Design and production of instructional materials made with leather for Pre-School Education

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The research explores the suitability and capability of leather as a material for making instructional materials to aid pre-school teaching and learning. Instructional materials play a vital role in teaching and learning at various levels of education, especially at the pre-school level where a strong foundation is needed. Materials usually employed in the production of instructional materials to serve as teaching and learning aid usually, include plastic, wood, paper, clay and plaster of Paris (PoP). These materials may be too heavy as found in wood, easily perishable as found with paper, or even too expensive to import from other countries. Conversely, leather, in terms of properties, is versatile, durable, pliable and can be dyed in various colours to attract children at the pre-school stage, since they are highly curious and easily become attracted to bright colours. Since leather is light in weight, its usage for making instructional materials will help reduce weight, promote durability of teaching and learning materials and also avoid/reduce the high cost of imported materials such as charts, plastic and electronically operated teaching and learning aid for pre-school education. The researcher employed qualitative research using the descriptive and experimental and methods. The descriptive study was used to describe the procedures and processes of producing appropriate instructional materials to arouse the interest of the children. The principal instruments designed to collect data were observation and interview. The convenience sampling approach was used to select the sample population with respect to data collection and accessibility of elements. In this regard, the headteacher, teachers and pupils of KNUST Nursery School were used as a sample for the study. Leather was identified to be a convenient material for making instructional media for pre-school education since it has been found to be readily accessible, easily manipulated, remarkably light in weight, and attractive when painted or dyed in various colours to arouse the interest of the children. The researcher recommends that classrooms should have a plentiful supply of leather instructional materials and objects, which encourage children’s inquiries and education. The research takes note of the intuitive desire in children for learning and urges schoolteachers to take advantage of this trait to facilitate the process of teaching and learning at the pre-school level. Schools are encouraged to make ample provision for stimulating children’s curiosity through the use of leather teaching and learning aid. In this regard, the locally manufactured leather is recommended to be used in the production of instructional materials to aid children’s education and also promote the economic significance of the material in Ghana and beyond.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 2011