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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Teachers’ job performance is the extent that student’s performance improves after a period of instruction in a manner consistent with the goals of instruction (Olatoye, 2006). He found that evaluation based on a particular score or scores that do not span a long period may lead to a “miscarriage of judgment” in accessing teachers’ job performance. Omoniyi (2005) corroborated the findings of Olatoye (2006) by observing that effective learning and teaching include those activities that bring about the most productive and beneficial learning experience for students and promotes their development as learners.
Measuring teachers’ job performance at the classroom level, rather than at the school level, is increasingly the focus of effectiveness research (Cunningham and Stone, 2005). Researchers have focused on trying to determine teacher job performance by examining teacher’s contribution to student achievement gains for many years, but a lack of valid measures and instrumentation has hampered the process. Only in the last 10-15 years have researchers had the necessary combination of sufficiently computing power, extensive data on student achievement linked to individual teachers, and appropriate statistical models with which to determine effectiveness in terms of teachers contribution to students learning. The result is a set of sophisticated statistical models that are used with linked student-teacher data to measure teaches contributions to the student achievement growth of the students they taught in a given year. These value-added models are promising, controversial, and increasingly common as a method of determining teacher effectiveness (when effectiveness is construed as teachers’ contributions to achievement).
Holtzapple (2003) used Danielson (1996) Framework for teaching to compare student achievement with teachers’ evaluation scores using a value-added model of predicated achievement versus actual achievement in Cincinnati. The author found a correlation between the observation scores and the value-added scores for teachers: teachers who receive low ratings on the instructional domain of the teacher evaluation system had students with lower achievement, while teachers with advance or distinguished rankings on this instruction generally had students with higher-than-expected scores, and teachers rated proficient students with average gains.
The aforementioned models are a relatively new way to measure teachers’ job performance, and there are researchers who support their use (for example, Hamre and Pianta, 2005; Sanders, 2005). These researchers argued that value-added Models provide an objective means of determining which teachers are successful at improving student learning as measured by gains on standardized tests. Despite these potentially positive uses for value-added models, some researchers express reservations and described serious concerns about their use for assessing teacher effectiveness (Bracey, 2004; Braun, 20055; Kupermitz, 2002; McCreffrey, et al., 2003; Ihum, 2003). In this critique, Bracey (2004) said the assessment is not a theory of what makes a good teacher in all the complexity that might be required.
It could also be observed that teachers may be differentially successful depending on the context. This means that teachers are not interchangeable-a teacher that performs well in one classroom may feel challenged in another classroom. Thus, an evaluation of teachers’ job performance should be specific to a context, subjects, and grade levels. In addition, evaluating a primary science teacher’s effectiveness on the same scale as that of another teacher in a different school may be problematic, particularly if there is a need to identify exceptional teachers in specific contexts grades, or subjects.
There are many different purposes for evaluating teachers’ job performance; a key reason is to identify weakness in instruction and develop ways to address them. For this reason, one goal of evaluating teachers’ job performance should be to collect information that will be useful in designing appropriate strategies to improve instruction. Donal (2003), citing a number of success among school districts around the country, recommended a “Human resources management” approach to improving instruction, wherein vertical and horizontal alignment of practices enable school leaders to carry out instruction objectives. They reported on three Chicago schools that coordinated and align human resources to improve practices, including “teacher recruitment and induction, professional development activities, communication of expectation for teacher performance, specification of classroom teaching strategies, provision of encouragement and incentives, principal supervision and evaluation, and removal of poorly performing teaches”.
Every educational system in any known human society requires highly skilled teaching personnel to sustain it. This explains why teachers are regarded as most important element in the school system (Igwe, 2002). It is generally believed that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers. Hence, qualification is necessary to upgrade and update teachers’ knowledge and skills.
Teaching as a profession has suffered greatly from the simplistic view with which it has been regarded for a long time and because of this attitude, teaching becomes a job for all comers, the unqualified or untrained as well as poorly trained teachers (Okeki, 2008). This phenomenon has adversely affected both the quality of teaching and students’ learning. However, as teaching is being given the attention it deserves, it has become increasingly accepted as a complex activity. Ijaiya (2000) discovered that teachers teach with many skills as teaching involves a lot of covert and overt actions to produce the desired effect on the students. He also identified several of such skills as technical skills, concept skills, problem solving skills, psychomotor teaching skills, reflective skills and so forth. All these skills therefore need to be taught in teacher education in order to improve the teachers’ competence and promote good quality teaching.
According to Ijaiya, the poor handling of concept of teaching by teachers have created more problems in the teaching learning situation in schools. The inability of students to transfer knowledge across subject areas and poor problem solving skills can be traced to lack of understanding of relevant concepts by the learner. In Berret (2005) opinion, teaching concepts involve teaching facts, principles and generalization in various fields of knowledge. He insisted that most times, teachers teach words that symbolize the concept and not the concepts themselves. He believed that concept teaching is a key concept that supports other skills like problem solving skills. According to him, if a student does not grasp the meaning of a given field, it would be difficult for him to succeed in solving problems in such a field.
Teaching is an art. It can be refined by training and practice. The availability of competent teachers is central in the reconstruction of the educational system. The quality of education is directly related to the quality of instruction in the classroom. Quality improvement in education depends upon proper training of teachers. The teachers cannot play any of the roles unless properly and professionally trained (Wayne and Youngs, 2003). Describing the importance of classroom assessment after a session of quality instruction by a qualified teacher, Muijs (2006) stated that “What is needed is an understanding of how assessment and instruction are interwoven, with new conceptions about what assessment is and how it affects learning. He further stated that teachers make decisions about classroom management based upon the achievement gains.
In view of the importance attached to the training of teachers in our educational system by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the National Policy on Education (2004) requires all teachers in our educational institutions from pre – primary to university level to be professionally trained. It adds that teachers’ education programmes should be structured to equip teachers for the effective performance of their duties.
The teacher is expected to bring about curriculum changes, improved teaching, contribute to professional growth and development of colleagues and above all contribute to students’ academic performance and the most effective way of doing these things is through a well organized educational programme. The ability of the teacher to find solutions on how best to help students’ performance will depend largely upon his acquired professional training.
According to Adeyemi (2008), inadequate teachers’ preparation programmes result in majority of teachers’ inability to demonstrate adequate knowledge and understanding of the structure, function and the development of their discipline. Therefore, an effective teacher education programme is a prerequisite for a reliant education which leads to good level of confidence to the teacher and their students as a result of which learning is coordinated effectively and professionally and problems inherent in the teaching process rectified and solved (Leither, 2003).
Omoifo and Okaka (2010) said that knowledge of the subject matter is the most essential trait, factor and characteristic which the teacher must possess in order to effectively perform his responsibility as a teacher. They posited that this professional quality is based on the professional qualification of the teacher. They added that for a teacher to be effective in delivering his lesson, he must have good command of the subject matter which means, he must have an adequate understanding of the basic principles and concepts of the subject to be taught.
Martneau (2006) posited that teachers have significant impact on students’ academic achievements. Teachers directly affect how students learn, what they learn, how much they learn, the ways they interact with one another and the world around them. The effect the classroom teacher can have on students’ achievements is clear because students’ achievements begin and end with the quality of teacher. Martneau concluded that the professionally qualified teacher produces a gain of about 53 percent points in students’ achievements over one year, whereas the unqualified teacher produced achievement gains of about 14 percent points over one year.
Bruce (2005) and Byrne (2003) indicated in their research that teachers who are professionally trained demonstrate a sound understanding of instructional materials and concepts, use production tools to enhance professional tasks such as correspondence, assessment, classroom materials presentations, etc. Qualified teachers demonstrate introductory knowledge, skills and understanding of concepts related to the use of materials needed for instructional process and the continuous growth in technology, knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies and informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of students’ learning.
Oladunjoye (2005) asserted that qualified teachers have a closer understanding of activities within the school and even of its potential activities and strive to promote the stability of the academic achievement of the students. He also suggested that non – qualified teachers should be made to undergo the basic qualifying courses for teachers in order to be exposed to the pedagogical skills in teaching to ensure competencies and functional specialization just as qualified teachers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The issue of falling standard in education and poor academic performance of students have become a source of concern to many Nigerians. Most often, when these issues are raised and discussed, teachers are mostly blamed for the decline in the education sector. The contention has often been that teachers do not effectively perform their jobs. Some adduce poor teacher job performance to the lack of qualified teachers in primary schools. There is therefore the need for an analytic examination of the influence of academic qualification of teachers on pupils’ academic performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study aims at the strategic identification of effects of Teachers’ qualifications on performance of students offering Further Mathematics In primary schools. To achieve these, the researcher was focused on the following objectives;
I. Identify the level of competency required by teachers to influence positively on students’ performance in primary schools.
II. Identify and proffer possible suggestions that can improve the level of students’ performance in primary schools in the state.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho: Teachers’ qualifications do not predict their job performance
Hi: Teachers’ qualifications predict their job performance
Ho: There is no significant relationship between job performance and teachers’ qualification.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between job performance and teachers’ qualification.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is envisaged that a careful identification of the teachers’-qualifications will provide the state education board with possible means of improving student’s performance in the subject as it concentrates on the issues of teacher quality. The study will also help Further Mathematics teachers to see the need to improve their knowledge on the subject; by way of seminar and workshops or additional academic qualification so as to appropriately have more positive impact on their students. As stated by Ale (1989) no nation rises above the level of her teachers. This brings to bear the necessity to improve, in fact constantly improve the academic capabilities of the teacher as this will in turn have impact on the social and scientific base of the nation. This study has provided the teacher and educational policy makers with information on the need for retraining so as to keep the teacher abreast with the latest and best practices in their area of specialization to give out the best in the dissemination of knowledge to the students.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is primary concerned with Teachers’ qualification and primary school pupil Academic Performance. This study/project work covers 4 selected public primary schools in Edo State. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following
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.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INFLUENCE: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
QUALIFICATION: a pass of an examination or an official completion of a course, especially one conferring status as a recognized practitioner of a profession or activity.
TEACHERS: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.
PRIMARY SCHOOL: (or elementary school in American English and often in Canadian English) is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve, coming after preschool and before primary school.
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), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is 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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