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THE EFFECT OF NOISE AND SELECTIVE ATTENTION ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN JOS NORTH LGA OF PLATEAU STATE

ABSTRACT

Different noise distractions contribute to poor performance in the schools in this area and necessitated the need to investigate on the noise distraction affecting the academic results in NECO. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between noise distraction, and selective attention and how they all influence the academic performance of the students. Descriptive survey design was used. The target populations were students, and teachers from public secondary schools in Jos North LGA. Stratified random sampling was used in selecting the population sample. Instruments for data collection were questionnaires for teachers and students. Data was collected in selected schools in the LGA using the questionnaire designed. The data was then processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Piloting of the instruments was done at Makongo secondary School. The results were intended to guide stakeholders in improving the noise distraction with a view to improving student’s performance. From the study findings, the study concluded that the major factors hindering students’ performance were lack of noice prevention facilities, lack of adequate noise distraction, very high TPR. The participatory method of teaching by the teachers served to enhance the noise distraction as the students were part of the learning process. The noise distraction at students’ homes was not conducive for learning which contributed to poor performance. The family that the students came from played a significant role in enhancing the academic performance of the students. The noise distraction at home was highly non-conducive for learning and therefore the students’ performance was negatively affected.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

All experts of education and educational psychology of teaching and learning agree that effective education depends on having a goal, the appropriateness of the physical and social environment of class, motivation of teachers and students for teaching and learning, the students’ cognitive, emotional and motor preparation, sound management of class by teachers, their mastery over the subject, and their passion for their work and the students’ progress. The teacher try to create a perfect environment for learning to learn prevent the formation of behavior and nuisance factors (1). The learning environment dramatically affects the learning outcomes of students. Noise, inappropriate temperature, insufficient light, overcrowded classes, misplaced boards and inappropriate classroom layout make up factors that could be confounding variables distracting students in class (2).

Noise refers to sounds that hinder an individual’s ability to listen to what they want or need to hear (3). Classroom background noise can arise from several possible sources, including external noise (such as traffic noise), internal noise (students running in corridors), and room noise, such as students talking (4). Studies have shown that noise has direct negative effects on student learning, with language and reading development particularly affected (1, 5-8). There are also, problems related to attention, memory and motivation (9). In order to compensate for the noise level in classrooms, teachers often have to speak loudly while teaching. Such a speaking habit is known to be a risk factor that may lead to voice disorders in teachers (10). It is crucial to address the background noise in classrooms so that both students and teachers may learn and work in a healthy environment. In Ahvaz metropolitan, high-density, the lack of empty spaces, poor communication network and, the most importantly, ill conceived planning, have all led to the development of educational spaces regardless of location, proximity, spread and compatibility principles and criteria. In addition to the failure to comply with the principle of equal and fair access of student population to educational spaces, this problem reduces the students’ comfort, efficiency, and health and safety on one hand, and creates numerous problems for students, teachers and citizens on the other. In the latest study assessing the location of training centers in Ahwaz using Boolean logic, it was shown that 63% of junior high schools of Ahvaz were in the wrong location in terms of location criteria. Also, among different educational districts of Ahvaz, Education District 2 and District 3, were respectively the most and the least favorable educational centers in terms of their optimization of their locations (11). In Iran, in the area of comparing the current situation of educational environment with international standards as well as on the impact of physical factors on the educational achievement of students in schools, several studies have been conducted. Some of these studies include Karen et al. (12), Karami et al. (13), Moeinpour et al. (14), Chiang et al. (15), Mills (16), DiSarno et al. (17), Zannin et al. (18-21), Kruger et al. (22), Lewinski et al. (23), Dockrell et al. (24), and Wagemans et al. (25).

Education is the infrastructure of any social, economic, political, and cultural development in any society. Examining the factors affecting the development and progress of modern societies shows that all these countries have qualified education. Also in each educational system, many factors act together to ensure the academic achievement of students. Every part of the system should be prepared in such a way that access to optimal efficiency and targets be achieved, because if one part of the system stops, the performance of other components can be reduced and damaged.

 

 

Classroom Environment

The study of classroom environment is of great significance as learning is the outcome of this environment. As an agent of intellectual stimulation, conducive classroom environment is an important factor in strengthening the child’s level of education. This leads to considerable significance to the study of critical issues of classroom teaching. The method of dealing with the class, curricular subjects and the behavior of the teachers are some of the factors which make the classroom environment favorable or unfavorable, as gratifying or discouraging to the student. The kind of academic climate in school and among students promotes either a positive or a negative attitude towards their work at school. The negative attitudes are bound to have a strong influence on their academic performance and manifest themselves in undesirable behavior such as inattentiveness and truancy which in turn further affects their academic achievements. Academic achievement is dependent on school noise distraction as well as home noise distraction (Upadhyay 1983).

 

According to Najike (2002) in his study in Papua, New Guinea, noise distraction plays an important role in the academic achievement of school children. The success or failure of school children greatly depends on the quality of classroom environment and social climate. Bradley et al (1988) studied home environment and found out that there was significant correlation between home environment and the children’s achievement, test scores and their classroom behavior. According to Shah and Shamah (1984) in their study on the effects of family climate of students’ academic achievement, revealed that highly significant and positive relationship existed between the variables, family climate and academic achievement.

 

Physical Factors

Health, visual and physical defects, nutrition and physical development affect the learning process. Malnutrition interferes with the whole aspects of personality of a child. This will affect the visual, auditory as well as the physical health of a child that will alter his ability to learn and concentrate (Menmott, Jay and Brennan: 1998).

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

By considering and analyzing inputs such as physical variables, planning can be made more consciously. In addition to physical factors, there are other variables that affect learning and academic achievement, and by doing research in this regard, we can detect their effects. When education systems do not have the necessary information in such basic fields, correct performance cannot be expected in various fields of education. On the other hand, in applied areas, understanding environmental factors affecting the educational process and considering them in planning increases mental health of students and reduces their stress, resulting in enhanced educational performance. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of noise in educational institutions on the academic achievement of elementary school students in academic year 2015- 2016 in Ahvaz, Iran.

According to National Examination results in National Examination Council 2012 Jos North LGA did not appear among the top ten schools in the State neither did it produce the top candidate so this necessitated the need to investigate to ascertain the impact of noise distraction on student academic performance. This poor performance may be attributed to unfriendly noise distraction. It’s in this context that this study investigated the effects of noise distraction of student’s performance in Jos North LGA of Plateau State.

 

1.3         Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to investigate how noise distraction influences students’ academic performance in National Examination Council (NECO) in Jos North LGA of Plateau State.

 

1.4         Objectives of the Study

To investigate the relationship between noise distraction and selective attention on students’ academic performance. The study sought to fulfill the following objectives;

  1. To examine the relationship between noise distraction and students’ academic
  2. To investigate the relationship between the selective attention and student’s
  3. To examine the relationship between school environment and student’s academic

 

1.5         Research Questions

  1. Is there any relationship between noise distraction and student academic performance?
  2. Is there any relationship between selective attention and student’s performance?
  3. Does the schhol environment have any relationship with student’s academic performance

 

1.6         Significance of the Study

The results of the study may add to the existing body of knowledge on the factors that contribute to poor performance of students in local and national examinations. More specifically the study may assist the government with policy recommendations that may be applied to improve noise distraction in many public secondary schools in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. This may be through provision of resources and facilities which make the noise distraction favorable hence make the schools child friendly.

The result may also help in unearthing the psychological or home factors that hinder or facilitate learning and make appropriate policy interventions.

 

The study may also propose solutions to the psychological and home factors that hinder learning hence seeking to improve performance, attitude and the social concern of the stakeholders like parents and teachers.

 

1.7         The Delimitations of the Study

The study was confined to public secondary schools in Jos North LGA because in many of these schools the noise distraction is not academic friendly. This is because many classes are not secured and children suffer from strong winds, dust and cold. The unfriendly noise distraction in these schools prompted the researcher to do this research.

 

1.8         Limitations of the Study

The study was limited to one LGA in the State. All the other LGAs should have been studied but due to constrain in time and money it was not possible. This being one of the LGAs with many schools it’s expected to be a good sample of the study. Transport from one school to another was also a limitation due to poor infrastructure. The weather conditions may be a problem among many others. To overcome these challenges the researcher used motorbikes to hasten the process.

 

1.9         Organization of the study

In chapter one the following were covered: background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions, significance, limitations, delimitation and definition of significant terms used in the study. Chapter two, looks at what noise distraction is and how environment affects the student’s performance. The chapter explores the different variables that constitute to a noise distraction that is the psychological, social and economic as well as home environment.

 

In chapter three the following are included under research methodology: research design, target population, sample and sampling design, research instruments, instrument reliability, instrument validity, data collection procedure, data analysis techniques and operationalization of variables. Chapter four presents data analysis and interpretation while chapter five presents summary of findings, conclusions and recommendation.

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