Teachers Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools
The study examined teachers’ characteristics and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted survey research design.
Simple random sampling technique was used to select 310 respondents out of the population of 6,844 students in 13 public secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. A structured questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection. The data collected from the respondents were subjected to statistical analysis using simple percentage (%).
The results of the analysis revealed that teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter, teachers’ experience and teachers’ qualification, all had influence on academic performance of students in Economics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. It was recommended among others that, teachers with higher academic qualification should be employed to teach Economics in secondary schools as this will ensure higher academic content in the teacher for effective knowledge transfer to learners in the subject.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education generally is regarded as an activity undertaken to bring about learning or desirable changes in the behaviour of a learner. Learning cannot be said to have taken place if at the end of the lesson the learner’s behaviour has not changed in line with the objectives set down at the beginning by the teacher. However, the quality of any teaching programme cannot rise above the quality of its teachers because it is the teacher who is responsible for influencing students’ learning the subject (FRN, 2004).
Moreover, there are prescribed rules of conducts in Nigeria which those in the teaching profession are expected to adhere strictly to and organize their behavioural disposition around those values (FRN, 2004). The school as an institution of the society cannot function effectively without individuals imbued with the pre-requisite social responsibilities needed to lubricate the system.
Odunsi (2008) added that what transpires in the school and indeed the classroom are determined by the teacher who has the most direct, close contact and determining influence on the learners. The author further maintained that, teachers have to be trained and exposed to the principles that would guide their future actions. This is because the way an individual behave tends to be consistent with his/her own beliefs.
It is not an overstatement to say that in a formal setting especially in the classroom, education is operationalized by teaching and it is the teacher who is at the centre of the teaching-learning process. The teacher is so important to the teaching-learning process that Newty (2000) described a teacher as the single most important player in educational process.
This fact is collaborated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy on Education which states that teacher education will continue to be given major emphasis in all our educational planning because no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers. The point to note from the above is that the teacher is so important in the process of education that the quality of learners an educational system produces is dependent and is greatly determined by the teacher who operates it.
Equally, Obioha (2008) noted that “no matter the resources at the disposal of the school and no matter how much there is a desired and goodwill for a change in the society, if the character of the teacher is negative the whole things shall fall on a hard ground”. He further maintained that it is sad to notice that many teachers do not have the requisite qualification on the subject that they teach.
The author further stressed that teachers should be versatile enough with their subjects as well as their character and should also give responsible leadership to the students. In the same vein, Okeke (2004) stated that most teachers in our school system today lack the requisite teaching experience and a deep knowledge of the subject matter in their difference disciplines of study which are necessary for the effective teaching-learning process.
According to the author, these among other factors have accounted for the poor performance of students in internal and external examinations. However, if Nigeria must reap what it has sown and since no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers, teachers’ characteristics such as teacher’s qualification, teacher’s knowledge of the subject and teacher’s experience have to be well taken care of in schools.
This research is therefore carried out as part of the attempts to find out whether teachers’ qualification, knowledge of the subject and experience relate significantly to the extent to which students either succeed or fail in Economics at secondary schools within Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
For sometimes now, many patriotic citizens of our society have been viewing with serious concern, the academic performance of our students in Economics (Okeke, 2004). However, students’ academic performance in the subject have been faced with series of challenges such as lack of interest by students, large class size, location of the school and parental background. These among others have accounted for the dwindling nature of students’ performance in the subject.
Measures to remedy this unpleasant situation have long been proffered by researchers and scholars, yet the poor performance of students in the subject has become a recurring feature in both internal and external examinations. There is no doubt therefore that apart from the aforementioned factors, teachers’ characteristics could also contribute to students’ poor performance in school examinations.
It is as a result of the above reasons that the researcher is motivated to undertake a study on teachers’ characteristics and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
Teachers Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to examined teachers’ characteristics and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- Assess the relationship between teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- Ascertain teachers’ experience as it relates to academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- Examine teachers’ qualification as it relates to academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
– It will enlighten teachers on the need for further education in Economics.
– The study will also reveal if teachers’ characteristics in general affects the academic performance of students in Economics and other school subjects.
– The study will throw more light on the quality of teachers employed in secondary schools to teach Economics.
– It will re-awaken the consciousness of teachers to their professional commitment.
– Finally, it will serve as a reference manual for further researches on similar or related topics.
1.5 Research Questions
Based on the objective of the study, the following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- How does teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter aid students’ understanding of what is taught in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- In what way does teachers’ experience help students understanding of what is taught in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- To what extent does teachers’ qualification influence academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The researcher encountered some challenges in the course of conducting the research. These were, Lack of funds, insufficient materials for the review of literature, researcher’s academic workload and time frame for the completion of the research work.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study was delimited to teachers’ characteristics and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area and did not extend beyond the scope to other Local Government Areas and subject area.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms used in the study were defined by the researcher as follows:
Teachers’ characteristics: These are those essential factors or attributes which determined the extent to which the teacher can perform his duties in the classroom.
Academic performance of students: This refers to the performance of students on taught lessons as determined by their tests and examination scores.
Teachers’ qualification: A certificate obtained that ascertains that someone is trained and qualified for teaching and employment.
Experience: The knowledge and skill that someone has gained through doing something for a period of time.
Teacher’s knowledge of the subject: This involves the ability of the teacher to have in-depth knowledge of the concepts and points contained in the content of the lesson and his/her ability to effectively impart it or same to the learners.