This study examines the effects of individual differences on students’ performance in biology. Random sampling technique was used to select 100 students (50 males and 50 females) such that 20 students were selected from five secondary schools each. The sampled schools were from Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State. The study in addition to the main objective sought to look into among other things, the effects of the following on students’ performance. The use of graduate and NCE teachers, difference in parental background affect the students’ performance socio-economic background, students’ attitude towards biology, availability of well equipped laboratory facilities and teachers years of experience. Descriptive and chi-square statistics were used to analyze the results obtained from the field. Findings revealed that students taught by graduate teachers perform better than their counterparts taught by NCE teachers. Also parental in the area of provision of basic tools for studying and students taught with a well equipped laboratory facilities performed better than their counterparts in schools without laboratories. Findings also revealed that years of experience of teachers play important roles in the academic performance of biology students as evidenced from the results.
The finding therefore recommended that government should make efforts in recruiting graduate and experience teachers to teach biology in schools. Also, biology laboratory should be equipped to enhance effective practical teachings. However, having given attention to the above recommendations, parents’ socio-economic background will not have much impact on the students’ academic performance of the students as discovered from the findings.
Background of the Study
In recent years, the attitude of many students towards science subjects has been suggested to be below expectation. Hence, educationists have been concerned about the development in appropriate knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in science subjects. This concern is parturient in that today. The world is characterized by an advancement in science and technology and for Nigeria as a nation to develop like other advanced countries, the scientific manpower and technological development must be intensified. It is in the realization of this that the nation policy on education days emphasis on the importance of science and technology by putting the nation of science to art students admission into higher institution at sixty to forty (60:40)
Aghenta (2000) identified four major factors responsible for poor performances in Biology Subject. These are:
(1) Teacher related
(2) Pupil related
(3) Authority related
(4) Subject content related
Students academic performance has been noted to be affected by various factors including psychological and economical factors, social and genetic factors, seginer (2000) inspite of the fact that the observable attitudes in students have been produced by combination of variables, it is possible to identify. The effect of individual differences on student performance in Biology. If this psychological constrict called attitude having being mentioned as one of the three man factors affecting performance in Biology, Pearson and Kaezala (2000). It is important to find out if there is any relationship between it and the parent influence. Can positive influence individual and interested numbers of the public help to produce enough science oriented students to read science based courses and provide manpower in the new science area of science based occupation? Attitude is a concept, which arise from attempt to account for observed regularities from the behaviour of individual persons. The quality of which is judge from observed evaluate responses one tends to make an individual can show positive or negative attitude toward a particular subject due to the great influence of attitude on educational pursuits, it is worth while to identify the determinant of attitude towards Biology, chief of which are hereditary factors body, state, direct experience and communication.
Hereditary factor (i.e inheritance from parents) is the basis for all human activities including developing of attitude as well as learning. Direct experience is one of the most important determinant of performance parent/guardian need to influence their children by increasing their familiarity with the Biology subjects by taking interest in their school works, enroll them for extra lessons ensuring that home work is done, acquire films and other electronic materials that can stimulate their interest in Biology based leaner and enable the individual to develop friendly attitude towards the subjects, these experiences are effective in removing hostility towards school work.
Researchers in the field of education have also show that sex differences and achievement motivation can also affect student performance. Bloom (2005) found that female as a group choose significantly higher social class status occupation than their male counterpart. In secondary schools, male students are found in large percentage in science classes compared to the female. However, female student in single sex school show positive attitude towards science subject and perform better than female student in mixed schools.
Statement of the Problem
This study seeks to investigate some factors of individual differences that affect student’s performance in Biology. These problem would be addressed by focusing at the following statement.
a. To examine the effect of differences in parental background on students academic performance in Biology. To what extent has parents been to objectively use this factor to enhance academic progress in individual person communication either verbal or non-vernal academic progress influences students attitude as well as school learning sometimes unconsciously, parents / guardians through non-verbal communication transfer their fears, likes dislike of individual students via bodily movements and facial expression.
b. To examine the effect of differences in student attitude and interest on student performance Biology.
Purpose of the Study
This study was aimed at looking out the effects of individual differences on student performance in Biology. This study was to investigate two parameters out of the various parameters of individual difference that influence students academic performance in Biology. These parameters are parental background and students attitude and interest through inheritance and communication and by providing the right and stimulating environment. The man focus of this research is to proffer probable solutions to students problems concerning the individual differences affecting their academic performance and their will be a tendency for students from social class to have more positive attitude as well as greater academic progress than their counterparts from lower social class.
Significance of the Study
The finding of this study would be useful to the students as it will bring to their knowledge the factors that should be taken into consideration for good academic performance so also the student would be aware that they differ from one another which as a result, often help them in the areas of career choosing based on their individual abilities with this in mind. It is therefore evident that there exist among the students some individual differences as a result of which it is then expected of the teacher to render adequate and necessary counseling to the student especially on the choice of their future career and which is another vital significance of this study. And there are significant difference in their socio-economics levels.
The research questions are those, which the study attempt to answer
a. Is the student performance in Biology poor or otherwise?
b. Is the time allotted for Biology to sustain good performance in Biology/
c. What is the rationale of teachers qualification toward student good performance in Biology?
d. Are there enough facilities in schools to enhance good performance of students in Biology
e. Does obedience to instruction constitute to student good performance
f. What suggestions can be offered to enable students perform better in the future examination?
g. What are the factors that adversely affect performance in Biology in senior secondary certificate examination?
The following hypothesis were formulated by the researcher.
1. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of student taught by N.C.E holders and those taught by university graduate teachers.
2. There is no significance difference in the academic performance of students with different parent socio-economics background.
3. There will be no effect of individual different in student’s attitude and interest on students performance in Biology.
4. There is a significant differences between the academic performances of students taught in schools with well equipped laboratory facilities.
5. Students performance is significantly affected by the experience of the teachers teaching the subject.
Assumption of the Study
The study assumes that individual differences on students performance in senior secondary certificate examination in recent years are poor and not encouraging. It is also assumed that the courses content (syllabus) of Biology is too wide then what can be covered within the stipulated time of fix course and it is also centered around the effects of individual difference of students performance in Biology such as parental social economic background of students differences in the academic performance of students attitude and interest of student. The study is to be carried out among selected secondary school students in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Delimitation of the Study
This study covered eight selected secondary school from Akure South Local Governments. The research was limited to senior secondary classes offering biology both commercial, art and science student, ten students were selected from senior secondary one. Out of senior secondary three, three of them commercial class, three from art class and six from sciences class. This was applied to four schools in the remaining four schools 75% percentage of them were science students.
Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to government owned secondary school in Akure South Local Government of Ondo State. However, the achievement of student in their subject apart from Biology was not investigated during this study.
Definition of Terms
Biology:- The science of life and all its man features or an area of study concerned with living organisms.
Individual:- Characteristics of a single person on animal, plant or things
Genetics:- Is the origin or development of something e.g development of child.
Psychology:- Is the scientific study of human or animal behaviours.
Intelligence:- The power of perceiving learning understanding and among metal ability
Horizon:- Line at which the earth or sea and sky seem to meet, limit to one’s knowledge, experience thinking etc
Scientists:- Person expert in one or more of the natural or physical science
Environment:- Surrounding, circumstances influences
Laboratory:- Scientific workshop where scientific investigation are carried out
Learning:- Is a relatively permanent change in immediate or potential behaviour that results from experiences
Waec:- West African Examination Council. A recognized examining body
Teaching:- Is an act, practice or profession of giving construction or imparting knowledge or skills
Ssce:- Senior School Certificate