This study was aimed at investigating the use of play materials and effective teaching of numbers in pre-many schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The specific objectives of the study was to find out it shells, coins, flash cards, beads etc are been used to teach numbers to pre-scholars. The study would be of benefit to parents, school heads, teachers and pupils; if play materials are used while teaching. To guide the study, three research questions and hypotheses were raised for testing at .03 level of significance. Literature review was carried out on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, empirical studies and literature appraisal. The research design was done using survey design. The population of the study consisted of five hundred teachers drawn from five public schools in the area. The sample size was two hundred teachers who were picked randomly. The instrument for data collection was the questionnaire. Cronbach Alpha procedure was used for the reliability of the instrument at 0.82. Based on the findings, it was concluded that play materials should be used while teaching numbers in pre-school. It was further recommended that school owners should provide play materials for learners and teachers should be taught how to use play and play materials to teach numbers.



Title page     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    i

Abstract     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    ii

Table of Contents    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    iii

List of Tables        -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    v


1.1    Background of the study    -    -    -    -    -    -    1

1.2    Statement of Problems        -    -    -    -    -    2

1.3    Purpose of the study        -    -    -    -    -    -    2

1.4    Significance of the study    -    -    -    -    -    -    3

1.5    Scope of the study        -    -    -    -    -    -    3

1.6    Research Question        -    -    -    -    -    -    3

1.7    Research Hypothesis        -    -    -    -    -    -    4

1.8    Limitation of the study        -    -    -    -    -    4

1.9    Definition of terms        -    -    -    -    -    -    4


2.1    Conceptual Frame Work    -    -    -    -    -    -    5

2.1.1    The concept of play Materials     -    -    -    -    -    5

2.1.2    The types of play materials             -    -    -    -    6

2.1.3    The teaching of numbers in Pre-schools using play materials-    -    7

2.2    Theoretical Framework        -    -    -    -    -    9

2.2.1    Theory X and Y of Douglas McGregor    -    -    -    -    9

2.2.2    The Frederick Hertzberg’s Theory of Motivation     -    -    -    11

2.3    Empirical Studies    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    13

2.4    Summary of the Literature Review     -    -    -    -    -    15


3.1    Research Design        -    -    -    -    -    -    16

3.2    Area of the Study        -    -    -    -    -    -    16

3.3    Population of the Study    -    -    -    -    -    -    16

3.4    Sample and Sampling Techniques        -    -    -    -    16

3.5    Instrument for Data Collection        -    -    -    -    17

3.6    Validity of the Instrument        -    -    -    -    -    17

3.7    Reliability of the Instrument        -    -    -    -    -    17

3.8    Administration of the Instrument    -    -    -    -    -    18

3.9    Method of Data Analysis    -    -    -    -    -    -    18


4.1    Presentation of Research Questions and Tables    -    -    -    19

4.2    Presentation of Hypothesis and Tables     -    -    -    -    20

4.3    Discussions of Findings        -    -    -    -    -    25


5.1    Summary of the Findings    -    -    -    -    -    -    26

5.2    Conclusion        -    -    -    -    -    -    -    26

5.3    Recommendation     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    26

5.4    References        -    -    -    -    -    -    -    28

    Appendix      -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    30



1.1     Background of the Study

The use of play materials in the teaching of numbers in pre-primary schools cannot be over-emphasized. Cook (200) revealed that when children are given the opportunity to play with materials, they develop superior communication skills, necessary physical ability and social unity needed in adult life, and an increased cognition and effective education balance. The national policy on Education (FRN 2014) emphasized the use of play when teaching pre-scholars, that children who do not have the opportunity of interacting with play materials may find it difficult to cope with a lot of challenges ahead.

Play materials aid pre-schoolers to interact with each other, learn about boundaries, teamwork, and competition. They also learn to negotiate with different personalities and the feelings associated with winning and losing. They learn to share, wait and be patient, through the use of play materials. According to International Association for the child’s right to play (IPA), children work out their internal and interpersonal conflicts, gain a sense of autonomy and effectiveness, become motivated to mastery, develop a sense of direction, self-trust, self-assurance and work when teaching is done through play.

The teaching of pre-schoolers numbers should not exist only on a paper chalkboard or a whiteboard; pre-schoolers learn numbers (maths) best by doing hands-on projects and activities and being reminded how the numbers (maths) they’re learning “doing” is part of their everyday lives. Pre-scholars are naturally curious in their First Five Years, and research shows that the best time to introduce numbers (maths) to young children is at this time while their brain is rapidly developing. The teaching numbers to pre-schoolers help them to develop critical thinking and reasoning skills early on and it’s the key to the foundation of success in their formal schoolings years. Donna kotopoulos (2009) set out to show parents, caregivers, and educator of young children that mathematical learning can be when the learning play and that it can be taught through play and that it can be easy when the learning involves toys, games, songs, and books that ate already a part of the child’s everyday learning experience.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

At present, most pre-schools in Uyo Local Government Area lack the play materials in the teaching of numbers (Mathematics) effectively. Furthermore, most teaching numbers are well not well versed with technical know-how of using the play materials effectively, even if they are available. Following these facts,     the researchers tend to conduct a systematic and empirical investigation to ascertain the use of play materials and the effective teaching s of numbers in preschools.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The objectives of the study were to find out the use of play, materials such as toys, bricks seed pods, sea shells, stones, flash cards, coins etc in the effective teaching of numbers in pre-schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. These specific objectives is poised to:

1.    Assess the use of play materials in teaching numbers (mathematics) in Pre-schools.

2.    Assess if regular payment of teachers’ salaries could be a strategy for the use of play materials in the teaching of numbers in pre-schools.

3.    To assess the effectiveness of play materials when used in the teaching of numbers in pre-schools.

4.    To assess if play materials can improve the understanding of pupils in learning numbers (Mathematics).

5.    To assess the types of play materials to use when teaching numbers in pre-schools.

1.4    Significance of the Study

This study shall be of benefit to parents, Guardians and teachers by way of exposing the danger of not allowing pupils to interact with play materials when teaching numbers. The study will provide a road map to Head of schools and teacher of pre-schools on the modern way of using play materials while teaching numbers (Mathematics). Pre-schoolers will benefit from this study by way of having access to interact with play materials when learning numbers (Mathematics). Finally, the study will serve as a pointer to Government in planning and making available more play materials to pre-schools pupils, as the potentials of these pupils are destroyed for lack of play material.

1.5    Scope of the Study

This work was carried out in selected nursery schools in Uyo Local government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Principally, the study was based on the use of play materials and effective teaching of numbers (Mathematics) in pre-schools.

1.6    Research Questions

    The following questions were raised to test the study:

1.    To what extent does play materials influence the effective teaching of numbers in pre-schools?

2.    To what extent does play materials influence pupils performance in numbers in pre-schools

3.    To what extent does play materials influence pupils understanding of numbers in pre-schools?

1.7    Research Hypotheses

For this study to have focus, the following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

1.    There is no significant difference between play materials and effective teaching of numbers in pre-schools.

2.    There is no significant difference between play materials and pupils' performance in numbers.

3.    There is no significant difference between play materials and pupils' understanding of numbers in pre-schools.

1.8    Limitation of the Study

The researcher’s work could not attain the desired quality to:

Lack of finance to go round most schools in Uyo Local Government Area.

Poor resource base.

The uncooperative attitude of some respondents.

1.9    Definition of Terms

Play materials: These are objects used by children for fun.

Teaching: It is the process of imparting knowledge.

Pre-school: It is the school one attends before primary school.



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