Exploring Gender Responsiveness During The Teaching And Learning Process In National And International Pre-Primary Classrooms In Kampala District
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This study was aimed at exploring gender responsiveness during the teaching and learning process in national and international pre-primary classrooms in Kampala District. The study was guided by Social Cognitive theory, which explains how children are socialized into accepting the standards and values of a specific society. Such standards are attained through observation, of the environment, retention, reproduction and motivation of different influential models. The study had three objectives: to examine the teachers’ awareness of the need for gender equality during the teaching and learning process in national and international pre-primary classrooms; to assess how gender influences the learning materials used in the national and international classrooms; and finally, to explore whether the teachers give boys and girls equal opportunity to participate in classroom activities. The study was qualitative. Nine respondents in total were observed and interviewed. Five of the nine respondents teach baby and top class from two schools using the national curriculum (learning framework) and the other four teaching Kindergarten one and Kindergarten three from two schools using the international curriculum. Data was collected using interview guides, observation protocols and the review of lesson plans, teaching materials, schemes of work and curriculum. The findings indicate that the majority of the pre-primary teachers were not gender responsive. The nursery school teachers using the national curriculum, in particular, gave girls less opportunity to participate during the lesson. In addition, the study found that the teaching methods used during lessons supported gender inequality whereby the girls received less attention as compared to the boys, limiting them from attaining their potential. Lastly, some of the teaching and learning materials used in the pre-primary classrooms perpetuated socially-constructed gender roles. The findings from the study conclude that the pre-primary teachers in national and international pre-primary schools need the skills and knowledge to create a classroom environment that encourages gender responsiveness. Therefore there is a need for institutions to train teachers in skills in gender responsiveness in early childhood education, or provide continuous professional development for practicing teachers. The study recommends that the teachers use learner-centered methods of teaching, which give opportunity to both boys and girls to participate during the learning process in early childhood classrooms.