study investigated 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
1.1 Background to the
1.2 Statement of the
1.3 Purpose of the Study 6
1.4 Research Questions 7
1.5 Research Hypotheses 8
1.6 Significance of the
1.7 Scope of the Study 9
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Language and Linguistic
Early Childhood Education
The Philosophical Bases of
Pre-Primary Education 21
The National Policy on
Pre-Primary Education 23
Early Child Care Development
and Education (ECCDE) Project25
Characteristics of Early
Childhood Development 27
Parental Role in Early
Childhood Development 32
Effect of Pre-Primary Education on Speech Development of 37 Children
Summary of Review 42
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design 43
3.2 Sample and Sampling
3.3 Population of the
3.4 Instrumentation 44
3.5 Reliability of the
3.6 Procedure for Data
3.7 Method of Statistical
FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1 Interpretation of Data 45
4.2 Testing of Hypotheses 56
4.3 Discussion of Findings 60
4.4 Summary of Findings 61
FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of the Study 63
5.2 Conclusions 65
5.3 Recommendations 65
5.4 Implication for Policy and Planning 67
5.5 Implications for Administration 67
5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies 68
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 them.
(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.
According to 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 was re-affirmed.
One 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. (Oyewale,
study sets out to examine the effect of early childhood education on the
cognitive development of primary one pupils.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to
examine the effects of ECE (write in full) on the cognitive development of
primary one pupils.
objectives are to:
determine the degree of
connection between early education and cognitive development among children in
determine the effects of
early education on the developmental needs among children in schools
investigate if there are
human resources who can help with ece.
determine the developmental
difference of children that attended ECE school with those that did not.
compare the gender
difference in the cognitive development and social development of children due
to early education
1.4 Research Questions
achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were
Is there any connection
between primary school education and cognitive development among children in
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
Is there any 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 were formulated and tested in this study:
H01: There is significant connection between pre-primary school
education and cognitive development among children in schools.
H02: There is significant difference between pre-primary school
education and children’s school achievement in schools.
H03: There is significant difference between the speech development of
children was taught by their parents and those who were taught by teachers.
H04: There is no significant gender difference in the cognitive
development of children due to pre-primary education.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study was a great benefit in the following ways:
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
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 school system.
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 children.
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 language.
1.7 Scope 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 pre-primary
education on the cognitive development of the child in the primary schools in
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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