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1.1 Background of the study
Education being the greatest hope of a nation especially for a developing country like Nigeria cannot just be left in the hands of mediocre or people who have no interest in the teaching profession. Hence, the transmission of knowledge and information from one generation to another require the services of individuals adequately trained and skilled in the teaching profession. Such individuals are teachers. They are assigned the role of transmitting the accumulated knowledge and values from one generation to the next (Akin, 2009). Teaching is the classroom interaction, during which there is purposeful interaction between the teacher, the learner, the subject matter and the materials (Okon, 2006). Teaching is causing people to learn. One can hardly regard something as having been taught if it has not been learnt. Teaching is not merely giving information, but offering the child/learner a systematic guide to learn how to learn. The author further described teaching as involving “the consideration of the nature of the child, the goals to be attained, and finally the methods and materials required to attain those goals” p. 183. Teaching involves developing a policy and putting that policy into practice. In the past, many people thought that just any one who could hold a piece of chalk and stand in front of learners was a teacher. For an individual to be regarded as an effective teacher, he needs to possess certain characteristics that befit this noble profession. It is the possession of these qualities that endears him to his students and the society. Failure to possess and display these qualities makes people cast doubt on the genuineness of his training and interest in the teaching profession (Stake, 2010). An effective teacher is required to have a higher level of professionalism because of rapidly changing circumstances. Hayon (2009) emphasized that teachers who possess professional and interpersonal skills are more effective in their classrooms in terms of students’ behaviour, attitude and achievement. The teaching profession requires certain dominant behaviours which show teacher’s intellect, desire to excel, extended professionalism and teaching as a life concern. Teaching is a profession which exalts service above personal gains (Goodlings, Buram & Portland, 2005). It involves human nurturance, connectedness, warmth and love and the teacher’s beliefs about his role in caring for the students, plays a crucial part in developing the personality of the students (Kelchtermans & Ballet, 2005). Stake (2010) further opined that male teachers who show interest in teaching profession establish a cordial relationship with their students thus encouraging them to learn and perform well in their academic pursuits, while other teachers who show no interest in teaching profession, but see it as a stepping stone to something higher, do not establish cordial relationship with their students thus hindering their academic pursuits. This set of teachers feel that teaching is a feminine profession. Therefore, according to Stake (2010) females are more tolerant and accommodative. The issue of gender generally describes roles played by male and female teachers and the relative power they wield within the teaching profession. Their perception can often be associated with their attitude towards teaching. In Akwa Ibom State, the teaching profession has an encouraging history. Teaching is one profession which government, parents and even the entire society expect so much from, because of the needed skills necessary for the labor force.
Teaching is one of the oldest of human activities or professions because in those days, parents, elders in the community, religious leaders and other adults took it upon themselves to teach the young ones how to speak, act and, or, perform any other activity that might be required of them. Hence the teacher was seen as an important personality in the society. As important and sensitive as teaching is in the society, there have been divergent views held by people in the society about teaching. These divergent views however have influenced the perception that people have about teaching in the society. For instance, teaching has been seen as an attempt to bring about effective and desirable change in learners and the education system through the use of various strategies (Adeyemi 2001, Dada 1999). This implies that teaching is not restricted to just a single activity but a variety of activities some of which are quite distinct from one another. Thus teaching is seen as a body of actions that is intended to bring about learning through conscious and deliberate efforts by a matured or experienced person (Akinpelu, 1981). This was why in the 1950s through the early 1980s teachers and the teaching profession were accorded high status in the society because they performed their roles in promoting national development with high sense of efficiency and responsibility. This high sense of commitment has been attributed to three major factors namely; their good social status, economic status and conducive working environment (Achimugu, 2005).
1.2 statement of the problem
events over the years have shown that the status and perception of teachers by the society and the teaching profession in Nigeria and many other countries of the world have nosedived (Hall and Langton, 2006; Hargreaves et al, 2007; Hoyle 2001). This low status and perception of teachers and the teaching profession could be attributed to the fact that the social origins of teachers and the environment of teaching and learning are seriously impoverished (Kottler and Stanley, 2000). That the various segments of the society have different perceptions of teachers and the teaching profession is not in doubt. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the perception of teachers on their profession and it influence on academic achievement of secondary school students in Etche LGA.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain teachers perception of their profession and its influence on academic achievement of secondary school students in Etche LGA. But for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective;
i) To investigate the impact of teachers perception of their profession on students’ academic performance
ii) To examine the role of teachers in the academic development of the students
iii) To investigate the relationship between teachers perception of teaching profession and student academic performance
iv) To proffer suggested solution to addressed the stated problem
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To aid the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher:
H0: teachers perception of their profession does not have any significant impact on students’ academic performance
H1: teachers perception of their profession does have a significant impact on students’ academic performance
H02: teachers do not play any significant role on the student academic achievement of student
H2: teachers do play a significant role on the student academic achievement of student.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will be of great importance to the teachers and the entire teaching profession as the study seeks to explore the dividend of having a positive perception for the teaching profession. The study will also be beneficial to the student, as they will seek to emulate their teachers perception and attitude toward the profession; which goes a long way in influencing the students academic performance.
Finally, the study will also be of importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in similar topic as the work may serve as a reference point to further research.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the perception of teachers of their profession and it influence on academic achievement of secondary school students in Etche LGA. But in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study:
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A teacher (also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator) is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family, (homeschooling) rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college.
Perception (from the Latin perceptio) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment. All perception involves signals that go through the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system.
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested objective counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. The term is a truncation of the term "liberal profession", which is, in turn, an Anglicization of the French term "profession libérale". Originally borrowed by English users in the 19th century, it has been re-borrowed by international users from the late 20th, though the (upper-middle) class overtones of the term do not seem to survive retranslation
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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