"Some of them they just come to school to eat" : A minor field study about similarities and differences between the ways of teaching in two schools in Kenya
This study focuses on connection between socioeconomic factors and the didactic choices in the English language teaching in lower primary school. The aim of the study is to examine if and how these choices differ between a charity-based school and a non-charity based (private) school in a slum area in Kenya, based on the reflections of teachers. Furthermore the aim is to investigate the motives or reasons behind the didactic choices, as expressed by the teachers during the interviews, and how these are possible to relate to the economic and social situation of the schools and the children.
The research questions for the study was what the similarities and the differences are in how the lower primary teachers in an informal school compared with a private school in a rural area in Kenya reflect on their didactic approach in the subject English. The second question is how their reflections and didactic choices can be understood in relation to the economic and social conditions that characterize each school.
The method used was a qualitative multi case study where the data collection was made by direct observations of four lessons and semi-structured interviews with four teachers, two in each school.
The theoretical perspective used was Maslow’s motivation theory about the hierarchy of basic needs (1970, 1987) and the frame factor theory through Löwing (2004) and Knutas (2008).
The main findings were that despite the two schools different economical resources and the childrens’ different socioeconomic backgrounds the overall didactic approach was very similar which partly can be explained with social and cultural norms that affect the way of teaching. Another finding was that the biggest obstacle for the language learning was small amount of pre-knowledge which was connected to poor or no use of English at home, and a lack of basic need. These factors were according to the teachers mostly found among the poor or in some way vulnerable children
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