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The study found out the relationship between teachers’ attitude, school environment and student’ academic performance in secondary schools in biology, the achievement of students in schools still remain low in Nigeria. Among the factors that have been identified outcomes in learning are: poor method of instructional material, teacher’s attitude, Laboratory inadequate and poor science background knowledge. A quasi experimental design was adopted for the study. The population was made up of fifty teachers from five secondary schools in Sagamu, Ogun state, Nigeria. Three research questions and one hypothesis guided the research work. The data were analyzed on the basis of the hypotheses, using independent samples t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson Product moment correlation. Arising from the findings, it is implied that attitude of teachers teaching in biology in senior secondary schools have significant effect on the achievement of students as one of the science subjects, and the school environment also play a significant role in students’ performance in these schools. It must be realized that, if teachers show positive attitude towards teaching, the achievement of students will be better than what we have now in our secondary schools.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Attitude as a concept is concerned with an individual way of thinking, acting and behaving. It has very serious implications for the learner, the teacher, and the immediate social group with which the individual learner relates and the entire school system. It is also the concept which arises from the attempt to account for the observer regularities in the behavior of individual person.
Attitudes are formed as a result of some kind of experiences. This is mimicry or imitation which also has a part to play in the teaching and learning situation. in this respect, the learner draws from his teachers disposition to form his own attitude which may likely affect his learning outcomes.
Bandura (1971) demonstrated that behaviours are acquired by watching another person (the model, the teacher, parent, mentor, friend) that pattern the behaviour. The model displays it and the learner observes and tries to imitate it. Teachers are invariably role models whose behaviours are easily copied by students. What teachers like or dislike, appreciate and how they feel about their learning or studies could have a significant effect on their students. Unfortunately, many teachers seldom realize that how they teach, how they behave and how they interact with students can be more paramount than what they teach.
Chidolue (1986) found that teachers’ attitude towards Biology teaching is one of the major contributors towards explaining the variance in the students’ cognitive achievement. Teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of Biology plays a significant role in shaping the student attitude towards the learning of Biology. Ogunniyi(1972) found that students’ positive attitude towards science could be enhanced by the following teachers- related factor:
· Teachers’ enthusiasm
· Teachers’ resourcefulness and helpful behavior
· Teachers’ thorough knowledge of the subject matter and their making science quite interesting.
From the above, we can say that the role of a teacher as facilitator of learning and their contribution o students’ achievement is enormous.
Bajah (1991) was of the opinion that the success of our science programme depends on the classroom teacher as he is the one that translates all our thoughts into action. It can be argued to some extent that the teachers’ characteristics, their experience and behaviour in the classroom contribute to the learning environment of their students which in turn will have an effect on the student’s outcome. Furthermore, more experienced teachers are considered to be more able to concentrate on the most appropriate way to teach particular topic to students who defer in their ability, prior knowledge and backgrounds (Raudenbush and Bryk 1991; stringfield and Jeddlie, 1991).
Ejiogu (1999) was of the view that in order to improve on any aspect of education it is therefore imperative to involve a well-articulated teacher education programme that will prepare the teacher for the leadership role they are expected to play. The importance of teacher in the meaningful education at all levels is reflected in the national policy on education (2004). As it declares that no education system rises above the quality of its teachers. This declaration in the policy document underscores the need for teacher effectiveness in our school.
Eso (1998) conceptualizes teachers’ effectiveness as the managerial skills essential for enhanced classroom control and discipline. It is the teacher’s competence, ability, resourcefulness, and ingenuity to efficiently utilize the appropriate language, methodology and available instructional materials to bring out the best from learners in times of academic achievement. It is important to note that the various dispositions that our teachers display at work betray their devotion. This has greatly affected the attitude of students towards learning generally and in particular, the learning of Biology and hence their poor performance in the subject. Many have no mastery of the curriculum content and the organization is highly detestable. Teachers are affective reaction to work and not as good as they should be in many of our schools. Yet, teachers are looked upon as instrument of social progress and change. It is also important to note that teacher’s gender also affect students achievement. Okoruwa (1999) found that teacher’s gender had by significant effect in achievement mean scores of pupils in science; male teachers were more effective than their female counterparts. Bilesanmi (1999) reported that the finding on the effect of gender of science teachers on performance of student outside Nigeria was ambivalent.
On teacher’s qualification, Darling-Hammond(2000) found that teacher quality characteristics such as , certification status and degree in subject to be taught are very significant and positively correlated subject outcomes in science. However, Oskoya (1999), Obadele (1991) and Igwe (1990) found little or no significant relationship between teacher qualification and achievement. Hansen (1998) posted that teachers who have spent more time studying and teaching are more effective overall and they develop higher order thinking skills for meeting the needs of diverse students and hence increasing their performance. Bilesanmi (1999) in her study found that teacher experience has the second most effective casual effect on students’ achievement in science. Okoruwa (1999) found that teachers’ teaching experience had significant effect on students’ achievement in science. Also, Felter (1999) investigated the relationship between measures of teachers’ experience and student achievement in science.
In light of this it is important to know that whether educational standard has fallen or out. It is imperative that teachers at various level of education are committed to their jobs so as to put theirs into attainment of school goals. The quality output depends on the quality input so the success and quality of any educational system depend on quality as well as the level of commitment of its teachers. Although teachers-related variables would significantly influence students academic achievement, other features such as social -economic background family support, intellectual aptitude of students personally and self confidence and previous instructional quality as being formed to also influence student performance.
Papastasious (2001) recorded that those who have positive attitude towards science tend to perform better in the subject. The affective behaviours on the classroom is strongly related to achievement, and science attitudes are learned (George and Kaplan, 1998) the teachers play a significant role during the learning process and they can directly or indirectly influence the student’s attitudes toward science which in consequence can influence students’ achievement.
Other factors that may have causal effect on students’ academic performance in science, particularly, Biology include teacher attendance at Biology worship, laboratory, use of library, class size and school location.
One of the fundamental problem facing science teaching today is the question of how current are the professional teachers.
Laboratory adequacy which is a school environmental factor has been reported ton affect the performance of students in Biology. Farounti (1998) argued that students tend to understand and recall what they see more than what they hear as a result of using laboratories in teaching and learning of science.
Are smaller classes better than larger classes? Robinson (1990) concluded that research does not support the expectation that classes will of themselves result in greater academic gain for students. He observed that the effect of class size on student learning vary by grade level, pupils characteristics, subject areas, teaching methods and other learning interventions. Adeyela (2000) found that large class size is un-conducive for serious academic work. Also Afolabi (2002) found no significant relationship among the class size and student’s learning outcomes.
In view of these conflicting reports, there is need to carry out a study with a view to determining which of the selected variables will have casual effect in the academic performance of student in Biology.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The importance of science, particularly Biology in the development of a nation cannot be over-emphasized. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that in any teaching learning situation the students the teachers, the curriculum and learning environment are the four pivots. It was on this basis that this study is constructed and tested seven variables model for providing a casual explanation of secondary school students performance in Biology; in terms of teachers variables(Attitude, attendance in classroom and professional/ skills) and school environment related variables(class size, school location, laboratory and library adequacy/facilities).
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study
1. To examine the teacher’s attitude as determinants of student academic performance in biology.
2. To examine the effect of physical facilities on the academic performance of students in biology
3. To identify factors that affect student academic performance.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
2. What are the effects of teacher’s attitude on student academic performance in biology?
3. What is the effect of physical facilities on the academic performance of students in biology?
4. What are the factors encouraging student academic performance?
HO: Teacher’s attitude does not determine student’ academic performance
HA: Teacher’s attitude determine student academic performance
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will contribute to knowledge in highlighting the importance of teachers’ attitude and school environmental factors to the academic performance of students in Biology.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State. Five Senior Secondary Schools were randomly selected and three teachers from each school.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
All schools in Sagamu Local Government area could have been in this study in order to be able to generalize the result, but it would have been too expensive to carry out.
Another limitation of this study is also time, there is no enough time for the researcher to cover all the schools in Sagamu Local Government
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The definition can serve anyone of the following purpose:
1. To increase vocabulary
2. To eliminate ambiguity
3. To reduce vagueness
4. To explain theoretical and
5. To influence attitude
Therefore, it is appropriate to define some terms in order to help our prospective readers to be free from misconception and ambiguity. The following terms are defined to show how they were employed in the process of this study.
This is the responsiveness of students according to the set standard.
This is refers to the academic qualification of teachers and also their years of experience. The appropriate qualification for Secondary School Teachers are graduate with teaching qualification (B. ED) and Nigeria Certificate in Education (N.C.E)
Instructional Equipment and Facilities
They are equipments that facilitate effective teaching and learning process in order to produce quality output e.g Library, Laboratory Facilities
This refers to where the school is positioned and how challenging, stimulating the environment and how it affects teaching learning process.
This is the members of students that are grouped in a place (class). The National Policy on Education (N.P.E) recommends 40 students per class.
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