Based on accessibility, availability and proximity of the children, convenient sampling technique was adopted for the study. The investigator selected an intact groups, administers the experimental treatment then adjusted pre-test mean to compensate for the lack of equivalency between the two groups. Children of UKG class from RIEM-DMS pre-school was considered as experimental group. SVEI preschool considered as controlled group. The participants in experimental group (N = 24) were UKG children enrolled in Demonstration Multipurpose Preschool, Regional Institute of Education, Mysore (NCERT) in India. Of the 24 children was attended the LKG programme in the same school. The classroom was multilingual in setup among 24 majority of them were Kannada language speakers and minority were Tamil, Hindi, Tulu and Malayalam speakers. However, the medium of instruction was Kannada and English. As regional language is Kannada all children were able to understand and comprehend in the regional language. The controlled group has 25 children from SVEI preschool of Mysore. The classroom was bilingual, children had Kannada language as their mother tongue; however the medium of instruction is Kannada and English language. The duration was Three months excluding pretest and posttest assessment.
The investigator selected the subsequent tools for collecting evident information from the respondents. Comprehensive communication Assessment Tool for 5-6 years. To test the pre and post development in communication skills of the children of experimental and control groups Comprehensive Communication Assessment Tool was developed by the investigator. It was aimed to study the communication behavior of the preschool children particularly inside the classroom. The adequate item was selected based on the item analysis result. Items were chosen based on discriminative power greater than 0.39 and difficulty index between 40 and 80. Thus 12 item from receptive skill, 12 items from cognitive skill and 12 item from expressive skill was selected. The time fixed for the final assessment was 90 minutes with interval of 10 to 20 minutes between the each skill. The technical adequacy (reliability, validity) of assessments for young children is widely recognized as lower than that of measures for older children, in large part because children’s competencies are fairly unstable, situational dependent and rapid maturation (La Paro & Pianta, 2001). Children’s abilities depend largely on the quality of their experiences in educational settings, it makes sense to assess, for accountability purposes, the quality of those settings-in short, to have accountability standards for classrooms (Pianta, 2003). Thematic Developmental Assessment for Preschoolers (Observation Schedule): TDAP(OS) was prepared by the investigator and used in the study. Sample theme was prepared and tested in ARYA kid’s preschool. The dimension were Receptive Skill, Cognitive Skill, Expressive Skill.
Quasi experimental nonequivalent group design has been used to study the effect of thematic approach on communication skills. To measure the product of communication skills, pretest and posttest has used for control and experimental group. To measure the process of communication skills observation has been used in the experimental group
Statically analysis is a grouping of the long process of hypothesis formation, tool construction and data collection. Statistical analysis can take number of forms but generally t analyzing the relationship of two or more variables. In the present study statistical technique which have been used and the rationale for using these techniques are as follows. Non parametric test, Mann Whitney U Test and Spearman rho correlation has employed to assess whether there exist any significant difference between these variables like child communication behaviors like receptive skill, cognitive skill and expressive skill has any significant difference between the experimental and control group. Percentage was calculated in order to distribute the children’s performance between the pretest and posttest assessment in order to see the effect of thematic approach on communication skills. Percentage was calculated in order to see the percentage difference between the themes of healthy habits, our helpers, transportation, fruits and vegetables and seasons.
The findings of the study were: 1. The experimental group had shown higher performance in communication skill. There is significant difference in pre and posttest communication skills of experimental and controlled groups. Rank average score had shown the children in the experimental group had higher communication skill than those in the controlled group. For experimental group p<0.01 and controlled group p<0.05. These findings are in tune with the findings of TSECEC (2009), Morrow, (2005), Adams (2001) Strickland & Schickedanz, (2004), Eleni Karatzia & et al. (2007) Dickinson & Tabors, (2001).
2. The experimental group had shown 37 percentage higher than the controlled group in communication skill. It was found that thematic approach enhanced communication skills of experimental group children. 3.The experimental group had gained 35.08% in receptive skills, 48.21% in cognitive skills and 27.56% in expressive skills which is higher than the controlled group. It was found that thematic approach enhanced receptive, cognitive and expressive skills of experimental group children. Thus thematic proven highly beneficial for preschool children. These findings are in tune with the findings of Yoder and Stone (2006). 4.The experimental group had shown higher performance in receptive skill. There is significant difference in pre and posttest of experimental and controlled groups. For experimental group p<0.01 and controlled group p<0.05. The rank average of the posttest scores of the experimental group children was 26.52, while the children in the control group had a posttest score rank average of 23.52. So the rank average of posttest scores of experimental and controlled group clearly showed that the experimental group is superior in receptive skill. 5.The experimental group had shown higher performance in cognitive skill. There is significant difference in pre and posttest of experimental and controlled group. For experimental group p<0.01 and controlled group p<0.05. The rank average of the posttest scores of the experimental group children was 29.14, while the children in the control group had a posttest score rank average of 20.69. So the rank average of posttest scores of experimental and controlled group clearly showed that the experimental group is superior in cognitive skill. This finding is similar to the findings of Kon Chon Min et al. (2012). 6.The experimental group had shown higher performance in expressive skill. There is significant in pre and posttest of experimental group. For experimental group p<0.01 and controlled group p<0.05. The rank average of the posttest scores of the experimental group children was 30.17, while the children in the control group had a posttest score rank average of 20.04. So the rank average of posttest scores of experimental and controlled group clearly showed that the experimental group is superior in expressive skill. 7. There is no significance difference in communication skills of boys and girls from experimental group of pre and posttest. This finding is similar to the findings of Margaret and et al. (2008). 8. It was shown in experimental group that the percentage of receptive skill, cognitive skill, and expressive skill between the theme healthy habits, our helpers, transportation, fruits and vegetables, and seasons has increased. Case Studies: Four cases were represented for the effect of thematic approach in communication skills. 1.Case 1: Mother tongue is Hindi. In pretest assessment of receptive skill he scored 61.29%; in posttest assessment he scored 100%. In cognitive skill he scored 69.64% in pretest assessment and 100% for posttest assessment. In expressive skill he scored 48.57% in pretest assessment and 97.62% in posttest assessment. 2. Case 2: Speaks Kannada. In pretest assessment of receptive skill she scored 80.65%; in posttest assessment she scored 100%. In cognitive skill she scored 82.14% in pretest assessment and 100 for posttest assessment. In expressive skill she scored 59.05% in pretest assessment and 100% in posttest assessment. 3. Case 3: Mother tongue is Kannada. In pretest of receptive skill he scored 48.39% in posttest he scored 100%. In cognitive skill he scored 51.79% in pretest and 100 post-test. In expressive skill he scored 41.90% in and 100% in posttest. 4. Case 4: Mother tongue is Tamil. In pretest of receptive skill she scored 10% in posttest she scored 87.10%. In cognitive skill she scored 10% in pretest and 92.86 for posttest. In expressive skill she scored 20% in pretest and 60% in posttest.
The study has following educational implications: 1. In this study developmentally appropriate concepts were unified as themes. This enabled to integrate contents areas, which no longer are presented as isolated facts. Thus, thematic approach as a holistic approach has implication on the way children learn holistically at this stage. 2.Thematic approach is based on the constructivist paradigm wherein not only is the child an active participant in the process of learning but also controls the dynamics of learning. Every child was allowed to bring-in its prior knowledge into the fore play of the learning process. 3.Themes have enabled to integrate the domains such as language, cognition, socio emotional, physical development and creativity/aesthetic. Thus, this approach enables a more holistic development in the child. 4.Thematic approach is fundamentally premised on interactive communication strategies between peers and between child & teacher. Thereby providing ample scope for communication development. 5.Thematic approach can significantly enhance communication skills with respect to content of language, grammar, description, narration, and gestures. This has implications for the development of expressive skills at this stage, which in turn are essential for school readiness. 6.When expressive skills develop faster at this stage, teachers learn more about the styles of learning of children from their expressions, thus enabling them to plan their teaching accordingly.
Keyword(s): Early Childhood Education, Communication Skill, Curriculum, Teaching Method