Investigating development of literacy and social skills among Kenyan pre-school children for school readiness

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Mary Oluga

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Richard Kelly


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The aim of this research was to investigate how literacy and social skills of pre-school children are developed for school readiness. The research was carried out using qualitative methods, including participant observations, interviews, document analysis, photography, and informal conversations. The practices of a pre-school teacher who was teaching the pre-unit class and her class plus the perceptions of grade one teachers at the attached primary school on school readiness were examined. Findings point to the most important literacy skills as: communications; alphabetical and phonological awareness; reading and writing letters, words, and simple sentences; and skills in print awareness. Social skills deemed imperative for school readiness were acting responsibly, respect for others, and hygiene. These skills were mainly developed through direct instruction, interactions at school and involvement to the primary school and teacher related factors while the impeding factors were over reliance on teacher centred method of teaching, use of threats and caning, and lack of adequate play among children.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library