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Background to the Study
Christian Religious Studies (CRS) is expected to produce a morally literate citizenry that can perceive the religious dimension of social responsibilities in the home, the school and the entire society. The much desired sound moral education of our nation can be achieved when students acquire basic education in Christian Religious Studies before leaving school. The knowledge obtained through sound Christian Religious education will lead to improvement in the moral quality of individual and society as a whole. Christian Religious Studies is a necessary subject for tolerance, peace, national unity and development of a nation. It is implied that for any meaningful growth and development to be achieved, Christian Religious Studies must be given adequate attention (Achebe, 2005).
Christian Religious Studies is one of the non vocational subjects offered at all levels of Nigerian education system. It is an important subject that has positive impact on human life and national development. It is not only important as a school subject but should be seen as a bedrock of moral living and very vital part of life itself (Oduma, 2007). It appears that the value of Christian Religious Studies in the lives of individuals and the society at large inspired its inclusion in 1 15 school curriculum at all the levels of educational system in Nigeria. Hence, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2004) stressed the objectives of teaching and learning CRS in basic education under secondary education. Some of the objectives include inspiring students with a desire for self improvement, raising individuals who can think for themselves, appreciate dignity of labour, societal values, fostering national unity and live as good citizens.
The current CRS of today presents the curriculum in themes, as a living guide to individuals. The themes can lead the students and teachers to discover several Biblical topics at the same time as they relate to societal values (Obinna, Qucoopome & Shyllon, 2000 in Onochie, 2005). This implies that the topics bring together as a whole, and relating to societal values is germane to providing learners at junior secondary school level with functional knowledge to meet the aspirations of the society. If this is to be achieved, CRS must be taught by competent teachers who are knowledgeable enough about the subject as presented in themes. Competent teachers implies teachers that have ability to perform well in teaching to enhance students learning process. Competence in teaching embraces combination of knowledge, skills and attitude that can be developed through training, and which are adequate for achieving some specific tasks. Some of these tasks for teacher include understanding of learners development, learning problems, classroom management, adequate knowledge of 16 subject matter, and use of instructional materials (Olaitan & Agusiobo, 1984 in Okonkwo, 2010). This implies that the competency level of a teacher can be determined by how much the learners have gained from instructional process.
Statement of the Problem
Students perceive the classroom environment differently because they have different classroom experiences. Differences in perceptions are usually more helpful than harmful. They provide the bases for great variety of approaches to life in general and to education in particular. The question is, do students’ perceptions of classroom environment influence their academic achievement? Does it influence students’ attitudes towards Crs subject? Thomas Poffen berger and Donald Norton (1967), discovered that home attitude and teacher all play important roles in determent of students attitude towards school subjects. According to Ukeje (1984), poor academic performance could be due to home back ground, peer group influence, intelligent quotient, gender and geographical location of the school. Ukeje (1984), further identified some factors, which affect the performance of students as malnutrition, disease, culture, socio-economic status of parents and home background. Onainor and Obiora (2001), maintained that gender is another factor that influences the performance of students, some noted age as a big factor that can influence students performances and attitudes to learning.
However, most of the research works were done out side Nigeria, hence they cannot be generalized to Nigerian classroom environment due to differences in the social cultural and socio economic setting and levels of education. Among all other research works done in Nigeria, influence of students’ perceptions of classroom environment on their achievement and attitudes towards learning is not mentioned. Could this factor be responsible for students` low or poor Crs achievement in Nigeria. In other to provide answer to this question, this work becomes necessary and important.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the influence of students’ perceptions of classroom environment on their achievement and attitudes towards Crs in senior secondary schools.
It is specifically established to find out
1: Students’ perceptions of Crs classroom environment.
2: Influence of students’ perceptions of classroom environment on their achievement in Crs.
3: Influence of students’ perceptions of classroom environment on their attitudes towards Crs
Significance of the Study
This study is significant in view that it will provide useful information on students’ perceptions of crs classroom environment to educators, teachers, students, non tutorial staff, guidance counselors and the government. This study will help government, teachers, educators and the guidance counselors to know the influence students’ perceptions of classroom environment have on students’ achievement and students’ attitudes towards crs in secondary schools. To the government, teachers and head of schools, it will guide them in formulating rules and laws in school system. It will help students to know and adapt to classroom environment variables. This will help in changing and improving teaching and learning of Crs in senior secondary schools.
Scope of the Study
This study will be limited to senior secondary II students of crs in Obollo education zone of Enugu State. It is also limited to some selected variables such as the Nature of classroom environment, Instructional materials/equipment, Teachers’ quality, Method of teaching and
The following research questions will guide the study
(1) What is the students’ levels of perceptions of their Crs classroom environment?
(2) What is the crs achievement mean scores of students who have negative, moderate, and positive perceptions of their Crs classroom environment?
(3) What is the attitude mean scores of students who have negative, moderate, and positive perceptions of their crs classroom environment?
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study at 0.05 level of significance.
HO1: The students’ perceptions of their Crs classroom environment have no significant influence on their achievement mean scores in Crs.
HO2: The students` perceptions of their Crs classroom environment have no significant influence on students’ attitude mean scores in Crs.
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