Problem Learners in Selected Elementary Schools in Ghana: Toward Understanding, Prevention and Action

Dickson Adom, Joshua Ebere Chukwuere, Atsu Dennis Dake, Jerry Pratt Newton
page. 129~151 / 2019 Vol.13 No.1


Problem learners in Ghanaian schools are often marginalized and/or ignored during the teaching and learning processes in the classroom. The study was carried out using the convergent parallel mixed method design with questionnaire, focus group discussion, and one-on-one interviews as the data collection instruments. The purposive, convenient, and stratified random sampling techniques were used in selecting a total sample size of 112 participants consisting of identified problem learners, teachers, parents, heads of institutions, and experts in childhood learning and development. The quantitative data set were analyzed using the descriptive statistics while the qualitative data set were analyzed using the data analysis spiral. The findings revealed that the main causes of the learning and retention challenges among problem learners are more of environmental factors than the perceived hereditary and spiritual factors. It is recommended that the Ministry of Education should organize sensitization education workshops and seminars for teachers, heads of institutions, and the student body in the elementary schools in Ghana aimed at fostering an understanding of the conditions of problem learners. This would help eradicate the stigmatization against problem learners while equipping the teachers with the pragmatic strategies to improve their learning outcomes.

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