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Background of the Study
In this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is
considered as a first step for every human activity. Education plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well being and opportunities for better living. It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. Saxton (2008) maintained that the increase in productivity also leads towards new sources of earning which enhances the economic growth of a country and the family. Education of the child begins at home and the importance of the home in the effective and systematic education of the child has long been recognized worldwide.
In the educationally developed countries of the world, parents and teachers know that the home and the school complement each other in the education of the child. Generally, if pupils have problems in social interaction in the school, the chances are that they are likely to be different in academic gains and achievement. This difference in the academic gain or achievement of students is sometimes attributable to parental socioeconomic status.
Socioeconomic status is a sociological classification indicating the close relationship between someone’s relative wealth and that person’s social status. It is also regarded as an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s income and social position in relation to others, based on income, education and occupation, (Kraus, 2008). It is also a categorization of people according to their economic, education and occupational characteristics, (Santrock, 2004). Ezewu (1985) sees socioeconomic status as the differentiation of individuals as well as families in a society into educational levels, occupation and income. From the above definitions however, socioeconomic status could be regarded as prestige or respect accorded to the members of the society based ontheir income, education and occupation.
Socioeconomic status is typically broken into three categories namely; High Socioeconomic status, middle socioeconomic status and low socioeconomic status, and when placing a family or individual into one of these categories, any or all of the three variables that describe socioeconomic i.e. income, education and occupation can be assessed, (Gottfredson, 2004).When analyzing the three levels of socioeconomic status, the household income, earners’ education and occupation are examined. Low socioeconomic status individuals often have less education, less power to influence a community’s institution such as schools, fewer economic resources; while the reverse is the case with individuals on high socioeconomic status.
Although there is general consensus that income, education and occupation of parents represents socioeconomic status better than any of these alone, there is no consensus on how best to use the three variables together, whether it works best to examine relationship between socioeconomic status and students’ academic achievement or outcomes using the variables together, or each variable singly and how best to measure each component. The predictive values of using the three variables together have been compared with inconsistent results (Krieger, Williams and Moss, 1997). In view of the above argument, the choice of how to measure socioeconomic status and its influence on academic achievement remains open. This is one of the reasons that prompted the researcher to carry out this study to ascertain the influence of parental socioeconomic status and home education environment on students’ academic achievement in senior secondary schools in Zone B education zone of Benue State, Nigeria.
The education environment of the home is one of the environmental factors that play an important role in students’ academic achievement. Research has shown that the environment and heredity work together in complex ways to determine a students’ academic achievement. Children living in poor environment may fail to develop their potentials and skills to the optimum extent, and this may have a negative effect on their performance in school and intelligences in social life, while children growing up in conducive environment may show superior cognitive abilities and academic competence, (McWayne, 2004).
Furthermore, Nicole (2011) sees home education environment as the quality of human interactions, from the point of view of the child. It includes those aspects which foster growth and development of the students’ intellectual ability, such as family trust and confidence, sharing of ideas, parents support, parental approval, parental encouragement, care, affection and approval and support of siblings. Children living in rural or urban areas are exposed to different environment and this may also affect their academic achievement differently.
In addition to home education environment, school learning environment and academic achievement may be influenced by various socioeconomic factors like parent’s education and occupation and also by economic status of the family. Parental socioeconomic status has some influence on children’s upbringing and consequently, their attitude and predisposition towards their goals and aspiration in life. Many children leave school because of poor financial background and yet others leave because their parents do not contribute to the total school expenditure satisfactorily and so on, (Nzewuawah, 1995). These factors may affect the academic achievement of students, but the extent to which parental socioeconomic status and home education environment affected academic achievement of student in Zone B education Zone of Benue Statewas determine by the result of this study.
Academic achievement according to Josh, (2010)is defined as knowledge acquired and skills developed in school subjects, generally indicated by marks obtained in tests in an examination. Achievement is the glittering crown which reflects a sense of sincerity, candidness and perseverance on the part of achievers and also parents, teachers and all those helping to achieve it. Adeyemo (2011) stated that academic achievement means achievement a student makes in school namely; his marks in the examination, which is the criterion for the achievement of a student.The writer also stated that; parenting styles, gender, size of family, socioeconomic status of parents, home education environment may have an influence on the achievement level of students.
Academic achievement of students especially at the secondary school level is not only a pointer to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation in general. The medium through which the attainment of individuals and the nation’s educational goals can be achieved is learning. Learning outcomes have become a phenomenon of interest to all and this account for the reason scholars have been working hard to unravel factors that militate against good academic performance (Aremu and Sokan, 2003). Adeyemo (2001) is of the opinion that the major aim of the school is to work towards attainment of academic excellence by students. According to him, the school may have other aims/objectives but emphasis is always placed on the achievement of sound scholarship. Besides, virtually everybody concerned with education lay more emphasis on academic achievement of students thus excellent academic achievement of students is often the expectation of parents and policy makers, (Osiki, 2001).
Academic achievement has direct link with students’ academic intelligence. Academic intelligence is a general cognitive problem solving skills. It is a mental ability involved in reasoning, perceiving relationships, calculating and learning quickly (William, 2002). Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to change in various forms of reasoning and the ability to solve genuine problems or difficulties. Vimal (2002) viewed Academic Intelligence as the ability of an individual to acquire, store and retrieve information. It is the global capacity to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal with situations effectively. Several studies have been done over the years to determine how much of intelligence is inherited and how much is due to environmental factors. These studies especially the one carried out by McWayne, (2004) found that environmental factors such as parental socioeconomic status and home education environment play significant roles in determining the academic achievement of students. It is important to note that the used path analysis to estimate the combine effects of these variables on students’ academic achievement may yield a better output. This study therefore is being carried out to determine the direct and indirect effect of these variables on academic achievement of students using path analytic approach.
Path analysis is a statistical technique used primarily to examine the
comparative strength of direct and indirect relationship among variables. Path analysis consists of a family of models that depicts the influence of a set of variables on one another (Keith, 1999). It is considered closely related to multiple regression analysis. In fact, it is an extension of the regression models, which researchers use to test the fit of a correlation matrix with a causal model that they test (Alwin, 1975). The aim of path analysis is to provide estimate of the magnitude and significance of hypothesized causal connections among sets of variables displayed through the use of path diagram. Since path analysis assesses the comparative strength of different influence on an outcome, the relationship between variables in the path model are expressed in terms of correlations and represent hypotheses proposed by the researcher. Therefore, the relationships or pathways cannot be statistically tested for directionality and the models themselves cannot prove causation. However, path models do reflect theories about causation and can inform the researcher as to which hypothesized causal model best fit the pattern of correlations found within the data set. One of the advantages of path analysis is that it forces researcher to explicitly specify how the variables relate to one another and thus encourages the development of clear and logical theories about the process influencing a particular outcome (Maruyama, 1998). Path analysis is a subset of structural equation modeling.
Path analysis is a model - building technique that uses correlations and multiple regressions as its statistics. To form a model, path lines are used to link one variable with another to form a network. It is this network that is referred to as a path diagram or path model. The strength of these paths is determined by the values of the correlation and regression coefficients from the correlation and regression analysis. This analytical method with its networking/interactive effect is more advantageous than the simple correlation analysis between single variables. Thus, the use of a comprehensive analytical tool was found to be a better option as this gives a suggestive guide to a possible causal linkage among the variables under study (Pamela, 2005). This research effort, therefore, intends to proffer a possible causal model that could uncover the interactive influence of some parental socioeconomic status and home educational environment on students’ academic achievement with regard to their performance in Senior Secondary School (SS1) through the use of path analysis. Based on these, there is need to examine whether there is any causal relationship between parental socioeconomic status and home educational environment on students’ academic achievement. It is this background that calls for this investigation/Research.
Statement of the Problem
In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness on the interrelated nature of various variables on humans such as socioeconomic status and home education environment. It is a general believe that parental socioeconomic status has much to contribute to the students’ academic achievement. But the assumption that the higher the socioeconomic status of parents, the higher the students’ academic achievement is questionable, debatable and arguable, because students whose parents did not attend any level of education, have no reasonable income and have no good occupation equally have high academic achievement. This contradicts the findings of the numerous researchers that socioeconomic status and education environment of the home have high positive correlation with the students’ academic achievement. This has necessitated a gradual shift away from single variable study to studies that investigate the combined effect of related variables. Most of the studies carried out on socioeconomic status used only two variables, that is, one predictor and one criterion. Other statistics such as the mean, frequency count, percentages were used in data analysis but with the introduction of path analysis, at least two predictor variables and one criterion variable can be studied which is the focus of the present study. Thus there is need to investigate these variables collectively and not just looking at individual influence of these variables on students’ performance and achievement. This study therefore, sought to investigate the direct and indirect influence of parental socioeconomic status and home education environment on students’ academic achievement using path analytic approach.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the influence of parental socioeconomic status and home educational environment on students’ academic achievement using path analytic approach. In specific terms, the study is designed to ascertain:
1) the relationship between parents’ education and Students’ Academic Achievement. 2) the relationship between parents’ occupation and Students’ Academic
3) the relationship between parents’ income and Students’ Academic Achievement
4) the relationship between the home education environment and Students’ academic Achievement.
5) Determine the difference between the mean score of students from low socioeconomic status and students from high socioeconomic status
6) Develop a path diagram that determines the magnitude and direction of the path coefficient among the variables in the path model
Significance of the Study
It is expected that the result of the study would benefit educational
administrators, teachers, parents, students, government and researchers.
The findings from this study will help the educational administrators in the educational system to formulate and implement different kinds of educational programmes that will take into account the student’s different socioeconomic status. The knowledge of the student’s socioeconomic status and how it influences the students’ academic achievement will also help the educational administrators in the distribution of school materials and equipment to take care of the children from different socioeconomic background. It will help the administrators to arrive at a wise decision and equitable distribution of resources.
The findings from this study would be of great value to the teachers. Teachers’ knowledge of the influence of parental socioeconomic status and home education environment on students’ academic achievement will enable them to restructure their teaching methods and instructional resources to meet the different parental background of the students. This may yield more positive result than the present system which operates in the believe that all children should learn the same things at the same time with the same instructional resources. It will help the teachers to carry every student along during teaching bearing in mind that students come from different socioeconomic background.
The findings of this work will also be of benefit to parents. If parental socioeconomic status and education environment of the home actually have significant influence on students’ academic achievement as found by other researchers, then, parents with low socioeconomic status will intensify their efforts to providing their children with relevant learning materials and conducive learning environment at home to enhance the students’ academic achievement.
The result of this work will also help the government to carryout public enlightment campaign and intensify efforts in the area of adult education. The public enlightment campaign and the provision of adequate adult education will help the illiterate/uneducated parents to know the value of education. This will help them to support their children in order to enhance their academic achievement.
The result of this work will also be of great benefit to future researchers and scholars in education especially in the area of academic achievement and parental socioeconomic status. This is because relevant reference materials and information would be made available to them.
Theoretically, several suppositions and suggestions have been made on how environmental and parental related factors influence students’ academic achievement.
For the purpose of this study therefore, humanistic learning theory by Carl Rogers and social learning theory by Albert Bandura are significant, because the theories provided insight on how environmental factors influence achievement of students. Humanistic learning theory by Carl Rogers is particularly important since it sees environmental factors as determinants of academic achievement and social learning theory by Albert Bandura is also important as it encourages learning by imitation. The findings of this study will therefore add credence to the tenets of these theories.
Scope of the Study
This study focused on the path analysis of the influence of parental socioeconomic status and home educational environment on students’ academic achievement.The studywas limited to SSII students of both public and private secondary schools in Zone B education Zone of Benue State. The variables that make up parental socioeconomic status that were investigated include; income, education and occupation. Also, only the education environment of the home was investigated in conjunction with the variables mention above. Other variables that affect academic achievement were not be studied. The SSI annual results of the SSII students were used as source of data for the study. Only students from high and low socioeconomic status were studied. Geographically, the study was limited to Zone B education Zone of Benue State which is made up of seven (7) local government areas.
The following research questions guided the study
1. What is the relationship between Parents’ education and Students’ academic
2. What is the relationship between Parents’ occupation and Students’ academic
3. What is the relationship between Parents’ income and Students’ academic
4. What is the relationship between home Education environment and Students’ academic Achievement?
5. What is the difference between the mean scores of students from low socioeconomic status and students from high socioeconomic status?
6. What are the magnitudes and directions of the correlation coefficient among the variables in the path model
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
1. There is no significant relationship between parents’ education and Students’ academic Achievement
2. There is no significant relationship between parents’ occupation and Students’ academic Achievement
3. There is no significant relationship between parents’ income and Students’ academic Achievement
4. There is no significant relationship between home educational environment and
Students’ academic Achievement
5. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students from low socioeconomic status and students from high socioeconomic status.
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