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Background of the Study

Adolescence is referred to as a stage between childhood and adulthood. It denotes the period from the beginning of puberty to maturity. It usually starts at about age 14 in males and age 12 in females. In school adolescents refers to the adolescents in schools and they are often noticed in secondary schools. It is a period associated with “stress and storm”. It is often physical, psychological, social and cultural expressions of emotions. It is noticed that at this adolescent stage, their emotions are high and may lead to so many changes in their academic achievement (Goleman, 1995). Goleman further stated that adolescence are known to be full of life and capable of carrying so many activities socially, psychological, historically, biologically and otherwise. Adolescence can also be defined as the physical transition marked by the onset of puberty and the termination of physical growth; cognitively, as changes in the ability to think abstractly and multi-dimensionally; or socially, as a period of preparation for adult roles (Schneider, 1999).

For the purpose of this study, adolescence refers to as a transitional stage of growth marked by changes in physical, physiological, psychological and emotional development of students. Interestingly, developmental psychologists focus on changes in relations to parents and peers as a function of school structure and pubertal status. This school structure in adolescence stage of development directly or indirectly sprout future adolescence behaviour or rather form his personality while in school.

Therefore, in-school adolescence connotes a typical school adolescent. A thorough understanding of in-school adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.




In-school adolescence is a period of multiple transitions involving education, training, employment and unemployment, as well as transitions from one living circumstance to another (Betz, 2002).

Within all of these perspectives, in-school adolescent is viewed as relating to school activities and that of the adolescent on the course of development, through a transitional period of cognitive development between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles while in school. This preparation is so because, it is in the school that adolescents acquire basic tenets of cognitive and/or intellectual development. Cognitive advances encompass both increases in knowledge and the ability to think abstractly and to reason more effectively. According to Piaget, (1986) the ability of the adolescent to solve complex problems is a function of accumulated learning and education. Hence, an in-school adolescent is a typical adolescent who is in school; be it college or high school, poised to acquire learning experiences necessary to transit into adulthood (Schneider, 1999). For the purpose of this study, an in-school adolescent could be referred to as students in secondary schools. Such persons have emotional challenges that may influence their academic achievement in Mathematics and English language. Of which, English and Mathematics is a necessary prerequisite for students transition into higher education.

Among all academic subjects studied at school, Mathematics and English language have distinctly contributed to the objectives of general education of man such as: 3Rs-Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (Aderinonye, 2003). The importance of Mathematics and English Language cannot be over emphasized in Nigeria education system. Students are required to pass them at credit level to be qualified to gain admission into the university. This is because English and Mathematics is a yardstick for measuring students’ achievement in terms of transition into higher educational system.



Achievement is accomplishing or finishing something successfully. It means the one’s successful completion of a task. According to Welten (2009), achievement is the success and accomplishment of an academic task by a student or teacher. Achievement is measured by an instrument called achievement test. This is a test that measures what the student has learned or what skills the student has mastered (Santrock, 2007). Academic achievement is the level of academic performance in school subjects as exhibited by a student (Busari, 2000). Test scores or marks assigned by teachers to students are indicators of this achievement. In this study academic achievement will be seen as the general performance of students as represented by the scores in the school subjects, such as Mathematics and English language.

The West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination results in the past four years (2009-2012) show clearly the declining state of secondary school students’ achievement in external examinations in the state. In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, only 25.99%, 24.94%, 30.99% and 25.76% of candidates respectively obtained credits in five subjects including English language and Mathematics (Kurumeh & Imoko, 2009; Moseai, Onwuka & Iweka 2010; and Iyi 2012); which are the minimum entry requirements for admission into institutions of higher learning. This poor achievement seemingly could be attributed to many factors. These factors may include school type, location and emotional intelligence of the students that invariably have direct effect on the adolescents’ intelligent quotient (IQ) (Goleman, 1995).

In recent time, it is believed that intelligence quotient (IQ) is not the only type of intelligence that affects students’ success (Goleman, 1995). New theories of intelligence have been introduced and are gradually replacing the traditional theory. These new theories focus not only reasoning capacities, but also on creativity emotions and interpersonal skills of the learners. The multiple intelligence theory (Gardner,1983) and the emotional intelligence



theory (Mayor & Salovery,2002 and Goleman, 1995) provide theoretical evidence of different intelligence that may affect the achievement of students. IQ alone is no more the only measure for success, emotional intelligence, social intelligence and luck also play a big role in a person’s success, (Goleman, 1995).

Apart from the traditional IQ, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is seen by researchers to possess the ability to fully explain performance outcomes (Gardner, 2003). Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide ones thinking and actions (Mayor & Salovery, 2002). Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meaning of emotion and their relationships and to reason and solve problem. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion - related feelings, understand the information of those emotions and manage them. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to create positive outcomes in relationships with others and with oneself (Ktyal and Awasthis, 2005).

Emotional intelligence represents an ability to validly reason with emotions and to use emotions to enhance thought. Emotional intelligence encompasses the following five characteristics. (Goleman,1995) knowing one’s own emotions by recognizing feelings as they occur and discriminating between them; mood management which entails handling feelings so that they will be relevant to the current situations and reacting appropriately; motivating oneself by “gathering up” your feelings and directing yourself towards a goal, despite self doubt, inertia, and impulsiveness; empathy by recognizing emotions in others and managing relationship by handling interpersonal interactions, and conflict resolutions. Emotional intelligence has further been explained as a concept that captures collection of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills (Gardner, Cited in Fernandeiz- Berrocal & Extremera, 2008).



Interpersonal skills consist of the ability to understand the feelings of others, empathize, maintain and develop interpersonal relationships and above all, a sense of responsibility. For instance, facial expressions of others, body languages and movements, body contacts as well as eye contacts. On the other hand, intrapersonal skills comprise the ability to understand one’s own motivations (Gardner cited in Katyal and Awasthi, 2005). According to Goleman (1995), everyone needs emotional intelligence to make through the social emotional challenges people face in life. Katyal and Awatshi (2005) also noted that emotional intelligence plays key role in determining life success. The ability to manage emotions effectively appears to be important for success in school life and achievement. Emotional intelligence in this study can be perceived as a type of intelligence that reflects a person’s ability to relate with one another and manage their feelings and emotions very well. It is a person’s ability to possess good interpersonal relationship, identity, regulate emotions and manage one’s feelings, mood and emotions successfully.

There are different levels of emotional intelligence. These include high level, moderate level and low level. Research has shown that students with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to perform better in tasks requiring emotions than those with low emotional intelligence skills. To buttress this fact, Richardson (2002) observed that high emotional intelligence among students is characterized by quality social relationship with peers and teachers, long retention in education system and better academic performance, feeling of emotional security, and exhibition of pro-social behaviours. In support of this assertion, Adeyemo (2005) noted that emotional intelligence seems to have profound influence on the students’ academic achievement. Petrides, Sangareau, Furuham and Frederickson (2006) explained that children with high emotional intelligence are more positively viewed by their peers and teachers as having more pro-social behaviours and less



aggressive behaviours. Qualter, Whiterley, Hutchinson and Pope (2007), further supported this position that students with greater emotional intelligence are more likely to cope better in school work, have better academic results, better self assessment and better behaviour when compared with those having low emotional intelligence. There is the notion that having high level emotions and feelings helps students to achieve and give their best in the classroom (Fazura & Ghazli, 2003). In other words, any stress on the affective domain of the learners would influence their cognitive domain in the classroom. Therefore, teaching emotional and social skills at school is important as these skills have long term influence on achievement. According to a report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programmes (2012), the most critical elements for students in school is an understanding of how to learn. The key ingredients for this understanding are confidence, curiosity, intentionality, self-control, related needs, capacity to communicate and ability to cooperate. These traits are all aspects of emotional intelligence.

It is believed that people who manage their own feelings well and deal effectively with others are more likely to live content lives (Ellis & Harper, 1998). Ellis further added that happy people are more apt to retain information and do so more effectively than people who are not satisfied with themselves. There has been so much theory on emotional intelligence but there is apparently little research done in Nigeria on emotional intelligence and the academic achievement of secondary school adolescents.

Therefore, there is the need to determine the influence of emotional intelligence vis-a-vis academic achievement. There are some other variables that influence academic achievements of secondary school adolescents. They include type and location of school. There are single sex and co-educational schools. The single sex school has either male or female alone in the school as students, while the co-educational school has both male and



female students in one school. Malcove (2007) observed that girls found it easier to contribute to real discussion without being ridiculed in a single gender setting. Equally Eisenkopt, Hessami, Fischbacher and Ursprung (2012) found that single sex classes improve the performance of female students in Mathematics. In a study by Kessels and Hannover (2008), they found that girls from single sex physics classes reported a better physics self-concept of ability than girls from co-educational classes. Single sex school was found to have helped many students or adolescents to gain a better self concept of ability in school subjects that are considered inappropriate for their own sex. Acer (2008) noted that girls attending single sex school are seen to have produced higher tertiary entrance scores than those in co-educational school.

Proponents of single-sex schools argue that these schools allow girls to flourish in a way that co-educational schools may not. It has been noted that girls in single sex schools with single sex programme achieve higher learning, display more self-confidence and leadership skills and enter male dominated field at a higher rate (Ferrara, 2005; Smyth, 2010). The positive effect of single-sex schools remain substantial even after taking into account various school-level variables such as teacher quality, the student-teacher ratio, the proportion of students receiving lunch support and whether the school are public or private (Park, Barshman & Roborts 2002). It is clear that proponents of both single sex school and co educational schools may have points that favour their type of school.

Location of school is another important moderating variable which may also influence the academic achievement of the students. Barry (2005) maintained that test scores will increase if the necessary environmental factors are available which can directly or indirectly influence scores that students may achieve in school. Interpersonal skills and internal motivation are socially oriented and the location of school can influence the exercise of these



emotional skills. Therefore location of school can influence not only how a student can respond emotionally, but the academic achievement of such student. The study of influence of school location when emotional intelligence is considered on the academic achievement of secondary school adolescents is important. Urban schools have advantages over rural schools due to the availability of some basic amenities in urban schools such as good classroom blocks and teachers because of the concentration of people. However, in rural schools students may have more concentration in their academic work because they have less distraction compared to their counterparts in the urban schools. Many studies have been done to investigate how location influences academic achievement. Some of the findings were positive about the influence of school location on academic achievement. While some of the research findings show the differences in achievement between urban and rural school in favour of urban school, some others maintained that rural schools were better in academic achievement. These studies did not explore the influence of location when the emotional intelligence of the learners are considered.

Therefore, it is important to examine the influence of variables such as emotional intelligence, location and type of school on students achievement in Mathematics and English language.

Statement of the Problem

The aim of going to school is for the students to achieve success in their education and be useful to the society at large. The issue of low academic achievement of senior secondary school adolescents in Nigeria, and in Enugu state, in Mathematics and English language is not quite favourable. In the area of the study, it is worrisome that the achievement of students in external examinations are declining steadily. This situation has become a source of concern to teachers, parents, evaluators and researchers. It is believed that if the



achievement of students continue to decline unabated, it may affect the economic and technological growth of the nation. However, many factors could be attributed to the poor achievement of the students in external examinations. Such factors may include: emotional intelligent, school type and location of the school.

For sometimes now, students’ achievement has been explained mainly in terms of their cognitive ability. Indeed, this cognitive ability does not actually measure all round (crystallized) intelligence of an individual student. More so, the in-school adolescents in the education zone were previously known for their high level of discipline, docility, obedience, good character and commitment to educational activities. But in recent times, poor academic performance, high level of indiscipline in the schools, hooliganism, cultism, and examination malpractices among students in the education zone have been observed to be on the increase.

However, the whole person has now become the centre of concern, not only their reasoning capacity but also their creativity, interpersonal skills and emotions. Recent theories reveal that there are variables other than IQ that may influence students’ academic achievement in school. They include emotional intelligence, school type and location. Although studies to find out the influence of school type and location on academic achievement of secondary school adolescents have been conducted with contradictory result, less effort has been made on determining the influence of emotional intelligent on students achievement. There is no study to the best knowledge of the researcher that sought to determine the influence of emotional intelligence, school type and location on students’ achievement in Mathematics and English language in Nsukka Education zone.

The problem of the study in question form is” what is the influence of emotional intelligence, school type and location on academic achievement of in-school adolescents in Nsukka Educational Zone of Enugu State, Nigeria?



Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to determine the influence of emotional intelligence, school type and location on academic achievement in Mathematics and English language, of senior secondary school adolescents in Nsukka Education Zone. Specifically, the study sought to determine, the influence of;

1.      emotional intelligence on the academic achievements of in-school adolescents.

2.      school type on academic achievement of in-school adolescents.

3.      school location on academic achievement of in-school adolescents.

4.      emotional intelligence and school type on academic achievements of students.

5.      emotional intelligence and school location on academic achievements of students

Significance of the Study

The study is theoretically significant because it will provide further insight into the construct of emotional intelligence. The findings when published could arouse or increase the interest of some researchers in the field. These researchers could use the results to improve understanding and provide more information on emotional intelligence in respect of its relationships with location, type of school and achievement. The findings of the study would also be useful to teachers, curriculum planners and policy makers.

It is expected that the results of this study would help the researchers to come to terms and better understanding of the influence of emotional intelligence, school type and location on academic ac

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