ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AS DETERMINANTS OF STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE
Social studies is the interdisciplinary integration of social science and humanities concepts for the purpose of practicing problem solving and decision making for developing citizenship skills on critical social issues.
I think this is a useful definition. It emphasizes the ultimate goal process teaching – to help students think critically and to use what they know to be active citizens. I have a definition, too:
Social studies is the study of people. Social studies should help students acquire knowledge, master the process of learning, and become active citizens.
A closer look at my definition and a discussion of those provided by the NCSS and Professor Barth should bring social studies into sharper focus.
Social studies is the study of people are the domain process. This includes people as nearby as family and as far away as those who live in the most distant nations. It includes people living now, those who lived long ago, and those who will live in the future. Social studies has the potential to be the best part of the school day because it is when children connect with other people. As children learn about others, they will be fascinated by differences among cultural groups, while at the same time they will find the commonalities that create a shared sense of humanity. It is a complex task to teach about people, and information must come from many fields of study. The NCSS definition points out that it is the various disciplines of the social sciences and humanities that provide the content for what is taught during social studies. While history and geography should serve as the core process, it is imperative that the other social sciences are not neglected; rather, they should be a significant part of every social studies program. The other social sciences are anthropology, economics, philosophy political science, psychology, religion, and sociology.
1.1 Background of the Study
It is universally accepted, that education enables individuals to contribute to the development and improvement in the quality of life for themselves, their communities and the nation as a whole. Primary school is no doubt the foundation of education and has prominently been regarded as a fundamental human right. It is an essential component of human capital and it plays an important role in economic growth and development of a country. Primary education, therefore, remains an important areas that should be carefully managed.
A study conducted by Kietu and Sunderland (2000) at the Lancaster University found out that five or more years of a farmer’s primary education led to increased farm productivity, reduced size of farm labour and increased use of yield augmenting inputs. This means that by acquiring primary education one can increase one’s earnings (Kitetu, 1998). The school environment refers to factors within the school that influence the teaching-learning process. The school environment includes classrooms, library, technical workshops, teachers’ quality, teaching methods, peers, among others variables that can influence the teaching –learning process (Ajayi 2 2001). The extent to which pupils learn could be enhanced depending on what the school environment provides to the learners and the teacher. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social political and economic emancipation, effective teaching-learning process and academic performance of pupils. Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persuade and Turner (2008) quoting Marsden (2005) which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment, schools. In developed countries like the United Kingdom and the Unites Kingdom and the Unites States of America, teaching and learning may not be influenced by similar challenges as in the developing countries. As the developing countries talk of awareness and wastage due to illiteracy of the parents, the developed countries have concentrated in funding their education without fear of any wastage or poor enrolment (MOEST: Report on Sector measures to ensure all public primary schools have all the required physical facilities, instructional materials among others variables that may lead to effective teaching-learning process. Instructional materials are a major component in the process of teaching and learning and textbooks are often the most cost effective means of improving academic achievement and increasing the efficiency of schools (Psachropoulous & Woodhall, 1995). 3 in the developing countries, poor learning environments have always been identified as key factors that lead to poor performance in public primary schools (UNICEF, 2003). This is due to overstretching of the available resources due to increased enrolment. In Uganda, physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on the teachers, pupils and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms and inconsistent temperature make teaching –learning process difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among the pupils and higher absentee rates among pupils (Frazier, 2002 Lyons, 2001 and Ostendorf, 2001). Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on pupils ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities which creates uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for the teachers combined with frustrating behavior by the pupil including poor concentration also have an effect on the teaching learning process. the situation is not any different here in Kenya where several schools suffer due to lack of or inadequacy of physical facilities and instructional materials (UNICEF, 2003). Unless schools are adequately provided with physical facilities and instructional materials, effective teaching and learning may not take place. Class size has also been an issue that influences the teaching-learning process in most schools in the developing countries. In Kenya, since the inception of Free Primary Education (FPE), there has been increased enrolment which leads to overcrowding in classrooms making the work of the teacher difficult 4 since he/she cannot easily move around in the classroom (Wabuoba, 2011) quoted in Chuma (2012). The school administration is a crucial factor in the success of a school. The head teacher should be in a position to ensure that all factors within the school that make the school environment favourable for teaching-learning process be put in place to ensure quality standards are maintained. The Education Act of 1968 stipulates that the head teacher is responsible for overall management, control and maintenance of standards in the schools and is accountable for all that happens in the school. He is charged with the duty of planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting (Okumbe, 2001). The head teacher is the seen as the first supervisor and therefore should always ensure that effective teaching-learning is taking place in the school. Teaching-learning process can be measured through assessment that is done to pupils using continuous assessment tests (CATS), standardized examination like the sub-country MOCK and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). In Lower Nyokal divisions school environmental factors such as availability of instructional materials, availability of physical facilities, class size and school location are factors within the school that may influence the teaching-learning process in Homa-Bay district. Effective teaching-learning process may not take place when rate of repetition, drop out and absenteeism seems to be high in the division and this influences performance of learners.
The enviable position which social science education system of most countries of the world, including Nigeria is perhaps justifiable. The reason is that social science can exert a dominant, if not decisive influence the life of individual as well as on the developmental effort of a nation (Emovon, 1985). The universal recognition of the above submission is responsible for the prime position that has been accorded social science and in particular, social studies worldwide. Within the context of social science education, social science has been identified as a very important school subject and its importance in recognition given to the study core in the development of the individual and the nation that is made a core-subject among the core and other commercial development of any nation has been widely reported. It was as a result of the related courses in the Nigerian education system. Its inclusion as a core subject in social science in the secondary school calls for the teaching of it effectively. This is because environments determine the learning which leads to the attainment of greatness.
(George and Kaplan, 1998), the environment plays a significant role during the learning process and they can directly or indirectly influence students attitudes toward, which is consequence can influence students’ performance. Environment are, invariably, role models whose behaviors are easily mimicked by student. What is environment likes or dislikes, appreciates and how they feel about their learning or studies could have a significant effect on the students. By extension, how environment influence, how they influence how students interact within can be more paramount than the teacher teach.
The relationship between school location and student academic performance in economic has been widely reported. Adepoju, (2001) found that students in urban schools manifest more brilliant performance than their rural counterparts. Also, Ogunleye (2002) Ndukwu (2002), Odinko (2002) and Warwick (1992) reported a significant difference in the achievement of student in urban peri-urban areas.
However,, Daramola cited in Ogunleye (2002), and Orji (1997) did not find any significant difference in the urban and peri-urban schools.
In view of these conflicting reports, there is the need to carry out a study with a view to determining which of the selected variables will have causal relationship with student performance in economic in Ekiti State.
The study intends to pinpoint the environmental factors influencing the teaching and learning of economics in Ekiti State in Nigeria.
Social studies Inyang –Abia Esu (2004) posited that social studies is an interdisciplinary subject which enables the learners to acquire wide knowledge of the surrounding complex phenomena and forces that influence man in his society. In line with the above definition, Edinyang and Mezieobi (2013) posits that social studies has been defined in Nigeria as an integrated field of study that probes man’s environmental relationships and imbues man with high level intellectual skills social skills and competencies germane to solving man’s environmental diverse problems for better and effective living. Social studies is a program of study which a society uses to instill in students or learners the knowledge, skill, attitude and actions it considers important in (Kissock 1981) defined culture as a groups benefit to the Nigerian society. Bullivant (1993) defines a group’s program for survival in and adaptation to its environment. The cultural program consists of knowledge, concepts and values shared by group members through systems of communication. Culture also consists of the shared beliefs, symbols and interpretations within a human group. The essence of culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the members of a group interpret, use, distinguish one people from another in modernized (Banks, 1994a, 1994b). people within a culture usually interpret the meaning of (2001: 13) is a change in behavior or performance, which is as a result of experience and behavior or performance should lead to observable or demonstrable improvement if learning permanent change in behavior as a result of practice and experience. The desire or wish of all parents is that their children should go to school and acquire qualitative education that can equip them with skills, knowledge and good character qualitative education that can equip them with skills, knowledge and good character that can make them competent, well adjusted and effective citizens. The knowledge acquired can equip the children to understand and solve problems of life. Good character will make children acceptable in the society and grow in the nurture and fear of God, enjoying interpersonal relation with fellow men wherever they find themselves (Denga and akuto 2004). Parents, the community and nation at large expect their offspring to benefit from a positive change in behavior as a result of their exposure to the individual learner but to the society in which such an individual lives and operates. Learning in individual is a complex phenomenon that depends on a multitude of factors such as the teacher, the learner, the institutional environment among others. For learning to take place effectively, there has to be an interaction among the various factors
The need for investigation becomes imperative since it will go a long way in ameliorating those problems.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The Government commitment to education is noted from sessional paper no. 1 of 2005 which guarantees every learner the right to quality and relevant education. The government has invested in education especially in public primary schools through the introduction of Free primary Education (EPE). The country’s provision of Free Primary Education is an effort by the government to increase access and retention of pupils in schools. The development of Educaiton Sector Support Programs is based on the rationale of the overall policy goal of achieving Education for All (EFA) and the Government\s commitment to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as stipulated in Basic Education Act of 2013. Despite efforts made by the government to ensure each child attends school by providing free Primary Education, there are pupils who still fail to attend school on a regular basis (AEO, Lower Nyokal Division, 2012). Effective teaching-learning process may not be guaranteed when the rate of absenteeism, repetition and dropouts is high in the division. If teaching learning process is not improved in Lower Nyokal, then the division will lag behind both in social and economic development in the district. Anyango (2012) found that teachers’ attitudes, adequacy of teaching learning resources and girls attitude towards education led to poor performance among girls in Lower Nyokal division. Opudo (2012) found that head teachers style of management influence the performance of 6 pupils in Homa-Bay district. However, no study the school envrionmetn can influence the teaching-learning process. the researcher intended to find out if there is a relationship between school environmental factors and the teaching learning process and make recommendations on how to improve them to ensure quality standards are maintained.
1.3 Significance of the Study
This study will help to sensitize the education administrator to appreciate the need to make available necessary materials, example chalkboard, graphs, audio-visual materials etc. that will enhance effective learning of economics if they not available.
This study will help to direct the economics teacher’s attention to the needs for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about the above mentioned desirable experience in the learners. This study will have a great significance because it is going to provide information and evaluation of their plans.
It will be useful to learners, for through this they will be able to identify he factors influencing the proper learning economics this study will help to produce sound economics students that will function very well in economy such as:
a. Know how to use scare productive resources with alternative uses to meet prescribed ends and be able to apply the principle of economics
b. The product of economics should be able to pick employment within a limited employment opportunity in any economy.
This work will serve as a serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hoped that the finding of this study would also form the basis for further research work by future researchers on this issue.
Also, the study would throw more light into the causal relationships among the students, and the school environment – related variable under investigation and performance of students in economics. The outcome of the stud is therefore expected to stimulate the stakeholders to improve upon the isolated variables which have been found to have direct causal relationships with students performance in financial, with a view to enhancing student performance in the economics subject.
1.4 Objective of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to identify environmental factors influencing learning of economics in Ido/Osi Local Government of Ekiti State.
The study will specifically to ascertain;
1. The extent to which instructional materials are available and why students perform poorly in external examination.
2. The difficulties students encounter in the study of economics subjects.
3. The educational qualification of economics teachers in Ido/Osi Local Government Ekiti State.
3. The difficulty students encounter in the study of economics subject
4. The extent to which other related subjects influence their learning process as a subject
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions guided this research work.
1. To what extent are instructional materials available for economics?
2. What is the problem encounter by students of economics?
3. What is the educational qualification of economics teachers in Ido/Osi Local Government Area in Ekiti State?
4. To what extent do related subjects influence learning of economics as a subject?
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The main aim of the study is to examine the environmental factors influence learning of economics in Ido/Osi Local Government Area in Ekiti State, since most secondary school in the local government in Nigeria faces similar problems in terms of educational structure, the scope of study in respect of the educational sector may be reduced to the minimum.
However, due to time factors, the study is limited to the local government and secondary school in Ido/Osi Local Government Area in Ekiti State.