Owing to the apparent unsatisfactory performance of students in Economics accompanied with poor interest students show for Economics as a subject irrespective of so many teaching strategies used by teachers, this study however seeks to find a pedagogically sound teaching strategy that can promote students interest and academic achievement in Economics. This study is on the effect of integrated mastery learning strategy on students’ interest and academic achievement in Economics in Imo State. The study used a quasi-experimental design of a pretest and posttest non-equivalent control group design. Five research questions were raised, five objectives of the study were posed and five hypotheses were formulated for the study. Data were collected using students’ Economics interest inventory (SEII) and Economics Achievement Test (EAT). The instruments for data collection were face and content validated by three experts. A reliability coefficient of 0.83 and 0.69 were obtained for SEII and EAT respectively. The data collected were analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while ANCOVA was used for testing the five hypotheses formulated. The results gathered indicated that integrated mastery learning strategy had significant effect on students’ academic achievement in Economics as student taught with the innovative approach had higher mean gain than their counterparts in the conventional group. The result further showed that there was no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning. The researcher recommended that classroom Economics teachers should make it a point of duty in using integrated mastery learning strategy; government should be organizing workshops, seminars or in-service – trainings for teachers on how best to use integrated mastery learning strategy, teaching time should be increased by the relevant education authorities in order to enable the teacher adequately employ the integrated master learning strategy which is time dependent. Finally, curriculum experts should lay much emphasis on quality of content covered instead of quantity and should advice the teachers to always ensure mastery of contents by all students before the next unit of lesson is introduced.



Title Page                                                                                                               





List of Tables                                                                                                              

List of Figures                                                                                                             


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION                                                                        

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                              

1.2       Statement of Problem                                                                                              

1.3       Purpose of the Study                                                                                     

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                        

1.5       Hypotheses                                                                                                     

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                              

1.7       Scope of the Study                                                                                         

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                                             

2.1       The Conceptual Framework                                                                        

2.1.1    Nature and meaning of Economics                                                                 

2.1.2    Economics curriculum in Nigerian secondary schools                                   

2.1.3    Concept of effectiveness                                                                               

2.1.4    Mastery learning                                                                                           

2.1.5    Teacher and mastery learning method                                                          

2.1.6    Models of mastery learning                                                                            

2.1.7    Integrated mastery learning and learners’ interest                                          

2.1.8   Academic achievement                                                                              

2.1.9   Concept of interest                                                                                           

2.1.10  Learners’ interest and academic achievement                                                

2.1.11  Gender, academic interest and achievement                                                  

2.2       Theoretical Framework                                                                                   

2.2.1    Behavioural learning theory by B.F. Skinner (1974)                                      

2.2.2    Social learning theory by A. Bandura (1961)                                                 

2.2.3    Theory of social constructivismby L. Vygotsky (1978)                               

2.3       Empirical Studies                                                                                           

2.4       Summary of Review of Related Literature                                                 

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY                                                                     

3.1       Design of the Study                                                                                        

3.2       Area of the Study                                                                                           

3.3       Population of the Study                                                                                  

3.4       Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                                  

3.5       Instrument for Data Collection                                                                      

3.6       Validation of the Instrument                                                                      

3.7       Reliability of the Instrument                                                                          

3.8       Experimental Procedure                                                                                

3.8.1    Control of extraneous variables                                                                     

3.9       Method of Data Collection                                                                             

3.10     Method of Data Analysis                                                                             



CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION                                                   

4.1       Results                                                                                                            

4.2       Summary of the Findings                                                                               

4.3       Discussion of the Findings                                                                             


5.1       Summary of the Study                                                                                    

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                          

5.4       Educational Implications of the Study                                                           

5.5       Limitations of the Study                                                                                 

5.6       Suggestions for Further Study                                                                        








1.1              BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

A critical peep into the pedagogy of any subject including Economics usually transcends the mere understanding of its inherent basic tenets. The study and knowledge of Economics is sacrosanct for the survival of every economy. The fundamental knowledge gained from the study of Economics gives the students the leverage to understand the principles for a successful economic prospect (Soromto, 2013). The knowledge of Economics empowers individuals by giving them insight on how best to manage their limited resources and improve their wellbeing. The economy is unwarrantedly in a state of flux with plethora of financial opportunities and activities for individuals. Therefore, the decision on how best to manage these varied financial activities demands the knowledge and study of Economics. The call for the study of Economics is anchored on the idea that a better informed citizen makes a more rational decision regarding economic endeavour (Chima, 2014).

Economics is a subject that is taught at the senior secondary school level as an elective subject and it is also taught at the higher institutions of learning. Economics is a subject that affects our everyday life. It studies the economic activities of people and how they strive to use their limited resources to satisfy their imponderable wants. Economics is an important discipline for the socio-economic development of any nation (Damavandi & Kashani, 2010). Different economists have different definitions in relation to what Economics means based on their individual perceptions. According to Adam Smith in Ede, Oleabhiele and Modebelu (2016), Economics is an enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of the nation. More so, Economics is seen as a practical science of production and distribution of wealth according to Mill in Ede et al (2016). While Marshall in Chima (2014) also sees Economics as the study of mankind in everyday business of life. Robbins in Ede et al (2016) see Economics as a social science that studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. From the above perceptions of the economists, the researcher therefore sees Economics as a behavioural science that uses systematic principles and practices in maximizing output and minimizing cost in order to promote human welfare.

Economics as a subject has two major branches and other minor branches. The two major branches of Economics according to Chima (2009) are; Macro and Micro Economics. Other minor branches of Economics include; labour Economics, Development Economics Industrial Economics, Environmental Economics, Regional Economics, Behavioural Economics, Econometrics, Marxist Economics, Monetary Economics, Keynesian Economics, Cultural Economics, Constitutional Economics, Business Economics, International Economics, and production Economics among others.

However, irrespective of the recorded importance associated with Economics as a subject, students encounter hitches in learning it (Adu, Galloway & Olaoye, 2014). Hence, if Economics is as important as highlighted above, why then do most students find it very cumbersome and boring to learn? Why do students believe that the subject has no relevance in the real world setting? (Chudi-Odi, 2013). It is imperative to know that the actualization of the importance of the study of Economics depends to a large extent on how the content is delivered to the learners in the classroom by the teacher.

The teaching of Economics in our secondary schools today is marred with avalanche of challenges. These copious challenges have unwarrantedly contributed to the poor performances of students in public examinations Salako in Akobuilo (2012). This assertion and proposition were upheld by Adeyemi (2010) who reported that the average performance of students in Economics over the years have not been satisfactory. These problems could be mostly due to factors related to the delivery of instruction by the classroom Economics teachers. To that effect, therefore, this research has been duly poised to investigate the effect of integrated mastery learning strategy on students’ interest and academic achievement in Economics in Imo state.

Meanwhile, for Economics as well as other subjects to be effectively taught, the said classroom teacher must have acquired the fundamental rudiments inherent in teaching. The teacher ought to have mastered the subject with a sound pedagogy on how to implement the required content in class (Ezeh, 2014). Economics is perceived to be taught by Economics educators who know the content of the Economics curriculum. The curriculum for Economics education in Nigeria presently is composed of three major aspects which are the general studies subjects, the subject-matter (Area of Specialization) and the professional education courses (Ede et al., 2016).

The Economics educators who teach the subject are exposed to so many teaching methods many of which have not been producing an effective teaching-learning encounter. Teachers over the years have been using the conventional/orthodox methods of teaching (lecture method, talk-chalk method among others) to teach which are not perfectly centred on the learners hence the poor academic performances of students. Similarly, the government has been repositioning the educational system through the encouragement of teachers to embark on in-service training, seminars and workshops with the view to improving effective teaching-learning of the subject. Several methods of teaching have been recommended for teachers in order to meet up with the developmental dynamics of this era. Since the introduction of Western education in Nigeria by the Wesleyan Methodist in 1943, the methods obviously used by so many teachers in implementing the curriculum content in the classroom have been the traditional method of talk-chalk, storytelling, inquiry method even role play method (Mkpa in Uba, 2012).

The development of Economics in secondary schools in Nigeria gained so much momentum from the year 1977 after the introduction of the National Policy on Education known as the 6-5-4 system of education. In order to implement the national policy on education, government at all levels became more interested in the schooling process in terms of educational outcomes, learning activities, instructional materials, instructional strategies and evaluation processes. In view of this, emphasis was placed on making educational activities centre on the learner for optimum self development and self fulfillment; structure the educational system to develop the practice of self learning.

Many researchers such as Emeka (2016) and Nnanna (2017) have conducted series of different investigations into the root cause of students’ poor academic achievement in Economics and their findings suggest ineffective teaching method among other factors (Ibe, 2014). Economics being an abstract subject should be taught using a teaching method that should be more learner-centred in order to facilitate understanding and retention. Obviously, the traditional or conventional method of teaching does not promote an effective teaching-learning encounter hence the need for an innovative method of teaching such as the integrated mastery learning method which this work is out to investigate.

Teaching is a process of facilitating students' learning through a proper management by the teacher of the inter-relationships among the student’s interest, the learning content and the methods as well as the materials he/she intends to use in the teaching and learning of the concept (Adeyemi in Kizito, 2014).  The technique, approaches or methods employed by the teacher in the course of passing the educative information to the learner would determine to a great extent if he/she is teaching or not hence the need for a more learner-centred method that will enhance effective teaching and learning. Interest is a veritable factor that facilitates an effective teaching and learning encounter.

Interest is the centre piece of learning. Learning cannot take place unless the learner’s interest and disposition are at equilibrium (Godwin, 2017). Interest cannot be overemphasized in the domain of teaching and learning owing to the fact that no one ever spends time on things that do not profit the person or thing that does not reflect his/her interest or felt needs (Frank, 2012). For teaching and learning to be effective, the teacher uses set induction whose major reason is to arouse as well as sustains the interest of the learners from the start of the lesson till the end of the lesson. Teaching is aimed at bringing out a permanent but positive change in the behaviour of the learner but this laudable objective can only be feasible when the felt needs and interest of the learner is not compromised (Obasi, 2016).

Interest is a powerful motivational process that propels learning, guides academic and career trajectories and it is sacrosanct for academic achievement (Anya, 2014). Interest is a psychological state of attention and or affection towards a particular object or phenomena with an enduring predisposition to align over time. Meanwhile, interest being an affective construct is the basis for both intellectual preparedness and motivation in learning (Champman in Chima, 2014). In a nutshell, if there is no interest, no learning will take place hence the reason the researcher decided to investigate it as a variable of concern in order to promote academic achievement of students in Economics.

Achievement is something important that one manages to do and succeeds by one’s fervent and dogged efforts (Uzoma, 2017). On that note, therefore, achievement could be seen as something of importance that one finally acquires or accomplishes beyond expectations within a specified time-frame. Academic achievement has been defined by many scholars in the field of education such as Uduma (2011), Igwe (2013) and Chinedu (2018). Achievement in the domain of education is that level of understanding and perfection demonstrated by a learner in relation to academic growth and actualization (Chinedu, 2018). Academic achievement is the knowledge and skills acquired usually from the classroom instructional programmes. It is those advancements in knowledge made within the classroom environment (Uduma, 2011).

Academic achievement is determined and measured using achievement tests (Ibe, 2019). The achievement test is given at the end of the teaching and learning encounter in order to ascertain the level of learner’s achievement in relation to the stated instructional cum educational objectives. Academic achievement shows the degree with which the content of instruction has been assimilated by the learner when a teaching-learning encounter is effective, the academic achievement will be satisfactorily high and appreciable (Igwe, 2013). Academic achievement paints the picture of how the curriculum implementation is going, it shows whether there should be a review of the existing curriculum content or not. Academic achievement is a diagnostic tool used for placement and guidance-counseling which according to Dibia (2012) is easily attainable through integrated mastery learning strategy.

Integrated mastery learning method is an innovative teaching method that was borne out of the need to address the disparity in ability existing in the teaching-learning encounter.

Integrated mastery learning method is a new technique in teaching which allows the students to grasp every unit of the content taught by the teacher before a new content is introduced irrespective of the time spent (Lawrence, 2017). Integrated mastery learning method is a type of innovative teaching method which lays emphasis on quality and not scope of content coverage.  The Mastery learning method involves frequent assessment of the student’s progress in order to ascertain the mastery level of the learners before a new content unit is introduced. Mastery Learning Method is a newly introduced approach of teaching that gives every learner an ample time to master a particular concept irrespective of aptitude (Gilbert, 2012).

In 1976, Bloom outlined specific strategies for using formative assessments to guide teachers in differentiating their instruction and this process of differentiation is today known as “mastery learning”, he also argued that classroom assessment should be integrated as a salient learning tool while corrective procedures should be adopted with feedbacks. Integrated mastery learning which can be seen as a model of instruction that systematically as well as consciously combines the theories of Bloom’s and Keller’s model of instruction. It is an innovative instructional method that seeks to remedy some of the inherent gaps and deficiencies seen in the earlier models of Bloom’s and Keller’s (Gilbert, 2012). Owing to the apparent poor academic reports of student’s performances in WAEC and NECO Economics over the years, this study seeks to circumvent this ugly academic trend by trying to know the effect of integrated mastery learning method on student’s interest and academic achievement in Economics based on the obvious failure of the traditional teaching method. No doubt, the orthodox talk – chalk method of teaching and other teacher-centred teaching methods have not been able to address the poor performances of Economics students hence this investigation on this innovative teaching method (integrated mastery learning method) in order to ascertain if the method will help to improve students’ academic achievement and interest in Economics with respect to students’ gender.

Gender is a socio-cultural factor that distinguishes a male and a female individual within a social milieu (Aghaeri, 2017). Human beings are classified into male and female gender while the non-human elements are grouped in the neuter gender. Gender is the disparity lingering between masculine and feminine classes in relation to their behavioral roles and social responsibility (Kizito, 2014). On his own perception, Gilbert (2012) sees gender as the reproductive organ differences between organisms.

Many scholars have conducted many studies in relation to gender and academic achievement as well as their associated academic interests; Uka (2014), Darlington (2019), Nneji (2012) among others. Unfortunately, their findings are marred in discrepancies as Darlington (2019) found no significant effect in relation to gender, interest and academic achievement of students while Uka (2014) and Nneji (2012) found significant effect of gender on students’ interest and academic achievement. It is due to this disparity in findings that warranted the researcher to delve into this area of knowledge in order to ascertain the effects of integrated mastery learning strategy on students’ interest and academic achievement in Economics.


Unarguably, it is an obvious truth that students’ poor academic achievement is a serious academic hurdle that government has over the years been seeking ways to obviate. Subjects which are calculation based usually scare students due to the undue lack of time and attention by the teachers and the educational administrators to give such subjects with difficult concepts more teaching time in order to enable all the learners to attain some satisfactory level of mastery before a new concept is introduced. Many teachers especially those that teach Economics seem not to be grounded on the innovative method of teaching which integrated mastery learning strategy is a fraction.

The traditional or conventional teaching method which they are conversant with does not facilitate the students’ interest, retention and understanding owing to the teacher-centred nature of the method. So many researchers have came up with findings that suggest that the chief cause of poor students’ academic achievement is inadequate teaching method among others. The traditional teaching method does not address the inherent differences existing amongst learners and this scenario gives rise to the existence of the normal distribution curve as it concerns content mastery and achievement level.

No doubt, some learners are fast in cognition and assimilation while some need more time to master a given concept. Slow learners have been left out in the classroom interactions under the traditional teaching method. Teachers seem not to be helpful in promoting the achievement level of the slow learners which has inadvertently made some frustrated slow learners to drop out of school as they can no longer cope going by the conventional approach of instruction. Hence the urgent need of applying integrated mastery learning strategy for all crop of learners to develop learning interest and benefit academically.

Repeated failure gives a learner a low self concept and lack of interest which leads one to opt for a withdrawal, hence the need for a deviation to the innovative method of teaching such as the integrated mastery learning strategy. The learning interest and achievement in Economics has been a thing of worry and disappointment to parents, students as well as teachers. The salient intent here is that all students should develop interest in Economics accompanied with a corresponding achievement level but this hope has been dashed over the years owing to ineffective learning method hence the researcher’s drive to investigate the effect of integrated mastery learning on student’s interest and academic achievement in Economics in Imo State.





The purpose of the study is to ascertain the Effect of Integrated Mastery Learning strategy on Students’ Interest and Academic Achievement in Economics in Imo State. Specifically, this study seeks to:

1.         find out the mean achievement scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and lecture method.

2.         determine the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught Economics using the integrated mastery learning strategy and lecture method.

3.         ascertain the mean interest scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and the lecture method

4.         find out the mean interest scores of male and female students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and lecture method.

5.         examine the interaction effect of gender and methods on students’ achievement in Economics.


However, some fundamental probing questions were advanced in order to streamline and guide the investigation. Below are some of the questions:

1)                  What is the mean achievement scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and lecture method?

2)                  What is the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught Economics using the integrated mastery learning strategy?

3)                  What is the mean interest scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and the lecture method?

4)                  What is the mean interest scores of male and female students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy?

5)                  What is the interaction effect of gender and methods on students’ achievement in Economics?


1.5       HYPOTHESES

In the bid to arrive at the desired objectives of this study, these tentative guesses were posed and tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1:     There is no significant effect between the mean achievement scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and those taught using lecture method.

Ho2:      There is no significant effect between the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy.

Ho3:     There is no significant difference between the mean interest scores of students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy and lecture method.

Ho4:      There is no significant difference between the mean interest scores of male and female students taught Economics using integrated mastery learning strategy.

Ho5:     There is no interaction effect of gender and methods on students’ academic achievements in Economics.


The findings of the study would be very useful and significant to different stakeholders in multi-faceted dimensions. Specifically, findings of the study would be of immense benefit to these groups of persons; the curriculum experts, the teachers of Economics, the students of Economics, Economics textbook writers; private organizations and even tomorrow’s Economics education researchers. Below shows how these group of persons stand to benefit from this study.

Firstly, curriculum experts would make an informed choice of adjustment and improvement on the pedagogy of Economics based on the recommendations that was advanced from the findings of this research work. Economics is a social science subject and this scenario makes it to be vulnerable to social changes due to swings in the society. Economics curriculum planners will have an insight from this work on how best to harness Economics teaching and learning in order to promote learner’s interest and academic achievement by suggesting to teachers on the best learning method to be used in every subject matter.

Furthermore, the teachers of Economics would be made aware in relation to the place of integrated mastery learning method in the promotion of interest and academic achievement of Economics students. Findings of this study will expose the classroom Economics teacher on how best to apply this learner-centred method of teaching as it is new in the teaching profession.

Again, the students of Economics are the set of persons who happen to be at the receiving side of the whole educational activities. The student’s achievement level, interest, motivation as well as self-concept will develop having mastered a perceived difficult Economics concept via the integrated Mastery Learning method.


Similarly, Economics textbook authors from the finding of the study would be made to know how best to present Economics concepts in a manner worthy of facilitating academic achievement and student’s interest in the said economic subject by reducing abstractions via familiar analogies and examples.


In addition, private organizations would benefit from the findings of the study because, once the Economics teacher uses the appropriate method and materials after going through this work, it will help him/her to have an effective teaching hence the production of quality Economist who will help in the growth of their employer through marginal physical product of labour (MPPL). Private organizations will make more revenues due to the contributions of the economist in such a company courtesy of sound teaching method – integrated mastery learning method.

Finally, the last but not the least of persons are those who may have penchant in carrying out research in this same problem area. The method to be used, findings, conclusions, summary, review of related literatures even conclusion as will be contained herein will help a subsequent researcher to have a better insight in relation to the problem under review.



This study was delimited to investigate the effect of Integrated Mastery Learning Strategy (IMLS) on students’ interest and academic achievement in Economics in Imo state. The study was further restricted to SS II students. More so, the study was delimited to; find out the mean achievement scores of students taught Economics using IMLS and lecture method, determine the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught Economics using IMLS and lecture method, ascertain the mean interest scores of students taught Economics using IMLS and lecture method, find out the mean interest scores of male and female students taught Economics using IMLS and lecture method and examine the interaction effect of gender and methods on students' achievement in Economics. The content scope focused on the following SS II Economics topics; Theory of Consumer Behaviour, Theory of Demand, Theory of Supply and Theory of Inflation. The salient reason the researcher selected these Economics topics was due to the fact that they are in the SS II syllabus and SS II is the class the researcher used for the study because they are non-external examination class.


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