RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF CLASSROOM PSYCHO-SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT IN GEOGRAPHY
This study was designed to investigate the relationship between students’ perception of classroom psycho-social environment and their achievement in secondary school geography. To carry out this study, five research questions and five hypotheses were formulated, all derived from the literature review. Two instruments, geography classroom eenvironment scale questionnaire and cumulative score of SS2 geography students were used to collect relevant data from a sample of 100 students randomly selected from 5senior secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The schools were selected by stratified random sampling technique. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions 1 and 2 while Pearson correlation was used to answer research question 3. Stepwise analysis were used to answer research question four, five and also used to test the null hypothesis. The study among other things revealed that psycho-social classroom environmental factors correlated negatively with students’ achievement in senior secondary geography and that location of school whether urban or rural has little or no effect on students’ achievement due to psycho-social factors of the classroom. Hence, there was no significant difference in the achievement between urban and rural students in geography in Ikere Local Government Area. The study was limited to one local government area in Ekiti State, it is suggested that same study be extended to cover the entire local government area in Ekiti State. it is recommend that further should be carried out to include other classroom environment, like the sociological, the physical and the psychological
TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of Tables
Chapter one: Introduction
Background of the study
Statement of problem
Purpose of the study
Significance of the study
Scope of the study
Chapter two: Review of related literature
The nature of Geography
WAEC and its Statutory Functions
The nature of classroom learning environment
The dimension of classroom learning environment
Jean Piaget cognitive learning theory
Implication of Piagets theory for teaching and learning geography
The students’ perception of classroom environment and their achievement
Students’ achievement in relation to location of school
Students’ perception of location and their achievement
Summary of literature Review
Chapter Three: Research Methods
Design of the study
The Study Area
Population of study
Sample and sampling technique
Instrument for data collection
Validation of the instrument
Reliability of the instrument
Method of data analysis
Data presentation of data analysis and discussion of result
Chapter Five – summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
Summary of the study
Implications of the Study
Limitation of the Study
Suggestions for Further Studies
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LIST OF TABLES
3.1 The selected schools and the respondent
4.1: Geography students’ perception of classroom psycho-social environment
4.2: Urban and rural Students’ perception of their geography classroom psycho-social environment
4.3: Student perception of their classroom psycho-social environment and their achievement in senior secondary geography
4.4: Students perception of classroom psycho-social environment and their achievement in geography in urban schools
4.5: Students perception of classroom psycho-social environment and their achievement in geography in rural schools
4.6: Students achievement and their perception of their classroom psychosocial environment factors
4.7: Students in urban classes’ perception of their geography psycho-social environment and their achievement
4.8: Students in rural classes’ perception of their geography psycho-social environment and their achievement
Background of the Study
Geography is a branch of environmental sciences. According to Adekanjo (2002), Geography plays a vital role in providing knowledge of relevant concepts, environmental and natural phenomena like why we have day and night, the reason for rainfall, the ozone layers, avoidance of over exploitation of the natural environment and most importantly, protecting our environment for the future generation. It helps to develop environmental process skills like; classification, description, observation, inference and measurement (David, 2000). All these importance of geography notwithstanding, students perform poorly in Geography (Dakun, 2001). The West African Examination Council Chief Examiner’s reports (2006) indicate that many students lack the expected geographical knowledge and this has contributed to their poor achievement. Some of the causes identified according to Grossman and Adam (2000) are poor background, inadequate teaching and learning materials, poor method of teaching, inadequate experienced and qualified teachers, insufficient supply of laboratory equipment.
In addition to these factors listed above as responsible for poor achievement of students, it is suspected that student’s classroom-learning environment may contribute immensely to poor achievement especially in geography. Researchers like False (1990) and Talton and Simpson (2007) point to some environmental factors such as; home and the school environments as some of the major factors that influence students outcome in the subject. Learning has been influenced by the type of environment in which an individual learns. There are different types of learning environment such as school environment, home and classroom environment. School environment is the external condition and influence in the school that can influence the academic achievement of students irrespective of their intelligent quotient.
The classroom is a basic structural unit of our educational system (Talton and Simpson, 2007). Classroom environment is therefore the type of environment created as a result of subsequent interactions that occur in the classroom during teaching and learning processes (Hawkros and Panick,2003).The classroom environment of a school is an embodiment of the physical, sociological, psychological and psychosocial conditions. The sociological classroom environment refers to the feelings which the teachers and the learners are able to generate in making the classroom morale high or low (Akubue, 2001). The psychological classroom environment refers to the level of the speed of teaching, cohesiveness, distractions, interests, motivations, anxieties, confusion and difficulties of the classroom learning activities (Haertel and Walbeg, 2004). The psycho-social classroom environment is a type of classroom that has to do with interactions in the classroom. These interactions involve: teachers and students’ interactions, students and students interactions, students and instructional material interaction, and students, instructional materials and teacher interaction (Anyafulude, 2006). It also refers to the extents the students perceive their classroom environment and how they want it to look like. (Hong,2003). According to (Fagbamiye, 2004), successful psycho-social environment is more likely to be a calm place rather than chaotic, to be task oriented and have an orderly climate in Geography class. Fagbamiye continued by saying that in a geography classroom psycho-social environment, teacher/students interaction is very important.
According to Idowu (2006), teacher/students interaction deals with interaction between the students and their teachers. The relationship may be positive or negative. This relationship depends on how effective both the teachers as well as the students are able to perform their roles in the relationship. According to the same source, it also deals with teachers’ perception of their students and students’ perception of their teachers.
Another form of interaction in the classroom according to Mgboro and Omebe (2005) is the students/students interactions. This form of interaction involves the peer group. The peer group is a group of individuals who are of approximately equal size, age and status with whom the child finds himself in the same class. When his/her peers accept him/ her, there is likely going to be a better achievement in Geography than when the student is rejected by his/her peers.
Teachers/students/instructional materials is another form of interaction in Geography psychosocial classroom environment. It is a means by which students/teachers interact with their instructional materials. In geography, instructional materials are very important as they bring realities to what the teacher is teaching in geography lesson. (Fakuade, 2008)
Ajala (2008) held another view when he says that the knowledge of geography can be learnt from any environment being rural or urban. He continued by saying that geography topics like natural vegetation, running water, landforms are better learnt in the rural areas because some of their natural features are still there. Unlike the urban areas where some of them have been destroyed for constructional purposes like building of houses, bridges and dams. This study intends to find out if location has any relationship with student’s achievement in geography. A conducive psycho-social classroom learning environment does not only serve the child’s emotional developmental needs but also encourages intellectual development by giving the child opportunity for experimentation, exploration and self-knowledge.
Statement of the Problem
Geography as a branch of environmental science is a subject that the society cannot do without. This is because it deals with the environment and man cannot neglect his environment. Despite these importance mentioned above, students have not developed positive attitude and interest towards their geography classroom environment (Darmar, 2006). This according to some researchers could be due to the nature of their psychosocial classroom environment which arises as a result of some classroom environmental factors like the physical environment, teachers’ behaviour, teaching method and interaction in the classroom.. Psycho-social classroom environment is one of the conditions in the school which affects a child. Students’ achievement in geography may not be improved unless there is provision for ideal psycho-social classroom environment in which geography will be best taught at secondary schools. It is also not certain whether geography students in rural and urban schools perceive their classroom psychosocial environment in a similar manner, and if the differences in their perception relates to their achievements.
Purpose of the Study
This study aim at investigating the relationship between students’ perception of classroom psychosocial environment and the achievement in senior secondary school geography. Specifically, this study intends to:
i. find out the students’ perception of their geography classroom psychosocial environment.
ii. examine how urban and rural students perceive their geography classroom psychosocial environment.
iii. examine the relationship between students perception of classroom psychosocial environment and their achievement in senior secondary school geography
iv. investigate the relationship between students’ achievement in geography and the perception of their classroom psychosocial environment in urban schools.
v. investigate the relationship between students’ achievement in geography and the perception of their classroom psychosocial environment in rural schools.
To guide this study, the following research questions were stated
i. What is the students’ perception of the psycho-social environment of their geography classroom?
ii. How do urban and rural students perceive the psycho-social environment of their geography classroom?
iii. What is the relationship between students’ perception of their classroom psychosocial environment and their achievement in senior secondary school geography?
iv. What is the relationship between the perception of students in urban schools of their geography classroom and students in rural schools perception of their geography classroom?
v. What is the relationship between urban student’s perception of their classroom and their achievement in geography and rural student’s perception of their classroom and their achievement in geography?
Five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. They will be tested at 0.05 level of significance. The hypotheses are:
i. There is no significant relationship between the students’ mean perception scores of classroom psycho-social environment and their mean achievement in geography.
ii. There is no significant relationship in the students’ mean achievement score in geography and their perception score of classroom psycho-social environment in urban schools.
iii. There is no significant relationship in the students’ mean achievement score in geography and their mean perception score of classroom psycho-social environment in rural schools.
iv. There is no significant relationship between the urban student perception of their geography classroom and rural student perception of their geography classroom.
v. There is no significant relationship in the student achievement score in geography and their mean perception score of classroom psycho social environment in urban schools.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will help the curriculum planners and developers on the information regarding the quality of psycho-social classroom environment in which geography will be best taught in secondary schools with a view to guiding them in recommending the ideal psychosocial environment for geography, thereby incorporating it in the curriculum to enhance students’ achievement.
Again, the findings of this study will provide information to the geography teachers and educators on the students’ perception of classroom psychosocial environment and their achievement in geography.
The result will provide information to the government on the level of students’ perception and achievement in geography in rural and urban schools, knowing this will help improve the psycho-social environment in geography by improving and increasing educational conditions of such schools that will enhance geography achievement in Nigeria.
In addition, it will provide the frame work for other researchers to build on. Findings of this study will help to increase the knowledge base of what is known already about psychosocial classroom environment and also guide the teachers in providing conducive learning atmosphere by arranging and organizing the classroom in a way that the students will like.
Scope of the Study
The study is limited to SSII geography students in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This is because, the researcher does not want to use people in external examination classes because they are preparing for their examination or beginners because they might not have gotten enough knowledge of geography as the teaching of geography starts from SS 1. As such, the researcher considers it more appropriate to use SS 2 and the content scope is the psycho-social geography classroom environment of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.