1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
What a nation makes of education system to a large extent will dictate the tempo of her match to nationhood and self-reliance (Okeke, 1990) Education is regarded as a dynamic instruments of change, thus Nigerian government accepts education to be a huge government venture and gives it a wholehearted support.
For sometimes now early childhood education has been a great concern to educators, scholars, researcher’s governmental and non-governmental agencies and indeed the generality of the populace of Nigeria. This is because education at this level represents the pivot and the initial focal point on which the entire education system rotates. It is the embryo of the whole education system. The management and planning of education at this pre-school stage, thus is of immense importance to the education system in particular and to the entire nation at large. This is because the foundation for a sound qualitative and functional education system can be best laid here.
These nurseries and kindergartens form the first step in public education and help the family in the moral and aesthetic education of children in maintaining and strengthening their health and preparing them for school.
Early childhood is referred to as a period between two to six years. This is sometimes referred to as pre-primary stage. Growth at this state proceeds at a very fast rate although slower than that of the baby. The historical development of early childhood education coincided with the historical development of science education. The contributions of many early childhood educators stimulated awareness in the relevance of science to the education of the young child.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is generally agreed that a child’s achievement begins in his/her early stage. The economic status of the family notwithstanding, the child’s ability in academic achievement is traceable to how effective the learning capacity can be. When a child starts early enough to master his subjects especially in science the achievement level can then be agreed to perform above the expectation. Science as a subject will be made to be a yardstick that can be used to measure a level of the achievement.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to investigate the influence of early childhood and academic achievement. Specifically, the purpose of the study includes the following:
1) To investigate the effect of early childhood in the study of science on the academic achievement of primary four pupils.
2) To investigate the role played by parents on the academic achievement of their children especially on science.
3) To determine the methods that could be applied on the academic achievement of science pupils in primary four.
4) To assess the relationship between the early childhood and the study of science in primary four.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant for a number of reasons. It will discover early childhood can influence the study of science in primary four. It will also bring out data on the effect of early childhood on the academic achievement of pupils which will be useful for the educational administration in future. It will be useful for primary school teachers, head of administration in the management of their schools to attain a targeted goal of high level of academic excellence. It is also believed that this study will be useful to future researches in the same topic.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Is there any influence on early childhood on the academic achievement of primary four science pupils?
ii. Does educational background of parents significantly affect the child’s academic achievement in Uyo Local Government Area?
iii. Is there any relationship between parental educational background in science and the early childhood academic achievement?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
i) There is no significant relationship between early childhood and academic achievement of primary four in science.
ii) There is no significant relationship between educational background of parents and the child’s academic achievement in science.
iii) There is no significant relationship between parental educational background in science and academic achievement of pupils in primary four science.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. The significance of the research study serves as a guide to improve the general academic achievement of a child.
2. The finding on the study will help the policy makers to realize the importance of early childhood on the academic achievement of primary four science pupils.
3. The report on the study will encourage the parents to be conscious of encouraging their children to develop interest in the study of science.
1.8 THE LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitation of the study based on the various obstacles and set backs range from the lack of funds to finance the conduct of the research, transportation and lack of other relevant logistics.
The problem of inadequate reference materials to obtain relevant information and finally lack of full co-operation from the targeted audience in areas visited.
1.9 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to primary four pupils in Uyo Local Government Area studying science. The generalization of the study should be such that limited to primary four science pupils.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Education: A process in which someone is taught better ways of doing things
Democratic Society: A society being free and free for citizens.
Philosophy: The study of how nature exists and knowledge about people.
Interest: To develop love for a particular thing.
Exploration: To assess for discovery.
Laudable: Deserved to be praised or admired.