The Impact Of Preschool Educational Experience And Parental Support In Elementary Schools On Students' Academic Achievements


Forschungsarbeit, 2019

55 Seiten


Gratis online lesen

Acknowledgement

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

Abstract

1. Introduction
1.1. Background of the study
1.2. Statement of the problem
1.3. Research questions
1.4. Objectives of the study
1.4.1. General objective
1.4.2. Specific objectives
1.5. Significance of the study
1.6. Delimitation of the study
1.7 Limitation of the study
1.8. Definition of basic terms

Chapter two
Review of related literature
2.1 The concept of preschool education
2.1.1 What is preschool education?
2.1.2 The beginning of preschool education in the world
2.1.3 Early Education in Ethiopia
2.1.3.1 Progress of early education in Ethiopia
2.1.3.2 Preschool e education in Ethiopia
2.1.4 Contribution of preschool education
2.2. Parental support and academic achievement
2.2.1 Definition and concepts of parental support
2.2.2 Parental impacts and students achievement
2.2.3. Parents’ educational status and academic achievement

Chapter three
Research methodology
3.1. Research design
3.2. Research area
3.3. Population, sampling techniques and samples
3.4. Data collecting instruments
3.6. Pilot testing
3.7. Data analysis techniques

Chapter four
Results of the study
4.1 Background information about the respondents
4.2. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of results
4.2.1 Quantitative analysis

Chapter five
Discussion of results

Chapter six
Summary, Conclusion, & Recommendation
6.1 Summary
6.2. Conclusions
6.3 Recommendations

Reference

Annex A

Annex B

Annex C

Annex D

Acknowledgement

First and for most, I would like to express my deepest, gratitude and great appreciation to my My heartfelt thankst to go to my friends, zelalem Addis, Shumet Aseres ,Shimelis Aniley and Gezahagn Adamu for their constructive comments, advice & helps for my paper.

I wish also to express my deepest thanks to my Wife Emeye Tadel and our sons Woldeab Alelign and Leulekal Alelign for their patience for different ups and downs faced. And finally, I would like to thank D. M. Town education office education experts and school directors of Abima,Yenie, Endimata, Tsehay gibat and Ede Tibeb in helping me.

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

MOE- Ministry of Education

PS- Parental support

PSE- Preschool Education

PSEE - Preschool Education Experience

NPSEE - Non Preschool Education Experience

SAA- Students’ Academic Achievement.

PTTI – Preschool Teacher Training Institute

IMSCO- International Multiracial Shared Cultural Organization

DA- Document Analysis

FGD- Focus Group Discussion

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

OECD- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

ECE - Early Childhood Education

USA - United States of America

UK- United Kingdom

ANRS – Amhara National Regional State

WPA- Wisconsin Parent Association

PTA- Parent teacher association

NGOs.- Non government organizations

NAEP- National Assessment of Educational Progress

SES- Socio Economic Status

GPA –Grade Point Average

F.E.L - fathers’ education level

M.E.L- mothers’ education level

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on the students’ academic achievement in elementary schools. The research was descriptive survey in nature. The population for this study included all grade 4 students and teachers of a primary school. The study group was consisted of 25 teachers and 200 students from five randomly selected sample government primary schools. And data were collected by using adapted closed-ended questionnaires & open-ended focus group items. Students from these schools were selected by systematic sampling technique. But the grade level was selected purposefully. Grade 4 Scores (GPA) were obtained from students’ previous three years annual rosters. In the study independent t-test, correlation and one way ANOVA were used. The independent t-test indicated, there was a significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students, because the mean score of NPSE (78.1098) was less than the mean score of PSE (83.8068). The study on FGD also showed that, preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation. Besides the study revealed, that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between parental support and academic achievement (r=0.255, N=200, p<0.001). But, it had weak positive relationship. So it couldn’t be concluded that parental support has strong significant impact. Again in ANOVA and post hoc, in the case of fathers ‘education level, the study showed that there was mean differences between all the three groups of fathers’ education level. But in the case of mothers’ education level, the mean of the groups those who “cannot read and write and those who can read and write”: and also the mean of the group those who “cannot read and write and those who had certificate and above were statistically significant. But the mean of the group those who can read & write and the mean of the group who had certificate and above differed each other by -2.62038. This showed that there was not found a significant difference between the two groups. Again as it was shown, there was mean difference of -2.62038 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. Generally, as it was indicated above, in both sexes, fathers’ mean differences of education level were significantly greater than mothers’ educational level impact. This implies that mostly fathers involved in supporting their children than mothers did.

Keywords : Pre-school educational experience, Academic achievement, Parental support and parental education level

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1. Background of the study

Many middle income countries have turned to universal pre-primary education in order to give children a better start to life (UNESCO, 2004). Indeed, there is some concern that separating pre-primary age children from their mothers while they are working may have detrimental effects on child development (Baker, Gruber, Milligan, 2005).Different psychologist, educationists and policy makers have given different names to this level of education namely nursery school education, kindergarten education and pre-primary education. Preschool education is also a systematic program that allows children to participate actively in learning themselves before they do enter in primary schools. Research in neuroscience, psychology and cognition have established that learning is easier in early childhood than later in life, and cognitive stimulation early in life is critical for long-term skill development (Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000). In most developing countries large share of children start education late in their ages and directly join primary schools skipping the nursery and kindergarten. As a result of this phenomenon, it is very common to see that low quality, high grade repetition and dropout rates are the main characteristics of their education sectors (UNESCO, 2005).

According to Tadesse (2015), pre-school education up brings, investigates, and assists children’s mental, physical, emotional, linguistic, and also social skills. A large body of literature makes the case for investment in early childhood development. As Tassew (2011) suggests the government have to maximize initial endowments/ investments through early childhood development programs than to compensate for differences in outcomes later in life. The effect of early childhood education is not only limited to cognitive development of young children, but also to a number of non-cognitive skills such as motivation, self-discipline, socialization (Cunha, 2006).The first six years life is so critical for the acquisition of concepts, skills and attitudes that lay the foundation for learning in primary schools in particular and for life-long learning in general. As UNESCO (2010), early childhood is a sensitive period marked by rapid transformations in physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development Pre-school education is the first step in child’s educational journey.

Therefore, attending preschool program helps to promote children’s social and emotional development and prepare them for primary education (Tassew,2011). As Currie (2001), children who attended early education programs are more likely to have better test scores and grade. Barnett (2006) as cited by Amogn (2014) underline the importance of pre-school education as well-designed pre-school education program that produce long-term improvements in school success including higher achievement test scores, lower rates of grade repetition, and higher educational attainment and graduation; reduced delinquency and crime in childhood and adulthood.

A study in Argentina (Berlinski, Galiani and Gertler, 2009) disclosed that one year of pre-school education increases average third grade test scores by 8%. In addition to the improvement in academic performance, pre-school school attendance positively affects student's self-control, attention, effort, class participation and discipline (Ibid). Also in Ethiopia, Tassew (2011), in his study, underlined that early childhood education attendance is positively associated with a substantial improvement in children’s cognitive development. He found that children who have been attending kindergarten have scored 24.4% higher in the raw score of Vocabulary Test and 19.6 % in cognitive development than those without pre-school experiences which was statically significant (Ibid). In Ethiopia as Young Lives (2013) disclosed that attending pre-school education improves early enrolment in formal primary education and the grade completed; children who attended pre-school tend to have completed a higher grade than those who did not. Basic education in Ethiopia starts at age of seven in primary schools. In addition, child can join preschool education between age three to six, depending on the availability and the affordability of the programs in their areas. Early childhood education in Ethiopia is structured in the form of kindergartens and predominantly provided by the private sector, non-governmental organization, communities, faith based organization. The government has very limited involvement on this program. The reason for the government to give the responsibility of educating the child (before seven years) to these non-government organizations is to enhance their involvement in educational affairs and to maximize and focus the government full effort in the other levels of the education (EFA, 2015).

Even thought the accessibility of preschool education in Ethiopia at this time is becoming good, the enrollment rate of children in preschool education remained still very low. According to Young Lives (2013) only few Ethiopian children attend pre-school, and those who do are typically in urban areas and are not the poorest children. Therefore, the majority of students mainly from those families cannot afford the payment and those from rural areas are enrolled to primary education without having any exposure to the preschool program. By taking the average result of grade 5 students, a study by Bibi and Ali (2012) in Pakistan, found that 71% of student with pre-school education are high achievers while it was only 29% for students with no pre-school experience. This indicates that pre-school education equips children with prerequisite skills that make learning easier and faster for children. Also pre-school education helps children to become responsible and to take an active part in curricular and co-curricular activities.

Another study in Botswana by Taiwo and Tyolo (2002) found that pupils with pre-school education experience significantly out-performed their counter parts that without such experience in English language, Mathematics and Science subjects. Similarly, a study in Georgia (Fitzpatrick, 2008) found that the Mathematics result of children with pre-school education increased by 8.2 percentage. In Nigeria, students with formal kindergarten education performed significantly better than those without the experience (Eweniyi, 2012).

For children’s later success full life preschool education is not the only contributing factor, but parental support is also vital. Parental support is related with the academic achievement of children and that parental motivation, attitude, and commitment has an effect on children, to do well in school. Parents teach and train children early in their lives, the fundamental skills, attitudes and values necessary for day-to-day living (UNESCO, 1992). Positive parent-child relationships can be enhanced when parents help their families to achieve a good balance between works, play, and love (White, 2009). According to Fan (2001) parents' educational aspiration for their children is proved to be strongly related to students' academic growth. However, most parents unintentionally may miss the opportunities to build closer relationships with their children by not helping them academically and by not spending some of their time.

Though, parental involvement is essential for all children, the nature of parental involvement changes according to parent education. Lower levels of parent education status affect the children’s academic performance. Educated parents monitor their children’s activities properly and this leads towards better performance of children (Shahzad, 2015). Some parents make some arrangements for helping their children in studies and to do their home assignments, while others rely on school for the education of their children, may be they do not have enough resources to spend extra money on home tuitions and the like, this results poor performance in academic achievement of their children. Educated and sensible parents always encourage their children and give proper guidance in school related matters, but illiterate parents may act violently and thus upset their child more (Chohan and Khan, 2010).

Hence, this research will attempt to critically examine the impact of attending pre-school education and parental support on students’ academic achievement at primary school level in the context of D. M. town.

1.2. Statement of the problem

Even though early childhood care and education has been identified as one of the priorities for the education sector due to its role for the overall improvement of quality of education and reduction of drop out as well as repetition rates in later stages of formal schooling (MoE, 2010). But the coverage of pre-school education in the country is very low (Young Lives, 2013). The enrollment rate has increased only from 2 to 6.2 percent from 2001 to 2013; a change of 4.2 within 13 years (MoE, 2001/2013). This has been even lower for Amhara Regional State which is only 41.72 % enrolled (EFA, 2015).

Children in the preschool years can develop interest, habits, attitudes and values that will help them for further learning. Preschool education will prepare children for primary education, especially for the development of basic skills such as reading, writing, numeracy and language learning. Although, the contribution of pre-school education for the improvement of children’s learning has a profound significance, in Ethiopia the program is given less attention (the government has little involvement in preschool education). The system is mainly under the responsibility of the private sector and NGOs. Therefore due to shortage of financial, material and human resource and other facilities, most of the students enter primary school without attending preschool (Tassew, 2011).

Although many writers have argued for the multifaceted advantages of pre-school education, this argument is not sufficiently supported in Ethiopia and there are only few studies conducted with empirical evidences (Young Lives, 2013). Evidence based research provides useful information for policy makers and practitioners useful for the expansion of pre-school education. Though in Ethiopia access to preschool programs has increased significantly over the past decade, the benefits of these programs, achieving success in lower grades, are not well examined. Catering preschool educational program is mainly left for the private sector where low or middle income class families have little capacity to afford the payment. According to (Woodhead , Ames , Vennam , Abebe and Streuli, 2009) the opportunity to attend pre-school in Ethiopia is almost entirely restricted to urban children; nearly 58% of children in urban communities had attended pre-school at some point while it was less than 4% for rural children. Being unable to pay fees was the main reason for not sending their children to preschool. According to the report of D. M. Woreda education office in 2017 G.C although the accessibility of preschool education is becoming good, the preschool enrollment is almost low, which is 54.72 %. This low enrollment rate in pre-school education implies that most students in D. M. Town join primary education without having any preschool exposure.

Researchers also argue that preschool educational programs in Ethiopia do not meet critical benchmarks of quality (Girma Lemma, 2014).Such lack in the quality of preschool program may be compensated by parental educational and emotional support given at home. Hence, this research will examine how well children’s involvement in preschool educational programs and the continual supports they get from their parents contribute to their academic achievement in lower primary schools especially to grade 4. The reason why grade 4 selected was that, the period between preschool and this grade is a tipping point in a child’s journey toward lifelong learning. If children do not have proficient reading skills by fourth grade, their ability to progress through school and meet grade-level expectations diminishes significantly (Daily, 2014). Therefore, the period from preschool to fourth grade is the period in which children have to make a critical transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” (Daily,(2014).

Besides preschool education, parental support also had a great importance on students latter over whole developments. Parental support, by far, is the most important part of a child’s education. Parental involvement begins at birth. Parents who read to their children before they enter school give them a head start toward reading success. Research has also proven that when parents are involved in their children’s education, the children do better in school (UNESCO, 1992). Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and preschool practitioners work together in early years’ settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development and learning (UNESCO, 1992). Therefore, any type of educational setting should be done with an effective partnership with parents. In addition, children with a reduced level of parental stimulation or parental emotional support may exhibit socio emotional problems in childhood that are associated with behavior problems later in life (Jacob and Harvey, 2005). Similarly examining whether parental education level was related to students’ academic achievement was a topic of study that helps to understand what contributes to an individual’s academic success.

Though, the accessibility of preschool education in D. M. Town was becoming good, as far as the knowledge of the researcher, the contribution of preschool education and parental support on student’s latter academic achievement was not still examined. Therefore, this research critically examined the impact of pre-school educational experience and parental support on students’ academic achievement in selected primary school of D. M. Town. Moreover, this research also checked whether parent’s or guardians’ educational level had an impact on students’ academic achievement or not.

1.3. Research questions

Accordingly, this research answered the following basic questions.

1) Is there any significant academic achievement variation between preschool education experienced and non-pre-school education experienced students?
2) How teachers view preschool educational experienced and non preschool educational experienced students’ academic achievement in primary school?
3) Is there a significant relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement?
4) Is parental educational level has a significant effect on primary school students’ academic achievement?

1.4. Objectives of the study

1.4.1. General objective

The general objective of this study was to investigate the impact of preschool education experience and parental support on primary school students’ academic achievement.

1.4.2. Specific objectives

In line with the above general objective, the research had the following specific objectives.

1. To examine if there was significant variation in academic achievement between preschool educations experienced and non-preschool education experienced students.
2. To examine how teachers view preschool educational experienced and none preschool educational experienced students’ academic achievement in primary schools.
3. To assess whether parental support related with primary school students’ academic achievement or not.
4. To check the impact of parental /guardians’ educational level on primary school students’ academic achievement.

1.5. Significance of the study

This study was significant in that:

- The findings of the study benefited the education sector how preschool programs were important for students later academic performance.
- In addition the findings of the study helped the parents how to give good support for their children so that their relationship produced a positive influence on students’ perception of academic support.
- It also helped to give suggestions for parents and teachers how preschool education experience & parental support had positive or negative effects on students’ academic behaviors.

1.6. Delimitation of the study

The study on the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on primary school students’ academic achievement would have been comprehensive and all schools and the lower grades had been considered. However, because of the nature of the study and subsequent requirements of material, financial and time, the researcher delimited to five elementary schools of grade 4 elementary schools of D. M. Town.

1.7 Limitation of the study

The following limitations should be taken in to considerations while using the findings of the study. The first limitation is that, some factors that may have an impact on academic achievement were not. Secondly, the samples were taken from one geographical area which may be results do not generalize. Third, parents should have been included to give some ideas .

1.8. Definition of basic terms

1 Preschool: Is the education program which is designed for children who are not enrolled in primary schools.
2 Preschool education: Pre-school education is the first step in child’s educational journey which is given for children who are between 3 to 5 years.
3 Parental support: Is a possible support that students will obtain in the academic field from their parents.
4 Academic achievement: Refers previous three years annual GPA roster results of grade 4 students.
5 Educational level: Refers to the education level of students’ parents, those who cannot read and write, can read and write and, certificate and above graduated.

Chapter two

Review of related literature

2.1 The concept of preschool education

2.1.1 What is preschool education?

The preschool education is defined by new world encyclopedia as education that focuses on educating children from the ages of infancy to six years old. The system of preschool education various widely, with different approaches, theories and practices with different school jurisdictions. The term preschool education includes such programs as nursery school, day care, or kindergarten which is occasionally used interchangeably. Early childhood education (ECE) is a branch of educational theory which relates to the teaching of young children up until the age of about eight. With a particular focus on developmental education m before the start of compulsory education. According to UNESCO (1992), a preschool education is one that delivers educational content through daily activities, tuition and furthers a child’s physical, cognitive and social development.

Early childhood is a crucial time period for the development of the mental functions of children. This development, including the emergence of the abilities and skills in areas such as language, motor skills, psycho-social cognitive and learning, is now known to be greatly influenced by exogenous factors, including the nature of the educational environment to which the child is exposed during the first 6 to 8 years of life. Early childhood education is the education which focuses on children’s learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget. This meets the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs of children.

2.1.2 The beginning of preschool education in the world

Early childhood education is a fairly new field, although it has old roots. For a long time, people believed that nothing important happened during the early years and that young children were not ready to learn write they entered formal schooling at the age of six. It was accepted that all children needed before, they were of school age was a home in which their physical needs were met. Early childhood education grows out of a long, distinguished historical tradition. Knowledge of this history contributes to our understanding of where we are and where we are going, as well as helping us to understand where we have come from early childhood education as a specialization did not begin until the early nineteenth century however, many of the values and practices found in today programs were created by philosophers, writers and teachers of the past many of today’s early childhood programs have their roots in what is referred as the humanistic tradition in education (Chestenson,1987).

During the middle age, children were regards as small adults and given no special consideration or treatment. A specialized field of early childhood education could not arise until the concept of childhood as a unique developmental period emerged in the sixteenth and Seventeen centuries. Some notable people in history have significantly shaped through in today’s early childhood education programs.

1. John Amos Comenius: 1592-1670 stressed the importance of educating children while they are young and can easily be molded. He also advocated learning by doing and may have been the first to advocate learning through play. He saw education as beginning at birth in the “school of the mother’s knee” and extending throughout a life time of learning.
2. Pestalozz: (1746-1827) believed that education should be based on the natural development of children and that every child was capable of learning. He rejected the practice of memorization and advocated sensory exploration and observation he believed that children learned through self-discovery and could pace their won learning. For pestolozz, preparation of the environment to resemble the home was of prime importance in setting the stage for children’s experiential learning. He believed that a home like environment first and foremost created a climate of emotional security, the first principle of education’ based on his view of natural development, Pestalozzi designed a carefully sequenced curriculum in which materials and instruction were matched to the child’s level of development (Reopnorine and Johnson 2005).
3. Friedrich Wilhelm (1782-1852): By opening the first kindergarten in 1837, Froebel a German, created a profound change within the emerging field of early childhood education. Like so many other before him, Froebel was deeply concerned about children. He believed that education must begin in early childhood. Froebel’s educational ideas have been realized through preschool. He started kindergarten, which meant children’s garden, where they may grow as naturally as plants under the care of an expert Gardner. He was a pioneer in attempting to create early childhood programs that were relevant, effective, and enjoyable. Froebel believed that a child’s experience have a profound effect upon the development of an adult personality.
4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: according to Rousseau, children should be allowed to be educated with his/her natural environment. Education is a lifelong process and in Rousseau’s views only through experiences, children will be able to learn. He emphasizes on direct experiences, practical activity, and learning by doing and no verbal lessons. To him children do not pay little need to verbal explanation, nor do they remember them. In brief his philosophy or preschool education centers round the following main ideas: education should be child centered, through doing, teaching through things, use of very little books, sense training and play-way education (Chowdhury and Choudhury 2002).
5. Piaget’s Constructivist Theory: - Piaget laid the ground work for a constructivist theory of learning. According to this theory learning comes from within as the children construct their own knowledge. He believed that early childhood education includes encouraging exploration, manipulating objects and experiencing new environments. In this theory when young children encounter new information they attempt to accommodate and assimilate it. Accommodation involves adapting mental schemas and representations in order to make them consistent with reality.
6. Robert Owen: was responsible for creating the New Lanark School for young children, most of who were from the poor workers in Owen's cotton mills. His school was successful, and spurred similar institutions in England.
7. Froebel: came up with the term "kindergarten" (meaning "children's garden") and created the first kindergarten school. Froebel believed that human beings were given almost limitless potential from God and saw kindergarten education as a means to start the process of realizing such potential at an early age.
9. Elizabeth Peabody and Susan Blow developed English kindergarten curricula in the US, where the "kindergarten" became part of required elementary education beginning at age five. However, in1965, the Head Start program was initiated as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty." This program provided early pre-school education opportunities to children of low income families, providing health and nutritional services as well as learning opportunities. While the German idealism and Christian aspects that Froebel and other early preschool educators advocated were not as popular in secularly run educational systems, nonetheless the core principals were widely understood and beneficial to helping child development and a more educated public. Generally, however, preschool education is a matter of choice; formal, state mandated education beginning with entry into elementary school.

2.1.3 Early Education in Ethiopia

Two major traditions characterize the development of education in Ethiop-"traditional " and "Western" systems. While we shoot educational ideas have flourished since the early twentieth century, the traditiona1 approach has characterized Ethiopian education through-out the history of this ancient nation. This traditional system is deeply rooted in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and is recognized as one of the oldest educational systems in the world. For centuries, Orthodox churches, monasteries, and convents were the only centers for formal learning from preschool through the university level. Traditional subjects of study in these programs included theology, philosophy, computation, history, Poetry and Music. At least for males, the importance of early education was recognized as early as Medieval Ethiopia (Pankhurst, 1997) as cited by Tadesse Meta (2015).

As illustrated above, Ethiopia has a long history of didactic education provided almost exclusively to male children. By the end of the nineteenth century, a few changes emerged in the formal education of young children. The emperor of the country at that time, Menlik II (emperor from 1889-1913), recognized that greatly improved education would be needed for a modern Ethiopia. In line with his aspirations, in 1908 Menlik established the first public school, called Menelik I1 primary and Secondary School. Eight years prior to the establishment of this public school, however, the first modern preschool (kindergarten) was established in Dire Dawa, a town in the eastern part of the country. This kindergarten was created for the children of French consultants who were helping build Ethiopia's first railroad. Development of such programs was very slow compared to kindergarten expansion in other nations during the same period of time.

2.1.3.1 Progress of early education in Ethiopia

Also contributing to expansion of early childhood education during the socialist period was the launching of the National Literacy Campaign supported by IMSCO in the late 1970s. While supporting literacy in the cities, this campaign also expanded education to the rural parts of the country where the majority of the population live. Likewise, the formation of Farmers' Co operatives during this era also contributed to early education, since schools were needed to take care' of children while parents were working in the fields. But In 1994, Ethiopia formulated its new Education and Training Policy (Ethiopian education KG- grade 12, 2010). This policy addresses educational goals of the nation from kindergarten through the secondary level for the wide variety of educational program types. Through this policy the education of primary grade children (i.e., children in Grades 1-8) has been given considerably more government attention than the education of preschool children.

2.1.3.2 Preschool e education in Ethiopia

Since current resources are insufficient for providing even basic primary education to Ethiopian children, the ministry of Education (MOE, 2001) currently deemphasizes preprimary education. Nevertheless, Recognizing the importance of quality education at this level, the Ministry is currently strongly encouraging the involvement of private institutions and individuals to invest in education at this level.Thus, through nongovernmental organizations, missions, private individuals, religious institutions, and other organizations, a number of preschools are beginning to reemerge in urban areas. Only a very small number of parents, however, can afford tuition to their children to attend such programs.

Besides to the lack of access to preschool programs is a lack of qualified teachers in these programs. A recent educational directive ( MOE, 2002) re quires that those who teach in the few available preschool programs must now be high school graduates who have taken an additional 3 months of specialized training from a preschool teacher-training institute. Sites for obtaining such training (and funds to attend), however, are scarce. Following this course work, trainees engage in a short practicum with children using the materials they constructed through the modules.

2.1.4 Contribution of preschool education

The development of any country relies largely on the quality of human capital. Education plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with individuals’ well-being and opportunities for better living (Memon et al, 2010, Farooq et al., 2011 and Ababa et al., 2012). As a result, researchers have long been interested in examining variables contributing effectively to the quality of performance of learners (Farooq et al., 2011). Most research findings have confirmed that children’s earliest experiences in life can have a profound effect on their success in later grade levels and beyond.

The earliest years of a child’s life represent a crucial period of biological, psychological, social and emotional growth and change. The first five years of life represent a critical window of opportunity development of young children; what children learn during this time will be foundational to the rest of their life (Weiss and Offenberg, 2002; Sacks and Ruzzi, 2005; Slaby et al., 2005; Robin et al., 2006; Woodhead et al., 2009; Berlinski, et al., 2009; Bibi and Ali, 2012; Young Lives, 2013; Yoshikawa et al., 2013). Attending pre-school education is the first step in child’s educational journey and it is among the major factors determining later success of students in the academic arena ( Taiwo and Tyolo, 2002).

As Barnett (2008), the importance of pre-school education as well designed pre-school education programs produce long-term improvements inschool success including higher achievement test scores, lower rates of grade repetition, and higher educational attainment and graduation; reduced delinquency and crime in childhood and adulthood. Sacks and Ruzzi (2005) and Yoshikawa et al. (2013) have concluded that the foundations of brain architecture and subsequent lifelong developmental potential are laid down in a child’s early years. Early childhood is the time when children’s brain development advances at a pace greater than any other stage in life and also pre-school helps children become responsible and to take an active part in curricular and co-curricular activities (Tassew, 2011).

A longitudinal study by Magnuson et al. (2007) also disclosed that children who attended pre-school have higher levels of academic skills than their peers who have no the experience. A study in California (Slaby et al., Eshetu 2005) also found that children who are exposed to preschool have a greater chance of academic success throughout their schooling. Osakwe (2009) revealed a significant difference between pupils who had pre-school education and those without in their academic performances-cognitive ability, social skills and motor skills. Barnett (1995) after reviewing the results of 36 studies, boldly concluded that early childhood programs can produce sizable long-term effects on school achievement, grade retention, placement in special education, and social adjustment.

A study in Ethiopia (Young Lives, 2013) disclosed that attending pre-school education improves early enrolment in formal primary education and the grade completed; children who attended pre-school tend to have completed a higher grade than those who did not. Also another study by Wilayat Bibi & Arshad Ali (2012), shown that there is a significant difference in the academic performance between pupils with pre-school education and those without. Another positive and important thing is that early childhood education has a huge and a greater impact on the students’ future achievements and excellent performance in the major and fundamental subjects namely English, Mathematics.

2.2. Parental support and academic achievement

2.2.1 Definition and concepts of parental support

The common understanding about the definition of actual parental support is not the same for one and all. "Parental support is reading to preschool children, It is getting children ready for school every morning, It is volunteering at the school, It is serving on collaborative decision making committees, and it is lobbying legislatures to advocate for children"(Jesse, 1996 ) .

2.2.2 Parental impacts and students achievement

The renewed interest in early childhood is stimulated by a growing body of evidence from a diverse array of disciplines that continues to confirm what many have felt must be true:

The period of early childhood, from conception through at least age 3 or 4, is critical to a child’s development. The work of Bowlby, Gesell, Piaget, Watson, and others has provided important insight into the critical events occurring in infancy and early childhood, including mother-infant bonding, emotional regulation, and the basis for language development. Parental support, by far, is the most important part of a child’s education. Parental involvement begins at birth. Parents who read to their children before they enter school give them a head start toward reading success. Research has also proven that when parents are involved in their children’s education, the children do better in school. Involvement in the schools does not necessarily mean volunteering at the school (Fan, 2001).

Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and teachers work together in early year’s settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development and learning. Therefore, each setting should seek to develop an effective partnership with parents. Parents also can provide opportunities, recognition, interaction and being a model. The pivotal role of parents still continues as it has been recognized by the teachers and parents themselves that they are essential for complete development of the personality and career of their children. Gonzalez- Pienda, et al.,(2002) indicated that; without the children's parental support, it is hard for teachers to devise academic experiences to help students learn meaningful content”.

Fan (2001) demonstrated that parents' educational aspiration for their children proved to be strongly related to students' academic growth. Research studies have found that parental educational level has a significant impact on child’s teaching (Khan &Malik, 1999). Khan & Malik, (1999) stated that “interacting with and sharing the child’s activities is affected by level of parents’ education”. In the families with majority of the illiterate parents do not have understanding of the requirements of their children’s education. This results poor performance in academic achievement of their children.

2.2.3. Parents’ educational status and academic achievement

Parents' levels of education influence adolescent educational outcome expectancy beliefs (Rhea & Otto, 2001). A study by Campbell, Hombo, and Mazzeo (1999) using the National Assessment of Educational Progress data (NAEP) indicated that students who reported higher parental education levels tended to have higher average scores.

As stated by Amogne (2014), his study, mainly educational level and occupational status were also found to be a determinant factor for sending children to pre-school education. Children from better educated families had better opportunity to get the benefits of pre-school education, so parental education level has great impact on students’ academic performance.

Chapter three

Research methodology

3.1. Research design

The design of this research was a descriptive survey. Because this design helped to clearly describe and addressee issues (Gay and Airasian, 2000: Smoekh & Lewin, 2005).

In this research the researcher used qualitative and quantitative approach (Dessalegn, 2000).

3.2. Research area

The study was conducted at selected primary schools in D.M. town. In the town there are 26 (15 government and 11 privet) elementary schools. There are 11162 (m=5234, f=5868) primary school students and, 991 (m= 508, f= 483) K G government school students in the town.

3.3. Population, sampling techniques and samples

The study was conducted in D. M. Town, in 2016/2017 G.C academic year on purposefully selected grade four students and teachers. The reason for selecting grade four students purposefully was that the students are at the better stage to communicate and again they are not far apart from preschool experience.

The target population was grade four students of selected elementary schools in D. M. Town. The reason behind the selection of D. M. Town was mainly because, the researcher’s familiarity with town, which facilitates the researcher’s communication with primary schools, teachers and students .and reduce confusion which are usually resulted from being new to the area , culture and traditions. To achieve the objective, samples schools were taken from schools. In selection of the research participants, stratified random sampling, systematic sampling & purposive sampling were employed Simple random sampling techniques was used (Fraenkel and Wallen, 2008). to select five elementary schools from 15 government primary schools and one grade level which is grade 4 from each school also was selected purposefully The reason for using random sampling of these schools is because bias is generally eliminated and the sampling error can be estimated (Kothari, 2004).From selected five elementary schools, ( Endimata , Yenie, EdeTibeb, Abima and TsehayGibat ) the participants were selected through systematic random sampling technique using a complete list of students.

Since it is expensive and time taking to access all grade 4 students from five schools, only from the total population size of 667 (M=316 , F=351 ), 200 grade 4 students, which is 30 percent, were selected. The reason why we select 30 percent of the students was because the population is not large enough. When the population is large, 10% and when small, 20% is the appropriate sample to be taken (Gay and Airasian, 2000: Smoekh & Lewin, 2005). For FGD purpose five groups of 25 (100%) grade 4 teachers from 5 selected elementary also selected as samples. Totally, the study will have 225 samples (200 students, 25 teachers in 5 groups).

Table .1: Sample participants in the study

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3.4. Data collecting instruments

1) Questionnaires: A set of 14 questions were administered to students to get information about how and what type of educational support they get from their parents/ guardians.
2) Focus group discussion (FGD): A set of 5 open ended questions were used to collect data from grade four teachers about the educational participations of preschool and non preschool experienced students.
3) Document analysis (D A): Using this technique, students’ yearly average roster results of Amharic, English, Mathematics, Environmental Science and Aesthetics (when they were grade 1, 2 and 3) of grade 4 students of this year was gathered and analyzed.

3.5 Data collection procedure

To collect the data, the first step was to get a supportive letter from D. M. Town education office and directors of five selected primary schools. Finally, the researcher administered the instruments to the sampled students of selected elementary schools after their class time with the help of vise directors and assistant data collector. FGD open ended items were also presented for teachers. They were well informed about their respective role before the instrument was administered to the participants. Participants were briefly oriented about the purposes of the questionnaire. They were assured of confidentiality and anonymity. Finally they were kindly requested for consent to take part in the study and to give genuine information. The questionnaires were administered to sampled students in face to face situations to control extraneous factors such as coping and writing others opinions by asking others that may negatively affect the validity of the information.

3.6. Pilot testing

To assess the validity and reliability of the instrument with 45 students in the study area and the validity and reliability of the questionnaire was monitored. Dil Betigle primary schools in D. M. Town was selected for the pilot testing.. The collected data from pilot testing were analyzed using SPSS program and the reliability coefficient (Crombach alpha) was found 0.72.

3.7. Data analysis techniques

After collecting the data from the participants it was analyzed in line with the nature of the data collected. questionnaire and document analysis (GPA of grade 4 students) from grade 1 to grade 3 were analyzed by quantitative techniques. On the other hand the qualitative data analysis technique was used for data collected by FGD from teachers. Accordingly, the researcher has analyzed the gathered data using independent samples t-test, correlation, one way ANOVA and qualitative technique.

Chapter four

Results of the study

This chapter presents major findings of the study. To that end, it follows a thematic analysis/interpretation approach as it is preferable to give readers a comprehensive and continuous picture of the whole study.

4.1 Background information about the respondents

The background information of respondents has two parts. The first part is about the general conditions of teachers with regard to their sex, school they came from. The second part shows the distribution of students based on their sex and grade levels, and the school they came. Table: 2 background information of teachers

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As table 2- above shows, about 8 (32%) of the teachers are males and about 17 (68%) of them are females out of the total of 25.

Table : 3 the background information parents’ education status

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As we see from the above table -3, the parents’ background information in relation to the educational level of patents/guardians,34 (17%) were unable to read and write/uneducated. About 121 (60.5%) of the parents/guardians were able to can read and write, and the remaining 45 (22.5%) of them were certificate and above graduate. This shows that the majority (60.5%) of the parents can read and write. and the second majority (22.5%) of them were certificate and above. but (17%) of the parents were uneducated. The other group of respondents of the study was grade 4 students.

Table 4- Background information of students and the school from where they selected

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As indicated above, in table 4, the background information of grade 4 students in accordance with their preschool educational experience is displayed. Out of 200 students, about 126 (63%) of them had no preschool education experience. of whom 60 (47.61%) of the students were males, and 66 (52.39 %) of them were females. Again from the total 200 students, only 74 (37%) students had preschool education experience. From these, about 34 (45.94 %) of the students were males, and the remaining 40 (54.06 %) of them were females.

4.2. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of results

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on the students’ academic achievement in elementary schools. This study used both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques depending on the nature of basic question. Questions 1, 3, and 4 were analyzed quantitatively but question 2 treated in qualitatively way.

4.2.1 Quantitative analysis

1) Is there any significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students? (Q1)

The data obtained from students’ yearly average roster result was used to examine if there is any significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students.

First of all, when parametric approach to inferential statistics is done, the values that are assumed to be normally distributed are the means across samples. So before using t- test the researcher attempted to check the assumption of t- test (annex d) that showed results p-value (0.200) > 0.05. Then t test was followed. The result of this basic question was tested using t-test statistical method at 0.05 level of the significance. Based on this, the results are presented as follow in table 4.

Table: 5 Disruptive statistics

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Table- 5 above indicated that, the mean score of PSE was 83.8068 and the mean score of NPSE (78.1098).

Table: 6 Summary of Independent Samples Test on preschool education experienced and non-pre-school education experienced students .

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* Significant P< .001, df = 198, two tailed

To take the first row of the t-test table assumed equal variance is taken because the sig. value (.078) of Levene's Test for Equality of Variances is greater than sig.0.000 (annex d).

As indicated in table-6 above, at df=198 and p<0.001, two tailed test, the mean score of PSE (83.8068) Was greater than the mean score of NPSE (78.1098) .When this result was measured by using t-test statistic, the t-obtained (-4.150) was greater than the p-value (p<0.001). This shows that, there is a significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students.

Is there a significant relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement ?

The second purpose of this study was to examine whether there a significant relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement or not. Therefore, an attempt was made to determine the overall relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement using Pearson product moment correlation coefficient.

The data obtained from the students through the questionnaire were also used to identify whether there is a significant relationship between parental support and students’ academic achievement or not. Accordingly the results are presented as follow in table.

Table 7: A summary for Correlation between parental support and academic achievement of students

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** Correlation is significant at the 0.001 level (2-tailed).

N= Number of Students

As the result is displayed in the table 7, it is significant at 0.001 levels. The correlation coefficient results demonstrated that there is a statistically significant positive correlation between parental support and academic achievement of primary school students of grade 4 (three Years GPA) (r=0.255, N=200, p<0.001). But, though it was statistically significant it had weak positive relationship. So it couldn’t be concluded that parental support has strong significant impact on the academic achievement of primary students, rather it had moderated significant impact on students’ achievement. That means parental support is not dominating factor for students’ academic achievement. This implies that there may be other unexplained variables that can affect students’ academic achievement.

3) Is parental educational level has a significant effect on primary school students’ academic achievement?

Here an attempt was made to check whether parental educational level has a significant effect on primary school students’ academic achievement or not. Mothers’/female guardians and fathers’/male guardians were treated separately. One way ANOVA is & post hoc test was used. But, to do inferential statistics like ANOVA, first of all assumption of normally must be cheeked. So, the researcher attempted to check the assumption of ANOVA test (annex d). Then ANOVA followed.

A. Analysis Of Father/Guardians Educational Level

Table:8 Distributive statistics

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As it is indicated in descriptive statistics table 7, the mean score of students from those fathers who cannot read and write obtained (75.7838), was less than the mean score of students from those fathers who can read and write (80.1615), and the mean score of students from those fathers who had certificate and above qualification obtained (84.2530) was also larger .

Table-9 summary of one way ANOVA to check fathers’/guardians’ educational level a significant effect on students’ academic achievement

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* Significant at a = 0.05

In the above ANOVA summary table (table -9) showed that fathers’ education level had a significant impact on primary school students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=7.877, p<0.05]. Post hoc test was designed for this situation because the researcher had already obtained a significant compilation of F-test. Additional exploration of the differences among means is needed to provide specific information on which means are significantly different from each other. So the next step was to use post HOC test to get the significant difference between groups as showed below.

Table: 10 post HOC multiple competitions

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* The mean difference is at 0.05 levels

As it is indicated on the above post HOC comparison table 10, the significances of educational level of fathers between the groups were shown.

- In the First group, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.7838 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.1615, so the difference was -4.37763. This value indicated that the difference is statistically significant. Again as it is seen, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.7838 and the mean of the group who have certificate and above was 84.2530. Their difference was -8.46919. This indicated that the difference is statistically significant at p <0.05.
- In the second group of the post hoc table, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.1615 and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.7838, so the difference was -4.37763.This value indicated that the difference was statistically significant at P< 0.05. Also the mean of the group those who can read and write were 80.1615, and the mean of the group who have certificate and above was 84.2530.

The difference between the two means was -4.37763. This showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups as p <0.05

- Lastly in third group, in the mean of the group who had certificated and above and the mean of the group those who cannot read and write there was 8.46919 mean difference between them. So statistically it was significant at p<0.05. Again as it is shown above, there a mean difference of 4.37763 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. Here, again a significant difference was found between the two groups as p < 0.05.

Generally, in all paired groups of fathers’ educational level it is showed that there was statistically mean differences.

B. Analysis Of Mothers’ / Guardians’ Educational Level

Table: 11 Distributive statistics

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As it is indicated in the above table 11, the mean score of students from those mothers who cannot read and write obtained (75.9357), was less than the mean score of students from those mothers who can read and write (80.9957), and the mean score of students from those mothers who have certificate and above qualification obtained (83.6161) was also larger.

Table- 12 summary of one way ANOVA to check mothers’/guardians’ educational level a significant effect on students’ academic achievement

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* Significant at a = 0.05

The ANOVA summary table-12 showed that mothers’ education level had a significant impact on students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=6.884, p<0.05]. Post hoc test was designed because significant compilation of F-test was obtained. So the next step was to use post HOC test to get the significant impact between groups as showed below

Table: 13 post HOC multiple competitions

Tukey HSD: (honestly significance difference)

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*. The mean difference is significant at the 0.05 level .

In the above post HOC comparison table, the significances of educational level of mothers between groups were shown.

- In the First group, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.9357 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.9957. The difference between them was -5.06003. This value predicted that the difference was statistically significant.
- Again, the mean of group those who cannot read and write was less than the mean of the group who had certificate and above by mea difference -7.68041.This indicated that the difference was statistically significant.
- In the second group, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.9957and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.9357, with mean difference 5.06003.This value showed that the difference is statistically significant at P< 0.05. Also the mean of the group those who can read & write and the mean of the group who had certificate and above differed each other by -2.62038 . This showed that there was not found a significant difference between the two groups as p >0.05.
- Lastly in third group, in the means of the group who had certificate and above and those who cannot read and write, there was 7.68041 mean differences between them. So statically it is significant at p<0.05. Again as it is shown above, there was mean difference of -2.62038 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. Here, also a significant difference was not found between the two groups as p > 0.05. To summarize this point, the post hoc table of mothers’ education level except two groups (Can read and write and certificate & above) other paired groups showed that there were statistically mean differences between them.

Generally, as it was indicated above, in both sexes, fathers’ mean differences of education level were significantly greater than mothers’ educational level impact. This implies that mostly fathers involved in supporting their children than mothers did.

4.2.2. Qualitative analysis

4. How teachers view preschool educational experienced and non experienced students’ academic achievement in primary school?

The purpose of this question was to investigate the impact of preschool education experience on primary school students’ academic achievement. To examine this idea, the open-ended items (FGD) were intended to use as a triangulation purpose for the responses of respondents on closed-ended items (questionnaire and document analysis). To meet this, teachers asked in FGD about students’ behavior, classroom participation, academic achievements and related issues. Basically, the purpose of this question (2) was to check “How teachers view the importance of preschool educational experience on students’ performance in primary school.” The results that are obtained from grade 4 teachers through FGD items were presented as follow. Five open ended questions were given for 25 teachers to be discussed about the preschool education experienced and non experienced students’ behavior and participation in the class room. Teachers’ responses for item 1 “Do you know preschool experienced and non preschool experienced students in the class?” was presented as follow.

From the total 25 teachers 22 (88%) of them said that we know them. But 3 (12%) teachers said we do not clearly identify them. This may give for most teachers to say something about their academics. In addition to this, teachers’ response for item 2 “Is there a difference in class participation among students having preschool educational and non-preschool educational back ground experiences?” The responses obtained from most teachers, students who have gone through preschool Experiences pay sufficient attention to the subjects they learn; regularly participate in class, put adequate effort into understanding their teachers explanation take more interests in their studies. Again the teachers gave responses on the discussion for Q3 “What behavioral differences you have observed between the two groups of students, who have preschool and non-preschool background experiences?”

Most of the teachers suggested that students who have the preschool experience do not feel shy, they are confident and have a number of playmates. Relatively are well disciplined in class room than non preschool experienced students. The other points that were suggested by teachers during FGD on item 4 “ Have you seen differences in accomplishing different academic tasks (like doing of home works, in answering exams) between the two groups of students, who have preschool and non-preschool background experiences?” were presented as follow. As most of the teachers suggested, most of students who have preschool educational experience can complete the homework regularly, take active parts in curricular and co-curricular activities and also can ask more questions during the teaching learning process than non preschool educational experienced. Most of the students understand the learning material quickly and easily.

Finally teachers gave their view on item 5 “How do you see the differences in the basic life skills (like assertiveness, self-awareness, etc) among students who have preschool and non-preschool background experiences?” Most teachers gave their idea as, some Students who have the preschool experience may feel assertiveness and self-awareness, and they are confident in giving ideas freely than non-preschool background experienced students.

Generally, as it is explained in the above FGD of grade 4 teachers, this study found that preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation. The above evidence suggests that pre-school education is an effective instrument to improve long-term academic performance

Chapter five

Discussion of results

The purpose of this study was to identify impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on elementary school students’ academic achievement. To meet this end, questionnaire for students, FGD questions for teachers were developed. In addition, the previous three years of grade 4 students’ average roster result of five subjects (Amharic, English, Mathematics, Environmental science and Aesthetics) were also taken. Based on the data obtained from respondents through these instruments, it was attempted to investigate the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on elementary school students’ academic achievement.

Results are presented in four sections. In the first section findings from the independent samplet-test on significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students (Q 1) , in the second section the finding of the views of teachers on preschool educational experienced and non experienced students (Q 2) , In the third section significant relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement (Q 3) and In the last and fourth section findings from ANOVA to assess whether parental educational level has a significant effect on primary school students’ academic achievement(Q 4). In this section, the findings of the study reported in result section were discussed thoroughly in line with the findings of other research works.

5.1 Discussion results of independent t-test about the significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students (q1).

The result of the independent sample t- test indicated that the mean score of NPSE (78.1098) was less than the mean score of PSE (83.8068) with mean difference 5.697. When we measure this result by using t-test statistic, the t-obtained (-4.150) was greater than the p-value (p<0.001). This shows that, there is a significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students. The findings of this study agree with the findings obtained in other studies. Related to this, as Currie (2001), children who attended early education programs are more likely to have better test scores and grade. Therefore, attending preschool program helps to promote children’s social and emotional development and prepare them for primary education.

Again average result of grade 5 students, a study by Bibi and Ali (2012) in Pakistan, found that 71% of student with pre-school education are high achievers while it was only 29% for students with no pre-school experience.

Similarly, another study in Botswana by Taiwo and Tyolo (2002) found that pupils with pre-school education experience significantly out-performed their counter parts without such experience in English language, Mathematics and Science subjects. Similarly, a study in Georgia (Fitzpatrick, 2008) found that the Mathematics result of children with pre-school education increased by 8.2 percentage. In Nigeria, students with formal kindergarten education performed significantly better than those without the experience (Eweniyi, 2012).

Also in Ethiopia, Tassew (2011), in his study, underlined that early childhood education attendance is positively associated with a substantial improvement in children’s cognitive development. He found that children who have been attending kindergarten have scored 24.4% higher in the raw score of the Vocabulary Test and 19.6 % in cognitive development than those without pre-school experiences which was statically significant.

5.2. Discussion results of FGD about how teachers view preschool educational experienced and non experienced students’ academic achievement in primary school (q2).

In the study, the open-ended items (FGD) were intended to use the responses of teachers. Five questions were developed that asked 25 teachers about students’ behavior in classroom and academic achievements. Specifically purposes of this question (2) was to check “How teachers view the importance of preschool educational experience on students’ performance in primary school.” The results that are obtained from grade 4 teachers through FGD items were presented as follow. Five open ended questions were given for 25 teachers to be discussed about the preschool education experienced and non experienced students’ behavior and participation in the classroom.

Teachers’ response for item 1 was presented as follow. From the total 25 teachers 22 (88%) of them said that we know them. But 3 (12%) teachers said we do not clearly identify them. This may give for most teachers to say something about their academics.

In addition to this, teachers’ response for item 2 as the responses obtained from most teachers, students who have gone through preschool Experiences pay sufficient attention to the subjects they learn; regularly participate in class, put adequate effort to understand their teachers explanation and more interested in their studies.

Again most of the teachers gave responses on the discussion for item 3 that students who have the preschool experience do not feel shy, they are confident and have a number of playmates. Relatively are well disciplined in class room than non preschool experienced students.

Ideas related to this topic as studied by Chowdhury and Chowdhury(2002) explained that a child who has had preschools experiences before joining the primary school adjust himself easily and successful in primary classes because of his early preparation. It’s through better emotional control, developing proper habits, behavior.

The other points that were suggested by teachers during FGD on item 4 were presented as follow. most of students who have preschool educational experience can complete the homework regularly, take active parts in curricular and co-curricular activities and also can ask more questions during the teaching learning process than non preschool educational experienced. Most of the students understand the learning material quickly and easily. As it is explained by Bibi and Ali (2012) pre-school education helps children to become responsible and to take an active part in curricular and co-curricular activities.

Finally teachers gave their view on item 5 “How do you see the differences in the basic life skills (like assertiveness, self-awareness, etc) among students who have preschool and non-preschool background experiences?” Most teachers gave their idea as, some Students who have the preschool experience may feel assertiveness and self-awareness, and they are confident in giving ideas freely than non-preschool background experienced students.

Generally, as it is explained in the above 5 FGD items of grade 4 teachers, the study explained that preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation.

The findings of this study agree with the findings obtained in other studies. As studied by Barnett (2006), underlined the importance of pre-school education produce long-term improvements in school success including higher achievement test scores, lower rates of repetition, and higher educational attainment and graduation; reduced delinquency and crime in childhood.

5.3. Discussion results of relationship between parental support and students’ primary education academic achievement (q 3).

The main purpose of this topic was to present the discussed results about the relationship between parental support and students’ academic achievement. Therefore, an attempt was made to show the overall relationship between parental support and students’ academic achievement.

As the result is displayed in the table7, it is significant at 0.001 levels. The correlation coefficient results demonstrated that there is a statistically significant positive correlation between parental support and academic achievement of primary school students of grade 4 (three Years GPA) (r=0.255, N=200, p<0.001). But, though it was statistically significant it had weak positive relationship. So it couldn’t be concluded that parental support has strong significant impact on the academic achievement of primary students, rather it had moderated significant impact on students’ achievement. That means parental support was not dominating factor for students’ academic achievement.

Also the finding did not support others’ study reports that academic achievement has relationship with parental support. According to Fan (2001) parents' educational support for their children is proved to be strongly related to students' academic achievements. Another study also supported this idea in that, when parents are involved in their children’s education, the children do better in school performance (UNESCO, 1992). Similarly, Schneider & Lee (1990) linked the academic achievement of the East Asian students to the values and aspirations they share with their parents, and also to the home learning activities in which their parents involve with them.

So, the finding suggested that further exploration of what directly impacts student’s academic achievement is necessary because there may be other many unexplained variables that can affect students’ academic achievement.

5.4. Discussion results of one way ANOVA to check parental educational level and its significance effect on primary school students’ academic achievement (q 4).

Here an attempt was made to check whether parental educational level had a significant effect on students’ academic achievement or not . As it is seen on the above descriptive statistics and the ANOVA table 8 & 9, the mean score of students from those fathers’ who cannot read and write obtained (75.7838), was less than the mean score of students from those fathers who can read and write (80.1615), and the mean score of students from those fathers who had certificate and above qualification obtained (84.2530) was also larger.

in the ANOVA summary it was showed that fathers’ education level had a significant impact on students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=7.877, p<0.05]. Again as it is indicated on the post HOC comparison test, the significances of educational level of fathers between the groups were shown.

In the First group, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.7838 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.1615, so the difference was -4.37763. This value indicated that the difference is statistically significant. Again as it is seen, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.7838 and the mean of the group who have certificate and above was 84.2530. Their difference was -8.46919. This indicated that the difference is statistically significant. As stated by Amogne (2014), Children from better educated families had better opportunity to get the benefits of pre-school education, so parental education level has great impact on students’ academic performance. Again study by Campbell, Hombo, and Mazzeo (1999) using the National Assessment of Educational Progress data (NAEP) indicated that students who reported higher parental education levels tended to have higher average scores. In the second group of the post hoc table, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.1615 and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.7838, so the difference was -4.37763.This value indicated that the difference was statistically significant at P< 0.05.

Also the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.1615, and the mean of the group who have certificate and above was 84.2530. The difference between the two means was -4.37763. This showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups as p <0.05. A research study by Fan, (2001) showed that, Educated and sensible parents always encourage their children and give proper guidance in school related matters.

.Lastly in third group, in the mean of the group who had certificated and above and the mean of the group those who cannot read and write there was 8.46919 mean difference between them. So statistically it was significant at p<0.05. Again as it is shown above, there a mean difference of 4.37763 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. Here, again a significant difference was found between the two groups as p < 0.05. Rumberger (1995) found that students’ “family background is widely recognized as the most significant important contributor to success in schools”.

Additionally, mothers’ educational level and its impact was seen. the mean score of students from those mothers’ who cannot read and write obtained (75.9357), was less than the mean score of students from those mothers’ who can read and write (80.9957), and the mean score of students from those mothers’ who had certificate and above qualification obtained (83.6161) was more larger. The ANOVA summary also showed that mothers’ education level had significant on students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=6.884, p<0.05].In post HOC comparison table, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.9357 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.9957. The difference between them was -5.06003. This value predicted that the difference was statistically significant.

Again, the mean of groups those who cannot read and write was less than the mean of the group who had certificate and above by mea difference -7.68041.This indicated that the difference was statistically significant. This finding was supported by some study reports of literature. Khan& Malik, (1999) stated that “interacting with and sharing the child’s activities is affected by level of parents’ education”. In the families with majority of the illiterate parents do not have understanding of the requirements of their children’s education. This results poor performance in academic achievement f their children.

In the second group, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.9957and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.9357, with mean difference 5.06003.This value showed that the difference is statistically significant at P< 0.05.

Also the mean of the group those who can read & write and the mean of the group who had certificate and above differed each other by -2.62038 . This showed that there was not found a significant difference between the two groups as p >0.05.

In third group, in the means of the group who had certificate and above and those who cannot read and write, there was 7.68041 mean differences between them. So statically it is significant at p<0.05. Another study Dave and Dave (1971) supported this study that, higher percentages of rank holder belong to homes with higher parental education and higher percentage of failed students belong those who have lower parental education.

Again as it is shown above, there was mean difference of -2.62038 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. Here, also a significant difference was not found between the two groups as p > 0.05.bcauase it may be that, though parents are at different status of education level parents from both groups may relative support their children. The reason for not to be significant may be their being educated. So the finding of this point did not support the common theory held by researchers that parental education level is related in academics, and also is related to student’s academic success (Bakker et al., 2007; Bogenschneider, 1997; Hill et al., 2002).

Chapter six

Summary, Conclusion, & Recommendation

6.1 Summary

The main objective of this study was to investigate the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on the students’ academic achievement in elementary schools.

The research design selected to fulfill this study was descriptive survey with both quantitative and qualitative approach; the participants of the study were 200 grade 4 students (94 male and 106 female) and 25 grade four teachers (8 male and 17 female) from 5 selected elementary schools (Endimata , Yenie, EdeTibeb, Abima and TsehayGibat) which are found in D. M. town. The sample students were selected through systematic random sampling technique using a complete list of students. But the schools were selected randomly.

The instrument used to gather the data were questionnaire, FGD and document analysis. The questionnaires were adopted and used for students, FGD were used to get information from teachers, and DA was also used to get students’ 3 years GPA from the roster.

In addition, to answer the research questions important statistics such as independent sample t-test, correlation and ANOVA analysis were performed. Again, qualitative analysis was used accordingly. Based on the analysis of the data, the following major findings were found:

1. The independent sample t-test analysis indicated that at df=198 and p<0.001, two tailed test, the mean score of NPSE (78.1098) was less than the mean score of PSE (83.8068). When we measure this result by using t-test statistic, the t-obtained (-4.150) was greater than the p-value (p<0.001). This shows that, there is a significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students. Generally, the study revealed that the academic achievement of the students with preschool education was significantly greater than those students without preschool experience.
2. The Pearson product moment correlation analysis demonstrated that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between parental support and academic achievement (r=0.255, N=200, p<0.001). But, though it was statistically significant it had weak positive relationship. So it couldn’t be concluded that parental support has strong significant impact on the academic achievement of students, rather it had moderated significant impact on students’ achievement. That means parental support was not dominating factor for students’ academic achievement. This implies that there may be other unexplained variables that affected more students’ academic achievement.
3. As it was indicated, the ANOVA summary table showed that fathers’ education level had a significant impact on primary school students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=7.877, p<0.05]. The post HOC comparison table showed that there was mean differences between three groups of fathers’ education level. All mean vales obtained was statistically significant as p<0.05. Again in the case of mothers’ education level, the ANOVA summary table 12 showed that mothers’ education level had a significant impact on students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=6.884, p<0.05].

In the post HOC comparison table, in the First group, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.9357 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.9957. The difference between them was -5.06003. This value predicted that the difference was statistically significant. Again, the mean of groups, those who cannot read and write was less than the mean of the group who had certificate and above by mea difference -7.68041.This indicated that the difference was statistically significant. In the second group, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.9957and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.9357, with mean difference 5.06003.This value showed that the difference is statistically significant at P< 0.05. but the mean of the group those who can read & write and the mean of the group who had certificate and above differed each other by -2.62038 . This showed that there was not found a significant difference between the two groups as p >0.05.

Lastly in third group, the mean difference between the group who had certificate and above and those who cannot read and write was 7.68041. So statically it is significant at p<0.05. Again as it was shown, there was mean difference of -2.62038 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. So, here, a significant difference was not found between the two groups as p > 0.05.

4. Again, the qualitative analysis of grade 4 teachers FGD on question 2 indicated that, preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation. And it is suggested that pre-school education is an effective instrument to improve long-term academic performance.

6.2. Conclusions

Based on the findings and discussions made in this study the following conclusions were made.

As the result of the study showed that the mean score of NPSE (78.1098) was less than the mean score of PSE (83.8068). When it is measured by using t-test statistic, the t-obtained was greater than the p-value. This shows that, there is a significant academic achievement variation between preschool experienced and non-pre-school experienced students. Generally, the study revealed that the academic achievement of the students with preschool education was significantly greater than those students without preschool experience.

As the results obtained from focus group discussions, the qualitative analysis of grade 4 teachers FGD on question 2 indicated that, preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation. And it is suggested that pre-school education is an effective instrument to improve long-term academic performance. Hence, the preschool education experience helps to minimize the problem of drop-out and school failure. From the findings, one can conclude that preschool education has a great role in students later years of academic performance. Also the implication of these finding is that there is a need for promoting preschool to be presented before students join elementary school.

The correlation analysis demonstrated that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between parental support and academic achievement ( r=0.255, N=200, p<0.001). But, though it was statistically significant it had weak positive relationship. So it couldn’t be concluded that parental support has strong significant impact on the academic achievement of students, rather it had moderated significant impact on students’ achievement.

T he ANOVA summary table showed that fathers’ education level had a significant impact on academic achievement [F 2/197=7.877, p<0.05].The post HOC comparison table showed that there was mean differences between three groups of fathers’ education level. Again in the case of mothers’ education level, the ANOVA summary showed that mothers’ education level had a significant impact on students’ academic achievement [F 2/197=6.884, p<0.05].

In the post HOC comparison table, in the First group, the mean of the group those who cannot read and write was 75.9357 and the mean of the group who can read and write was 80.9957. The difference between them was -5.06003. This value predicted that the difference was statistically significant. Again, the mean of groups, those who cannot read and write was less than the mean of the group who had certificate and above by mea difference -7.68041.This indicated that the difference was statistically significant.

In the second group, the mean of the group those who can read and write was 80.9957and the mean of the group who cannot read and write was 75.9357, with mean difference 5.06003.This value showed that the difference is statistically significant at P< 0.05. but the mean of the group those who can read & write and the mean of the group who had certificate and above differed each other by -2.62038 . This showed that there was not found a significant difference between the two groups as p >0.05.

Lastly in third group, the mean difference between the group who had certificate and above and those who cannot read and write was 7.68041. So statically it is significant at p<0.05. Again as it was shown, there was mean difference of -2.62038 between the groups those who had certificate & above, and those who can read and write. So, here, a significant difference was not found between the two groups as p > 0.05.

Generally, as it was indicated above, in both sexes, fathers’ mean differences of education level were significantly greater than mothers’ educational level impact. This implies that mostly fathers involved in supporting their children than mothers did.

Again, from the qualitative analysis, it was indicated that, preschool educational experience has positive impact on primary students’ academic achievement than non preschool educational experienced students in attention, effort, discipline, and class participation.

6.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made from the findings and conclusion of the study:

- The preschool education is important for children and it should before they join primary schools.
- Pre-school education in Ethiopia is largely left for the private sector where low and middle income families have little opportunity. Additionally the service is mostly restricted to urban area. So, early childhood education should be encouraged by the government.
- Pre-school education should be more considered by the government by expanding new preschools and encouraging the newly started 0 levele classes in every school. Because this critical period when quality of education is started and a strong foundation to the basic building block of our education sector.
- Parents need to be involved with their children education for achieving higher achievements because, impact of parental was not strong enough. as (r=0.255)
- .As it was indicated fathers’ mean differences of education level were significantly greater than mothers’ educational level impact. This implies that mostly fathers involved in supporting their children than mothers did. Mothers must focus in helping their children.
- Both the government and schools need to focus on parent awareness programs in education that could lead to better student achievement.
- Further study with a large sample and wider geographical area should be conducted on the impact of preschool educational experience and parental support on students’ academic achievement to reach a reliable conclusion.

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Annex A

- Adapted Questionnaires for Grade 4 Students

First of all I would like to thank you for your willingness to fill this questionnaire. This is concerned on the impact of parental support on the achievement and learning of primary school education. The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather information about the contribution of parental support on the achievement and learning. Thus, this questionnaire has been developed hoping that the results could assist to make farther improvements. Since the reliability the information depends on the objectivity of your response, you are kindly requested to be honest and sincere. All your responses are confidential. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Direction- please give or put appropriate answer for the following items accordingly. And please attempts all the items.

Part I - Background Information

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Part II- Information about parents or guardians’ support on students’ academic achievement

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 3.2 levene’s test for independent t-test

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Table 8.1 assumption of ANOVA for fathers’ education level

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Table 8.2 assumption of ANOVA for mothers’ education level

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[...]

55 von 55 Seiten

Details

Titel
The Impact Of Preschool Educational Experience And Parental Support In Elementary Schools On Students' Academic Achievements
Autor
Jahr
2019
Seiten
55
Katalognummer
V593572
ISBN (Buch)
9783346220325
Sprache
Deutsch
Schlagworte
academic, students, schools, preschool, parental, impact, experience, elementary, educational, achievements, support
Arbeit zitieren
Alelign Jemberie (Autor), 2019, The Impact Of Preschool Educational Experience And Parental Support In Elementary Schools On Students' Academic Achievements, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/593572

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