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This study was aimed at analyzing the psycho-social factors of Classroom Interaction as a predictor to academic performance in upper basic science students in Idemili South, Anambra State. This local government was selected for this study because of the large number of students enrolment. Psycho-social factors are selected for the study because it is an essential dimension of the classroom. Most researchers dwell on class size, availability of infrastructures but not much is done on the psychological and the social environment. The research design is a correlational type. The population consisted of 2510 upper basic science students. A sample of 340 subjects made up of 140 male and 198 female students were selected by purposive random sampling technique. The instruments used for data collection were, Basic Science Performance Test (BSPT) and the Psycho-Social Classroom Inventory (PSCI) with reliability coefficient 0.73 and 0.88 respectively. Two research questions were asked. What is the relationship between the psycho-social factors of Classroom Interaction and academic performance of Upper Basic Science students? Analysis of subjected to Pearson Product-Moment Correlation procedure. The result showed that relationship exists between the psycho-social Classroom Interaction and academic performance of Upper Basic Science students. Two hypotheses were tested in line with the research questions raised. The first hypothesis stated that, there is no significant relationship between the psycho-social factors of the Classroom Interaction and academic performance in upper basic science. The data collected were analysed using the multiple regression approach at a significant level of P≤0.05. Data analysed revealed that the examined Classroom Interaction psycho-social factors were not significant predictors of students performance. The only exception is friction. Meaning that the factors were not significant predictors to performance. Therefore, the hypothesis was retained. Based on these findings it was recommended that since this study showed significant relationship between psycho-social factors and academic performance in upper basic science a socially and psychologically conducive classroom should be emphasised in the teaching and learning of upper basic science in Nigeria.
CHAPTER ONE THE PROBLEM
Basic Science previously called Integrated Science came into being through the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2009). The proposed 9:3:4 educational policy which stipulates nine years for Primary Schools, three years for Secondary School and four years for Tertiary institutions. According to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2009).the Primary School has nine Academic years whereby the primary science was taught. Primary science is now known as lower basic science while the secondary integrated science is now upper basic science.
The decision of the Federal Government to introduce the 9-year Basic Education Programme in the need to attain the Millennium Development Goals, basic science was introduced. Basic Science is intended to build a solid foundation in sciences at Junior Secondary schools level. From different meanings given to Basic Science, a common factor in all the definitions is that, it is expected to be taught as an activity-based and child-centred method. That is, it is science taught in a way that boundaries between Physics, Chemistry and Biology are broken. Olatoye (2009) and Fu (2010)opine that integration, when applied to science courses, means that the course is devised and presented in such a way that students gain the concept of the fundamental unity of science, the commonality of approach to problems of a scientific thought, and are assisted to gain an understanding of the role and function of science in everyday life, and the fast revolving world in which they live.
According to Olatoye (2009), Basic Science is a course that offers the learners experiences which help them to develop an operational understanding of the structure of science that should enrich their lives and make them more responsible citizens in the
society. Fu (2010) on the other hand, sees Basic science as an approach to the teaching of science in which concepts and principles are presented so as to express the fundamental unity of scientific taught and to avoid undue stress on the distinctions between the various scientific fields.
The Classroom Interaction encompasses a broad range of educational settings which include the physical setting, the psychological environment created through social context, and numerous structural components related to teacher, characteristics and behaviour (Okebukola, 2007a). Okebukola (2007b) opine that effective learning is only possible if the Classroom Interaction is organised to provide a stimulation for learning and calls for needs for the study.
Psycho-social Classroom Interaction has been widespread across nearly all sub-specializations of educational psychology (Studivant, 2015). In such studies mentioned three theoretical dimensions in the classroom, the relationship dimensions, personal growth or goal dimensions and system maintenance and change dimensions. The concept comprises dimensions of involvement, affiliation, and teacher support as relationship dimensions, task. Orientation and competition as personal growth or goal orientation dimensions and finally, order, organization and rule clarity as system maintenance and change dimensions. Patrick and Ray (2007) define Environment as the totality of circumstances surrounding an organization or group of organisms. In effect, the environment is an influential factor that could enhance or affect learning irrespective of the individual‟s intellectual ability or skills. Classroom learning environment therefore is an embodiment of the physical, sociological and psychological conditions of the classrooms.
The physical condition of the classroom include - age of the classroom building, colour of the walls, availability of infrastructures (seats and desks), good
ventilation, good lighting, roofing/ceiling and smooth floor. Studies of physical environment have investigated aspects such as composition, class size and classroom management. (Adesoji & Olatunbosun, 2008), while the social environment can be influenced by the relationship, based on teacher development and school culture (which include clear directives, delegation of responsibility and accountability) and how these affects Classroom Interaction and outcome between students and teachers, students and teaching materials, students and students, teachers and teaching instructional materials. Research on psychological environment to determine interactions of key players in the classroom, namely, students and teachers, have varied greatly and proliferated during the early 21st century (Studivant, 2015). Studies have been particularly concentrated on students classroom participation rates, teachers support, and communications of learning goals, use of instructional materials, teachers attitude, among others.
The psycho-social environment is an umbrella of teachers‟ presentation in class, cohesiveness, distraction, friction, satisfaction, competitiveness, interests, motivation, anxieties, confusion and the difficulty of the classroom learning activities (Igwebuike, 2005).These are factors which must be properly handled by teachers to provide challenging environment for science teaching (Patrick, Ray &Kaplan, 2007). Research findings by Anderson (2007) had revealed that in most schools science teachers did not provide intellectually challenging environment for science students. Most often they dominate the science lessons by a method full of information which was stringent and factors which impeded the performance of students of different cognitive characteristics (Chidiebere, 2009). Another reason for this dominance may be that majority of the students are concrete operational and field dependent who require teachers support, peer group interaction, competition, motivation, and cohesion
(Okebukola, 2007a). These are psychosocial factors of Classroom Interaction. Studivant (2015) defines psycho-social Classroom Interaction as an environment where self-concept, self-esteem, teachers support, competition and anxiety exist. There are important factors in the learning process. Olatoye (2009) proposed that the social factors required for conducive Classroom Interaction for science classrooms should differ from that for arts. According to him, Basic Science Classrooms should be seen as investigative while Arts classrooms are Artistic in orientation.
To perform academically means gaining minimum level of proficiency at standardized test. It is to accomplish or gain by effort or do something successfully with an effort and skill. Obeka (2009) and Antecol, Heather, Okkan and Ozbekik (2012) on the other hand maintain that academic performance concerns intellectual skills which lead to satisfactory means of adjustment, social sensitivity, and adequate self-concept. It should be noted that academic performance is based on the degree of intellectual simulation that the child could receive from a learning situation in which psycho-social factors like peer dynamisms, satisfaction, competition, friction, difficulty and cohesiveness among others, are factors that have to be played. The teacher plays a very crucial role in the development and performance motive of the learner by providing a conducive environment. In this study, performance is to successfully accomplish or gain something especially through skills and hard work. Academic performance should be seen as successful acquisition, understanding of the learning materials determined through the administration of standardized performance test. Students' academic performance in upper basic science can be high, low, or on the average based on the classroom climate. In this study therefore, an investigation was done to find a causal relationship between academic performance and the Classroom Interaction.
Statement of the Problem
The importance of Basic Science as a bedrock for other science subjects and technological development of the nation cannot be overemphasized. It is unfortunate however, that students‟ academic performance based on the examinations results, (Junior NECO, JSCE) in Upper Basic Science is very poor. Igwebuike (2013) Pilot Test confirms this assertion that the failure rate in the sciences is high. Students‟ performance in science subjects have genesis from the basic science in Junior Secondary School classes (Usman, 2008). Academic performance in Basic Science has generally been on the decline (Lawal, 2010).Transition from junior secondary school to senior secondary school is challenging because they face a lot of stress associated with science learning (Usman, 2007). This stress comes from the attitude of teachers to psychosocial factors in the classroom discourse which exert an adverse effect on students functioning and cause them to develop an unpleasant attitude to science at the senior secondary level (Hills, 2009). Poor teaching method was observed as causes to poor performance in science (Hills, 2010).
Classroom behaviour of teachers may also have motivational effects on learning process and on the performance of students. There was need to try other factors such as Classroom Interaction to see whether or not students‟ academic
performance would be enhanced since other variables such as teaching methods, attitude have been used. Adesoji and Olatunbosun (2008) opine that poor classroom organization management techniques and poorly coordinated students activities are some of the factors which threaten students and young teachers from deriving maximum benefits during class work. Research in Classroom Interaction to support this claim is however relatively sparse. The understanding of the nature of the learning environment for a meaningful organization of learning process is important. In this study, analysis of Psychosocial Factors of the Classroom Interaction as a predictor to academic performance in Upper Basic Science Secondary School (JSS II) students in Idemili South, Anambra State was analysed.
Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to:
i. determine the perceived psychosocial factors (socio-economic status, competition, and friction, cohesiveness difficultly satisfaction teacher support) as a predictor to academic performance in upper Basic Science.
ii. analyse the relationship between male and female students‟ psychosocial environment and academic performance in Upper Basic Science.
The following research questions were asked and answered in the study
i. What is the relationship between the psychosocial factors of Classroom Interaction and academic performance in Upper Basic Science?
ii. What is the relationship between psycho-social factors of Classroom Interaction and academic performance in Upper Basic Science students based on gender?
The following null hypotheses were stated and tested at P<0.05, level of significance
Ho1 There is no significant relationship between the psycho social factors of Classroom Interaction and academic performance in Upper Basic Science.
Ho2 There is no significant relationship between psycho-social factors of Classroom Interaction and academic performance in Upper Basic Science based on gender.
Significance of the Study
The study is conceived to highlight the psychosocial factors of Classroom Interaction as a predictor to academic performance in Upper Basic Science Secondary School in Nigeria and it will hopefully uplift the standard of basic science education, in the following ways:
Basic Science Teachers
The findings highlighted psychosocial factors that hinder proper understanding of basic science in the classroom. When implemented and properly practiced in the classroom, it will provide basic science teachers with useful information about relationship of students‟ psychosocial factors such as friction, difficulty, competition, cohesion, satisfaction and socio-economic status and the effects they have on performance in basic science. The result of this research will help basic science teachers concentrate on factors that impede academic performance. The result of these studies if properly inculcated will help teachers teach effectively and students precisely learn better in basic science if their psycho-social factors are identified and controlled. Basic Science Students
The result of this finding will assist students in productive participation in subject matter therefore improving mastery of concepts and transfer of knowledge to real life situation through the application of cohesion in class, avoid friction and unnecessary competition. It will help students in coping with issues of cooperation, cohesion and friction because scientific findings are shared and correlated for better understanding.
It is hoped that the findings will be useful and relevant to researchers in the field of science education who seek to improve on performance among students of all categories to push forward the frontiers of knowledge on issues relating to science education.
The findings will add new information to the existing literature on basic science and psycho-social Classroom Interaction.
The findings was hoped to be useful to such bodies as STAN, Curriculum Planners, School Counsellors, Government bodies and policy makers to organise workshops, seminars, conferences, in-house and train the trainers workshops on the issues of psycho-social factors of the Classroom Interaction as predictors of academic performance in our science classrooms.
This findings was hoped to assist textbook publishers to incorporate materials, experiences in the classroom climate especially the social and the psychological dimensions in textbooks that could consciously promote the teaching and learning of science not only help reduce under achievement in basic science and other related
science subjects, but also help encourage the study of science and subsequently leads to the nations‟ breakthrough in science mathematics and technology.
The findings of this study will give parents information on how to make their children, wards, have conducive Classroom Interaction by giving social psychological and physical environment to their wards, children, to enhance conducive learning environment. These include counselling, financial assistance, etc.
Scope of the Study
Samples were drawn from government-owned secondary schools in Idemili South, Anambra State. Junior Secondary school Class Two (JSS II) students were used. JSS II students were preferred because they had already studied some concepts of Basic Science in their JSS 1 and so were better placed than the JSS 1 students who had not gone far in Junior Secondary school syllabus. The JSS III students were not asked to participate in this research because they were busy preparing for the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE). The Psycho-Social Classroom Inventory Questionnaires was used to collect data for the environmental studies while the Basic Science Performance Test (BSPT) was used as the dependent variable. The psychosocial factors which the researcher intended to investigate were as follows:
1. Satisfaction and academic performance in basic science
2. Friction and academic performance in basic science
3. Difficulty and academic performance in basic science
4. Cohesion and academic performance in basic science
5. Competition and academic performance in basic science
These factors are verifiable and are some of the major psycho-social classroom issues for learning of science (Allwell, 2007)
The study was based on the following assumptions that.
1. The schools where science students were drawn were typical of government-owned schools with low teaching facilities and low income parents and they represented science students in the state.
2. The psychosocial classroom Inventory (PSCI) was a way of determining a student's perception of his or her classroom climate.
3. The students‟ responses would correspond to the reality of their classroom climate.
4. Students were aware of their Classroom Interaction.
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