PARENTAL BACKGROUND AND THE LEARNING OF CONCEPTS BY 3– 6 YEAR OLD CHILDREN IN PLATEAU STATE
This study sought to identify the concept learning achievement of children aged 3- 6 based on parental background factors in Plateau State, Nigeria. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study. Ex-post factor or causal comparative research design was adopted. The population of the study consisted of 4003 pre-primary school children in the 60 pre-primary schools in the Northern education zone of Plateau State. A total of 200 pre-primary school children drawn through multistage sampling approach from public and private pre-primary schools in Plateau State were used for the study. Two instruments namely: – Concept learning achievement tests for 3 – 4 and 5 – 6 year old children were developed, validated and used for the study. The internal consistency reliability of the instruments were estimated using Kudder-Richardson 20 formula and reliability coefficients of 0.72 and 0.73 were obtained for the concept learning achievement tests for 3 – 4 and 5 – 6 year old children, respectively. Data were analyzed using means scores, standard deviations, and multiple regression analysis. The t-test and ANOVA statistics were used to test the hypotheses. Findings indicated that: concept learning achievement of children aged 3-6 differed significantly based on educational status of parents; concept learning achievement of children aged 3-6 differed significantly occupationalro status of parents; there was significant difference in the concept learning achievement of children aged 3-6 based on housing location; there was significant difference in the concept learning achievement of children aged 3-6 based on parent-child interaction; concept learning achievement of children aged 3-6 did not differ significantly based on gender. A major educational implication of the findings was that parents could show positive attitude towards the education of their children by providing for them, not only in terms of material needs of the children but also allow their children to interact freely with them. It was thus recommended that emphasis should be given to parents providing the material needs of their children and also allowing their children to interact freely with them without gender discrimination.