Elizabeth Akinyi Owino


Overall life success requires that children have socio-emotional competence (SEC) amongst other skills. The effect of class size on children’s overall achievement continues to be a widely debated subject. The objective of this mixed methods study was to examine the influence of preschool class size on strategies used to scaffold SEC in children. A total of 301 preschool teachers purposively selected from 98 public and private preschools participated in the study; 6 preschool teachers were interviewed and 2 preschool classrooms observed. Data was collected using questionnaires, observation checklist and interview schedules. Data was analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Results revealed that preschool class size did not have a significant influence on the strategies used to scaffold SEC in children. However interviews and observations data showed that regardless of the class size, preschool teachers attempted to scaffold relationship management skills in children more. Strategies that preschool teachers in ‘high’ class sizes commonly used for scaffolding relationship management in children were: ‘monitoring’, ‘warning’ and ‘reprimands’. Preschool teachers with ‘optimum and below’ class sizes, mainly used ‘encouraging helping behaviour’, ‘warning’ and ‘monitoring’ strategies. The study concluded that despite the importance of SEC, preschool teachers did not intentionally scaffold all SEC components in children. The study therefore recommends that professional development and continuing education that focuses on SEC skills in children be encouraged among all preschool teachers.


Key words: Preschool, scaffold, socio-emotional competence, preschool class size

Contact Author:Elizabeth A. Owino, Moi University, School of Education


To cite this article: Owino, E. A. (2018). The Moderating Effect of Preschool Class Size on Children’s Socio-Emotional Competences in Eldoret Town, Kenya., Journal of African Studies in Educational Management and Leadership  Vol. 9. pp 34-49, 2018 


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Available online  January- April 2018

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