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Assessment of reward and punishment on its influence on the academic performance among senior secondary school students

Assessment of reward and punishment on its influence on the academic performance among senior secondary school students

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Nigeria is a highly diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic country, comprising of nationalities that come from diverse linguistic backgrounds, with over 450 ethnic groups and languages (Beresford, 2010). It is therefore inevitable that the multicultural nature of Nigerian education system will continue to grow in size and diversity.  In Nigeria today, English is not only the medium of instruction in the educational system, but has become a lingua franca.

In the present-day Nigeria, schooling means a classroom for an increasing student population from diverse ethnic groups and languages. Apart from students who speak one of the major indigenous languages (Igbo,Hausa, Yoruba), there are others from ethnic minorities and, all of them have come to the classroom to learn English as a medium of instruction. Ultimately, they must reconcile crossing cultures since they have become multicultural in school settings. Therefore, the crucial factor is the need for a better and effective method of teaching English in Junior secondary schools for students’ better performance in English in this multicultural L2 classrooms.

According to Udoh (2009), reward and punishment have continued to generate controversies among educational psychologists. Thus, there is a continued debate over which method between reward and punishment should be applied in learning process to bring about change in desirable behaviour.  Durojaiye (2002) was of the view that the two method reward and punishment should be properly applied in teaching and learning process in order to facilitate learning.

While some people advocate the use of the two as means of controlling behaviors of students by the teachers, others may consider the application of reward only as the application of punishment does the desire behavioural change. There is a consensus, however, among many scholars that the problem lies with the administration of these techniques. In this chapter therefore, the background of what motivated the researcher to go into this study is the role of reward and punishment in teaching and learning English in Junior secondary school students in Onitsha-North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Nevertheless, the classroom is the cradle as well as the grave yard of genius (Boekaerts, 2012). In other words, whatever the truth of this assertion, society no doubt expects certain outcomes from the classroom situation for the students. Thus, the student’s work at school is not merely determined by his intellectual capacity, his knowledge and abilities in various subjects, but also by motivation to learn. If the students are motivated strongly enough, their desire to learn may prove strong enough to keep them from the rank of the swelling army of school dropouts. (Ilegbusi, 2013).

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Furthermore, student’s attainment of a goal is regarded as important purpose of education, then, the factor that provides the best learning situation  should be considered as essential part of educational factor. Walker (2008) opined that punishment and reward are those factors that determine students best learning situations, thus; both factors and techniques of motivation have strong effects on students’ performance in any subject mater.

Assessment of reward and punishment on its influence on the academic performance among senior secondary school students

Statement of Problem

The rate of mass failure of secondary school students in English Language, not only in the class examination but also in the WAEC and NECO examination has called for serious thought among stakeholders. Sometimes the cause of this mass failure or low performance would be attributing to students laziness, family background, and lack of good and adequate teaching method as well as incompetence on the part of the teachers.

But despite efforts made, performances are still discouraging even when qualified teachers with appropriate teaching methods are employed. This is why this research work is carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of using reward and punishment as forms of motivation in teaching and learning English in junior secondary school in Onitsha-North local government of Anambra State.

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of using reward and punishment as forms of motivation in teaching English in Junior Secondary Schools in Onitsha-North Local Government Area of Anambra State. The study, will examine the following specific objectives:

  1. to find out the effect of praise, gifts and commendation as a form of motivation in improving  performance of students in English in Junior Secondary Schools in Onitsh-North local government area of Anambra State;
  2. to see whether flogging, grass cutting etc as forms of punishment affects academic performance of Junior Secondary school students in English in Onitsh-North Local Government Area of Anambra State;
  3. to find out what teachers should consider while administering reward and punishment to the students;
  4. To what extent does reward and punishment discourage good academic performance among students.
  5. to examine the limitations of using reward and punishment on students behaviours towards learning.

Significance of the Study

A number of individuals and institutions would benefit from this research work. It will benefit the government, the teachers, students, curriculum planners, the society and school authorities.

In the first place, government. Since government is the machinery through which activities of the state are being carried out successfully, and one of these activities is education. Education on the other hand is a worthwhile processes which are geared through proper directions, for the development of the individual capability and personality for his own benefit and societal development. Hence, teaching and learning of English is a major educational process that can bring about the desire change in both the individual and the society.

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Thus, the need for appropriate teaching motivational techniques to be used for effectiveness and efficiency. Therefore, this research work will provide the government through the ministry of education the insight, information about the effective and efficient methods that required to be encourage or advocated seriously in order to achieve the stated goals of education by the government so that during policy formulation and implementation on educational sector, that appropriate teaching method will be considered.

In the second place, the study will also enable the teachers through its findings and recommendations to know the best way of applying reward and punishment to achieve classroom and lesson objectives. However, it should be noted that in classroom encounter, every teacher must establish in an objective terms, his or her targeted objectives of a particular lesson. In achieving those stated objective of a lesson, teachers need to know the motivational method to be employed so as achieve lesson objective at the end.

This where the findings of study on use of reward and punishment in teaching and learning will provide the teacher relevant information. This is why Cameron (2011) upholds that teachers can use rewards to let his or her students achieve a better learning motivation.

In the third place, the study will enable the students to be motivated for learning when the outcome of this research is implemented. This is because many students will improve on their academic performance since the use of reward and punishment will be geared towards proper application. Thus, reward and punishment can motivate the students to learn better as well as reducing students’ undesirable behaviour.

Hence, Walter, (2005) maintains that punishment can reduce undesirable behaviour while reward can motivate on learner to learn more and increase the interest for learning. On the other hand, reward can bring about healthy and unhealthy competition among students which can promote students performance and on the other hand discourage participation. (Alkinson, 2007).

Assessment of reward and punishment on its influence on the academic performance among senior secondary school students

Shi (2005) also maintained that students need to develop and refine their own learning strategies in order that they can benefit fully from the variety of learning situation which they meet as students. Thus, the use of rewards and incentives may destroy students’ intrinsic motivation to perform activities. Shi, (2005) further opined that reward is good in educational setting and any other social setting, but if not carefully offered, may encourage students to compare their own performance with that of peers.

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 In the fourth place, the study will equally help the curriculum planners to know certain educational and motivational techniques that they should advocate through curriculum development and implementation for effective teaching and learning in schools. It also provide the curriculum planners relevance information about reward and punishments, its problems or challenges in the process of teaching and learning which be included in curriculum of education.

The society will not be left out as one of the beneficiary of this research work by the fact that the society is the recipient of the outcome of education. In other words, if the desired change in behaviour of the students is achieved through successful use of proper and motivational method of teaching and learning, then, the society will experience growth and development via peaceful existence, productivity among other things.

Scope of the Study

The study covers the use of reward and punishment as forms of motivation in teaching English in Junior secondary schools in Onitsha- North L.G.A of Anambra state. The study also covers the meaning of reward and punishment, influences of reward and punishment on Junior secondary school students, the considerations of teachers before administering punishment and reward and certain limitations to the applicability. Schools under study include; Girls’ Secondary School, Onitsha, Ado  Girls’ Secondary School, Onitsha, Washinton Memo Grammar School, Onitsha, Metropolitan College, Onitsha,

New  Era Girls’ Secondary School, Onitsha, Inland Girls’ Secondary School, Onitsha, Army Day  Secondary School, Onitsha, etc.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. what are the effects of using praise, gifts or commendations as forms of motivation in improving performance of students in English in Junior Secondary Schools in Onitsh-North Local Government Area of Anambra State?
  2. to what extent does flogging, grass cutting etc as forms of punishment influences academic performance of students in Onitsh-North Local Government Area of Anambra State?
  3. what are the considerations teachers should take before administering reward and punishment to the students?
  4. To what extent does reward and punishment discourage good academic performance among students?
  5. what are the limitations of reward and punishment in determining students behaviour towards learning?

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This chapter deals with the review of related literature. The review was considered under the following subheadings:

  • Conceptual Framework;
  • Theoretical Framework;
  • Empirical Studies, and
  • Empirical Studies, and
  • Summary of Review of Related Literature

Mr. Harrison

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