EFFECTS OF TEACHER CHARACTERISTICS ON CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IN PRESCHOOLS IN NYANDARUA WEST DISTRICT, KENYA

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The central problem in this  study was to establish  the effects of teacher characteristics
on classroom management (CM) in preschools in Nyandarua West district, Kenya.  
Research objectives and questions were formulated to guide the study.  The key terms
used in the study were defined.  The review of the related literature  outlined  pupils’
discipline, teacher characteristics and CM.   The study  also  outlined  teacher
characteristics  in relation to teacher preparation and CM and also on teacher
characteristics in relation to seating arrangement and CM.  The review of the related
literature again focused on teacher characteristics in relation to organization of learning
resources and CM and on teacher characteristics in relation to organization of classroom
records and CM. Another focus was on teacher characteristics    in relation to classroom
time management.  The study adopted a descriptive survey  research design where
qualitative data was collected and analyzed.  Samples of 28 diploma 90 ordinary
certificate and 18 untrained teachers were selected using simple random procedure.  The
researcher used teacher’s questionnaire as the main data collection tool where the rate of
return was 100%.  He also observed the teachers managing classes using an observation
schedule. The information in the observation schedule served the purpose of
collaborating with the information recorded in the teachers questionnaire. All the data
was gathered, summarized and analyzed  by reading the information collected through
the research instruments and then, pattern trends and relationships from the information
gathered were established. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze qualitative data.
Quantitative statistics were used to match the teacher characteristics numbers to CM
skills. The researcher used frequency distribution tables to present the data.  From the
results obtained, the researcher wrote down the findings which guided him to draw
conclusions and write down recommendations.    The study findings revealed that
teachers with longer teaching experience performed better in CM than the ones with
shorter experience.  The study also revealed that trained teachers are better in CM than
untrained teachers and that the more professionally qualified teachers are better in CM
than  the less qualified teachers.  The study further revealed that age has less effect on
CM than the other teacher characteristics but the older teachers are a bit better than the
younger ones.   Based on the study findings it was recommended that preschool teachers
should improve terms of employment to retain the teachers in the career in order to gain
teaching experience.  In addition it was recommended that the government should open
up opportunities for preschool teachers to further professional training.  Moreover it was
recommended that the government should take over the responsibility of employing
preschool teachers and provide them with retirement benefits to retain older teachers in
the teaching profession.  Other recommendations were that employers of preschool
teacher should employ teachers  with higher  academic qualifications to be compared
with the current teachers in CM. Furthermore it was  recommended that male teachers
should be employed to be compared with the females in CM. For further research it was
suggested that a study be undertaken to establish factors affecting gender balance in the
employment of preschool teachers. Another suggestion was that a study be undertaken
to determine factors affecting employment of university degree holders as preschool
teachers.

Author: 
Moses Nguro Njuguna
Unit: 
COMMTECH

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