THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF LITERACY IN SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF LUSAKA DISTRICT IN ZAMBIA
Keywords: literacy, learning environment, classroom environment factors, school environment, rich print environment, teaching and learning materials, reading, writing.
AbstractThis article advances the contribution of the physical environment to the teaching and learning of literacy skills among Grade Two pupils in selected primary schools of Lusaka District of Zambia. As a descriptive qualitative research design, data was collected through face-to-face interviews and observation using the observation checklist and an interview guide. The targeted population was all primary schools, Grade Two pupils, and early grade teachers of Lusaka District. The sample size was four (4) primary schools and one hundred and twenty (120) Grade Two learners and thirty (30) primary school teachers handling early graders. Findings of the study revealed that the teaching and learning environment played a significant role on the teaching and learning of reading. Diverse factors in classes such as location of the school, print environment, class size, sitting arrangement, design of the class, and nature of materials contributed to the teaching and learning of literacy in the targeted schools. The researcher recommended that head teachers and class teachers should ensure that early grade classroom environments have rich print environment, the Ministry of Education should build library facilities in every primary school to encourage a culture of reading in Zambia. The government should shut down bars and drinking places located near schools.