TEACHERS QUALITY ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN INTEGRATED SCIENCE

TEACHERS QUALITY ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN INTEGRATED SCIENCE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Teachers’ quality has been the focus of considerable debated worldwide since the middle of 20th century. Riovkin, Hanushek and Kain (1998), demonstrated in a study that the influence of teachers’ quality on students achievement is many times greater than any other commonly observed variable such as home-background, conducive class environment, etc. Teachers’ quality is a topic with high priority. Teacher qualities differ considerably, between countries and also between states. The National Policy on Education, (Federal Republic of Nigeria, Revised 2004) while stressing the importance of teacher quality in curriculum implementation noted that no nation’s educational system can rise above the quality of her teachers. Teachers are central to any consideration of schools and majority of educational policy focus directly or indirectly on the role of teachers. Moreover, parents, teachers and administrators emphasize repeatedly the fundamental role that teachers play in comparison to other determinant’s of academic performance. Teachers play in comparison to other determinant’s of academic performance. Teachers are important in any educational system because the quality of teachers in any educational system determines to a great extent the quality of the system itself. For many years, educators and researchers have debated which school variables influence student achievement. As policy makers become more involved in school reform, this question takes on new importance since their initiatives rely on presumed relationship between various educational related factors like class size, teacher quality, school size, etc. Peter (1997), stated that “quality is the basic indispensable feature of a thing”. For example the characteristics of high quality science teachers relates to those attributes that enhances the fitness and efficiency of that teacher in performing the duties that are associated with science education. Teacher quality is an important educational topic among policy makes, educational leaders, teacher education institution and those interested in (improving public education. It is a pivotal   policy issue in education reform and American Council on Education (1999) stated “quality of the teacher is the key to improved student performance regardless of the condition of the schools, the affluence of the child, the nature of the community, or any other element in the lives or educational environment of school children”. Quality teachers are those who use a wide variety of instructional methods, experiences, assignments and materials to ensure that children are achieving a variety of cognitive objectives. Well-prepared highly qualified teachers are essential if we are to ensure that our student achieve the high standards necessary for them to live fulfilling lives and become productive students. Teacher quality was defined by Ingersoll (1996) as a measure of teacher qualification, teaching practices, teacher certification, teacher experience and teaching preparations. Teacher qualification includes such components as content knowledge pedagogical knowledge, teaching credentials and verbal abilities. Shulman (1987) identified seven (7) areas of professional for quality teaching which are academic subject, knowledge of teaching strategies, knowledge of student’s characteristics and cultural background, knowledge of curriculum materials and programs, knowledge of teaching environment, subject specific knowledge of teaching strategies and knowledge of the goals and purposes of teaching. Salvin (2003) emphasized that a good teacher must know his/her subject matter and how to motivate children well. He must also know how to use class time effectively, and how to respond to individual differences. An integrated science teacher should endeavour to acquire adequate knowledge which will enable him teach any  aspect of the content of the integrated science  programme and for the integrated science teacher to be useful in the class he needs to continuously update himself both in the content and method of teaching integrated science Quality teachers know their subject and possess the verbal ability to transfer knowledge to their students. They are intentional teachers who are constantly examining and upgrading their own teaching practices, through attending professional seminars and conferences. Reynolds (1995) found that good teachers possess the ability to carry out all the tasks involved in effective instruction. Quality teachers are thinkers, who understand the development levels and needs of their children, who continually experiment with strategies to solve problems of instruction and who are trained to use differentiated instruction that recognizes individual differences.

Gregorian (2001) stressed that one of the most fundamental complain of poor quality teaching in schools today can be attributed to teachers pre-service learning. Darling-Hammond clung and Fre low (2002) concluded that quality teacher preparation programs play a critical role in preparing quality teachers. Geo (2007), also discerned the following two key teacher qualification variables that, across studies, are consistently shown to produce strong, positive effects on student learning which are;

Teacher’s knowledge of subject matter; he explained this using mathematics by saying that teachers with stronger mathematics knowledge produce better students achievement in mathematics compared with less knowledgeable teachers. 

Teacher’s level of experience matters. He explained this by saying that after five years of experience years of experience. 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

According to what I have heard and experienced, there is  critical shortage of qualified teachers throughout the country. This has forced many states to employ people who do not meet the requirement of a qualified teacher, that is, they have not demonstrated subject matter competence. They do not have formal training as teachers and many do not have prior experience of teaching. Many secondary schools have significantly higher teacher vacancy rate but teacher transfers out to other profession in greater numbers. In my senior secondary school three (SS3), I had a physics teachers who just graduated from university as a chemical engineer two( 2) years before he was employed in my school. According to the physics teacher, this was his first time of teaching. The physics teacher from my observation as a student did not have a good knowledge of subject matter and his method of teaching was good enough. This reflected on the performance of the senior secondary three (SS3) students in physics when their WAEC (West African Examination Council) result was out. The performance was poor. This study will seek to assess how teacher quality affects student’s academic performance in integrated science

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

This study was conducted with the following objectives:

To examine the impact of Teachers quality on the academic performance of secondary school students in integrated science.

To ascertain the relationship between qualified teachers and non-qualified teachers performance on academic performance of secondary school students

To ascertain the action of government on teachers qualification

RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

HYPOTHESES ONE 

Ho: there is no impact of teacher’s quality on academic performance of secondary school students.

Hi: there is significant impact of teacher’s quality on academic performance of secondary school students.

HYPOTHESES TWO 

Ho: Teacher’s qualification has no impact on academic performance of students. 

Hi: Teacher’s qualification has a significant impact on academic performance of students.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 

It is hoped that this study will advance teacher quality for effective achievement in students. This study will no doubt contribute immensely and meaningfully towards improving teacher quality and also help attend to other unfavourable working conditions which affect teachers, schools and students as a result of decrease in quality and number of teacher’s.

This study will assist the federal, state government, Head teachers, and principals of schools to see the need for improvement of teacher quality in order to boost the academic performance of students.

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is primary concerned and restricted to Egor Local Government Area of Edo State and it will focus on integrated science teachers of the local government. Due to shortage of time, the research will not be able to carry out the study in the entire 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

Subject matter knowledge: It refers to the extent to which the teacher exhibits and demonstrates a comprehension of purpose and ideas within the discipline. 

Pedagogical Knowledge: In this work, it is used as teacher knowledge of subject matter (content) and general knowledge of the instructional methods or teaching methods in which teacher use to effect learning in classroom.

Experienced Teacher: A teacher that has taught for five (5) years.

Qualified Teacher: One who has acquired professional competence as a teacher in any University or College of Education or obtained bachelor degree in education or Nigeria certificate of Education in integrated science, physics, chemistry or biology 

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows 

Chapter one is concerned 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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