Teachers’ competence and use of play pedagogy in nursery schools: a case of Kampala Central division, Uganda
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When we have competent teachers, different pedagogies are used including play pedagogy to work with children. When teachers use Play Pedagogy in the teaching and learning process, children develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Play Pedagogy also helps children develop language/oral numerical competences However, as more evidence emerges it has become clearer that even the most difficult subjects can be made very easy if taught playfully using learner centered pedagogy. Many teachers still prefer to use teacher centered approaches of teaching. The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between teacher competence and use of play pedagogy in nursery schools. Specifically the study intended to establish the role of teachers‘ knowledge of learners in influencing their use of play pedagogy in nursery schools, to examine teachers‘ knowledge of their subject matter on use of play pedagogy in teaching in nursery school and to assess teachers‘ pedagogical knowledge needed on use of play pedagogy in nursery schools. The study was carried out among 60 purposively selected teachers in 12 purposively selected play based schools located in Kampala central division. A descriptive research design was used; data was collected using questionnaires, observations and interview guides. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse data collected. Strategies identified by this study were to be used to help support develop teacher competences in using play pedagogy in the classroom to promote better learning outcomes. From the study, the researcher found; some of the teachers are competent in using the play pedagogy while others still use the teacher centered approach. Teachers conduct play without pre-conceived pedagogical purpose, others still involve children in the learning process with absence of play. Further investigation clearly revealed that those who were doing it well had been receiving continuous professional development support unlike the rest. This showed that giving all teachers training in play pedagogy will enhance their competencies as they teach. The study reveals that there is statistically significant relationship between teachers‘ competence and use of play pedagogy with r = 0.784. The study concluded that teachers‘ competence contributes greatly to the use of play pedagogy in nursery schools. The findings from the study were used to make the following recommendations; Teachers should be given continuous support as they teach and involve themselves in workshops that will enhance their competencies in using play pedagogy to improve teaching and learning process for children to acquired better ECD education.