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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the field of education & psychology, learning has been discovered all over the world to be a highly complex problem. Several researchers have tried to explain it differently and the description of each is partially true. Over the years, researches on factors that influence academic performance of students have attracted the interest of not only researchers but concern of teachers, counselors, psychologists, and school administrators as well. Study method is the knowledge and application of effective study skills or techniques by students. The term reading interest refers to the way in which students’ study either systematically, efficiently or inefficiently. In line with what has been said above, we can deduce that good study habit together with reading interest will definitely yield positive academic performances and achievement and also inefficient or poor reading interest leads to academic failure. Students’ attitude and study habit towards any subject has been described as a function of passion coupled with their belief on that particular which has a long way to go on their academic performances.
In Nigeria, many factors have been highlighted to influence the ability of students to cultivate effective and efficient study habit. Such factors include; state of health, motivation, anxiety and state of mind, conducive and suitable environment for studying, availability of textbooks and well equipped libraries. In a research carried out by (Nuthana&Yenagi,2009) the causes of poor academic performance among Nigeria students were thoroughly examined. In which some of these factors identified include; low student’s intellectual ability, achievement motivation, lack of goals, low self-esteem, low socio-economic status of the family, poverty and poor study habit as a major factor.
A survey was carried out in some selected schools in Nigeria to identify some major causes of low academic performances in students. Some of the problems identified include inadequate teachers, problem of inadequate facilities in the school, problems caused by poor parental background, unfavorable government policies and low educational sector funding (Ajilaand Olutola 2007). Likewise, Ichado (1998)also dispute environment from which the student comes from play a major role in influencing study habits which invariably affect academic performance. The concept of study habit is broad as it combines nearly all other sub-topics under it such as study attitude, study method, and study skill. In a research conducted by Allport (1960), it was argued that attitude toward study by drafting a good study pattern can greatly contribute to students’ academic performance. Successful learners all over the world are said to have adopted positive attitude towards study and are time conscious over what they have to do.
According to Hussain (2000) reading interest refers to predispositions which students have developed towards private readings through a period of time. According to him, reading interest is a gateway to successful achievement in studies.
A research was carried out by Morahan (1999), he found out that male and female have different ways of studying (study habit). In this study, he discovered that the male student took up courses that have more of logic and sciences while female student were attracted to simpler courses and such it is in line with their passion which require different study habit and might have a positive effect on academic performance of students. Positive academic performance and achievement depends upon the student’s ability to schedule his time, the plan of his study, the habit of concentration, note –taking, mental review, over learning, the judicious application of whole and part method massed and distributed learning and so on. In other words, positive academic performance is a function of proper study habits and skills. Since study habits are an important factor in learning, it becomes necessary to investigate into its nature.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems associated with reading interest might have a major effect on a student’s academic performances; it is believed that everyone has a different reading interest, it is important to find out the best personal way to study. Studying with friends has a long way to go in student’s reading interest, it has a positive influence in which they discuss what have been read together but also has a negative effect in which they might not read but discuss throughout the stipulated time for reading which boils down to time wastage.
A very good and conducive environment encourages students study habit and might have positive impact of their academic achievements but students reading in an unfavorable environment might find it difficult to study which might affect their academic achievements. Students with financial constraints might also find it difficult to perform excellently well in their academics
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the correlation between reading interest and academic performance by gender of student
2. To examine the effect of study environment on reading interest
3. To determine factors affecting students’ reading interest and student academic performance preference
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the correlation between reading interest and academic performance by gender of student?
2. What is the effect of study environment on reading interest?
3. What are the factors affecting students’ reading interest and student academic performance preference?
HO: There is no significant relationship between reading interest and academic performance by gender of student.
HA: There is significant relationship between reading interest and academic performance by gender of student.
HO: There is no significant relationship between study environment and students’ academic performance.
HA: There is significant relationship between study environment and students’ academic performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will help students in understanding the reading interest of senior secondary school students and preference by gender of student and helps in serving as a guide for a positive result.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This study on the reading interest of senior secondary school students and preference by gender of student will cover various approaches to study and its effect on the academic performance of students.
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Study: application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation or reflection
Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
Performance: the accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed
Students: a person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college
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