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The Impact of Motivation and Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

The Impact of Motivation and Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

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The study was carried out to examine motivation and academic performance of primary schools pupils’ in English Language in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. In order to carry out this study, two research questions were raised which helped in the formulation of two research hypotheses.

The research adopted a survey designed. The population of the study the population was two thousand one hundred and thirty six (2,136) pupils in the seventy five (75) public primary schools in the study area. Two hundred (200) pupils were sample from the population to form the sample size.

English Language Achievement Test (ELAT) was the instrument used to collect data for this study and the data collected were analyzed using independent t-test.

The result from this finding showed a significant difference in the three variables investigated thus, pupils whose parents motivate them through reinforcement performed better than those that their parents don’t motivate them.



1.1 Background to the Study

Motivation is the process through which individuals are charged to increase their action or performance either by internal intrinsic (external or extrinsic) factors. Intrinsic motivation is said to be derived internally in the task itself. It occurs while a person is performing an activity in which he takes delight and derives satisfaction in doing such activity.

Tella (2013) motivation can be influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors such variables are considered in this study, in the context of this study, pupils motivation is the extrinsic variables that are not within pupils themselves (intrinsic) that can change or encourage them to learn and perform better in their examination, these motivational variables include Parental motivation, reinforcement, teachers teaching methods e.t.c.

Motivation plays an important role in influencing pupils academic performance in learning situation. Individual learners have varying levels of psychological needs that do exert much influence on their academic performance and determine the degree of their activities in the classroom.

The extent to which ability can be translated or elevated into performance is dependent on the level of incentive provided by the organization which satisfies the needs of people. For this reason, parents have the role and responsibility of motivating their children towards effective learning in school and subsequently toward recording successes in their examination.

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It is not only sending their children to the most expensive school that matter but ensuring that all their learning needs are provided (Davidson, 2012).

Parents also have roles to play in motivating their children to learn. There are parents who equipped their children with all the recommended textbooks as well as other school requirements most of such parents equipped student take interest in academic activities demanded the needed learning materials. Some pupils are on the other hand handicapped and not motivated to participate in academic activities because, they lack the learning materials (Okoro, 2007).

Teachers equally places an importance role in motivating the learners, Moreover, most of the social-cognitive models of motivation assume that pupils’  motivation is influenced by rewards and praise by their teacher, classrooms interactions, activities, reinforcement  practices and culture (Pintrich, 2003).

Therefore, the teacher’s instructional practice has a crucial role in facilitating pupils’ motivation. The relation between different aspects of teachers’ instructional practices and pupils’ motivation in mathematics is quite strong.

Specifically, the use of reinforcement strategies in the lesson can be motivating factor for managing student behavior and maximizing the learning  outcome. Programmed instructions can be used to make reinforcements effective (Skinner, 1968).

In addition to other strategies in classroom teaching, having good strategies of reinforcement can attract the attention and boost the interest of the pupils in teach (Newcomer, 2009). Therefore, it is important that teacher must make instruction interesting using various strategies and materials. That way, it will make the learning of English Language not only interesting, will be engaging, investigative and adventurous and motivating.

The Impact of Motivation and Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In any educational system, success is measured by academic achievement or how well a student meets the standard set out by the institution. The menace of failure among the young school pupils has stared parent, government and stakeholders in the face.

The persistence low performance in economics by pupils has been tackled in various ways by parents, schools, educationist and the government in a bid to solve the problem of poor academic performance in English Language in schools.

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Parents teachers association (P.T.A) in schools have been bridging the gap between parents and teachers with the view of overcoming the root of this problem as such they have provided buildings, desks, laboratories equipment etc. in some of the schools on the basis of uplifting the problem of pupils poor performance, agencies like non-governmental organization and government have done their best in improving the educational performance in Nigeria.

Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), Education Trust Fund (ETF), etc, have been building and supplying materials but the problem seems to be magnified. The government has averred teachers re-training but the root of the problem are yet to be resolved.

Since all the efforts made so far have not been able to solve the problem of poor academic performance of pupils in English Language, the researcher is therefore interested to find out if motivation influences pupils’ performance in English Language.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to examine motivation and pupils academic performance in primary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. determine the extent to which parental motivation influence academic performance of pupils English Language
  2. examine the extent to which reinforcement influence pupils’ academic performance in English Language.

1.4     Significance of the Study

The study would be of immense benefit to pupils, parents, teachers, curriculum developers and the society at large. Specifically, the study would benefit the followings:

It will be of a great value to the pupils they would be guided to inculcate intrinsic motivation variable for independent study habits.

Parents will also find this research useful as they would be guided to see the greater need for the motivation and supervision of their children.

Teachers and pupils will also benefit from the finding of this study as the will be guided see the need of using motivational variable to encourage pupils to study and perform very well.

The study will also encourage the society to see the need of motivating individuals in other to bring the about out of them.

1.5     Research Questions

The following research question was raised to guide the study

  1. To what extent does Parental motivation influence the academic performance of pupil in English Language?
  2. To what extent does reinforcement (praise and reward) influence the academic performance of pupil in English Language?
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1.6     Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study

  1. Parental motivation does not significantly influence the academic performance of primary school pupils in English Language.
  2. Reinforcement does not significantly influence the academic performance of primary school pupils in English Language.

1.7     Limitation of the Study

In conducting a research study of this kind, there are bound to be some challenges. Thus, some of the challenges was encountered in the course of this study are as follows:

  1. Time constraint: time duration allowed for the completion of this research work could not be enough for the research to have a wider scope. Hence some schools were sampled and student out of all the schools in the area.
  2. Financial problem: this constituted one of the major limitations to the researcher especially as the researcher had to source for relevant materials on the topic and visit the sampled schools under the investigation for data collection.
  3. Insufficient references materials: this also was a problem as the researcher needed enough relevant literature on the topic.

1.8     Operational Definition of Terms

Terms used in the study were operationally defined as follows:

Motivation: Is the process through which individuals are charged to increase their action or performance either by internal or external factors.

Academic Performance: This is used in the study to refer to student’s attitude to competition for excellence in their attitude towards participating in class activities and homework. It is also used to pupils’ interests in learning.

Education: Defined as the pro of acquiring and utilizing knowledge and experience for the growth and development of the individual in the community.


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Mr. Harrison

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