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STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

The Study Investigated Study Habits and Academic Performance of Students in Biology In Senior Secondary Schools In Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Rivers State. Five research questions and five research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A descriptive research design was used in the study. The targeted population of the study comprised of 36212 senior secondary school students while the accessible population was 11890 senior secondary two (SS2) students in 29 secondary schools across Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

The number of the students selected was determined using the Taro Yamiene. Study Habits and Academic Performance Questionnaire (SHAPQ) was the instrument for data collection. Also, the coefficient index value of 0.74 was obtained for the instrument using test–retest method through Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysed, hence the reliability of the instrument was determined. Data gathered from the exercise were collated and statistically analyzed employing Mean, Standard Deviation to answer research questions, while Ƶ-test statistical tool was used to test the postulated hypotheses at 0.05 Alpha levels of significance.

The findings of this study revealed that commitment to personal preparatory studies, co-operative learning skills, collaborative learning skills, and efficient delivery of assignment and take home project/home work are variables of study habits that contribute to students’ academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. It is recommended that Students should be committed to personal preparatory studies that will help to improve the study habits of secondary schools students on biology. 

NOTE: THIS VERY WORK IS AN ADVANCE WORK AND IT GOES FOR 10 THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY. THE COMPLETE WORK IS 145 PAGES 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The concept of habit refers to patterns of repetitive behaviours that are performed by an individual automatically and does not require a conscious effort (Danner et al., 2011).Over a period of time when an individual performs a particular task consistently over and over again it leads to the formation of the habits, these then become automatic in nature as the behaviour then shifts from being consciously driven to a more habitual one, because habits are automatic in nature hence in the field of education they play an important role in the formation of study habits among students (Aarts & Dijksterhuis, 2000)which is one of an important variable in shaping a student`s academic performance.

To this, Bajwa et al (2015) identifies that study habits are a kind of more or less permanent method of studying, also they are an essence of a dynamic personality i.e. the habits which students form during their school years (Ebele and Olofu, 2017). have defined study habits as those study routines or standard procedure that a student follows consistently in one`s academic journey. Therefore, these can be referred to as a well-planned pattern of study that is deliberate and consistent on the part of the student so as to understand the academic subjects and succeed well in examinations (Pauk,1962).

Many students despite having required intelligence are unable to maintain their expected academic records and possibly fall short on their study habits (Vyas, 2002) and hence perform poorly in academics, therefore, it becomes important to understand how study habits are important for academic performance which can be clearly identified from a study conducted by Ebele and Olofu (2017) on the impact of study habits on the academic performance of the school children, the authors found that study habits and academic performance do have a substantial relationship, thereby giving an insight into how teachers and student guidance counsellors can help students to develop good study habits in order to enhance their academic performance.

STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Similar study conducted by Siahi and Maiyo (2015) also confirmed the relationship between the two variables, thereby, implying that in order to improve the performance of the student’s attention should be given in improving the study habits as these play a significant role in developing the knowledge and perceptual capacities of students (Yadav, Ansari & Savant, 1999).Study habits have become an important factor of student`s life as recent developments regarding the importance of study habits in improving the academic performance of the students have come to the light

Research on the correlation between study habit and student academic performance has for long received attention from scholars and educational agencies. For instance, National Assessment of Educated Progress (NAEP) in 1994 conducted a study to find out the relationship between study habit and academic performance of students in Biology. Finding of the study revealed opposite correlation between study habit and academic achievement.

Similarly, Adams (2011) conducted a series of studied to find out the relationship between the two variables. It is understatement to say that the standard of education on Nigeria has fallen, however, it has been realized that students who poses adequate mental abilities sometimes do not perform well in their academic work either they do not know how to study effectively or they do not use the most effective method of studying (Alutu 2012). However, studies of school achievement indicate that most students are under achievers (Adams 2011), a major reason for students under developed potentialities may lack learning strategies.

Akinboye (1980) attained that it not an infrequent occurrence that students who spend inordinate amount of time memorizing study materials are still barely getting by. To them, the student personal emotional and social development may suffer from the pressures created by the use of relatively inefficient learning strategies. In Nigeria, there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to cultivate effective study habit. Cooker (1966) emphasized the important of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students studying habit.

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In the same veins, Adams (2011) submits that the environment of most children is not conducive for studying; it is in the light of this that made some parents to prefer children to go to boarding school for proper discipline and to public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children. Although studies abound on the causative and predictive nature of factors of study habit on students academic achievement, all factors of the variables tends to focus on poor study habit while the effect is to fully assessed on the nation educational development.

According to Abba, (2007) observed that Biology puzzles and riddles encourage and attract an alert and open-minded attitude among youngsters and help them develop clarity in their thinking. However, emphasis should be laid on development of clear concept in Biology in a child, right from the primary classes. Another very effective means of spreading the knowledge of Biology among children is through peer-teaching and encouraging a good study habits among students.

Once a child has learned a concept from his teacher, the latter should ask him to explain the same to fellow students. Moreover, in the process all the children will be able to express their doubts on the topic and clear them through discussions in a group (Aremu, 2001). The problems associated with study habits might have a major effect on a student’s academic performances, it is believed that everyone has a different study habit and it is important to find out the best personal way to study.

STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Studying with friends has a long way to go in student’s study habits, it has a positive influence in which they discuss what have been read together but also has a negative effect in which they might not read but find themselves discussing throughout the stipulated time for reading which boils down to time wastage.

Education  is  an  indispensable  instrument  for  the  development  of  any  nation.  Teachers  are  the implementers  of  the  educational  programme  and  they are  responsible  for  the  translation  of  educational theories into practice. For teaching to be effective, it has to be rooted in an understanding of how students learn. Several researchers have conducted research with a view to finding better ways of teaching and learning Biology. Results indicated  that  performance  in  public  examination  in  Biology  still  remain  poor.

Not  much  effort  seems  to  have been  made  towards  finding  out  the  difficulties  students  encounter  in  learning  some  of  the  concepts  in Biology. Although, many factors may account for students’ poor performance in Biology, it is evident that most students have difficulties in learning some concepts.

According to, Chukwu (2008) also revealed that effective counselling services will help to promote students adjustment in school and enhance good academic performance. Onwuegbuzie (2001) in his study suggested that guidance services are needed on student study attitude and study habit for a better academic performance.

Sorenson (1991), while listing the good basic study habits stated that one must study with the primary aim of understanding. This requires one not to be in a hurry of getting through, rather sustained concentration is necessary. Crow and Crow (2002) stated that effective study habits include plan/place, a definite time table and taking brief of well-organized notes. Many studies have been carried out by researchers like Adeyemo (2005) and Gbore (2006) on effective study habits.

They argue that study habits have strong relationship with the academic performance of students. A student who cultivates certain study habit will perform differently from a student who has another set of study habit. It is believed that student who lacks effective and efficient means of studying would be building on shaking foundation and consequently have weak foundation. The teachers teach all the students collectively but all the students do not have the same grades, here we see underachievers and high achievers in Biology. With these the teachers get puzzled with the sight of such situations and then try or push too much (Riaz, Asma& Niaz, 2002).

Science in the secondary schools is taught through two main categories; as Basic Science at the Basic secondary and the separate science subjects as Chemistry, Physics and Biology at the Senior Secondary. It is however worrisome to note that research studies and findings had pointed out that there is low achievement in secondary school science (Onwuakpa and Nweke, 2000).

Biology as the science of life is offered in all Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria which attracts the greatest patronage of both Science oriented and Arts based students (Nwosu, 2006). Urevbu (1990) pointed out that the teaching of Biology is important because it equips the students to comprehend the world around them and equip them with the necessary skills to build a progressive society.

Similarly, Nwosu (2005) observed that Biology provides a platform for teaching students to develop the ability to apply science concepts and principles in solving everyday life problems. With knowledge explosion all over the world via the Internet, biological knowledge has also expanded. There are advances recorded in fields such as Biochemistry, Physiology, Ecology, Genetics and Molecular biology that have made the subject a central focus in most human activities including problems like food scarcity, pollution, population, radiation, disease, health, hygiene, family life, management and conservation of natural resources as well as Biotechnology and Ethics.

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STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

However, the academic performance of science students in secondary schools is seemingly poor. Poor academic performance can be traced to several factors. Debates among educationists tend to blame students’ poor performance on the teachers’ teaching methodology, poor moral support, overcrowded classroom, lack of sense of duty and commitment on the part of the teachers and inadequate funding by the government at various level (to provide quality textbooks and other facilities).

However, these might not be the only reasons why the students perform poorly during examinations since some of the students under this same condition are doing well academically in performance. It seems that students perform poorly in the secondary science subjects- biology, chemistry, Biology, and physics. This is probably because of the notion they have that these subjects are just so difficult and should not be studied.

So, they tend to laze around in studying the subjects, which may be the reason they end up cheating during examinations and come out with not poor grades. A study habit is a vital factor in any learning task. However, it seems that the educational sector in Nigeria pays little attention to understanding this factor.

It seems that the Nigerian society often reflects on teacher-centred factors that affect academic performance, thereby neglecting the student-centred factor- study habit. It is within the context of the above observations that this study examined the study habits and the academic performance of biology students in secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State

1.2 Statement of the problem

There is public outcry on the standard of education system and poor academic performance of students in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. This is manifested in external examinations like West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and others external examination.

This has drawn the interest of educationists and they tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks, laboratory equipments and other educational Medias. Poor study habit among students contribute to the massive failure recorded in just concluded Senior School Certificate Examination. As a result of poor study habit among students, the issue of examinations malpractice, failure, school drop- out etc are on the increase.

In  the  same  vein,  Okafor  and  Okeke  (2006)  noted  that  students’  lack  of  understanding  of  difficult concepts  in  Biology  results  in  poor  performance  of students  at  SSCE  and  backwardness  in  scientific  and technological  advancement  of  our  nation.  Umeh  (2002)  revealed  that  the  nonchalant  attitude  of  students  and teachers  in  the  Senior  Secondary  Schools  towards  certain  concepts  in  the  Biology  curriculum  are  also responsible for poor performance.

In  spite  of  effort  through  research  on  strategies to  improve  performance  in  Biology,  researcher  reports and  the  WAEC  chief  examiners  annual  reports  have  continued  to  highlight  students’  weakness  in  answering questions relating to difficult concepts in the areas such as of Genetics, Ecology and Evolution. Such weaknesses continue to induce students’ inability to comprehend or represent concepts in tables, graph and diagrams. These  repeated  reports  of  constant  poor  performance  in  SSCE  Biology  have  attracted  a  lot  of  concern from  science  educators.

Thus,  research  in  science  education  in  Nigeria  has  continued  to  seek  better  ways  of teaching Biology in order to maximize meaningful learning SSS and to identify causal variables for the repeated failures in examinations at the SSCE (Esiobu, 2000, Ajaja and Kpangban, 2000). In order to avert this, concept-mapping as a teaching strategy has been well emphasized as a method that can enhance performance in Biology and other related subjects.

However, these might not be the only reason why students perform poorly in examinations. It is clear from all indications that most secondary school students have poor study habit which might lead to poor academic performance. As true as this might sound, it is yet to gather adequate research evidence to prove that it is a key factor why students fail.

Equally, the problem of this study therefore is to find out whether commitment to personal preparatory studies, time spent, co-operative learning skills, collaborative learning skills and efficiency in delivery of assignments are variable of study habits that contribute to students’ academic performance in biology in senior secondary schools. Nevertheless, the main problem of this study is to examine the relationship between study habits and the academic performance of biology students’ in senior secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State.

STUDY HABITS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of study habits on students’ academic performance in Biology in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. Specifically, the objectives of this study are to determine;

  1. Variables of study habits that contributes to students’ academic performance in biology
  2. To examine the effect of commitment to personal preparatory studies on students’ academic performance in Biology.
  3. iii. To assess the effect of co-operative learning skills on students’ academic performance.
  4. Examine the relationship collaborative learning skills and students’ academic performance in Biology.
  5. Find out the efficiency in delivery of assignment and take home project/home work on students’ academic performance in Biology.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;

  1. What are the variables of study habits that contribute to senior secondary students’ academic performance in biology?
  2. To what extent does students’ commitment to personal preparatory studies contributes to students’ academic performance in Biology?
  3. To what extent do co-operative learning skills contribute to students’ academic performance in Biology?
  4. To what extent does the use of collaborative learning skills contribute to students’ academic performance in Biology?
  5. To what extent does efficient delivery of assignment and take home project/home work contribute to students’ academic performance in Biology?
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1.5 Null Hypothesis

The following null hypothesis were formulated to guide the study

Ho1. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of Biology students on the variable of study habits that contribute to students’ academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools

Ho2. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of Biology students on the contribution of commitment to personal preparatory studies to students’ academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools

Ho3. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of Biology students on the contribution of cooperative learning skills on academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools

Ho4. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of Biology students on the contribution of collaborative learning skills on academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools

Ho5. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of Biology students on the contribution of efficient delivery of assignment and take home project/home work on academic performance in Biology in senior secondary schools

1.5 Significance of the study

The study shall be of immense benefit in the following ways;

This study will be channelled toward helping students’ to be committed to personal preparatory studies that will help to improve the study habits of secondary schools students on biology

The study will also enable the parents, to set out time for their ward(s) to spend on preparatory studies which will help to improve study habits. It is also hope that this study will help them provide conducive study environment for their children at home.

It will also help the counsellors, to counsel secondary students on the need to adopt co-operative leaning skill to boast their academic performance this will yield a good basis for students counselling on self motivation and right attitude toward academic work.

To the policy maker, and education planners, it will help them to set a curriculum for secondary students which will enable collaborative learning style among students.   It will furnish them with a sound basis for effective supervision which will take cognizant of the effect of examination malpractice and motivate academic performance of the students.

The study will also help the teachers to be efficient in giving  of assignments and take home project/home work to students and to the students, it will enable the students to realized the benefit of doing their home work / assignment and mid-term project seriously as it will help them to perform well

As a data bank, it will envisaged that this research will serve as a repository of information for future researcher who may wish to research further into  the same topic or even closely related issues.

1.6 Delimitation of the study

The study is aimed at investigating the influence of study habit and student academic performance in Biology. This was delimited to six other variables which include: Variables of study habits that contribute to students’ academic performance in biology, commitment to personal preparatory studies, influence of time spent/ time allocation on preparatory studies, co-operative learning skills, collaborative learning skills, efficiency in delivery of assignment and take home project/home work on academic performance in Biology. It was delimited to Biology students and teachers in all public secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study on study habits and academic performance of students in biology will cover various forms of study habits practiced by senior secondary schools students and its effect on their academic performance considering factors that can encourage better study habit in senior secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Rivers State

1.8 Definition of Terms

  1. Student: This is principally used to describe individual undergoing studies either in secondary school, college of education, polytechnic and university.
  2. Study habit: The Macmillan English Dictionary has defined study habit as something that we do often or regularly often without thinking about it. Study habit therefore refer to learning which lead to the achievement of the learners goal through a prescribed pattern of behaviour.
  3. Biology: Biology is a branch of science that deals with living organisms and their vital processes. Biology encompasses diverse fields, including botany, conservation, ecology, evolution, genetics, marine biology, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, and zoology.
  4. Cooperative Learning: Cooperative learning is the process of breaking a classroom of students into small groups so they can discover a new concept together and help each other learn. The idea of cooperative learning has been around for decades, but it never got to the same prominence as blended learning or differentiated instruction.
  5. Collaborative learning: is the educational approach of using groups to enhance learning through working together. Groups of two or more learners work together to solve problems, complete tasks, or learn new concepts
  6. Preparatory Studies: Preparatory studies are designed to prepare students for college-level academic course work… It is important that students understand that such courses are designed to help them overcome academic weaknesses that are likely to hinder them in their pursuit of a college degree
  7. Academic Performance: Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure achievement using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests.

Mr. Harrison

Project Gurus is a subsidiary website owned by Harrilibrary Integrated Services which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria that was established in 1990 vide Companies and Allied Matters Act no 1 1990 as amended, now on Act cap C20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria. Our aim and objective is to assist students all over the world on their educational research works. We are committed toward assisting students at all level of education in their academic work. We have a team of seasonal writers who are vested with the current knowledge in research work. For more information contact on via Email @[email protected] or WhatsApp us on +2348127963962

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