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Birth Order and Students Academic Performance in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

Birth Order and Students Academic Performance in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools 

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Abstract

The study examined Birth order and students’ academic performance in Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. An ex-post factor research design was adopted for the study.

a sample of one hundred (100) students were selected from the population of 626 students using the simple random sampling technique. Plain sheets were used in collecting the scores of the students for statistical analysis using the t-test statistics.

The result revealed that students of first and third birth order performed significantly better than their second and fourth birth order counterparts respectively. This was evident in calculated t-values of 4.98 and 7.05 against a critical table value of 2.01 respectively. Based on the outcomes of the statistical analysis, the null hypotheses were rejected at 48df and .05 significant level.

It was then concluded that birth order has a significant effect on academic performance of students in agricultural science in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. It was therefore recommended that parents should endeavor to provide for the educational needs of their wards at equal proportion regardless of their birth order for better academic performance in school.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

It is a pertinent fact that each member of the society belongs to a family or family order. The family provides what a child takes to school. It is what happens in the family that reflects in personality behaviour of the children (Caldwell, 2009).

This implies that the significant of the family in the academic and behavoiural pattern of students in school cannot be overemphasized. Apart from serving as a breeding ground for human continuity, it is an institution that sets the socialization process on course. It was in acknowledgement of unique position of the family that Okoroma (2004) asserted that the family is the foundation of the values which the child internalizes from the very tender age.

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Moreover, if one examines the social birth order upon the development of individuals, one may not likely find any other with greater birth order than the family. Malu (2006) pointed out that the family of a learner has a significant influence on his educational performance in school. The author maintained that the family is the most important primary group and t he smallest social unit in the society.

It has its roles in biological and social nature. As such, it is universal in the sense that no human society could possibly exist or has ever existed without some form of family organization. This is because parents, siblings and family members help to shape the character behavioural pattern and personality of the young child. Accordingly, Tenibiaje (2002) observed that children from larger families are found to be worse then children from smaller families, similarly, children with lower birth order also do worse than those with higher birth order.

However, from the fore-going, the family size as well as the birth order also exerts a great influence on the academic performance of students in school. In a family with large number of children, the parents may not be able to cater for the educational needs of all the children at equal proportion.

There is bound to be differences in the level of academic performance of members  of such family because children of first order birth are likely to be given much attention than others in terms of educational needs especially in poor and average families while the educational needs of other members of the family may not be given much attention or totally neglected.

These disparities in birth order of children in the family have a lot of educational implication which needs to be addressed if better academic performance among students is to be fully achieved. However, the study investigated the extent birth order affect academic performance of students in agricultural science.

Birth Order and Students Academic Performance in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

1.2    Statement of the Problem

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There has been a lot of concern about the performance of our students both in external and internal examination over the years. Worried by the poor performance of students in examinations, a lot of works have been conducted and several factors such a school location, teaching technique adopted by teachers, parental educational level, occupation of parents as well as income level of the parents have been implicated and solutions proffered.

All these efforts notwithstanding the performance of students in examinations is still on the decline. It is expected that family size and birth order could also exert an influence on academic performance of students in agricultural science. It is against this background that this study investigated birth order and students’ academic performance in agricultural science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area with a view to suggesting ways by which the academic performance of students in agricultural science can be improved regardless of birth order.

1.3    Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study was to examine birth order and students’ academic performance in agricultural science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. Specifically, this study:

  1. Compared the academic performance of students of first birth order and second birth order in agricultural science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
  2. Investigated if there is a difference in the academic performance of students of third birth order and fourth birth order in agricultural science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.

1.4    Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefits to teachers, parents, researchers and society in general in the following ways:

  1. It will reveal if birth order has an influence on students’ academic performance in school.
  2. It will provide parents/guardians the awareness of their significant roles in the educational upbringing of their wards.
  3. The study will also enable parents to see the need of controlling the rate of pregnancy and child bearing.
  4. Finally, for academic research fellows, it will provide a ready reference material that will be useful as basis for further research studies thus contributing to an improvement in existing knowledge.
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1.5    Research Questions

  1. What difference exists in the academic performance of students of first birth order and second birth order in agricultural science in secondary schools in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area?
  2. How does students’ academic performance in agricultural science differ based on birth order in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area?

1.6    Research Hypotheses

The following are stated in null form:

  1. There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance in agricultural science based on first birth order and second birth order.
  2. There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance in agricultural science based on third birth order and fourth birth order.

1.7    Limitation of the Study

The successful conduct of this study was faced with some limitations which tend to affect the timely completion of the research work. These limitations were:

  1. Lack of funds: The lean financial resources at the disposal of the researcher affected the scope of the study because of the researcher’s inability to acquire enough funds needed for the expansion of the work.
  2. Time frame: The time allocated for the completion of the project was too short, and this posed a serious stress on the researcher.
  3. Lack of adequate materials: Research materials for the review of empirical literature regarding the topic were grossly inadequate due to the fact that it is a new educational policy in the area.

1.8    Definition of Terms    

The following terms used in the study were defined by the researcher as follows:

Birth order: Birth order refers to the chronological order of siblings in a family.

Student: A person who is studying at the university, college and secondary school.

Academic performance: Knowledge acquired and skills developed in agricultural science here indicated by marks obtained from test and examinations.

Mr. Harrison

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