FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY
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Academic performance of students is the foundation for attaining the broad aims and objectives of education, which is to generate integrated citizens who will benefit themselves and society as a whole. In light of this, this study focuses on the factors that influence students’ academic performance in biology at five secondary schools in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. For the investigation, a quasi experimental design was used. The research area’s population consisted of fifty teachers. The research was guided by three research questions and one hypothesis. The data were analyzed on the basis of the hypotheses, using independent samples t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson Product moment correlation. The study found out the relationship between teachers’ attitude, school environment and student’ academic performance in secondary schools in biology, the achievement of students in schools still remain low in Nigeria. Among the factors that have been identified outcomes in learning are: poor method of instructional material, teacher’s attitude, Laboratory inadequate and poor science background knowledge. Arising from the findings, it is implied that attitude of teachers teaching in biology in senior secondary schools have significant effect on the achievement of students as one of the science subjects, and the school environment also play a significant role in students’ performance in these schools. It must be realized that, if teachers show positive attitude towards teaching, the achievement of students will be better than what we have now in our secondary schools.
TABLE OF CONTENT
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
2.1 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.2 CONCEPTUAL REVIEW
2.2.2 The Concept of Poor Academic Performance
2.3 TEACHER EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION
2.4 EMPIRICAL REVIEW
3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.2 AREA OF THE STUDY
3.3 POPULATION OF THE STUDY
3.4 SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUES
3.5 RESEARCH INSTRUMENT
3.6 VALIDITY OF THE INSTRUMENT
3.7 RELIABILITY OF THE INSTRUMENT
3.8 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
3.9 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.3 HYPOTHESIS TO BE TESTED
FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.2 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
1.1 Background to the Study
Science is an intellectual activity that involves the methodical investigation of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural worlds via observation and experimentation. Science, according to Merriam-Webster (2016), is “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.” According to the National Academy of Sciences (2008), as referenced by Hohenberg (2010), science is the use of evidence to create testable explanations and predictions of natural occurrences, as well as the knowledge generated in the process.
To that aim, science is an important subject taught in schools to youngsters. Many arguments have been advanced to support its teaching. In other words, there are numerous reasons to invest in providing kids with the opportunity to understand science (Settlage & Southerland, 2012).
- It helps the children to have a worldview of science. In other words, they will begin look at things in a way that is probably not the same as others.
- The value system of science influences the way children think.
- Children learn to question and satisfy their curiosity through science.
- It enables children to be open-minded.
- It inculcates in the children the spirit of skepticism thereby pushing them to always seek more data to become convinced (p.xi).
Natural science, physical science, and social science are the three branches of science taught in secondary schools. It is sometimes discussed under pure and applied science and includes areas such as physics, chemistry, biology, and so on. Biology is the only one of these subjects that is applicable to all pupils. Biology, unlike physics and chemistry, is the only science topic provided to all pupils in science class.
This suggests that biology is in a particularly delicate position in medical science and other related fields. This informs a number of attempts aimed at teaching biology at the secondary school level. As a result, it is one among the science subjects that a student must pass in order to provide some science courses at the post secondary level (Akinfe, Olofinniyi, & Fashika, 2012). It is however disheartening and heartbreaking that despite the key role and much emphasis being laid on biology, students of senior secondary schools are still performing below expectation in this subject and this has been an issue of great concern for stake holders in education, especially those in the field of science (Rowe, 2013). This has been attributed to myriad of factors. However, the pivotal of all the factors responsible for the poor performance is the teachers (Ameen, Onah&Udoh, 2006).
The importance of teachers in education cannot be overstated. For a variety of reasons, they are an incredibly vital aspect of any civilization. Their contribution is significant and valuable. Teachers have an extraordinary role in the lives of children beginning with their formative years, and hence their importance cannot be overstated. They work to shape their students into responsible citizens of their country (Ameen et al, 2006). This submission shows that if teachers are well educated, intellectually alive and take keen interest in their job, then only success is ensured.
According to Rowe (2003), the teacher, more than any other group, creates societal attitudes and shapes national ideas and aspirations; this is power in action. Similarly, Zwalchir (2008) discovered that quality education is dependent on both the quality and availability of teaching professionals. The consequence is that, in addition to other issues, teachers have been identified as a critical component that may impede good teaching.
Buttressing the importance of teachers, Ciwar (2005) added that teachers occupy a critical and fundamental position in the development of any action. They act as catalyst of change for the transformation of the society for the desired end.
The invaluable importance of teachers, not withstanding, studies have shown that their success in relation to the academic performance of their students is anchored or dependent on certain characteristics. Hence, such factors as teacher’s attitude, qualification, experience and even availability to a greater extent could affect and influence students’ academic performance.
The motive, therefore, of this study is to investigate the factors affecting students’ academic performance in biology with a view to revealing the influence of such characteristics as attitude, qualification, experience and availability on the students’ academic performance in biology.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The importance of science, particularly Biology in the development of a nation cannot be over-emphasized. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that in any teaching learning situation the students the teachers, the curriculum and learning environment are the four pivots. It has been observed that one of the problem arising from realizing educational objectives of teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools is poor teaching pedagogies. Biology is a core and compulsory subject that is prerequisite for further studies at all levels of education. Unfortunately students performance has been dwindling over the years. This has been attributed to many reasons among which are evidenced in the inability of teachers to provide for the specific learning needs of the individual students leading to poor academic performance of students in biology. It has been observed that persistent use of the lecture format and managing large class size without any recourse to effective use of teaching pedagogies like inquiry pedagogy, cooperative pedagogy, discussion pedagogy and demonstration pedagogy despite the instructional value is one of the major reasons affecting students’ performance in biology. Government and other stakeholders in education have made effort to improve teaching delivery through seminars and in-services training for biology teachers, unfortunately the failure rate is increasing on yearly basis. Therefore the study determine the factors affecting students’ academic performance in biology.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study
- To examine the teacher’s attitude as determinants of student academic performance in biology.
- To examine the effect of physical facilities on the academic performance of students in biology
- To identify factors that affect student academic performance.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the effects of teacher’s attitude on student academic performance in biology?
- What is the effect of physical facilities on the academic performance of students in biology?
- What are the factors encouraging student academic performance?
HO: Teacher’s attitude does not determine student’ academic performance
HA: Teacher’s attitude determine student academic performance
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is the hope of the researcher that this work would be of immense benefit to teachers, educational planner, head teachers and fellow researchers. Finding of this study could encourage the teachers of need to update their qualification having seen its influence on students’ academic performance. This study could help the educational planners to understand the implication of teachers’ qualification, experience attitude and availability of the academic performance of students and thus make them provide training for teachers to learn new trends in the field. Hence, the study will create the need to enable the teachers’ update their qualification and experience to impact on the students. This study will contribute to knowledge in highlighting the importance of teachers’ attitude and school environmental factors to the academic performance of students in Biology.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State. Five Senior Secondary Schools were randomly selected and three teachers from each school.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
All schools in Sagamu Local Government area could have been in this study in order to be able to generalize the result, but it would have been too expensive to carry out.
Another limitation of this study is also time, there is no enough time for the researcher to cover all the schools in Sagamu Local Government
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic Performance: Academic performance is the ability of students in school subject as determine by result of examination or test given.
Qualification: This is used to refer the certificate obtained by a biology teacher.
Experience: This is the year(s) of practice of Biology teachers
Performance: This is the result of academic endeavour by the students learning biology.
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