SCHOOL TYPE AND STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE TO LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN IBIONO IBOM LOCAL
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1.1 Background of the Study
According to Walbery (2001) school environment refers to teacher or students perception of the school moral or social-psychological environment that affects learning. In other words, it is the external condition and influence in the school that can influence the attitude and academic achievement students irrespective of their intelligent quotient.
Schools vary in size, type (private or public), co-educational and single sex, structure, complexity and levels as bureaucratic organization based on whether such school is located in urban or rural area. Ibia (2005) opined that in addition to educational materials supplied to schools, the school setting based on school type also influenced teaching/learning of the students and as well as the level of the students’ academic achievement. Thus, the specific type of school dictates what is taught, how it is taught and what materials available. They are variables that affect students’ attitude towards the learning of Social Studies either positively or negatively. Hence, the school type which constitute; school ownership, gender-mix of school, school location and size of the classroom remains an important factor that should be well managed to enhance students’ positive attitude towards the learning of Social Studies in secondary schools.
Ekpo (2016) opined that the extent to which students’ learning could be enhanced depends on the location of the school, the structure and size of the classroom, a well equipped library and availability of instructional facilities. This implies that a well planned and conducive school type will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process, which will inturn influence the attitude of students positively and boast their academic performance.
According to Lewy (2003) attitude toward the study relates to behavior, feelings, affection and judgment by the learners towards any piece of study. This construct is intrinsically related to other construct such as students’ perception and students’ interest about learning. Adzemba (2006) defined learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior due to practice and experience. This definition is a confirmation of Akoja (2006), who viewed learning as a result of insight, practice, experience or stimuli in the environment. To buttress the view, school type means the immediate surroundings or location of the school, school ownership, gender-mix of school, size of the classroom among others. For learning to be meaningful and effective, the school type (learning environment) must be well planned, managed and its determines to a large extent how a student behaves and interacts, that is to say that the school type in which the students are enrolled tend to mould their behavior so as to meet the demands of life whether negatively or positively.
Godson (2005) posited that students with low performance and high rate of failure have much to do with negative attitude toward learning. When schools are able to provide interesting activities for their students, define the way those activities are being engaged in, allow participation by the students and their parents in school decision making, there will be great influence on how the students will feel and react (attitude) to school life and studies. In other words, the school type that is more engaging arouses positive attitude in the students. Poor attitude by students in Social Studies can be linked to some environmental influences such as school location, school facilities and size of the classroom. Adeogun (2001) supported this view, when he posited that the attitude of students towards learning can be traced to the type of learning environment to which they were exposed. Similarly, Albert (2010) pointed out that creating and enriching physical school environment had been shown to improve students’ attitude towards learning, thus positively influencing test scores. Also, Tsavga (2011) maintained that school type plays a vital role in determining how students perform or respond to circumstances and situations around them. This implies that a conducive learning environment could boast a child’s attitude positively and academic performance in Social Studies.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
School type is a product of school location, school ownership, gender-mix of school and size of the classroom. According to Ajewole and Okebukola (2005), a number of factors are said to have contributed to the students’ poor attitude and performance in schools. The author’s stressed that a host of these factors may surround students’ poor attitude and performance in school which may include; school location, size of the classroom, lack of resource materials, poor school library, the teaching method and the type of learning environment (school type) available for both teachers and the students. From the author’s view, the poor attitude of students in secondary school may be a reflection of the school type.
Moreso, the viability of a school and it components (facilities has been viewed as measures that determines the quality of students it will graduate into the macro-society. Apart from students’ background, school type constitutes or has a significant impact in students’ attitude and achievement in Social Studies. In many cases, the effects of school type are greater than that of the family background. Difficulties resulting in students’ failure may not necessarily lie with the child but with the educational system and in particular the school type.
However, it is not known to what extent the school type influences students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. Against this background, this study seeks to examine how school type influences students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to investigate school type and students’ attitude to learning of Social Studies in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. Specifically, the study aimed at the following objectives:
- To examine the influence of gender-mix of school on students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- To investigate the extent to which school ownership influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- To examine the influence of School location on students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- To assess the influence of size of the classroom on students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
- To what extent does gender-mix of school influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies?
- To what extent does school ownership influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies?
- To what extent does school location influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies?
- To what extent does the size of the classroom influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for this study:
- There is no significant difference between gender-mix of school and students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- There is no significant difference between school ownership and students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- There is no significant difference between school location and students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
- There is no significant difference between size of the classroom and students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is envisaged that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that influence students’ attitude to the learning of Social Studies. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of improving or introducing these factors to their schools, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes as well as encouraging positive attitude towards the learning of Social Studies in schools.
Moreso, this study will also be significant because the findings will stimulate parents, school administrators, teachers, stakeholders in education and curriculum planners on the relevance of conducive learning environment; they will inturn find a lasting solution to the problems and challenges in the teaching and learning of Social Studies in schools. Also, the study will be of relevance to students themselves as it will be made known to them variables that influences their attitude (positively or negatively) to the learning of Social Studies in schools. In the same vain, the findings of this study will also serve as a reference material for future research.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
The following assumptions were made to guide this research study:
- It is assumed that a good school type which constitute; school location, gender-mix of school, school ownership and size of the classroom will help to encourage students’ positive attitude to the learning of Social Studies.
- That Social Studies is a subject that is taught in public schools from junior secondary one to junior secondary three (JSS1-JSS3)
- That the same curriculum content is used in all public schools.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This research work focuses on school type and students’ attitude to learning of Social Studies in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Only influence of gender-mix of school, school ownership, school location and size of the classroom were considered for this study. Other variables such as school facilities were not selected for this study. Also, this study was delimited to junior secondary three students (JSS3) in public secondary school in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
1.9 Limitation of the Study
The inability of the researcher to cover the whole public secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area constituted major hindrance or limitation to this study. Moreso, scarcity of current literature in some related areas, may affect the generalization of the study findings.
1.10 Operational Definition of Terms
School Type: As related to the study, school type refers to those factors (gender-mix of school, school ownership, school location and size of the classroom) that can encourage the development of students’ attitude to school programme or subject.
Attitude: Attitude refers to the feelings or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that is caused by this. As related to this study, attitude connotes with the predisposition or tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or situation.
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