Evaluation of Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Programme in South East and South West Nigerian Universities
The Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Programme in Nigerian Universities as a field of study is relatively new. With the recognition and acceptance of Early Childhood Education in Nigeria, some Universities have taken it upon themselves to produce teachers in the field. Out of one hundred and four (104) Universities approved by the NUC in 2013, only twelve of them offer the Programme at undergraduate level. Considering the importance of the early years in a developing country like Nigeria, it becomes imperative to critically evaluate the Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Programme. This is with a view to determining not only the adequacies or deficiencies but also the suitability of the programme in meeting its desired goals.This study is an evaluative study of Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Programme in South East and South West Nigerian Universities that adopted the Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP) Evaluation Model. The purpose of the study was to establish the extent to which the programme has been able to inculcate the required skills on the trainee teachers in South East and South West Universities. This was done by examining course content, quantity and quality of resources/materials and problems in the implementation of the programme in these regions. To this end eight research questions were answered and five hypothesis tested at 0.05 level of significance. Using the cluster sampling technique, 299 students’ and 21 lecturers’ were selected from 4 universities. Lecturers’ (EETPPLQ) and Students’(EETPPSQ) Questionnaires, interview schedule, observation (EETPPOS) schedule and facilities checklist (EETPPC), focused group discussion were used to assess the operation of Early Childhood Education Teacher Programme in the both regions. The course contents of the programme in the universities in both regions were also examined. Data gathered were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative methods include content analysis, interview and focused group discussion while the qualitative include frequency count, percentage, mean, standard deviation, t-test and Pearson Product Moment Correlation. It was concluded that the Early Childhood Education teacher preparation courses were adequate in South East and South West universities. Facilities were inadequate; methods/strategies employed by educators in achieving the objectives of the programme were inadequate in South East and South West Universities. There was a significant positive correlation between responses and evaluation from South East and South West Universities. Some of the recommendations made include the need for Government and for University authorities to acquire more modern facilities, equipment’s and resources for the Early Childhood Education departments. There is need for all Early Childhood Education departments to have well equipped resource centres or demonstration rooms where the trainee teachers can carry out some practicals. The methods of teaching need to be improved upon by educators among others. The researcher also proposed an activity-based package for Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Programme which if adopted, will improve the quality of Early Childhood Education teacher preparation programme in Nigerian universities.