The hue and cry about the falling standard of Education in Nigeria has raised questions to the possible causes. One of such was this study of impact of age on academic performance. The aim was to collect data on age and academic performance in internal examination and to ascertain if there is any impact or relationship between the duo. The alternative hypothesis which stated that there is relationship between age and academic was accepted. The study population was students of senior secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom. The sample size was 2000. It was forms that age is not a prerequisite to make a student better of academically provided concrete operational stage as stated by piaget is reached. Perception is a yardstick for better academically. It was also revealed that academic performance is a natural endowment.
· BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There has been lots of hues and cry on the falling standard of Education in the country. Lots of factors have been pin-pointed as being of direct impact on the performance of students. Such include the language of communication the child background (socio-economic), the environment and the availability of physical learning infrastructures.
In a bid to know how a child learns, piaget, Bruner, skinner, etc came up with different schools of thought and theories of learning in piagets work, he specified the level of mental activities a child can do at different age brackets.
1. Sensori – Motor stage (0 – 2 years)
2. Preoperational stage – (2 – 7 years)
3. Concrete operational stage – ( 7 – 11 years)
4. Formal operational stage – (12 – 15 years) cited by NTI (2002, p.20)
Textbook on Educational Psychology
This simply tells that activities which a child can perform relate to age. This study therefore wants to determine whether the current decadents is due to underage of the students in respect to their classes.
In Ibiono Ibom, the number of students who do pass mathematics and other logical subjects are usually few. There is improvement in terms of facilities but the trend of performance has not reciprocate the improvement. We do expect to determine the impact of age on their performance assuming other factors are met.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There are lots of problems bothering the development of Education in Nigeria. Some are latent while others are so outstanding to be noticed. Whether latent or outstanding, they have impacts on our educational system.
Cognitive development theory of Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980) believes that children’s learning abilities were determined prior to their birth. That is hereditary is the sole determinant (NTI 2000) ED p.118-122, Pshy
Arnold Gessel said that understanding the cognitive development (Intelligence) of a learner is by understanding the growth process of the individual. This emphasis is on age.
Therefore, this study is to investigate the impacts of age on the academic performance of students in Ibiono Ibom.
· PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This work aims at:
· Collecting data on academic performance and ages of students in schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
· Comparing the performance of students of the same age with the same class and among schools
· Comparing the academic performance of students of similar age in difference classes
· Making inference on the relationship or no relationship of age to academic performance of students.
· Making recommendations to stakeholders in Educational systems
· RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Does age affect/relate with academic performance?
2. Do students’ ages at entry into secondary schools in consonance with the 13 years stated by Government?
3. Could academic performance of students improve if age of entry into secondary school is raised to 15 years?
4. Do older students perform better than younger ones in the same class?
· HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
1a: Ho: The Null hypothesis of this study states that there is no positive impact of age on the academic performance.
1. Hi: The Alternative Hypothesis: There is positive impact of age on academic performance
· SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to make findings into the poor performance of students in schools given the huge financial investment by the various stakeholders.
Other researchers have worked on cognitive ability development and factors affecting it but little if any has been done on impact of age. Considering the fact that children at time resume nursery schools at age one.
The findings become road map to making useful recommendations and arriving at tentative factual statements.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study covers schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. Students in senior secondary section were used. The number of schools studied were those in Ibiono Eastern and Central as permitted by time and finance. Both sexes were considered.
Cumulative academic performance and progressive performance were assessed. For students who stayed for a term, their scores and grades in terminal examination were used and the rating were as specified by WAEC.
The academic performances were studied using the students and of term results and or and of year results.
1.8 DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL TERMS
1. Academic Performance: The cognitive ability of students in terms of passing performing well in continuous assessment / terminal examination.
2. Impact: Effect which is exerted on something by some other agent. It could be positive or negative effect.
3. Continuous assessment: Periodic means of evaluating progress in academic work. It forms part of the end of term’s work.
4. Age: This is a measure of how old a student is. It is measured in years.[email protected]
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