Original Research

Effectiveness of reception class teachers’ pedagogical approaches in delivering pre-primary curriculum – Evidence from practice

Michael Gaotlhobogwe, Shikha Trivedi, Joseph Kasozi, Tiroyaone Kebalepile
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 12, No 1 | a967 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.967 | © 2022 Michael Gaotlhobogwe, Shikha Trivedi, Joseph Kasozi, Tiroyaone Kebalepile | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2020 | Published: 28 January 2022

About the author(s)

Michael Gaotlhobogwe, Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
Shikha Trivedi, Department of Early Childhood, School of Education, Botswana Open University, Gaborone, Botswana
Joseph Kasozi, Department of Educational Management and Leadership, School of Education, Botswana Open University, Gaborone, Botswana
Tiroyaone Kebalepile, Department of Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana


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Abstract

Background: This report is part of a study commissioned to provide evidence to inform quality improvements, and the rolling out of the public reception class programme (RCP) to all public primary schools in Botswana by 2020. The study adopted the Discrepancy Evaluation Model (DEM) as a theoretical framework.

Aim: One of the specific objectives of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the programme in terms of the RCP curriculum coverage and the teachers’ effectiveness in delivering the curriculum. The aim of the study reported in this article was therefore to determine the reception class teachers’ pedagogical approaches in delivering the RCP curriculum.

Setting: The study was conducted in Botswana where early childhood care and education was provided by private providers until 2014 when the government of Botswana introduced the RCP in public primary schools.

Methods: The study utilised a multi-method design. Stratified random sampling was used to select 10% of the 539 public primary schools that had implemented the programme since 2014 when it was introduced. An analysis tool based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy was used to analyse the content, as well as the level of coverage of important skills within the RCP curriculum. Questionnaires were used to gather information from teachers. Interviews were used to gather information from principal education officers (PEOs) who are part of the inspectorate. Feedback received from these participants was considered as indicating performance, according to the DEM. This performance was then compared with standards (with the RCP curriculum) to determine if any discrepancies existed.

Results: Findings indicated that the RCP curriculum was adequate in coverage of skills at various levels of knowledge, understanding and appreciation. However, in some learning areas, certain competencies and performance targets were pitched at higher-order thinking. This resulted in most teachers focusing on achieving performance targets instead of following performance indicators to develop particular skills. As a result, learners demonstrated achievement of performance targets yet their developmental process skills were not fully accomplished.

Conclusion: The RCP generally had a sound teaching cadre which would generate a considerable impact on the programme, should their pedagogical approaches not be derailed by the desire to fulfil performance targets at the expense of developmental process skills.


Keywords

reception class; curriculum; pedagogical approaches; early childhood care and education; Botswana

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