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This study was designed to examine the influence of motivational variables and academic performance in Economic among Secondary School Students. Survey research design was used in the study. The population of the study consisted of all Senior Secondary Students (SS1 – 3) from five (5) selected Secondary Schools in the area and two hundred (200) students were randomly selected from the five (5) selected schools. Three (3) research questions and three (3) research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Researchers – developed four (4) Likert Scale questionnaire as the instrument used for data collection. Students Economics Test (SET) was used to analyze the questions. The findings were that: motivation on students’ performance in Economics creates a serious impact on the child learning process. Based on the findings, it is therefore recommended that teachers should know various techniques of motivating students and should be used sparingly in the classroom.
1.1 Background to the study
The term motivation refers to a construct often employed by psychologists to explain behaviour.
It consists of the internal drives and processes and the external incentives that spur an individual to satisfy some need. It also refers to a reinforced selective and goal directed behaviour initiated and energized by a motive which aims to maintain a person in relation to his or her environment by keeping his basic needs in the process of satisfaction.
The current high rate of poor performance academically in Economics by the students creates the need for motivating, students in this area. Therefore motivation can be used for modification and classroom.
When motivation and reinforcement are adequately utilized in the classroom by the teacher, the following functions can be achieved; strengthening of behaviour, motivation of certain aspects of students and student’s behaviour. Alternation of behaviour occurs immediately. This charges persists or becomes weaker and gradually becomes extinct if no further reinforcement is used.
Motivation can also be used to sustain behaviour. It may also increase the occurrence of certain aspects of ensuring good behaviours. Through motivation, behaviour becomes selective, which implies that behaviour is directed towards a set goal. Therefore, a person is likely to complete a task when motivated to do so and at the same time increase its level of performance. Specifically, Economics is a key subject in secondary school curriculum. It therefore means that proficiency in Economics is very important for performance in secondary schools. Many students often find certain concepts in Economics like; Demand, Supply, National income etc. are difficult to comprehend.
Some students view even the lower level concepts such as mean, mode, median with some measure of disgust.
According to Hardre and Reeve (2003) and Austin, Dwyer and Free body (2003), there are three important elements in student motivation towards learning, the learning environment, classroom setting and inter personal interaction. Some motivated elements at all of these can either. Positively and negatively varies academic performance and besides, all living organisms are energy systems. Each of them contains a lot of energy that has to be used up. The energy in the organisms is normally extended through its behaviour. This behaviour however, should have a definite directed that is why the organisms must be motivated so that it can perform in the right direction.
Okoro (2002), stressed that the word “motivation” which means “move” he stressed that literally it means the process if arousing movement in an organism. A number of terms are used by psychologists to stress various aspects of motivation. They include “incentive”, “interest”, “drive”, “head” and “motive”.
Motivation therefore is that driving force that either propels or reduces and individuals rate of attainment of particular goals.
Distinctively, there are two kinds of motivation in relation to learning Okoro (2002). These are intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation according to Okoro (2002), comes from the organism itself. Here, the individual is responsible for motivating himself in order to attain his goals. In this circumstance learning carries its own reward. The individual learns just because he wants to. He does not learn because someone else wants him to do so.
This drive to motivate oneself is secured making the subject matter significant and meaningful to the learner himself.
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation comes from the environment and not from the organism itself. It is usually arranged by an agent in the environment where the organism operates. In this case the individual may learn either because some one else wants him to or because there is an extrinsic reward he wants to gain. For examples; working for a better grade honour, learning a skill, to earn a livelihood, receiving praise and blame rewards and punishment, etc. are all grouped under artificial or extrinsic motivation. Thus, praise, annual award and anything that increases the occurrences of an approved behaviour on students becomes motivation to students academic performance, if they maintain or improve on their academic performance with repeated reward or annual award events.
Therefore, from the aforementioned, this study will focus on the motivational variables and Academic Performance in Economics among Secondary School Student in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, there have been complaints of incessant poor performance of students in both internal and external Economics examinations. Also, the interest of students towards Economics in our state.
Particularly, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area is on the decrease. This has been a serious problem in this level of education. Again, the socio-economic and political development of any society today depends on the level of its science and technology, which in this case encompasses Economics Education.
Therefore, this study will help to identify and highlight ways of motivating the interest of students, in economics to education so that the above problem can be tackled.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to examine the influence of motivational variables and Academic Performance in Economics among Secondary School Students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study sought to;
1. Ascertain the influence of reward on Students Academic Performance in Economics among Secondary School Students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
2. Examine the influence of praise on Student Academic Performance in Economics among Secondary School Students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
3. To determine the influence of punishment on Student Academic Performance in Economics among Secondary School Students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This research work will help the teachers to know various techniques or approaches to motivating the students to learn. Apart from that, it will also help them in the effective classroom management because once the students are properly motivated the teaching-learning process will be effective thereby enhancing effective classroom management. Also, this study will serve us a stepping stone for further studies, in other fields of study and other levels of education.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
i. Does reward influence the Academic Performance of Students in Economics among Secondary Schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area?
ii. Does praise influence the Academic Performance of Students in Economics among Secondary Schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area?
iii. Does punishment influence the Academic Performance of Students in Economics among Secondary Schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
1. There is no significant relationship between reward and students academic performance in Economics education.
2. There is no significant relationship between the use of praise and students academic performance in Economics education.
3. There is no significant relationship between the use of punishment and students academic performance in Economics education.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study is only meant for Secondary School Students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research work is impaired by limited time to carry out the study extensively. Besides, inadequate finances also affected the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study the following terms are clearly defined as related to the study.
Students: As used in the study refers to the group of learners in secondary or tertiary institutions who receives information or instruction from the teacher(s).
Academic Performance: This refers to the outcome or the result a students receives or accomplished in academic studies.
Motivation: This refers to a driving force that energies and encourages someone to do a particular thing.
Variable: This refers to a part or element liable to change.
Economics: As used in the study refers to an academic discipline that deals with the study of wealth and resource creation.
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