1.1 Background of the Study
Teaching is a very complex activity that is affected by the subject matter, the time available, the teachers factor, the disposition of the learners and resources. A distinction can be made between the pedagogical perspectives of teaching which includes the selection and organization of teaching material, method of organization of teaching materials, method of instruction and assessment as well as the interpersonal relationship between teachers and students.
There are essential interpersonal relationship between teachers and students. Since teachers prefer a disciplined environment for learning, whereas others want to create a pleasant classroom atmosphere where students feel safe to take risks and be creative. (Roselland Aelterman 2006).Success in any worthwhile endeavor may be contingent upon certain critical variables or factors. This can also be said of student’s performance in school. Good achievement in schooling would be the affective (attitude) and psychomotor domains. Adodo (2005) argued that one key overriding factor for the success of overall performance in their academic pursuit is the teacher. In the same vein, Ibrahim (2000) believed that teacher’s qualification level and exposure can go a long way to bringing a discernible difference in the quality of students produced. Ademulegun (2011) argued that students taught by more qualified and experienced teachers in terms of knowledge of the subject matter perform better than those taught by less qualified but experienced teachers.
The educational analysis undertaken in Nigeria by the Federal Government through the instrumentality of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS, 2005) indicate that more than forty nine percent (49%) of the teachers in Nigeria are unqualified. This sport-lighted the quality of workers constituting the teaching profession in various school subjects in the secondary school in Nigeria. The teachers responsible for teaching social studies as a subject in the various Junior Secondary Schools would probably be among the said over forty percent unqualified teachers. As important as knowledge of Social Studies in providing them with the necessary skills for social, cultural, and economic integration in the society, it appears student’s achievement in this subject at the secondary school level in dwindling than in the other related subjects.
The teachers’ instrument (TI), teachers’ attitude (TA), teachers’ qualifications (TQ), teachers’ workload (TW), in terms of number of students handled by teachers and the experience possessed by teachers (TE), teaching the subject as a subjects coupled with the students’ attitude (SA) toward the subject may be responsible in part of the downward trend in achievement observed in the results of the students in the subject. (Ogunboyede, 2011).
Attitude as a factor could be viewed as a totality of an individual’s inclination towards object, institution or idea. The learner from the teachers’ disposition to form attitude towards learning which could positively or negatively affect his or her performance. Teachers’ effectiveness may be prime determinant of performance in the subject. Ineffective teaching in secondary schools arises probably from the quality of teachers recruited to teach. In many secondary schools, subjects are taught by people who are neither interested or qualified in teaching the subject. Secondary schools teachers need to be professionally qualified to enable them work effectively with pupils in stimulating and directing their growth in the desired directions.
Studies have also shown that teachers’ experience exerts a great influence on the academic achievement of students’. Ademulegun (2011) argued that a good foundation is necessary to attract more students while Oke (2003) stressed that performance in separate subjects at the junior secondary school may be due to the foundation laid on Social Studies learnt at the elementary and junior secondary levels. Ilugbusi, Falola and Daramola (2007) showed that teaching experience in external examination such as West African Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), National Examination Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Education Examination (NABTEB) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Researchers have carried out studies on teachers’ demographic variables as age, experience, gender, attitude and students’ academic performance as they influence students’ academic performance. A significant relationship exists between teachers’ variables such as gender, area of specialization, possession of academic qualification in education and the learning outcomes of secondary school students. It was also found out that there is no significant relationship between teachers’ qualifications and students’ achievement at senior secondary school certificate level. The main goal of this research study was to carry out an assessment of teacher variables and the performance of junior secondary students in Social Studies in selected secondary school in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The persistent problem of poor performance of students in Social Studies at the Junior Secondary level remains very worrisome to stakeholders in the state and Nigeria in general. Scholars have attributed the problem to poor handling of the subject by inexperienced teachers who are not well versed in the subject as well as in classroom dynamics. It has been suggested that the demand of the syllabus is so high that only experienced teachers who can teach the subject effectively by employing various strategies and tactics to carry the learners along should be made to handle it at this level of education for better result.
From the above, it is observed that previous studies have centred attention mainly on investigating the differences or relationship between individual (single) teachers’ variables and students’ academic achievement. Apparently further studies are required to investigate the combined contribution of teachers’ qualification (TQ), teachers’ attitude (TA), teachers’ workload (TW), teachers experience (TE) and students’ attitude (SA) towards students’ academic achievement at the junior secondary level. This study therefore, sought to investigate how well academic achievement in Social Studies at the junior secondary level could be explained by the combined influence of teachers’ qualification, teachers’ workload, teachers’ experience, teachers’ attitude, students’ attitude and teachers’ instrument.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The overall objective of this study was to determine the extent to which teachers’ variables relate with students’ performance in junior secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, the study aimed at determining the relationship between:
- Teachers’ educational qualifications and students’ performance in Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area.
- Teachers’ teaching experience and students’ performance in Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area.
- Teachers’ workload and student’s performance in Social Studies in junior secondary school in Uruan Local Government Area.
- Teachers’ attitude and students’ performance in Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were stated to guide the study:
- What is the relationship between teachers’ educational qualifications and students’ academic performance in Social Studies in junior secondary school in Uruan Local Government Area?
- To what extent do teachers’ educational experience relate with students’ performance in Social Studies in junior secondary school in Uruan Local Government Area.
- How do teachers’ age affect the performance of students; in Social Studies in junior secondary school in Uruan Local Government Area?
The following hypotheses were stated to guide the study;
Ho: There is no significant correlation between teachers’ experience and the performance of students’ in Social Studies.
Ho: There is no significant correlation between teachers’ educational qualifications and the achievement of students in Social Studies.
Ho: There is no significant correlation between teachers’ age and the performance of students in Social Studies.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The teachers’ related variables have been identified as factors that are linked to Students academic achievement in all subjects especially at the secondary school level (Darling Hammond 2000, & Wenglinky 2002). This study adds to the literature of researches on the relationship between teachers’ variables and students’ achievement in Social Studies.
First of all, this study is timely in the light of recent concern about teachers’ quality and its influence on students’ academic achievement in Nigerian secondary schools. Many of these concerns draw attention to such issues as the professional training teachers receive and the qualification of teachers who teach a specified subject (Social Studies in particular), since teachers certification, pedagogical content knowledge and subject knowledge have been identified as important element of teachers effectiveness and students achievement.
Thus the research findings will be relevant to the Ministry of Education as they reveal the underlying factors toward spoor performance in Social Studies. Secondly, the result of the research will help the teacher to identify their strengths and weaknesses and a desire to improve upon their weaknesses.
Thirdly, this study will help policy makers and researchers in the sense that this study will expose teachers’ characteristics that influence students’ performance and serve to encourage policymakers to arrest the problem through seminars and workshops, while offering researchers opportunity to find lasting solution to the problem through further research.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to junior secondary III students in Uruan Local Government Area. It is also delimited to the study and examination of teachers’ variables with particular references to teachers’ qualification age, and attitude on students’ academic performance.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is to carry out an assessment on teachers’ variables and the performance of students in Social Studies in selected secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The study was limited by unavailability of sufficient funds for collecting data and lack of proper data kept by the management of visited secondary schools during the period of this study. Some teachers and principals were reluctant to give information concerning their qualification and age. This study was also limited by time and space.
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