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1.1 Background to the study
Economics is one of the important social science subject taught at the senior secondary school (SSS) level. It is one of the core social science subject that students are required to pass at credit level in order to qualify for admission into tertiary institution to pursue social science programmes. In addition credit pass in economics is require for admission into most social science courses at the tertiary level of education. Example of such courses are Business Education, Accounting, Business Administration and Economics among others. Inspite of this central and important position of economic among other social science and related disciplines, studies revealed that academic performance of students in economics at West African Examination Council (WAEC) has been very poor and unimpressive (Adebisi 2008 and Njoku 2010). Many factors had been suggested as contributing to this poor performance of students in economics, some of these factors include: poor teaching methods, lack of adequate teaching materials, lack of trained teachers, and lack of understanding of the bases of teaching and learning social science subjects (Adeyegbe, 2010). These poor performance of students in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) can be seen in appendix II.
From the foregoing, there seem to be no doubt that economics students have problem/difficulties in the learning of economics which has resulted in poor performance at senior secondary school level. Therefore, there is the need to find out ways of solving this problem.
A number of activity – oriented instructional strategies have been advocated for by curriculum designers and social science educators to help improve on the failure rate among secondary school social science students. Examples of these include guided discovery approach and problem – solving for teaching senior secondary school economics (FRN, 2004).
Research findings have however, revealed that to date, large proportion of social science teachers , economics inclusive still resort to the use of lecture method rather than the activity –oriented strategies advocated for, such as demonstration method problemsolving and others (Bichi 2002). Several other researchers, notably Awodi (2004) and Oyedokun (2005) reported the indiscriminate used of lecture method by social science teachers economics inclusive. The indiscriminate use of the method is attributed to the academic level of the teacher, non – availability of instructional materials and the pressure to cover a prescribed examination syllabus in a relatively short period of time (Okebukola, 2005). He further stated that when social science is taught using the lecture method, students often resort to rote learning and in the process missies and essential part of social science learning, and this lead to poor academic performance in the social science. This study will look at whether gender has an effect in the method used in teaching economics. The term ‗gender‘ is used to described the biological sexual characteristic by which we identified male and females (Jimoh, 2005) the term lays more emphases on social character of manhood and womanhood which lays more emphasis on who does what and how decisions are made. The belief that males are superior to females has affected women /girls in quite a number of ways in both socio - culturally and educational aspect. The belief that women are incapable of doing many things often regarded as rigorous and may be seen as men‘s vocation. The orientation that boys dominate schools and classrooms had a very negative effect on girls chance of performance and success at school (Lyada, 2006). It is based on this that the study looked at the relative effect of gender on the method of teaching economics.
In conclusion, it has therefore become apparent that the lecture method which is currently the predominate teaching approach in Enugu State secondary schools is inappropriate and ineffective for achieving the objectives of economic programme. Therefore, there is a need to search for more effective methods that are suitable and efficient for promoting the level of secondary school economics performance beyond contemporary limits and to the satisfaction of the current economics curriculum requirement. It is against this background that this study was taken to find out the effects of demonstration and problem –solving methods in performance of secondary school students in economics in Enugu State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The performance of students in economics which has been on a declining state in the recent years, this is evident by the changes in the recent West African Examination Council (WAEC) result of 2010 – 2013, for instance, the results available from Enugu state ministry of education showed 23.28% passed in 2010, 23.12% in 2011, 18.11% passed in 2012 and 13.47% in 2013, the details is in appendix II.
Prominent among the factors which have been identified as contributing to the persistent low interest and low level of performance in economics are poor teaching method adopted by Economics teachers (Ogundare 2005), (Adeyemi 2006) the predominant used of text and lecture method in teaching economics, learner variables such as home background, lack of organized strategies for concept formation, gender, teacher characteristics and memory skills, (Falade, 2006). It has therefore become apparent that the lecture method which is currently the predominant teaching approach in Nigerian secondary schools is inappropriate and ineffective for achieving the objectives of the economics programme.
In view of the apparent students poor performance in economics among
secondary school leavers as indicated by the various West Africa Examination Council WAEC) result, the researcher is wondering whether the method of teaching the subject may not affect secondary school students performance in the subject. This study further considers whether a comparison of demonstration and lecture methods might not show which of them is more effective for teaching. Therefore, it is based on these inconsistencies that formed the problem which promoted this study to find out the effects of demonstration and problem – solving methods in economics in Enugu State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to determine the effects of demonstration and problem–solving methods on performance of secondary school students in
economics. The specific objectives include to:-
1. determine the effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using demonstration and those taught using lecture method.
2. determine the effect on the mean academic’s performance of students taught economics using problem–solving method and those taught using lecture method.
3. determine the effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using demonstration method.
4. determine the effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using problem – solving method.
5. determine the effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using demonstration, problem-solving and lecture methods.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were set for the study.
1. What is the effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using demonstration and those taught using lecture method?
2. What is the effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using problem-solving and those taught using lecture method?
3. What is the effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using demonstration method?
4. What is the effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using problems-solving method?
5. What is the effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economic using demonstration, problem-solving and lecture method?
Research Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated to be tested for the study.
There is no significant effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using demonstration and those taught using lecture method.
There is no significant effect on the means academic performance of students taught economics using problem–solving and those taught using lecture method.
There is no significant effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using demonstration method.
There is no significant effect on the mean academic performance of male and female students taught economics using problem – solving method.
There is no significant effect on the mean academic performance of students taught economics using demonstration, problem-solving and lecture methods.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be beneficial to the following: publishers,
curriculum planners, teachers, students, researchers, states and federal government. The findings of this study is hope to be beneficial to publishers of textbooks so as to emphasize problem-solving and demonstration methods of teaching economics in their publications.
Equally, curriculum planners will benefit from the findings of this study, because it will be an eye opener in helping them to suggest relevant teaching strategies for teaching different topics in the curriculum content.
The teachers of economics will stand a better chance to reap from the result of this study as the study will suggest strategies that will assist teachers in the selection of appropriate teaching strategies that will enhance students performance.
The finding will also be useful to students due to it‘s illustrative and display nature as well as learning how to learn strategy if emphasized, this is likely to improve their performance.
It will also benefit fellow researchers because it would form a foundation for further studies in the use of demonstration and problem – solving methods as it affects students‘ performance and add to recent literature.
In addition, the state and federal government will benefit from the findings of this study, because the study will serve as an eye opener for them to see the need to embrace economics education and provide adequate funds, man power, and facilities to facilitate the teaching and learning of economics. Finally the study will serve as a point of reference for further research in other subjects and in other parts of the country.
1.7 Assumption of the Study
The following basic assumptions are made for the study that:
1. Students who are taught using demonstration method perform better than those students who are taught using lecture method.
2. Students who are taught using problem – solving perform better than students taught using lecture method.
3. Male students taught perform better than female taught using demonstration method.
4. Male students taught perform better than female taught using problem – solving method.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study was delimited to public senior secondary schools that offer economics in Enugu State. Only senior secondary school that have presented candidates for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) were used because they met the requirement stated above. Only the SS II students both male and female were used for the study, because they have experience in the learning of economics as a subject for two years and were not too busy, unlike the SS III students who were preparing for their West African Examination Council (WAEC). The study is having a population of 1,109 students from the 23 local governments in the state. In view of the research method employed, the study is delimited to one co-education secondary school in Enugu Metropolis inspectorate division that is Government Commercial College Enugu Metropolis. The details is in appendix xi.
The study is also delimited to the use of three teaching methods namely, demonstration, problem – solving and lecture methods in teaching economics. These methods are used because they are the methods the researcher has chosen for the study.
The researcher taught the concept ‗trade‘, this is because the topic is in the SS II syllabus and is something that occurs in the environment of the students.
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