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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
There have been significance difference in the academic performance of students in introductory technology; the significance of students‟ attitudinal variables as performance predictors have been emphasized by many researchers who indicated that student attitudes and interests could play a substantial role among students studying introductory technology. Ormerod and Duckworth (2005) supported this view by their suggestion that the attitudes of students are likely to play a significant part in any satisfactory explanation of variable levels of performance shown by students in their school science subject.
Most secondary schools in Nigeria have applied different techniques to ensure adequate performance in introductory technology (Kehinde, 2001). The use of counseling services is the most trending as most students tend to become more violent when force and other disciplinary measures are used on them.
Counseling could be defined as the activity of the counselor or a professional either in school, hospital or any organization, who counsels people especially on personal problems and difficulties Ikeotunye (2005).
Counseling services provides assessment, treatment, education, consultation, and referral services to support the well being and functioning of students
The primary objective of counseling in the secondary school is to assist students in choosing career; selection of subjective, proper placement and good study habit.
The researcher has noticed that student’s behaviors such as poop combination of subjects, lack of seriousness in studies and drug abuse may lead to inappropriate choice of career. Due to these problems, there should be a proper orientation on guidance and counseling to the junior secondary school (JSSIII) and senior secondary (SSI) students.
Over the years, many researchers and authors including professional bodies, world organizations and government agencies have spoken on the need for guidance and counseling service in schools.
Oladele (1987), Kalu (1992), Umom (1998), Abdulkareem (2001), Dikko (2001), Ekoji and Ekoja (2001) pinpointed the place and importance of guidance programmes in the Nigeria school system.
The Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Dr. Nuhu A. Yakabu sometime ago stated that: “there should be a provision of guidance and counseling in secondary school level.
Yakubu (2002) opined that, “every post primary school should have a guidance and counseling department which should organize career talks from time to time at which distinguished professional would be invited as resource persons”.
The united nations organization (UNO) had accepted the observation of the united nations educational, scientific and cultural organization’s (UNESCO) report on the need for organized guidance services at secondary school level which states that: “African governments should perhaps consider providing more defined guidance for secondary school pupils in the light of their economic, social and cultural needs. Stronger guidance than in Europe will more reasonable in Africa because many families are scarcely capable of reaching well informed decisions and about the future of their children” UNESCO 1962.
The introduction of counseling services in junior secondary schools will help students in their choice and attitudes towards various subjects in most secondary schools in Nigeria (Okon, 2004). Among other subjects one of the most neglected subjects by most of the students in most junior secondary schools is introductory technology. Introductory technology is one of the most important subjects in secondary schools.
According to Ohikhema (1994), Introductory Technology provides knowledge in woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing, auto-mechanics and electricity and electronics at the introductory level and hence exposes students to Technical Education. Obomanu (2001) had observed that Introductory Technology is an aspect of general education curriculum which attempts to provide learning experiences that would assist students in understanding the industrial and technological aspects of live by offering instructions in selected areas of metalwork, woodwork, electricity, plastics, ceramics, textiles and technical drawing. it is to this regard that the researcher wishes to examine counseling services and attitude of junior secondary school students towards introductory technology using Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State as the case study.
1.2 THEORITICAL FRAME WORK
In this section, learning theories, Maslow’s need reduction and Atkinson’s need achievement theories relevant to this study are presented.
1.2.1 Learning Theories
Before discussing learning theories, it is essential to understand the concept of learning. Psychologists and other educationists have not agreed on a common definition of learning. However, most of them accept a definition of learning as a process by which a learner or student profits from past experiences. Learning results in a more or less permanent change in behaviour of individual traceable to exposure to conditions in the environment experienced or practiced. The evidence that learning has taken place can be inferred from a change in the individuals’ behaviuor or performances as exhibited (Idialu, 2010). Similarly, Siann and Ugwuegbu (1980) defined learning as a change in human behaviour, disposition or capability which persists over a period of time and which is not simply ascribable to processes of growth. Learning is a change in capability and has to be measured or assessed at a time or another in some way to ascertain if it has taken place or not. The school is concerned with the process of changing behaviour , capabilities skills, perceptions concept formation, and reasoning of the student.
In the development of psychological foundations, significant explorations and researches revolve around the theories of learning. A theory represents general laws or principles or cause of observed or known events. The theories of learning are as a result of long years of study and research by a number of scholars. It consists of a set of assumptions from which endless hypotheses may be drawn for testing. A theory of learning can be used as a guide for curriculum design, curriculum activities etc, for both the teachers and learners in the classroom and outside. A teacher needs a profound understanding of the learning process in order to carry out his teaching responsibility effectively (Oladele, 1998). Hulse, Egeth and Deese (1984) defined theories of learning as fundamental ideas and notions held by philosophers and psychologists about the description of learning which have been handed over into the society over sometime now. Many of the present day theories of learning have their roots from early philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, etc. The theories of learning as an area of psychology of education concern all forms of relatively permanent behavioural change that results from experiences in school. Studies in theories is an important factor in teaching and learning since education under the guidance of schools modify behaviours of learners in planned directions by careful exposure to experiences. Ochepa (1999) observed that to characterize the whole field of learning theories and to say where they are leading to, especially as they concern teaching and learning is a task that is next to impossibility. This is in view of the enormous nature and diversity of theories of learning as available and discussed by philosophers, psychologists and others in literature. Similarly, Okoro (2002) said there are so many theories of learning competing. These theories are not necessarily contradicting or mutually exclusive but each postulates a view or views of the basic nature of man and the factors that lead to learning. As many as the theories, there are several classifications
Stimulus – Response Theory of Learning
Stimulus – Response Learning theory is one of the theories developed and has been adjudged to have direct implications for classroom teaching. It is also called association theory. Stimulus is any event, which could be a visual event, a sound, a taste, a touch, a smell or any combinations of these which elicit a response. Stimulus is also seen as something that helps a process to develop more strongly which can result in a reaction. Response on the other hand is something that has been done as a reaction to another thing or event that has happened (Stimulus). Response is an event or process which is elicited by or as a result of a situation (stimulus). Some responses are purely reflexive (innate) in nature and other are developed as a function of learning (Oladele, 1998). There are various versions of the stimulus – Response theory of learning. The two (2) main versions are the Stimulus Response with reinforcement and the stimulus – Response without Reinforcement. The popular adherents of Stimulus – Response with reinforcement are E.L. Thorndike, B.F. Skinner and Clark L. Hull. Edward Thorndike (1874-1949) in the United States of America investigated learning in animals by using cats. A hungry cat was confined in puzzle box with food visible on the outside. The cat had to escape to get food through a release mechanism. Thorndike in this study concluded that animals learn through active behaviour, accident and through chance to succeed. This theory of learning was also known as trial and error, since the stimuli of the puzzle box was connected with the response which resulted into food. Thorndike’s experience of problem solving approach as a description of learning were pioneering efforts that established learning with motivation, repetition and reward. Thorndike also established laws that governed learning like; laws of effect, law of readiness and law of exercise. Skinner (1968) an American psychologist said that learning is a series of experience, each of which influences behaviours in the same way that conditioning responses are learned or acquired. Skinner, in an experiment constructed a box called ‘skinner box’. The box contains a lever that releases a pellet of food into a tray and at the same time automatically registers the responses on a time chart. A hungry rat is kept in the box and the rat press the bar and a pellet of food falls into the dish. The food reinforces the bar pressing (response). This theory is applicable in Introductory technologybecause when a student is reinforced for answering a question correctly he would want to continue answering more questions for continued reward. For instance, if a student is given a circuit to wire a point of light, success in this influences his attitude to learning. Such student is inspired or motivated to move on to the next level in installation program. This could as well explain hierarchy of needs. Here the Skinner box is regarded as the circuit.
Cognitive Field and Gestalt Theory of Learning
Behavioural psychologists view learning as the association of stimuli and responses. Cognitive theorist on the other hand view learning as what is or may be going on mentally regarding learning. The cognitive theory of learning considers learners not just as receivers of stimuli and makers of responses but they process what they receive and their responses are determined by the processing. Gestalt theory and insight of learning is a type of the cognitive theories of learning and developed by Gestalt psychologist. Some of the advocates of cognitive theories of learning are All-port, Bigge, J.S. Brunner, John Dewy, Kurt Koffka, Edward C. Tolman, Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Kohler (Oladele, 1998). The Gestalt theory of learning had its origin in Germany between 1912-1917 by Max Wertheimer and colleagues who were dissatisfied with all other descriptions of learning. The Gestalt theorists recommended that, educational procedure emphasizes the organization of materials so as to stimulate insight into relationship (Encyclopedia Americana International, (1989). Oladele (1998) said, the most well known experiments which underline the views of Gestalt psychologists are those carried out by a German Scientist, Wolfgang Kohler with Ape and banana. According to Oladele (1998), Gagne’s and Bloom’s types of learning are generalist. Both believed that all learning cannot be explained by just one theory. Gagne attempted to evolve a theory or model of learning involving different learning processes at different levels, yet building on work of classical and operant conditioning. According to Gagne’s model, new learning occurs through the combinations of previously acquired and recalled learned entities as well as their potentialities for transfer. Also, rate of cognitive development depend on the mastery of simpler requisite skills and habits. Gagne categorized learning into eight as follows:- signal learning, stimulus-Response, chain (motor), chain (verbal), multiple discrimination, concept, principle and problem solving learning (Oladele, 1998).
Theory of Achievement Motivation
From Atkinson Theory of Achievement Motivation, educators have come to agree that a major variable affecting classroom achievement is motivation. The theory is useful and important as motivational variables in understanding, predicting and controlling classroom bahaviour. The situation in schools is not without hope because several theories have shown promise of evolving postulates and hypothesis relevant to the teaching and learning process. Prominent among these is the theory of achievement motivation particularly formulated by Atkinson (1957) and Atkinson and Feather (1966). This theory has provided a productive approach to a variety of behavioural phenomena; thus it has been suggested (Atkinson and Feather, 1966) that it may also give direction to educational relevant research. It can serve toward theory of academic motivation.
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
What really instigated the study was due to the massive failure as a result of negligence of the study of introductory technology by most students in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State. This led to the introduction of counseling services.The aim of guidance and counseling service in secondary schools is to assist students to understand themselves, their problems and to be able to solve these problems without difficulties. An observation has been made by the researcher that in spite of the counseling services in most Junior secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State some students still drop out of school and some have non-chalant attitude towards the study of introductory technology; others engage in drug abuse and juvenile delinquencies. This has been a major concern to the researcher and hence the decision to write this project so as to find out if really counseling service has the much desired and expected impacts on the students.
1.4 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine counseling services and attitude of junior secondary school students towards introductory technology in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State. Other specific objectives of the study include:
1. to examine the effect on counseling services on the academic achievement of junior secondary school students in introductory technology
2. to determine the relationship between counseling services and student attitude towards introductory technology
3. to find out the impact of counseling services on the behavioural pattern of junior secondary school students in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State
4. to examine students attitude towards attendance to counseling programmes in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives. The research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
1. What is the effect on counseling services on the academic achievement of junior secondary school students in introductory technology?
2. What is the relationship between counseling services and student attitude towards introductory technology?
3. What is the impact of counseling services on the behavioural pattern of junior secondary school students in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State?
4. Does students attend counseling programmes in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State
1.6 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
H01: counseling services has no significant effect on the academic achievement of students in introductory technology
H02: counseling services has no significant impact on the behavioural pattern of junior secondary school students in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State
H03: there is no significant relationship between counseling services and student attitude towards introductory technology
H04: the attendance of students to counseling programmes in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State is low
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study is most significant to students, teachers, parents and the society at large as its importance cannot be overemphasized. Students will benefit from this study if guidance and counseling teacher actually play their role by helping in understanding their personal social and academic problems and how to go about solving them.
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