Teachers Characteristics And Students Academic Performance In Basic Technology

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TEACHERS CHARACTERISTICS AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BASIC TECHNOLOGY

CHAPTER ONE

PROBLEM AND BACKGROUND

Introduction

This chapter is organized under the following sub- headings: Background of the Study, Statement of the problem, Purpose of the study, Research questions, Research hypothesis, Significance of the study, Delimitation of the study, Limitations of the study and Definition of terms.

1.1     Background of the Study

Education is a very important human activity. It helps any society fashion and model individuals to function well in their environment. According to Boit, Njoki and Chang’ach (2012), the purpose of education is to equip the citizenry to reshape their society and eliminate inequality. Every educational system at every level depends heavily on teachers for the execution of its programmes. Obadara (2005) viewed teachers to be highly essential for a successful operation of the educational system and as a key to the educational development. Without teachers with relevant characteristics, educational facilities cannot be used to facilitate academic performance of students. Undoubtedly the success and quality of any educational system depend on the quality of teachers input into the system. Akanbi (2005) noted that it is a known fact that schools must have teaching and non-teaching personnel’s. The question that arises is, what traits do the personnel’s employed possess? The educational administrator by his position either in the ministry or in privately owned schools must equip the school with good and qualified teachers with relevant behavioural traits. The process of doing this according to him includes interview, test, recruitments, job analysis and record keeping.

Secondary education is an important sector in national and individual development. It plays a vital role in creating a country’s human resource base at a level higher than primary education (Achoka, Odebero, Maiyo & Mualuko, 2007). Provision of quality secondary education is therefore important in generating the opportunities and benefits of social and economic development (Onsumu, Muthaka, Ngware & Kosembei, 2006). One of the indicators of quality of education being provided is cognitive achievement of learners (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, [UNESCO], 2005). According to Adediwura and Tayo (2007), academic achievement is designated by test and examination scores or marks assigned by the subject teachers. It could also be said to be any expression used to represent students’ scholastic standing. Levin, Wasanga and Somerset (2011) reported that the academic achievement of students at secondary school level is not only a pointer of the effectiveness of schools but also a major determinant of the well-being of youths in particular and the nation in general. Yusuf and Adigun (2010);  noted that the performance of students in any academic task has always been of special interest to the government, educators, parents and society at large.

For many years, educators, administrators or managers, researchers have debated over which variables influence student’s academic performance. A growing body of evidence suggests that schools can make a great difference in terms of students’ academic performance and a substantial portion of that difference is attributable to teachers. Specifically differential teacher effectiveness is a strong determinant of difference in students’ learning, far outweighing the effects of differences in class size and class heterogeneity. Students who are assigned to one ineffective teacher after another have significantly lower achievement and learning than those who are assigned to a sequence of several highly effective teachers. Thus the impact of teachers’ effectiveness or ineffectiveness seems to be additive and cumulative. Which factors then contribute to teacher effectiveness? Certainly, there has been a convergence of the available research data pertaining to this question over the past years. Some of these factors fall under the general heading of teacher characteristics or behavioural traits which will be used interchangeably in this work. Teachers’characteristics are relatively stable traits that are related to, and influence, the way teachers practice their profession (UNESCO, 2004). Several of these traits have also been identified by other researches. Commitment and drive for improvement, for example, combine to form what Slavin (1995) referred to as relentlessness, and what Andersen and Pellicer (1998) termed zero tolerance for failure. Also confidence is similar to what Ashton and Webb (1986) termed self-efficacy. Despite differences in nomenclature, the teacher characteristics have been found to be related to teacher effectiveness and student’s academic performances in a variety of settings by a variety of researchers. It is important to note however, that the influence of teacher characteristics on teacher’s effectiveness andstudents’ academic performances is not direct. Rather it is moderated or mediated by their effects on the way in which teachers organize their classrooms and operate within them. What teachers are, influences what teachers do. What teachers do, in return, influence what and how much, students learn (UNESCO 2004). So, effective teachers must possess adequate  qualification in what he/she want to teach, knowledge and skills needed to attain the goals of the teaching, and must be able to use that knowledge and those skills appropriately if these goals are to be achieved. The possession of knowledge and skills fall under the heading teacher competence while the use of knowledge and skills in the classroom is referred to as teacher performance /productivity. Thus there should be a link between teacher behavioural traits, teacher competence, and teacher productivity andstudents’ academic performances.There must be training and development of academic staff. The training must aim at improving staff competences, teachers’ productivity and students’ academic performances including on the job training, workshops, seminars, etc. Also, the school administration should ensure that good personnel policies are formulated and implemented appropriately in the school. The staff must be motivated. This will make it easy to engineer the staff to be highly devoted to achieve the objectives of the school, education and thestudents. Many countries are in the midst of educational reform, with the heart of this reform revolving around changes in the curriculum and teacher instructional behaviour. Teachers play a central role in bringing about the desired reform, as it is the teacher who filters the curriculum through to the learners (Sandt, 2007).

Unfortunately the present state of education in developing nations especially Nigeria does not allow anyone to have much confidence in the system. At all levels of our educational system, problems such as inadequate infrastructure,brain drain, population explosions, lack of motivation on the part of instructional and non-instructional staff, crowded classrooms, lack of instructional aids, lack of recreational facilities, high student/teacher ratio, inadequate training and development for staff and dearth of data and statistics. All these have serious implication on teachers’ delivery system in the classrooms and certainly have undesirable effects on students’ academic performance. Teachers with relevant behavioural traits have been recognised as the hearth and most vital resources in the educational system since they are the ones who interpret the aims and goals of education and ensure that the students are educated in line with them. Babayomi (1999) at the world Teachers’ day noted that teachers are fully equipped to understand and communicate to both children and adults, the skills required to build more sustainable livelihood in a world in which technological change and globalization are continually changing the nature of work. High competence levels and recruitment criteria, career development, salaries comparable to other professionals with similar qualifications, appropriate class sizes and resources for effective teaching and learning are essential conditions for the educational quality that is universally sought. He identified the teacher with professional behaviouraltraits as the pivot of the educational process and the main determinant of the quality and effectiveness of its result. So the supply of good teachers with right traits remains the bottleneck to improvement. Odunusi (1999) stated that teachers with right traits are the hubs of any educational system upon their devotion and quality, the effectiveness of all educational arrangement must chiefly depend. Teachers have been, and will always be the essential pillars of education. No matter how grandiose a school system and its curricula may be, the implementation of its programmes will be fruitless unless competent and effective teachers handle them. To this end, this study is set to examine how teacher characteristics such as qualification, experience, self-efficacy and teaching method influence students’ performance in Basic Technology.

1.2     Statement of the problem

The standard of education seems to be falling fast due to perceived low productivity of teachers, students and grossunder-funding in secondary schools. This is due to poor performance of secondary school students in publicexaminations such as WAEC, NECO,and JAMB etc. on yearly basis. Findings have supported the fact that certain teacher, school and home factors play a pact in determining students’ academic performance through studies on teachers’ variables, students and classroom variables singly or in combination so as to enhance student’s academic performance have not yielded the expected significant result as evidenced in various WAEC, NECO, JAMB yearly result analysis. The hue and cry about the students’ academic performance in Secondary School Certificate Examination is becoming alarming. The degree of failure is giving the general public a serious concern. The expected quality has not been attained. The researcher believed that the problem of high failure in the Senior Secondary is and accumulated one, which resulted from improper foundation in the Junior Secondary. There is a persistent decline in the academic performance of Secondary School students generally, and specifically in Basic technology in spite of government huge expenditure on education. However, instead of looking into the general and specific causes of decline, some, most of the time castigate the school related factors especially the teacher-related factors; knowing well that functional educational system depends on the adequacy of some indispensable teacher behavioural traits. So, there is a need toascertain what teacher-variables influence the academic performance of secondary school students. It is against this background that the qualification, teaching method, experience and self-efficacy of teachers and how it influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology will be investigated among junior secondary school students in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom  State.

 

1.3     Purpose of the Study

Themain purpose of the study was to determine the influence of teachers characteristics on Junior Secondary School Student’s academic performance in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, the study will examine the:

  1. Influence of teachers’ educational qualification on students’ academic performance in Basic Technology.
  2. Influence of teachers’ years of teaching experience on students’ academic performance in Basic Technology.
  3. Influence of teachers’ self-efficacy on students’ academic performance in Basic Technology.
  4. Influence of teachers’ teaching method on students’ academic performance in Basic Technology.

 

1.4     Significance of the study

This research work contains the researchers’ contributions that would be of great use to education planners, authorities, parents, teachers, counsellors and students in junior secondary school toward helping them identify those characteristics of teachers that positively and negatively influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology. Also, knowing what teacher characteristics influence student achievement in Basic Technology is valuable to education policy makers in finding unique ways to attract teachers with those characteristics in order to increase student performance in Basic Technology.

1.5     ResearchQuestions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent do teachers’ educational qualification influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology?
  2. To what extent do teachers’ years of teaching experience influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology?
  3. To what extent does teachers’ self-efficacy influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology?
  4. To what extent does teachers’ teaching method influence students’ academic performance in Basic Technology?

 

1.6     Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses will be tested in this work:

  1. There is no significant influence ofteachers’ educational qualification on their students’ academic performance in Basic Technology.
  2. There is no significant influence ofteachers’ years of experience on their students’academic performance in Basic Technology.
  3. There is no significantinfluence of teachers’ self-efficacy on their students’academic performance in Basic Technology.
  4. There is no significant influence of teachers’ teaching method on their students’ academic performance in Basic Technology

 

1.7     Basic Assumptions of the Study

The following assumptions were made in this study:

  1. that there are Basic Technology teachers in most of the secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District
  2. that the qualifications of these teachers are not the same
  3. that the teachers are using different teaching methods
  4. that their years of experiences are not the same
  5. that the topics to be tested the students on were taught by their teachers.

1.8     Delimitations of the Study

This study was delimited to five public secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. The study use JSS3 students only and in Basic technology. Also, in all the thirty one (31) Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, the study will only be conducted in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

1.9     Limitation of the Study

In the course of this study, the researcher could not cover all the local government areas in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District because of financial constraint. Also, some of the schools formerly selected for the study did not grant permission on time, so the researcher went to other schools still in the area of the study to carry out the study.

1.10   Definition of terms

Performance: Refers to accomplishment/achievement and how well students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different task and studies given to them by their teachers.

 

Teachers’ Qualification:Academic and professional degrees that enables a person to become a registered teacher in primary and secondary schools.

Self-Efficacy: Beliefs in ones’ ability to organize and execute courses of action necessary to bring about desired result.

 

TEACHERS CHARACTERISTICS AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BASIC TECHNOLOGY

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