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1.1 Background of the study
A lot of students today do not realize the usefulness and importance of geography as a subject in our secondary schools. Hence many tend to have a wrong notion and perception; many tend to be scared of reading it as a course and discipline.Geography as a subject covers various fields of study and discipline in science and social sciences of which can be of great help to individuals, students, companies and government economically. Presently, majority of the educationists in our society see the need and worth of geography and hence the demand for geography teachers are high in our secondary schools. Geography, which describes the earth’s surface, has drawn such as geology, meteorology, astronomy, anthropology and biology. Geography is the science of spatial intention or the study of the process by which forms and phenomena intact through their spatial arrangement on the earth surface.According to section 4 (6A) of the revised national policy on education (1981), geography has been listed as one of the core subjects at the SSCE level. Students are expected to select one of literature in English, history and geography as the core subject.Hammend (1979) says among other things geography helps man to do the following,
i. Master his environment that si the physical, biotic, economic, social cultural and political environment.
ii. Develop a systematic understanding of other people lands.
iii. Develop an understanding and sense of responsibility towards his own society and equated appreciation of both local, natural and world problem.
iv. Develop one’s ability of observation, imagination, memory judgement and reasoning which help one in every day life.
v. Above all geography is a discipline that aids one’s training in specific skill and a variety of career prospects and job opportunities.
However, in spite of the above-enumerated important position that geography holds in every day life and in the academic world, it is unfortunate that little cognizance has always been taken of students’ attitude towards the subject.
Archar (1977) stated that geography span almost the full range of the social sciences. Geography embodies all major discipline in the social science like economics, political science and pure science like physics, chemistry biology and agricultural sciences also have a meeting point in geography.Selection of subjects in higher secondary and higher stages of learning is sometimes dictated by parents, guardians, relatives and others in our country overriding the attitude of the students towards any subject or liking pattern of the students for the school subjects. Such se-lection is most often found to be disastrous. Students’ attitude and preference for the subject is, therefore, very important as regards their development and career.A student’s attitude towards a school subject in most of the times an indicator of student’s effort, participation, learning outcome related to the subject (Standslause, 2013). It also indicates how the student will react to the subject in the combination of different school subjects. According to Inceoglu (2004)-Attitude is some body’s tendency to react to an event, object (or idea) in his or her environment. Attitude is spread over the domains of education i.e. Cognitive (intellectual activities related to the subject under consideration), affective (emotional attachment to the subject) and psychomotor (tendency to act for the subject). A positive attitude of a student towards a subject also shows the student’s liking for the subject during higher studies, his/her leadership in the subject in the school and college level. Hogg, & Vaughan (2005, p. 150) and (Eagly, & Chaiken, 1993, p. 1) deﬁned Attitude in the similar tone. Attitude towards a subject is not always absolute. Neo Freudian Psychologist like Jung(1921) considers two sides of Attitude –the explicit (developed consciously in a man out of different exposures in life) and the implicit (developed unconsciously in a man remaining somewhat beyond the conscious control of a man). Attitude of a student towards a school subject, in all academic transactions, comes within the purview of explicit attitude. Okpolama (1977) said ‘the study of geography in Nigeria school is gradually declining when compared to other arts or social sciences and science subjects.
It is against this background therefore, that this study is initiated to find out the possible factors that are influencing the learning of geography.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has noted that students having variable attitude towards a subject or programme will try to explore all the possible ways by making sure that they perform and vise versa.Most students still have wrong notion and perception about geography. But this study is only restricted to some selected secondary schools in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. This indicate the fact that it is as a result of this the research is aim therefore to carefully investigate the attitude of students towards geography in some selected secondary schools in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. One pertinent issue is that question of what could be responsible for poor performances of students in geography could it be laziness or is it because some just have no interest but only ended up taking it, could it be that the teachers could not supply enough inputs or reading materials in solving students problems.This study is intended to answer the following questions.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study to achieve include;
a. To examined the attitude of the students in the subject area.
b. To suggest ways of stimulating the attitude of the students furthers.
c. To find out the attitude of students towards practical geography.
d. To suggestion ways of how this wrong attitude towards geography in the study area can be corrected.
The research questions for this study are as follows:
a. What is the attitude of students towards geography in the study area?
b. How can this attitude be corrected?
c. does parent plays any role in correcting students attitude in learning geography?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study provides information about the professionally qualified geography teachers in schools. It also helps to know the extent at which instructional materials for practical or map work are used. It enlightens the researchers, if the geography teachers adhere to the stipulated method for teaching various map work.
The study help to know the extent at which students participate in practical geography and also the extent to know if the wide scope of geography leads to poor performance or negative attitude towards geography. Finally, this study is expected to provide some useful information for the students, individuals, companies and governments in order to ensure that adequate measures are taken into consideration for students to have the right attitude towards geography.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers an investigation of the attitude of students towards geography In some selected secondary schools in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Geography is defined as a course, which deals with the human environment, activities, globe and its physical features.
2.Qualified geography teachers mean a geography teacher who possesses National Certificate of Education (NCE), first degree in geography education (B.Ed).
3.Attitude: As used in this study refers to a predisposition to respond in a particular way (Allport 1959). It also means the perception and conception towards a discipline
4.Secondary school: For the purpose of this study, secondary school students are represented by SSS I and SSS II students of some selected number of secondary schools in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
5.Career: A means of earning a living.
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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