IMPACT OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

IMPACT OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

The learning environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect students’ academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000). Hence, the learning environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the learning environment (Ajao 2001) learning environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in teaching-learning process. The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.

Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud, and Turner (2008), quoting Marsden (2005), which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), School facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students’ academic performance in schools. The three researchers, also quoted Glassman (1994), asserting that a comfortable and caring environment among other treatments helped to contribute to students` academic performance.

The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002)

Lyons, 2001; and Ostendorf, 2001). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student. Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students.

Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor learning environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001; Moore, 2002;

Stricherz, 2000; Tanner, 2000). To complement these studies, the present research is to examine the aforementioned areas of learning environment as it affect students performance in Nigerian schools.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

A student faces a lot of problem in the course of his educational pursuit. These problems are multifaceted. The research is concerned with the influence of the learning environment with special reference to student’s academic attainment and possible solution to the problem. The alarming poor performance in examination is definitely of great concern to the researcher who sees the study as inevitable.

It is noted that students’ performance at junior secondary school level at private and public schools differs due to environmental constraints.

The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, little is known on the impact of learning environment on students’ academic performance in junior secondary school in Ojo Local government area of Lagos State.

1.3      Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study:

1.    determine the impact of classroom building on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.

2.    determine the impact of adequate class furniture on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.

3.    ascertain the impact of small class population on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos Stata.

4.    ascertain the impact of the use of instructional materials on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.

1.4      Research Questions

The following questions are raised with regard to this research:

1.          what is the impact of classroom building on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State?

2.          what is the impact of the provision of adequate class furniture on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State?

3.          what is the impact of small class population on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State?

4.          what is the impact of the use of instructional materials on the performance of students in junior secondary schools in Lagos State?


1.5      Research Hypotheses

The following are the research hypotheses:

1.          there is no significant difference in the performances of students taught  in classroom buildings and those in dilapidated buildings in Lagos State.

2.          There is no significant difference in the performances of students taught  in class with adequate furniture and those without furniture in Lagos State.

3.          there is no significant difference in the performances of students taught  in a small class population and those in a large class population in Lagos State.

4.          there is no significant difference in the performances of students taught  using instructional materials and those taught without instructional materials in Lagos State.

1.6       Significance of the Study

It is hoped that this study would provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts.

In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.

Also, this work would serve as a stepping stone to other researchers, who are looking for better ways to solve the problem of learning environment and students’ academic performance in junior secondary school in business study, a case study of selected Junior Secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.7       Scope of the Study

The scope of this work is to cover four selected schools under Ojo Local Government Area.

They are:

1.                  Awori College, Ojo

2.                  Ajangbadi High School, Ajangbadi

3.                  Lagos model college, Ojo.

4.                  Ojo Community High School, ojo

The subjects of this study are junior school.

It is hoped that the findings made in these areas would serve as a useful pointer to what occurs in other areas of the state and in other part of the federation knowing fully well that students encounter different environmental constraint.

1.8       Definition of Term

Academy: A school or college for special training.

Student: The word “Student” means any person who is ready to learn and engage in learning activities.

Environment: Environment can be seen as the totality of the natural and artificial (manmade) phenomenon having direct and

Learning: Learning is basically a process of adapting to and improving the environment. What is learned can be measured either by those things that we observe in the behaviour of the individual.

Performance: Is the act of performing a play, concert or some other form of entertainment.



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