Accounts and Thoughts of Overage Children: A Qualitative Study on the Physical and Emotional Environment of Preschools in Ibadan, Nigeria

Iyanuoluwa Emmanuel Olalowo 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 1-13

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Children are brought up in diverse yet specific physical and social environments formally regarded as preschool centres; they are engaged from preschool age in activities where their development is affected by an array of social factors. Some of these factors are natural while some are measures of external circumstances, which if neglected may endanger proper child care, learning and development at the early years. As the child’s age stands as one of such natural factors that can’t be tampered with, literatures from Nigeria researches mostly give account of it from either an underage or age appropriate perspective, little is known or revealed on the state of overage children in preschools. With developmentally appropriate practices in mind, this study therefore investigated the experiences of overage children in preschool centres with respect to the suitability of their physical environment, peer interaction as well as the kind of interaction between these children and their teachers. In answering the research question, a qualitative research design was staged. The qualitative data collection adopted a phenomenological approach where experiences of respondents and other features were examined qualitatively. Twelve (12) overage pupils from 6 preschool centres in Ibadan were interviewed through conversational key informant interview. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and were presented alongside field notes from research assistants using a thematic analysis. Findings had it that children in rural setting were of the view that their teachers do not interact with them so well, urban pre-primary schools children claimed that their teachers played with them as most of them also have nick names given to them by their teachers. Caregivers as well as preschool administrators should therefore ensure that provisions and daily activities within the school system is geared towards the development of the whole child such that no child is left behind regardless educational dilatory experience.

Keywords: Overage Preschool Children, Peer Interaction, Physical Ambience, Preschool, Teacher-child Interaction.