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The attitude of students towards teaching as a profession in secondary school in owerri municipal council of imo state


The study focused on attitude of secondary school students towards teaching as a profession in Owerri Municipal Council. The purpose of the study is to determine the salary related factors that discourage students from choosing teaching as a career. Four research questions guided the study. The study is a descriptive survey design, the population of the study was 500.

A simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample size of 220. A structured questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. Mean () statistics was used for data analysis. The findings includes; salary related factors discourage students from choosing teaching as a career, parental, service condition and existing teacher status discourage students from choosing teaching as a career. Recommendation includes Government should motivate and fund school by adequately providing salaries as at when due to teachers, conclusion and summary was reached and suggestion for further studies was also include.




1.1 Background of the Study

Government is constantly seeking ways to improving the standard of education to suit the changing world. Time has gone when education is strictly on logic and the training of the intellect. Today, the emphasis is on holistic education that prepares the child to fit into the technological oriented world. Attitudes are the best predictor for estimation of student’s success (Hendrickson, O. 2000). attitude are acquired through learning and can be changed through learning and persuasion using variety of techniques. Attitudes, once established, help to shape the experiences the individual has with object, subject or person. Although attitude changes gradually, people constancy form new attitude and modify old ones when they are exposed to new information and new experiences.

Attitude towards teaching means a person’s feelings, behaviours and commitment to the teaching. If the student is committed and has positive attitude then it is sure that his performance will be better and efforts will be fruitful. (Adesina and Akinbobola, 2005). Explained, that the more the individual actively participates in a learning process, the better he assimilates and retains the learnt skills (Ali, 2002). Assert, that both formal and informal learning are imparted by teachers.

Therefore, teachers have important roles in the achievement of educational roles in the country. Vividly, the contributions of teacher to the achievement of education in many countries are not to be neglected. Despite the efforts that teachers make in impacting knowledge into our young generation, different people have categorized teachers and teaching profession as irrelevant figures and occupation respectively in our society. They have failed to realize that the proper growth of young people in a rapidly changing world (e.g Nigeria) that requires the development of habits of rational thinking and use of educational approaches to solve problems are the products of teachers, that is teachers have not been professionally recognized.

Teaching as a career in Nigeria has never been so fantastic because of some negative attitudes towards teaching exhibited by all classes of people. The secondary school student’s currently represent a greater % of the total student’s population in Nigeria Magasam (2009; 5) said.

“Over the years, since I picked up teaching as a career, I  have had occasions to ponder many time over whether the true significance of school education is realized by most of those who participate in effecting it, whether the teachers, the pupils, their parents and guardians, or the state officials, involved are deeply conscious of real importance to what is going on in the schools early enough in my professional career, I was startled by the reaction of some of my colleagues that I would get startled by in the classroom with inquisitive  student while they would return to be my boos elsewhere”.

Many people shared the above view because the career is looked at as both miserable and frustrating, thus those who are already in the field know it as a are a gate way to a better career.

Adejumost (2000; 65) has this to say about the teaching career.

“The traditional frustration that is associate with teaching has made many teachers use it as a launching pad to scout for other jobs, that an engineer who became a teacher when he was not expecting much from the hob when he was coming, and that he would have immediately the economy improves”.

Supporting this view, Magasam (2009; 44) maintained that:

“Teachers are among the lowest paid professionals in the would, hence they are so down trodden. Even when their colleagues come to political power, either by election or by dint of hard work and preferment, it has always proved so difficult to upgrade them en masse because of sheer number and the discriminating qualificants involved. The future stated that the teacher taught the doctors, the layers the engineer, the professors, the kings, or Queen and the Judges, he lays the moral foundation the good citizenship, the foremost architect nation building. 

Attitude of student largely depends upon their personal characteristics and disposition, both seems to be highly interlinked. Teaching is a profession, which exacts service above the personal gains (Gooding’s et al, 2005).

Teaching involves human nurturance, connectedness, warmth and love (Hargreaves, 2004) attitude of student have also been determined to be influenced by gender (Dodeen, 2003). They found that female students have more positive attitude towards teaching profession as compared to male teachers.

Teaching is perceived as a difficult job among people many reasons can be named for this perception. It can be said that students face several difficulties when they want to choose the profession. They start to feel deprived, alone and Isolated in the society. This may course a negative attitude towards the teaching profession attitudes of students play a crucial role in the teaching profession. Negative attitude of a student may have a negative. Impact on his/her learning ability.

Teaching is actually one of the oldest professions. It is true that requirement for entrance into the teaching profession have not always been as those for some other professions.

The quality of education is deteriorating. It can hardly be challenged by anyone.

Taiwo (2000) has observed that the teaching profession had gone down on the scale of respectability.

Omoregie (2004) reported that the majority of students does not possess positive attitude toward the profession. The teaching profession has considerably suffered, as it could not attract the best talent because of the poor pay scales, limited prospects of promotion and insecurity of service, particularly in private institutions.

In the past, people who would not tolerate the nerve racking teaching career found themselves in other Professions but today such channels are blocked due to the harsh economic conditions.

Colin (2001) capped it all by saying that teaching has never been a career for anyone who expects there to be predictable and routine.

1.2 Statement of Problem

In view of this research topic, the changing attitude of students towards teaching and the general trend in technological development in our world today pose a great threat to teaching profession as a career. The negligence of the government towards teaching profession has equally made the profession a third choice of career for potential teachers. The teaching career is facing more hard times to compare their colleagues in other fields the problem among other things includes the problem of reward-system for teachers as compared to their colleagues in other profession, the profession has lost its old held prestige and social recognition among secondary students. It is upon these backdrops that this research tends to find solution by identifying the attitudes of secondary school students towards teaching as a career in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State.

1.3 Main Research Question

What factors influence the choice of teaching as profession among high school students in Imo State of Nigeria?

1.4.1 Sub research questions

The study was guided by the following sub-research questions:

  1. What is the level of family influence on choosing teaching as a profession?
  2. What is the impact of gender on choosing teaching as a profession?
  3. To what extent does the school influence students on choosing teaching as a profession?  

1.4 Objectives Of Study

In trying to investigate the factors that influence the choice of teaching as profession, the study sought to:

  1. investigate the level of family influence on choosing teaching as a profession;
  2. determine the impact of gender on choosing teaching as a profession;
  3. establish whether the school environment influences career pathways;


1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of this study will be beneficial to the following levels of individuals, the Government, teachers, already in the filed of teaching, parents and potential teacher (that is student).

The findings of this study will call the attention of the government on the need to provide adequate teaching aids, infrastructures, good teaching environment and good condition of services, in order to make teaching profession interesting and attractive.

The findings of the study will also reveal to practicing teachers the need to upgrade their competencies in the field to enable meet up with the current demands of the profession. It will equally make the teachers to regain their old held prestige as the mother of every other discipline.

The findings will reveal to the parents the worth and importance of teaching profession as a saleable career in our today’s society.  And to other researcher who may wish to research on the related topic or within the scope of this research, it serve as secondary material.

1.6 Limitations

The following limitations were anticipated in this study:

  1. Since the study was only carried out in only one state, the results may not be generalisable to the whole country. The researcher collected data on his own without research assistants.
  2. Financial constraints were also anticipated in the current study. Although the researcher received assistance from the bursary, it was not possible to carry out the study at national level.
  3. The researcher is a full time employee so time to carry out the study was limited.


The study was carried out in the Imo State of Nigeria focusing on the factors that influence the career pathways among high schools students. Focus was on students in both urban and rural schools and the school counsellors of the selected schools.


1.8.1 Career

According to Arnold (1997:21), a career is a sequence of employment related positions, roles, actions and experiences. A career defines how one sees oneself in the context of one’s social environment, in terms of one’s future plans, one’s past accomplishments or failures and one’s present competences and attributes (Raynor & Entin, 1982:262). UNESCO (2002:4) defined a career as the interaction of work roles and other life roles over a person’s lifespan including both paid and unpaid work. Career is also seen as the progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, especially related to that person’s occupations (Oloasebikan & Olusakin, 2014:44). In this study, the term “career” refers to any type of professional engagement students pursue whether paid or unpaid.

1.8.2 Career guidance

Career guidance is defined as a set of multiple processes, techniques or services designed to assist an individual to understand and to act on self-knowledge and knowledge of opportunities in work, education and leisure and to develop the decision making skills by which to create and manage his or her own career development (Herr, Cramer & Niles, 1996:44). In this study, career guidance refers to services intended to assist people to make informed career decisions

1.8.3 Career counselling

Career counselling is referred to as helping to bring about self-understanding, understanding of the career concerns involved and behavioural options available (Herr et al., 1996:44). In this study, career counselling means a verbal process in which a professional counsellor and counselee are in a dynamic collaborative relationship to solve career problems.

1.8.4 Career Path

According to Herr et al. (1996:44), the term is typically used in business and industry to describe a series of positions available in some occupational or specialised work area, ordinarily connoting possibilities for advancement. In this study, career path was used to denote the way that individuals achieve something or the way that their life develops. The term pathway was used interchangeably with career choice in this study.


1.8.5 Gender

Feldman (2009:349) defined gender as a state of being a male or female as expressed by social or cultural distinctions and differences rather than biological ones. In this study, gender is defined as a state of being male or female as defined by society.

1.8.6 Family

Berns (2010:77) defined family as two or more persons related by birth, marriage or adoption who reside together. In this study, a family can either be nuclear or extended or the guardians of the student.


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