growth.
The focus on the cognitive growth of children is a welcome development
(Anyanwu, 1991). This is because the brain of a youngster is “tabula rasa”
ready to be occupied. Realizing that, educators go into searching for the
appropriate stimuli that can yield the best result for the children. Webber
(1970) opines that it must be recognized that something can be done about
children’s intelligence as a result of the type of experiences provided for
(1984) is of the opinion that story books provide such experiences that can
make for the intellectual growth of children. According to him, stories provide
and improve reading, writing and thinking skills especially as they stimulate
the intellect. Stories foster understanding of human actions. Just one story
can form the bases for more detailed exploration of other actions. Selected
experiences as reflected in story books give children the opportunity to use
words that are familiar to them through their family life. Children are thus
encouraged to extend vocabulary appropriately. Not only that they learn the
vocabulary of colours, shapes, textures etc early in life as their story books
are almost always pictorial. For the intellectual development of children,
story books give the practice of the four language skills – listening,
speaking, reading and writing. They also help children to learn new words as
well as alternative meanings of words contextually. This is possible,
especially if the language of the stories is not too simple.
Anyamelue (2003), it is important to give young children the quality care,
nutrition and stimulation they need for healthy growth and development.
Moreover, the holistic care of young children has been receiving recognition
both in Nigeria and internationally. This was prominent in the CRC and
re-echoed more recently at the Dakar World Education Forum, 2000. At the forum,
the goal of expanding and improving comprehensive early childcare and education
of the main features of early childhood is the rapid development of the brain.
According to Godges (2001) “the last three months of prenatal life and the
first two years after birth have been termed the most critical period to brain
growth spurt”. This is because, during this period, more than half of the adult
brain weight is added. It grows tremendously in the first few years of life,
increasing to about 2/3 of adult weight by the end of the first year and to
about 7.5% by the age of two years and 90% by the age of five. Thus, a five
year old’s brain has developed almost to the level of an adult’s.
because of the rapid growth of the brain, the child needs adequate nutrition at
this period. This is because, poor nutrition before and after birth and in the
first few years of life can seriously hamper brain development. This can lead
to neurological and behavioural disorders, which may manifest in learning
is research evidence to show that a baby’s brain is composed of trillions of
neutrons waiting to be woven into the “intricate tapestry of the mind”. The
experiences of childhood determine which neutrons are used, that wire the
circuits of the brain. According to Hodges (2001), Begley observes that “the
experiences of childhood determine whether a child grows up to be intelligent
or dull, fearful or self assured, articulate or tongue tied”.
Munonye (2002) puts it, there is also scientific evidence on the importance of
adequate stimulation during early childhood period, necessary for the child’s
cognitive development. There are definite periods in childhood development when
the environment can influence how the brain is “wired” for certain functions
like language, music, physical activity and even mathematics. It therefore
means that the brain must receive the appropriate stimuli at the crucial time
to perform these functions, else it may be impossible for it to “re-wire”
itself later in life. Early childhood period therefore is a period that should
be handled with utmost care. The decision to use primary one pupils was
informed by their comparative level of advancement which diversifies their
areas of possible testing when compared to their junior counterparts. In
addition, the decision to use Kosofe Local Government Area in this study was
borne out of its closeness to the researcher’s residence, hence its
1.2 Statement of the Problem
children these days do not develop well cognitively due to lack of early
childhood education which is mainly given to children firstly by their parents
and secondly by their teachers who are also regarded as surrogate parents in
the school (Adebesin, 2010). Majority of pupils in primary one in the Nigerian
school system, did not pass through the pre-primary schools where children are
taught basically through the methods befitting to the children’s learn ability
and comprehension in the early stage of life (Oyewale, 2006). Because of this
lapse, most children in the primary schools fail to grasp the content of their
lessons due to the fact that they started their early education from the stem
instead of from the root (Oyewale, 2006).
most of the teachers who are employed to teach at the primary one schools, do
not apply the correct teaching methods that are comprehensible to the child,
hence most children do not have high academic achievement in the early stages
of their primary school education. Due to low cognitive development of the
children, there has been poor academic performance virtually at all stages of
our educational system. This is because what a child could not achieve during
the early education, will be difficult for him/her to achieve at the apex stage
of his/her educational life.
study sets out to examine the effect of early childhood education on the
cognitive development of primary one pupils.
of the Study
specific objectives includes the following:
determine the degree of connection between primary school education and
cognitive development among children in schools.
investigate whether there is a difference between primary school education and
speech development among children in schools.
(3) To compare the cognitive development of children
who were taught by their parents with those who were taught by teachers.
To investigate whether there is general
difference in the cognitive development of children who had pre-primary
education and those who did not.
To find out whether there is gender
difference in the cognitive development due to pre-primary school education.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions was asked
in this study thus:
there any connection between primary school education and cognitive development
among children in schools?
Does early education have any effect on development among children in schools?
Are there sufficient human resources to
meet the cognitive and social developmental need of children in schools?
Is there developmental difference amongst
children that attended early childhood education and those that did not?
Will there be any gender difference in the
cognitive development of children due to pre-primary education?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
following research hypotheses was formulated and tested in this study:
There was no significant connection
between pre-primary school education and cognitive development among children
There was no significant difference
between pre-primary school education and children’s school achievement in
There was no significant difference
between the speech development of children was taught by their parents and
those who were taught by teachers.
There will be no significant gender
difference in the cognitive development of children due to pre-primary
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study was a great benefit in the
With the recommendation of this study,
teachers would be exposed to know how best to go about teaching or handling
children at the lower level of the school system, the early childhood classes.
Teachers would be exposed to the
appropriate methods to be used in teaching language to the child in school,
especially at the nursery and primary
Parents would have a better insight on the
essence of teaching the child to gain mastery of the language of his/her
environment This study will expose them to the knowledge that they should be
the first people to impart knowledge to the child, especially concerning
children’s language development.
With this study and its recommendations,
parents would be able to know the best techniques to always use in teaching language to the
society will be exposed to the process of language acquisition by the child in
the society. With the recommendations, the society will also be able to know
how best to assist the child in the area of acquisition and mastery of
of the Study
study covered 5 primary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Its main focus will be on the investigation of the effect of primary education
on cognitive development of the child in the primary schools in Lagos State.
sample size of this study will comprise of 200 (two hundred) teachers and
pupils, made up of fifty (50) (25 males and 25 females) teachers; and 150 (one
hundred and fifty) pupils (made up 75 males and 75 female pupils) who will be
randomly selected from the five primary schools in the Local Government under
review. The stratified method of random selection was used. The stratified
sampling method was applied in order to select the respondents in their strata.
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