THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHERS QUALIFICATION AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHERS QUALIFICATION AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH

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ABSTRACT

This study was carried out on the relationship between teachers qualification and students academic performance in English. The study sought to: determine the relationship between teachers qualification/ certification and students academic performance. Establish the relationship between teachers years of teaching experience and students academic performance. Establish the relationship between teachers knowledge of subject matter and student academic performance. Examine how teachers‟ teaching methods influence student academic performance. In the study, four research questions were raised and answered using the descriptive statistics and four (4) null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.  A total sample size of 250 SSII students were randomly selected out of population of 9,938 students in all the secondary schools in the metropolis. All the seventy five (75) teachers teaching English language in the schools were selected to represent the sample for the teachers. Survey design was used in the study and the instruments for data collection were 40 items questionnaire for teachers and the result of standardized examination for students‟ academic performance. Pilot study was conducted in a school outside the study area and the reliability of the instrument was obtained to be 0.88 using test-re test reliability coefficients. The research questions were answered using the descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation and frequency count while the Research hypotheses were tested using inferential statistics such as r-test and F-test (ANOVA). Hypotheses 1, 2 and 4 were all accepted while hypothesis 3 was rejected. The major findings are that, teachers’ qualification has no significant relationship with students‟ academic performance and that teachers „knowledge of subject matter played a significant role in the performance of students and therefore it led to the general conclusion that teachers with deeper knowledge of subject matter produced better students, than those with shallow knowledge of subject matter.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

There is always an unavoidable relationship between the teachers personality and how the students learn. Statistically, students who dislike a particular teacher or lecturer always record very low performance in the course the said teacher is handling so that there is a correlation between the teachers and student academic performance. In the event that the obstacle is the teachers qualification, the effect is usually impossible to be mitigated by the student even the most disciplined of them all. A teacher’s qualification goes a long way in determining the academic performance of the teacher. A well grounded teacher would engage the questions and doubts of the students critically thereby encouraging them to question, to study and to read more and give them more than the needed clarification. On the other hand, a well qualified teacher would most likely discourage such curiosity and yearning to learn better from the students thereby instilling in them a lackadaisical attitude towards their academics. Which results in a low performance from the latter. A subject like English language reflects immediately more than other subjects the teacher’s qualification in the students. As a second language, one that is very flexible, any teacher of it would need to have studied extensively in other to command the limitless intricacies of the language. Teachers at all levels of education play the decisive role in pivoting the growth and the direction of education. It is an acceptable fact that teacher is the most important cog in the educational machine and that teachers are highly instrumental to the success of any educational programme embarked upon by any government. This is because apart from being at the implementation level of any educational policy, the realization of these programmes also depends greatly on teacher’s dedication and commitment to their work (Adeniji 1999). 

(Kaplan and Owings 2001) indicate that two broad areas define teacher’s qualification. 

Darling-Hammond (2000) states that the characteristics of teacher’s qualification are: verbal ability, subject – matter knowledge, knowledge of teaching and learning the ability to use a wide range of teaching strategies adapted to student needs.  

Quality of a teacher is another very influential determinant of the classroom environment (Lundberg and Linnakyla, 1993). A teacher’s qualities include preparation and training, the use of a particular instructional approach and experience in teaching. This insight is shared by Mullis, Kennedy, Martin and Sainsbury (2004) who indicate that teacher’s qualification is an important determinant of pupil performance.

The quality of education hinges on the quality of teaching that goes on in the classroom reinforcing the idea that quality teachers make up for the deficiencies in the curriculum and in educational resources (Anderson 1991). Teacher’s qualification is widely thought of as an essential determinants of academic performance, yet there is little agreement as to what specific characteristics make a good teacher (Hanushek and Rivkin, 2006). This is an important issue as the economic impact of higher student achievement can be a function of the depreciation rate of student learning, the total variation of teacher’s qualification (as measured by student achievement on standardized tests), and the labor market return to one standard deviation of higher achievement.

Researchers, policy makers, parents and even teachers themselves agree that teacher’s qualification matters. But defining, measuring and identifying teacher’s qualification is a far more controversial task. 

Subject matter knowledge is another variable that one might think could be related to teacher’s qualification. While there is some support for this assumption, the findings are not as strong and consistent as one might suppose. Studies of teacher’s scores on the subject matter tests of the National Teacher Examination (NTE) have found no consistent relationship between this measure of subject matter knowledge and teacher performance as measured by student outcome or supervisory ratings. Most studies show small, statistically insignificant relationships, between teacher’s qualification and students academic performance.   

Secondary education is the pivot around which the development of the nation’s economy revolves. It is the engine room that provides the input, resources into the nation’s economy and higher education production systems.

The National Policy on Education (2011 Revised Edition) looks at secondary education thus:

1.                  Secondary education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage.

2.                  The broad goals of secondary education shall be prepare the individual  for

a)                  Useful living within the society; and

b)                  Higher education 

3. In specific term, secondary education shall :-

a)                  Provide all primary school leavers with the opportunity for education of a higher level, irrespective of sex, social status, religions or ethnic background;

b)                  Offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and future roles;

c)                  Provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commence at sub-professional grades;

d)                 Develop and promote Nigerian languages and culture in the context and world cultural heritage;

e)                  Inspire its students with a desire for self improvement and achievement of excellence;

f)                   Foster national unity with an emphases on the common ties that unite us in our diversity;

g)                  Raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the values and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, appreciate those values specified under our broad national goals and live good citizens;

h)                  Provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development.

4. To achieve the stated goals secondary education shall be of six years      duration given in two stages; a junior secondary school stage and a senior secondary school stage; each shall be of three years duration.  

The development of Nigeria’s education system since independence has been characterized by a rapid expansion. Due to the development or expansion, the registration concerning universal basic education (UBE) claims that access is to be provided for all children by the year 2015. UBE also aims to improve equal and qualitative learning opportunity for all children. How can the nation get a qualitative education? Who is a qualitative teacher?

 Research for education and learning (Marzano R, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Teacher effectiveness research is grounded in classroom and often uses classroom – based assessments. However ,the recent Aspen institute report, beyond  NCLB (Commission on No child Left Behind, 2007), written to guide the reauthorization  of NCLB, defines “effective” in terms of teacher’s ability

to improve student achievement as measured on standardized tests. 

Qualitative teacher is the one who selects right approaches to teaching, knowledgeable, intelligent content mastery, hardworking and efficiency, self discipline, tolerant, friendly, who serves as a role model through good characters and manner commitment, respect for profession, dedicated, loyal and responsible. The current framework for teacher training in Nigeria is based on the NPE (2004) which emphasized on the quality of teachers.

On the other side, students‟ achievement refers to their academic performance.  However the research will focus on the qualitative aspect of teachers and its relationship for the performance of students academically.

A good teacher is perhaps the most common and least precise of all terms. Shulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of teaching, describes a good teacher in the following way: in the classroom of a good teacher, students are visible, engaged, attentive and participating. In good teaching, students are responsible for their learning; they are accountable for their understanding. Good teaching is passionate, and it induces an emotional response in students…good teaching starts with inducing habits of mind, but doesn‟t stop there. Good teaching engages practical thinking and problemssolving skills that can be applied in a variety of settings. And good teaching affects students‟ values, commitments, and identities.

As stated above, the definition of teacher’s qualification indicates certain qualities that make a qualitative teacher. There are so many problems that are associated with teacher’s qualification, more especially in our secondary schools. The percentage of the students that pass their final exams that is WAEC & NECO in the last five to six years, the rate of failures in the examination is becoming so alarming. Some elites see the problem as a supply/demand issue: The profession is not attracting the “right” individuals into teaching.  Some view the quality problem as a concern about preparation. From this vantage point, teacher who complete university-based programs do not leave with the appropriate knowledge and practices to be effective in contemporary classrooms.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The study and teaching of English language in Imo state Nigeria, is one that cannot escape the complexities of the language as a second language and also the presence of the first language usually seen in its interference with the learning object­ English. As far as the research effort which has gone into this work is concerned, the relationship between the teacher’s qualification and students' academic performance in English language in Imo state has not been studied before with the aim of mapping out the ways the teacher affects the student in performance. It is this lacunae in academics that has called this research into being. The Federal Ministry of Education (2006) reporting on Nigeria, revealed that the academic performance of students in the senior school Certificate Examinations conducted between 2000 and 2006 was below fifty percent (50%). The falling standard of education in the nation is becoming so high, more especially in our secondary schools. The students are performing very poorly in their academic performance. Their continuous assessment is poor; their terminal examination is equally very disappointing (“F.C.E Staff secondary school 2009 end of third term examination” report). The performance of Nigerian Secondary School students in external examinations showed 98% failure rate in the 2009 November/ December Senior School Certificate Examinations conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO- SSCE); out of the total number of 230, 682 candidates who sat for the examination, only 4,223 obtained credits level passes and above in five subjects including English and Mathematics (Bello – Osagie & Olugbornila, 2009). 

The federal government of Nigeria has made several attempts and enacted laws concerning the development of education. Among such attempts is the law concerning the recruitment of teachers this is done in order to achieve educational aims and objectives. This could be achieved if there are qualified teachers to teach at the appropriate level. There is need for this research, in order to achieve educational aims and objectives. This could only be achieved through having qualitative teachers to teach at the appropriate level. There is need for this research, in order to find out if there is any relationship between teachers’ qualification and students‟ achievements, more especially in these few years that the nation is witnessing the massive failure of (SSCE).

This study aims at determining, whether there is a relationship between quality of teachers and the academic performance of students of secondary schools in English language. 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research is to study the connection between a teacher’s qualification level and dexterity and a student’s academic performance by finding out first what goes in the proper learning of the English language subject by students.

This study is set to achieve the following specific objectives:

i.                    Determine the effect of teachers‟ qualification on students‟ academic performance in English language in senior secondary schools in Imo state.

ii.                  Investigate the effect of teacher’s years of teaching experience on students‟ academic performance in English in some selected secondary schools in Imo state.

iii.                Establish the impact of teacher’s knowledge of subject matter on students‟ performance in English in the some selected secondary schools of Imo state.

iv.                Find out whether teachers teaching methods affect student academic performance in English in selected secondary schools in Imo state.

1.4 Research Questions

The study sought to provide answers to the following research questions:

i.                    What is the effect of teachers‟ qualification on students‟ academic performance in English language in senior secondary schools in Imo state?

ii.                  Does teachers‟ year of teaching experience affect students‟ academic performance in English language in secondary schools in Imo state?

iii.                What is the impact of teachers‟ knowledge of the subject matter on the performance of students in English language in Secondary Schools in Imo state?

iv.                Do teachers teaching methods affect students‟ academic performance in English  language in Secondary Schools in Imo state?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were raised for this research;

HO1: There is no significant relationship among students academic performance in English taught by teachers of different qualifications in Senior

Secondary Schools in Imo state 

HO2: There is no significant relationship among students academic performance in English whose teachers have different years of teaching experience in Senior Secondary Schools in Imo state

HO3:  There is no significant relationship between students academic performance in English whose teachers possess knowledge of the subject matter and those whose teachers do not possess knowledge of the subject matter in English in Senior Secondary Schools in Imo state

HO4:   There is no significant relationship between students‟ academic performance in English whose teachers uses different methods of teaching in selected Secondary Schools in Imo state.

1.6  Significance of the Study

The purpose of any educational research is to contribute to the development of knowledge. The research findings would be of great help to the government and other stakeholders by revealing the relationship between the quality of teachers and students‟ academic performance in our schools. This will consequently guide the ministry in adopting a new policy of  recruiting teachers i.e. to make sure they recruit qualified teachers who are highly effective i.e. those with knowledge of content, teaching experience,

professional certificate and overall academic ability.

The findings will be of benefit to students, most especially those in the post graduate studies, to add more, or to contribute from where the researchers stopped or what is left to be done in the area of study.

 The research findings will be of benefit to any individual who is interested in knowing the relationship between teachers’ qualification and students‟ achievement. The findings will be of great importance and help in conference writing related to the area. It will make teachers plan and present their lesson excellently and also those unqualified teachers to go and further their studies so as to meet the minimum required qualification for teaching.

 The research findings will help the society to dictate what is to be included in the curriculum so as to improve the quality of the teachers as well as the students. This study will be of significance to curriculum planners. The information from this study will be of benefit to the curriculum developers of the National policy on education to forestall all the lapses during the course of building. 

1.7       Basic Assumptions

In the study it is assumed that: 

i.                    There are qualified and unqualified teachers in the schools.

ii.                  There are experienced and inexperienced teachers in the schools.

iii.                The schools have some of the basic materials for learning but lack most of the materials.

iv.                Some of the teachers will cooperate with the researcher.

1.8  Scope of the Study

 The study is concerned with perception of the relationship between teachers’ qualification and students‟ academic performance. The researcher was restricted to teachers and students of SSII public senior secondary schools of Imo state.

The following are the limitations of the study:

i.                    The study covered only (8) Eight Local Governments in the Metropolitan part of Imo, hence making it very difficult to generalized the whole schools in Imo State.

ii.                  Only public senior secondary schools were selected for the study, private schools did not have the opportunity of being included.

iii.                This might affect the generalization made on the findings as it affects the population of the study.


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