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Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

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Abstract

The study investigates attitude of students towards the study of social studies in secondary schools in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State. Three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study comprised of 2050 Social Studies students in junior secondary two in all the eight (8) public secondary schools in the Area. The sample size was 100 junior secondary two students.

The instruments used were a questionnaire titled “Students’ Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ)” and Actual Scores of students in Social Studies. The data collected were analyzed using independent t-test. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that: students’ lateness, absenteeism and truancy influence the academic performance in Social Studies in secondary schools. Based on the finding, it was recommended that: students should develop positive attitude and should recognize the need for effective participation during the learning of Social Studies. 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Appendices

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the study

1.2     Statement of the Problem

1.3     Purpose of the Study

1.4     Significance of the Study

1.5     Research Hypotheses

1.6     Delimitation of the Study

1.7     Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO     –        REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1     Conceptual Framework

2.2     Theoretical Framework

2.3     Lateness and Academic Performance Students

2.4     Absenteeism and Academic Performance of Students

2.5     Truancy and Academic Performance of Students

2.6     Empirical studies

2.7     Summary of Literature Review

 

CHAPTER THREE  –       RESEARCH METHOD

3.1     Research Design

3.2     Research Area

3.3     Population of the Study

3.4     Sample and Sampling Techniques

3.5     Instrument for Data Collection

3.6    Validation of the Instrument

3.7     Reliability of the instrument

3.8     Administration of the instrument

3.9       Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR   –        PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

4.1 Data Analysis

4.2     Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE- SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1     Summary

5.2     Recommendations

5.3     Conclusion

5.4     Suggestion for Further Studies

References

Appendix

 

LIST OF TABLE

Table  Title                                                                    

Table 1: t-test analysis of academic performance in Social Studies among students who come to school early and those who come to school late

Table II: t-test analysis of academic performance in Social Studies among students who attend school regularly and those who absent themselves from school

Table III:  t-test analysis of academic performance in Social Studies among students who do not display truant attitude and those who display truant attitude

  

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix              Title                                                                    

  1. Letter of Introduction –        –        –        –
  2. Student’s Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) –        –

Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background to the study

Learning is a process by which behaviour can be initiated for the first time in the life of a person, or an old or existing behaviour can be modified (as when a person is given correction) or an old behaviour is completely changed or wiped out (as in the case of truly born again Christians) (Enang, 2014). Learning is a purposeful, conscious and complex process which involves a permanent change in character of the learner.

An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interaction between the students and the learning concepts. However, the students occupy the central role for learning to occur as learning cannot be forceful and as such the learners must be ready to learn before they can learn. Nevertheless, due to the important position occupy by students in the teaching/learning process, their attitude towards learning become necessary to be investigated upon.

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In addition to personal and mental developments, students’ attitudes analysis is critical for ensuring ones access to social, economic and civic life. In the contemporary Nigerian society, greater emphasis is being placed on industrial and technological development. As a result, students are being encouraged to take up vocational related subjects. One of such subjects that cut across all the areas is Social Studies. In our march towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of schooling.

Attitude in this study is conceptualized as a mental representation or views of students, apparently constructed as a result of social experiences, mediated through interactions at school, or the influence of parents, teachers, peers or mass media. It also refers to some kind of mental representation of something, originated from past experience as well as associated beliefs, thoughts and conceptions which reflect in the physical behaviour of the students. In this study, the attitudes of the students include lateness to class, absenteeism and truancy.

The students are mandated by the school laws to attend school daily and early but some students after they might have leave the house with the intension of going to school some factors (such as fear of punishment from teachers, joining of bad gangs, hating of a particular teacher or the subject taught by the teacher, fear of reading in the class and engaging in drug abuse outside the school) may cause most students to exhibit certain attitude which may lead absenting themselves from formal school activities.

According to Thomas (2017), the attitude of students exhibited by students include lateness to class activities, absenteeism and truancy which may influence their participation during the teaching-learning process and thereby influencing the students’ academic performance in Economics in secondary schools. Another variable in this study is truancy which is staying outside the classroom during school hours by students.

This attitude of students may result in various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse; examination malpractice, and sexual abuse which have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of imparting knowledge to the learners (King, 2013).

However, Ma’aruf (2009) asserted that some of the factors that affect students’ attitude in school include: Poor relationship between children and parents; poor physical conditions at home; use of corporal punishment in the house; as well as lack of parental interest in the child’s welfare.

Other factors which may exert negative changes in the attitude of the students according to Obe (2008) include a boring and boredom classes where the teacher is unable to manage the class or is not using relevant instructional materials during lessons thereby engaging the students in abstraction lessons, harsh teachers who are difficult to be approach by the students, an unconducive school environment, lack of writing materials such as pens exercise books, lack of recommended textbooks, and lack of other materials such as correct uniform and stockings.

The government is another major factor which influences students’ attitude. This is attributed to the fact that when government do not pay teachers regularly and most of their allowance are being withheld, most teachers find it difficult to be committed and dedicated to their primary duties of teaching. When this occurs and the students do not find their teacher in the class, the next plan of action is for the students to develop attitudes such as truancy and absenteeism.

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It is common these days to see students roaming the streets during school hours. Similarly, according to Shyam (2010) some parents due to the nature of their jobs show nonchalant attitudes to their wards and as such the children grow up to be corrupt and aggressive hence the parents getting nothing and giving out nothing from the children afterward.

Moreover, so many studies have been conducted concerning the attitudes of teachers in secondary school but little attention has been given on the influence of students’ attitudes on academic performance of students in Social Studies. It is against this background that this study investigated the influence of students’ attitudes on academic performance in Social Studies in secondary school students in mi Local Government Area with the aim of proffering some recommendations that could lead to improvement in the educational system.

Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

1.2      Statement of the Problem

The mass failure recorded by students in Social Studies in secondary schools in Bayelsa State has been a matter of concern to parents, guardians, government and even students themselves. To alleviate the performance of students in the subject, the Bayelsa State government has provided free and compulsory education and has provided free textbooks in the subject from junior secondary one to senior secondary three to enable the students to read and prepare for external examinations.

However, despites the effort of the government, there have been report of persistent failure of the students in Social Studies and these have cause serious confusion among the stakeholders in education such as the government, parents, teachers and even in the students themselves. These have raised a question “could attitudes of the students (such as lateness, absenteeism and truancy) influence the academic performance of students?” The quest to answer the above question triggered the researcher to investigate students’ attitude towards the study of Social Studies and their academic performance in secondary schools in Yenagoa Local Government Area.

1.3      Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to examine the students’ attitude towards the study of Social Studies and their academic performance in secondary schools in Yenagoa Local Government Area. Specifically, the study intended:

  1. Examine the influence of lateness on academic performance in Social Studies in secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area;
  2. Assess the influence of absenteeism on academic performance in Social Studies in secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area;
  3. Determine the influence of truancy on academic performance in Social Studies in secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area.

1.4      Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this study would be useful to the following:

  1. To school administrators: this study examined and concluded on the effect of students’ attitudes on students’ learning thereby making recommendations which would be of help to school administrators as a vital instrument for effective school administration.
  2. To parents: the study would give them an insight on how and why their wards fail in schools.
  3. The study would also be of immense value to graduate and undergraduate students who are studying educational administration as it will give them an insight on how to handle to handle students with different attitudes.
  4. To counselors: the study would help them in discovery of the fundamental attitude of students that is mostly found among students thereby helping them in providing proper guidance and counseling to the students.
  5. To teachers: the study would help them in evaluating themselves and making necessary modifications with regards to their relationships with their students.
  6. To students: the study would help them understand the effect of their behaviours on their academic performance thereby helping them in adjusting or amending their ways.
  7. The study would serve as a source of data for future researchers on related topics.
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Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

1.5      Research Questions

The following questions were formulated to guide the study in line with the objectives of the study.

  1. Does lateness influence the academic performance of students in Social Studies?
  2. How does absenteeism influence the academic performance of students in Social Studies?
  3. To what extent does truancy influence the academic performance of students in Social Studies?

1.6      Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study in line with the objective of the study

  1. There is no significant influence of lateness on academic performance of students in Social Studies.
  2. There is no significant influence of absenteeism on academic performance in Social Studies.
  3. There is no significant influence of truancy on academic performance of students in Social Studies.

1.7      Delimitation of the Study

This research work was restricted to students’ attitude (lateness, absenteeism and truancy) towards the study of Social Studies and their academic performance in secondary schools in Yenagoa Local Government Area. Only senior secondary two (JS2) Social Studies students in public secondary schools in Yenagoa Local Government Area were involved in the study.

1.8      Definition of Terms

The following terms were defined as used in the study:

The following terms were defined as used in the study:

Attitude: A settled way of thinking or feeling about something.

Student: A student can be defined primarily as a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment at desired field.

Social studies: various aspects or branches of the study of human society, considered as an educational discipline.

Academic performance: Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects

Secondary school: A term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.

Lateness: This is the coming to class after the usual time for the commencement of the lesson when the student has left the house early to school but stops on the way.

Absenteeism: This is the staying away from class without the permission of the teacher or parent after the student has left for school in the house.

Truancy: This refers to the staying away from school without the permission from parent, teacher or school administrators.

Influence of Attitude of Students towards the Study of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

Mr. Harrison

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