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INFLUENCE OF AFTER SCHOOL LESSON IN THE COGNITIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF PRE-SCHOOLERS
The study investigated influence of after school lesson on the cognitive achievement of pre-schooler in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Three research questions were raised and answered while three hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The descriptive research design was adopted for the study. One hundred (100) participants comprise fifty (50) primary school teachers and fifty (50) parents withinShomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State was used for the study. The research instrument used was modified four point modified Rensis Likert Rating Scale Questionnaire type. Data analyses was done using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages to answer research questions while the hypotheses formulated were tested using PPMC, Chi-square and t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. All stated hypotheses were rejected. The study established various forms of parental support in educational activities at home which were found to have impact on the academic and cognitive development of preschool children. Based on the result from the findings of this study, it was concluded that there is a significant relationship between after school lesson and pre-schooler cognitive achievement; there is a significant influence of parental involvement on pre-schooler cognitive achievement and that there is a significant difference in cognitive achievement of pre-schooler that attend after school and those that did not. The study recommends that parents involvement in schools’ activities should be encouraged and the government should consider developing and implementing policies that support this. The collaborative effort enhances children learning and that teachers should establish effective partnerships with parents to support learners learning.
Background to the Study
Children’s after-school hours have been identified as an important part of their day. It is then that children have an opportunity to play, socialize, do homework, participate in sports, take music and other enrichment lessons, and simply relax. The benefits of after school activities for children are wide and varied, ranging from physical benefits due to the promotion of increased activity, to psychological and social advantages. Scientific research proves that encouraging children to engage in activities after school could aid their development (Jenner, 2007). The most important years of learning begin at birth (Kane, 2004). During these early years, humans are capable of absorbing more information than later on. The brain grows most rapidly in the early years.
After-school activity is any organized programme which invites children to participate outside of the traditional school hour. Some programmes are run by a primary school and some by externally funded non-profit or commercial organizations (Gottfredson and Wilson, 2013). After-school lesson or programme can occur inside a school building or elsewhere in the community, for instance at a community center, library, park, etc. These activities are a cornerstone of concerted cultivation, giving children experience with leadership and dealing with adults. Research has shown that structured after-school programmes lead to better test scores, improved homework completion, higher grades, and even improved psychosocial development among students (Adoga, 2009).
Every parent knows how important school is for their child’s growth during the early years. However it doesn’t just end when the bell rings at 2 P.M. After-school lesson/programme are a great way to further improve child’s development. After-school lesson offer the opportunity for kids to not only work on their homework but to get help if they need it.
According to Apsler (2009), children feel more comfortable working on school assignments in a slightly less formal environment where they can ask questions at any time. There are other programs that introduce kids to mathematics and the sciences, getting them excited about these subjects. This can lead to better efforts in school courses and less absent days due to skipping because the child may be more interested (Honore, 2008).
Some working parents wish for their children to be more supervised during after-school hours and this is leading reason for student enrollment in structured after-school lesson. According to Wu and Van Egeren (2010) parents enroll their students in after-school programs in order to give them a supervised, safe place to spend time. Many after-school activities take place in the afternoons of school days, on the weekends, or during the summer, thereby helping working parents with childcare.
Cognitive skill development in children involves the progressive building of learning skills, such as attention, memory and thinking (Chen and Lu 2009). These crucial skills enable children to process sensory information a.nd eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect. Although some cognitive skill development is related to a child’s genetic makeup, most cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be improved with practice and the right training.
One of the most important cognitive shifts in the preschool years that occurs between three- to four-year-olds is the development of symbolic thought. Symbolic thought is the ability to mentally or symbolically represent concrete objects, actions, and events (Cook, 2010). The most obvious sign of the development of symbolic thought in four-year-olds is the significant increase in their use of make-believe play, which becomes more elaborate as they grow.
Some proponents of after school lesson for preschooler argue that if children left unsupervised, children may fall into undesirable activities such as aggressive behaviour, fighting and rough playing. On the contrary, Levine (2006) argue that spending so much time in organized after-school activities, and missing out on time or emotional closeness with their families, children fail to develop self-management which is a powerful precursor to both psychological inner strength and academic achievement.
There is dearth of empirical study on influence of after school lesson in relation to cognitive achievement of a preschooler in Nigeria as a whole and Lagos state in particular. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate the influence of after school lesson in the cognitive achievement of a preschooler in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Statement of the Problem
Parents play a vital role in the development of children cognitive skills. Children’s development of the cognitive skills needed for later success in school is best supported their parents. Enrolment of preschooler in after school lesson reduces time preschooler spent with their parents.
Although after-school lesson and activities appear to benefit children, there are several other factors that need to be considered in evaluating their impact. As noted, children spend their time after school in many different ways and with a significant range in supervision.
While after-school lesson provide supervision, as well as academic assistance, studies have also shown that involvement of preschooler in after school lesson is also shape children moral, attitude and behaviour toward their peer and parents. Students may development good behaviour; attitude and moral so also can easily learn bad attitude and behaviour (Jordan, 2000 and Mahoney & Cairns, 2007). After school lesson for preschooler can be blessing to child cognitive achievement it can also turn out to be course to child cognitive achievement. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate the influence of after school lesson on the cognitive achievement of preschooler in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Purpose of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of after school lesson on the cognitive achievement of pre-schooler in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Specifically, the study seeks to:
The following questions were raised to guide the study.
For the purpose of this study the following null hypotheses were postulated to guide the study.
Significance of the Study
The work of this nature will help parents to be aware of the role of parents on children´s well – being and how such affect the child positively or negatively in relation to their academic performance.
It will encourage parents to make their children relatively comfortable by providing them with what they need to be successful in schools. The study will educate parents the pros and cons of sending their children to after school lesson.
More so, educational and curriculum planners would be guided in planning the curriculum without rigidity to suit children from diverse home environments. In addition, the teachers would be aware that a cordial teacher – parent relationship would improve and influence cognitive achievement of pre-schooler.
Finally, the research when completed will add to available literature and would encourage further research on the topic.
Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study centred on influence of after school lesson on the cognitive achievement of pre-schooler. Content wise, the study is delimited to variables such as after school lesson, pre-schooler and cognitive achievement. Geographically, the study is limited to Nursery and Primary Schools within Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Shomolu was choosing as the study area because it nearness to researcher institution. Thus, researcher has easy access to most of the school and this facilitates easy data distribution and collection.
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