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ABSTRACT

The study examined the effect of teachers’ gender on student attitude towards learning in secondary schools in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State. Four research questions and four null and alternate hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A sample of 200 pupils was randomly selected as the population of the study. The findings showed that there is significant difference in the performance mean scores of students taught by male teachers and that of those taught by female teachers. The results showed that teacher gender has significant influence on the attitude of pupils to schooling. On the basis of the results, conclusion and recommendations were made with emphasis on training and employing more males as secondary school teachers to counter the current gender imbalance in the profession.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Education remains the first step for every human activity as it plays an important role in the development of human capital as well as a child’s well-being and opportunities for better living in the near future. The insufficient number of male teachers in secondary schools today has posed a serious challenge to the education sector in Nigeria.  Men are often discouraged from choosing education as a profession, reasons why the post-primary education is usually dominated by female’s teachers. Quoting Weaver Hightower (2011), “countries worldwide have seen crisis discourses over small numbers of male teachers” (p. 97). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2013), women made up 81% of the elementary and secondary school teacher population while men composed just 19% of the elementary and secondary school teacher population in 2013.

McGrath and Sinclair (2013) noted the discrepancy between the number of male and female teachers and called for more males to choose education as a career after analyzing the impact of males as teachers.

A student attitude towards learning is a major issue to teachers, parents, and guardians as well as other stakeholders in the education sector. This concern cuts across all teachers at all levels in the education system, including primary, secondary and higher institution of learning.

A high academic achievement for any class of students is an indication of teaching/learning effectiveness between the teacher and students, while poor academic achievement on the other hand, is an indication that the teaching/learning process is ineffective.

However, Teachers cannot be dissociated from the schools they teach and academic performance of his/her students. It would therefore be logical to use the standardized students’ assessments results as the basis for judging the performance of teachers. Teachers celebrate and are rewarded when their schools and teaching subjects are highly ranked. While appreciating the value of rewarding teachers who produce better results, teachers should also not escape a portion of blame when students perform poorly.

It has been proved that teachers have an important influence on student’s academic achievement. They play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe, 2001). In their study, Wright, Horn and Sanders (1997) concluded that the most important factor influencing student learning is the teacher.

Teachers stand at the interface of the transmission of knowledge, values and skills in the learning process. If the teacher is ineffective, students under the teacher’s tutelage will achieve inadequate progress academically. This is regardless of how similar or different the students are in terms of individual potential in academic achievement.

Researchers have examined the influence of teacher characteristics such as gender, educational qualifications and teaching experience on students’ academic achievement with varied findings. Akiri and Ugborugbo (2008) found that there was a significant relationship between teachers’ gender and students’ academic achievement.

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.

Gender differences have become critical issues of concern around the world most especially to educators and researchers. Hansman, Tyson and Zahidi (2009) reports that there is no country in the world that has yet reached equality between women and men in different critical areas such as in economic participation or education. This is also evident from the reports of Okebukola (2002) in a study titled “beyond the stereotype to new trajectories in science teaching”, Longe and Adedeji (2003) in their study on increasing girls access to technical and vocational education in Nigeria, Yoloye (2004) in the study on increasing female participation in science and Ezirim (2006) in the study on “scaling up girls participation in science education: towards a score card on quality education” asserts that gender has impact on education.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Concerns over the effects of teacher gender influence on student’s attitude towards learning have in recent times shifted and inspired researchers into the forces behind such attitudes. Many studies have shown that teachers gender have a substantial effect on how students learn. Luyten and Snijders (1996) reported some positive long-term effects of teachers’ teaching efficiency, their knowledge of students’ needs and their motivation on students’ perception of a school subject.

The teaching of some major subjects like Mathematics, English language, Biology etc has been faced with numerous problems that can impede the realization of their objectives. One of such problems is the low interest of the students towards these subjects. Over the years, student achievement in these major subjects has been so low that they has the highest percentage failure and the lowest percentage pass at the JSSCE and SSCE for the past 10years (2002-2011) compared to the other subjects at the junior and senior secondary school level. There exist two factors influencing students’ attitude towards learning and their academic achievement, which are teachers’ gender and pedagogical mastery of the subject. These two factors have a greater impact on students’ attitudes than pedagogical content knowledge (Darlin-Hammond, 1999).

The differential scholastic achievement of students in Nigeria has been and is still a source of concern and research interest to educators, government and parents. This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. All over the country, there is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government are in total agreement that their huge investment in education is not yielding the desired dividend. Teachers also complain of students’ low performance at both internal and external examinations.

This inspiration led the researcher to focus on a rather disturbing local phenomenon in the school system the discrepancy in the proportion of male and female teachers on student attitude towards learning, especially in the secondary schools. Using Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State as a case study.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The major objective of this study is to examine the effects of teacher gender on student attitude towards learning in secondary schools and possible prospects to such effects. Specifically, the study intend to:

  1. Examine if there is a significant noticeable difference in the proportion of male to female teachers in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State.
  2. To ascertain if teacher gender has significant influence on the attitude of pupils to schooling in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State.

iii. To ascertain if there is a significant difference in lectures attendance between male teacher’s period and female teacher’s period in Alerio Kebbi State University.

  1. To determine the extent at which student’s attitude towards learning has improved academically between students in lecture rooms with male teachers and students in lecture rooms with female teachers.
  2. To proffer possible solutions to the afore listed problems rising from teachers genders in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Is there any significant noticeable difference in the proportion of male to female teachers in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State?
  2. Does teacher’s gender have significant influence on the attitude of pupils to schooling in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State?
  3. Has student’s attitude towards learning been improved academically between students in lecture rooms with male teachers and students in lecture rooms with female teachers in Kebbi State?
  4. Is there any significant difference in lectures attendance between male teacher’s period and female teacher’s period in Alerio Kebbi State University?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

h0: there is no significant noticeable difference in the proportion of male to female teachers in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State.

h1: there is a significant noticeable difference in the proportion of male to female teachers in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State.

h0: teacher’s gender has no effect on students’ academic achievement in Alerio Kebbi State University.

h2: teacher’s gender has direct effect on students’ academic achievement in Alerio Kebbi State University.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

It is the researcher’s belief that based on the identified problems of teachers gender differences among students towards learning in secondary schools in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State, coupled with suggested improvements, there will be an improved standard in the employment of male teachers into the system subsequently, and improving in the performance of both the students and teachers on the field.

The findings of the study will be of immense benefit to the government, education planners and administrators, school guidance counselors, educators and teachers, parents and students. The findings could be useful to the government at both State and Federal levels in making special provision to bridge the gap if any in the academic achievement that may be resulting from differences in teacher’s gender, and student’s attitude towards learning. Findings will encourage government to devise means of improving learning environment so as to motivate students to higher performance irrespective of the teacher’s gender. If the findings are published in academic journals and disseminated through academic conferences and properly utilized by governments, it may go a long way to remedy any differences in, staffing and teacher’s training structure which may be affecting academic achievement in secondary schools.

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is intended to cover some selected departments in Alerio Kebbi State University. The researcher intends to look into the challenges of teacher’s gender on student attitude towards learning in Alerio Kebbi State University, Kebbi State and proffer solutions to the stated problems. It does not however intend to include an analysis of the performance of students in the different schools rather; it will outline the various methods adopted in arriving at a convincing conclusion. However, there were some constraints that tend to interrupt the flow of the study which include;

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Effect: is defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause, or cause (something) to happen; bring about.

Gender: Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures, or gender identity.

Teacher: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.

Attitude: attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something, in psychology, attitude is a psychological construct, a mental and emotional entity that inheres in, or characterizes a person.

Academic performance: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter. Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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