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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON PROBLEMS MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY.
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- Name: PROBLEMS MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY.
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Statement of the Problems
Education cannot work out successfully without adequate plans, policies and proper implementations of laid down rules, in order to achieve stated goals. The administration of Nigeria educational programmes has been swimming in the biocratic situation due to politics, economic and social problems. The socio-economic factors have been multi-dimensional in features. The homes of these pupils/students have been identified through this research as the basic or foundation of the problems. Due to high level of divorcés, broken homes, single parenthood and the quest for material wealth, parents and guidance has left their primary status to maids, house boys, and teachers. The research work is concerned more to find out the socio-economic factors affecting the academic performance of students in Obingwa Local Government area of Abia State.
From all indications, in a situation like this, one can conclude that the academic performance of students who are the bye-products of our school system will be in jeopardy, and the future will be bleak.
However these socio-economic factors have affected students’ performance in external examinations and their attitude in higher institutions of learning, and have been a great challenge to the implementation of programme and policies of government.
Furthermore, due to non-challant attitude of our educational administrators in implementing the national policy on education, and inherent corruption in the sectors, teachers lack the basic tools and instructional materials required to impact knowledge on the children. In addition, the teaching profession is looked down upon as the morale of the teachers are low, which also affect their productivity. Teaching has been left in the hands of women due to poor remuneration and allowances, low morale of the profession and little or no motivational factors on the job.
The researcher has gone to finding a lasting solution that if properly implemented or adopted, it will go a long way to help alleviating the situation, which will have a positive effect on the student’s performance in schools.
However, the over bearing influence of the peer groups on these children has been enormous. In addition, movies, televisions, internets, telephones and other social networks like the face book, 2go, twitter etc has played significant roles in shaping the morals and attitude of our students and their performance in schools.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to find out the Factors Affecting the Socio-Economic of Academic Performance of Student in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State.
Importance of the Study
The factors affecting the socio-economic of academic performance of students in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State has become alarming, that through this research work certain salient factors which has not been addressed will be highlighted in order to help our school system and the pupil/students at large.
The duties of our parent/guidance will be highlighted, which has been neglected for some time now. The study intends to expose the various socio-economic factors affecting student’s academic performance such as examination malpractices, broken homes, single parenthood, divorce, economic recessions, poverty in the economy, low moral and social values of our culture and norms in the recent past.
However, students’ attitude towards hard work and quest for academic excellence has not been encouraging. The issue of special centres for examination malpractices, leakage of examination questions by relevant educational authorities for material gains, and the quest of parents to make sure that their wards successes at all cost have contributed a lot to these problems.
This section focuses on the Review of Related Literature on the socio-economic factors affecting the Academic Performance of Students, the concept of education and the prospect of finding a lasting solution to some of these problems.
Meaning of Instructional Strategy:
All instructional designers would then plan an approach to each of these steps after obtaining a set of objectives a description of assumed entry behaviours and the criterion referenced test.
- Does the plan provide for inquiry approach?
- What provisions are made to enable the learner to think, discover, make generalizations and give illustrations of his own?
- How far does the teaching procedure promote high levels of objectives?
- Are there provisions in the teaching styles of known principles of learning such as motivation, interest, reinforcement and transfer?
- How are the activities varied?
Ama-jirionwu (2005) has listed the following techniques and skills to be included in instructional strategy. Using different points of view; Reinforcement; Control of participation; Repetition; Recognizing pupil attention; Use of examples; Asking questions; Silence and non—verbal cues communication; Varying the stimulus situation lecturing; Lecturing; Variety and variation. Each of these skills and techniques is used within any given lesson to bring about a desirable outcome.
According to Gaga and Brigge (2009) a major distinction needs to be made between a model of teaching and instructional system. They feel that it appears that the purpose of a model of teaching is to provide a conceptual link between desired outcomes and an appropriate teaching method or set of methods. Dick and Carey (2008) preferred to use system’ e approach and humanistic approach to instruction. Nevertheless, they share almost the same basic concepts from principles of learning. Any given model is designed to teach a particular type of lessons to a particular type of student. Thus some models are used for the science subjects and others for the arts subjects.
Some more lights have been thrown into the following concepts: Instruction; teaching strategies methods and procedure.
According to Rodgers (2005) when one discusses curriculum instruction and teaching strategies, method and procedures-some instance must be taken-unfortunately, the literature in education often uses these terms interchangeably or on term has been used as a replacement for the other owing to the ‘fact in vogue at the time of its use.
Many writers have viewed teaching methods from different perspectives. According to Gagne and Briggs (2004) instructions have been classified into three groups mainly:
- Instruction in two person group.
- Instruction in small group
iii. Instruction in large group.
In essence, this approach viewed here as a teaching method rather than as a study of group process, entails discussion among students with considerable attention given to inter-play among members of the group. The first one consists of one student to one instructor. They feel it could be composed of students, one of whom assumes the tutoring. This kind of instruction according to Dewy (2002) is child centred, Instruction in small groups is common in lower classes where children have not mastered the geographical factors determining the choice of site like mapping out the market.
In the large group instruction, the teacher employs communications which are the same as the two above. Its advantage lies in the fact that students cannot be said to have gained mastery. The most common mode of instruction for the large group is the lecture method. Here the teacher communicates orally with students assembled in a group. It may be accompanied by occasional demonstration, pictures or diagrams.
McLeish (2006) has proved that the lecture method can accomplish some positive instructional purposes:
- Inspire an audience with its own enthusiasm
- Relate his field of study to human purposes and thus studies interest,
iii. Relate theory and research to practical problems.
Another writer, Obanya (2000) has identified lecture methods as widely practiced method of teaching. He has outlined how useful a lecture method could be, but sounds a note of warning. He contends that the lecture method is not suitable at the lower level of our educational system because real teacher pupil interaction is necessary for promotion of learning. The lecture lacks this.
The learner simply listens and writes down a few notes. He further ascertained that lecture method does not permit the teachers to know his pupils. Young learners particularly those still with Agricultural Science problems like those for whom practical work could be problem including Chemistry and Mathematics cannot make useful notes from lectures. He said that with the lecture method in the other hand, a lecturer can deal with a very large class in comparatively shorter time.
Blingh (2002) in his survey of relevant research concludes that the lecture is acceptable as a means of transmitting information; it is less valuable than other teaching methods for stimulating thought for personal and social adjustment and for change of attitude.
Classroom Reward Structures (reinforcement) refers to performance criteria contingencies or standards that students must satisfy in order to receive presumably valued or reinforcing consequences such as prizes or high grades. Michael (2007) contends that the reward structure typical of most classrooms appears to be some compromise between indirect individual competition in which grades are assigned to students based on their performance relative to those of their classmates and personal reward contingencies in which grades are assigned to student on the basis of how much material each learner apparently masters.
Learning can be initiated, stimulated and increased by conscious use of rewards. Aristotle and Plato urged that learners must be stimulated or motivated to arouse interest and desire for learning. Bimbanm (2002) describes how edible reinforcement (Nuts, apples and honey) were used as rewards in the twelfth century teaching of torch.
Classical learning theorist of current century (Watson 2000 Skinner 2004, Throndike 2008, Dellard and Miller 2000, Ferter and Skinner 2007 regard reinforcement as essential components of successful learning. Watson (2000) investigated the effects of reinforcement on changing behaviour and attitudes towards learning. Skinner (2002) and. Thorndike (2001; 2000) experimented at first on the effectiveness of various reinforces on training animals and subsequently transferred their interest and research activities to humans.
Fester and skinner (2007) co-operated in producing exhaustive of learning response to several schedules of reinforces. Skinner (1966) when later designed contingencies of reinforcement for an ideal culture. Contemporary reviews stretch the evidence on the general effectiveness of reinforcement in token economics O’Leary and Draboran (2001) found token reinforcement programmes generally effective in improving the academic and social behaviour diverse samples of children. Such programmes could be more effective (they ascertained) when teacher, children and parents are involved in the planning and selection of reinforcement.
According to Michael’s (2007) co-operative reward structures and group oriented contingencies result in significantly strengthened co-operation among classroom groups as well as improvement in the learning. He has classified reward structures most frequently operationalized in both classroom and laboratory research as:
- Individual reward contingencies
- Group reward contingencies
- Group competition.
Although recent reviews support the idea of the general efficacy of reinforcement, some theory and evidence suggest that reinforce must be suited to the development of cultural or social level of the learner.
Forness (2003) for instance cited as number of experimental studies that show the developmental nature of reinforcement. He is of the opinion that a teacher must gain knowledge of the learner’s developmental stage to know what kinds of reinforcement may be most appealing. He classified reinforcement into seven developments levels from the moat traditional such a edibles, bodily satisfactions, toys, and many through social acceptance on the highest rein forcers such competence or self motivation. He based his categories generally on psychological theory, but with the intention of making them relevant to classroom teaching practices. He found out that social approval or verbal praise is more effective than rewards.
Individual versus Group Reward:
According to Hamblin, Nachway and Wodershi (2001) an individual reward contingency and a group reward contingency based on the average performance of group members to be equally effective in strengthening the Academic performance, of fourth grades. In addition, both reward contingencies were more effective in strengthening academic performance than was a contingency that reward students for simply attending class. The findings of two other studies are consistent with the no difference finding or Hamblin, Hathaway and Wodareki.
Individual versus Group Competition
Miller and Humblin (2003) in their study compared the effectiveness of individual and group competition in strengthening the independent academic performance of students has consistently found individual competition to be more effective. Tasks used in these studies included Mathematics problems, digit-letter substitution and reading.
Competition versus Reward Contingencies
Individual competition was found to strengthen performance more effectively than both individual and group reward contingencies. Individual competition was group reward contingencies. Individual competition was found more effective than individual reward contingencies in strengthening students’ performance on digit-letter substitution problems Clifford (2001) and test scoring task Sooth and Cherrignton (2004). Julian and Perry (2007) found group competition more effective than a group reward contingency.
Differential Reward as Competition
Miller and Humblin (1963) operationalized zero, moderated, and high differential rewarding within three person groups. Under zero differentials rewarding, the highest performer received one-half, the next performer one third and the loud performer one-sixth of the group rewards.
Problems of Policy Implementation in Nigeria
Ukeje (2009) highlighted socially the factors and forces that have militated against affective implementation of educational policies. Some of these;
- a) The lack of trained and experienced system managers. The functions of system managers focus around the translation of government policies into implement able programmes and projects-projecting and forecasting school enrolment; projecting for the needed human, physical and financial resources; projecting for the disbursement of available resources; projecting for admissions, mobilization and maintenance; projecting for the teaching and the certification of trainees; projecting for the assignment and. the supervision of staff for results: etc.
- The politicalization of educational decisions-making that alienates faithfully implementation of the policies.
- Inter and intra-organizational and personality conflicts could affect effective policy implementation. For example, there the tendency to emphasize what bodies articulated what policies rather than appreciating the usefulness of the polities to the Nigerian Society. Put differently, when educational ideas are floated, people tend to ignore the ideas themselves and rather concentrate on the individuals proposing them.
- Nigeria’ a impatience at experimentation since no new policy is given enough time to get assimilated before it is jettisoned for a brand new one which invariably, would he ill-planned thereby making their implementation difficult.
- The crisis of planning without facts or the culture of unreliable data. Many good educational policies have floundered becau8e of inadequate appraised of the resources required for their effective implementation.
- The crisis of “muddling through arising primarily from political and social instability which have so far failed to provide a conducive atmosphere for policy implementation. For example, the constant changes in political leadership through military coups, created rooms for constant formulation of new policy agenda without implementing earlier policies simply because every new leader would want to start something new. (One would ask why UBE when UPE has not been attained?
- Political patronage, political insensitivity and indiscipline in the management of public institutions taking the form of ethnicity, nepotism, sectionalism, tribalism, quota, nepotism, quota application, federal character etc.
- Financial indiscipline in the management of material resources in the Nigerian public system generally otherwise called corruption and fraud (which adversely affect educational delivery). Such indiscipline, according to Okonkwo 2009 results in high wastage not only of the material resources available, but also, of the human resources available, but also, of the human resources needed for policy implementation.
- Selection of wrong and. inappropriate performance indicators. This leaves those monitoring the performance of the implementation process with the file impression that the policy objectives are being realized when in fact, that is not so.
- Impossible time-frame for implementation arising primarily from the crisis of planning without facts and lack of human and material resources.
- Ambiguities in policy standards that the implementers find difficult to be reconciled.
- Lack of visionary and exemplary leadership system etc.
The Language Question
It must be understood that an early start with language particularly, the mother tongue or the local vernacular in the public system, may save the adult person many years of laborious work later on, at a period when his energy and time could be put to better use.
According to Christopher (2003),
The influence of language on the growing mind is so intricately interwoven that it forms a bridge between heredity and environment, In the case of a nation, langue as the repository of racial and national memory, is considered as the most important influence in the formation of national character (P. 32).
Public differently, language is a major instrument for national transformation. By implication, national public school systems by using national language as the media of instruction put into operation the most powerful tools in moulding the minds of the rising generation.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Fishmen (2008) have documented extensively what an impediment to learning and to public school education globally, and in Nigeria in particular, language has been. Okonkwo’ s studies have shown that the use of English in Nigeria’ s public schools creates artificial situations in the classrooms which have no meaningful parallel situations in everyday life, and as a result, lays in our public schools the most undesirable of all foundations namely. One that has to be dug up and re-laid since it leads t pool quality work. It is pertinent to restate here that learning takes place only when communication flows and meaning is shared between the learner and the teacher and between the learners themselves.
Infrastructural Facilities and Recreational Activities:
Nigeria (2005) found that the one of the major factors determining both the quality of public school work and how long pupils in public primary and secondary schools persist at school is the nature and quality of infrastructural. Facilities and recreational activities available to them. He also found out that correlation between infrastructural facilities, recreational activities and the quality of public school work and persistence and public schools to be as high as 0.65 for the 5.7 years old and 0.35 for 12 years old and above. They defined infrastructural facilities to include;
* School buildings and size of the school
* Equipment (including audio-visual elements);
* Instructional materials and regularity of replacement
* The size and appearance of the classroom and regularity of effecting necessary and needed modifications.
* The number, relevance and type of picture on the walls;
* The ventilation system etc.
They defined recreational facilities to include the type and number of games, sporting activities and play facilities (hockey, cricket, lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, football, bag etc) for both indoor and outdoor available to the children: The size, suitability and quality of maintenance of the playgrounds, etc.
The studies led them to conclude that inadequacy of these facilities will not only affect the quality of public school education, but will also inhibit the ability of the teacher to organized his daily school and classroom activities as well as hinder his effectiveness.
Besides, Okonkwo (1991) confirmed that:
Adequate and relevant facilities for all types enhance communication within and outside the classroom; help develop the interest of the children in what is going on in the school environment, resulting to regular attendance and by implication, help to re-reduce chances of failure, frustration and dropping out (P.4).
Of course, success in school work greatly increases the chance of the individual in playing useful role towards the transfortntb0fl of the state. And, you will agree with me that these enabling facilities are not available in our public schools.
Quality of International Supervisions
Both Wisernen (2007), Yeseneck Ani Qkson (2009) found that the quality of public school work generally, and in rural areas, in particular, is as much as function of the classroom language question, persistence regularity at school, availability of infrastructural and recreational facilities, etc, as it is of inadequate supervision of instruction in public schools. Their studies led them to the conclusion that:
Head teacher and teachers, like the children before them, need to be purposefully and guided, controlled, directed advised, stimulated, counseled and motivated not just for just for the purpose of improving the quality of teaching and learning in public schools, But to avoid a situation where the schools would degenerate into the routine establishments in which each individual would just do what he likes.
Wiseman particularly advised that closer supervision of instruction in public schools, particularly the rural schools, should be a very important part of the programme of every nation’s Department/Ministry of Education, An active supervisory department should 1.mderetnd the chief cause of poor quality of most of Nigeria’s public school buildings. Moet of them are leaking, the walls are cracked the flours are rough with potholes everywhere. Put differently, our public school buildings are potential death traps for teachers, pupils and students. The aesthetic environment conducive to effective teaching and learning has totally disappeared. Today, it is not uncommon to see our Nigerian public school children staying under trees to take their lessons. Social conveniences such as toilets, urinary, etc are not available for both teachers and pupils’ absence.
In fact, Okonkwo (2002) on his part, came to the conclusion that a good and concerned supervisor should help teachers and parents to analyze the conditions surrounding each child end determine the cause behind the poor quality of his school work and, so far as it is remediable, help the child to make the necessary and needed adjustments.
Teacher Disposition, Motivation and effectiveness
The question of teacher disposition, Motivation and effectiveness in the Nigerian public school system has remained a thorny one. Okonkwo (2008) show that:
through time, the teacher in the Nigeria public school system, has felt constrained to work in a very rapid and rigid and unhealthy setting since he merely serve as a servant rather than a partner in the educative process; observes rules and guidelines determined by policymakers and administrators who are far from the classroom, is totally alienated from the zone of policy formulation even in matters that affect him personally and professionally (P. 65).
He explains the matters that affect him personally and professionally as curriculums standards, selection of textbooks, appointment and promotion of colleagues, determination of the general and goals of education, etc and his salary and entitlements are not paid as and when due.
There is no question at all that teaching in the Nigerian public school system, has not regarded as a desirable occupation with the result that he self-image of every teacher in the system has always appeared to have a touch of apology. It is understand-able; therefore, that under the present circumstances, nobody would expect him to give off his beet, a he uual1y does not.
Funding of the public School System
Often funds allocated to the public school sector in the budget (federal as well as the 8tate), are either not released or are redirected to other sectors, Of course, when this happens, our children in the public school system suffer from under-education and national development is sacrificed is pertinent to observe that the UBE programme of the late 1970s and early education failed largely because the funds which the Federal Government made available to the states were grossly mismanaged. The money was therefore channeled into areas to which it was not meant with the result that in some states of the federation, teachers were owned salaries for six months or more and most of the schools were left in a state of disrepair. The UBE experiment will not fare any better.
On the contrary, when the funds for public school education are approximately utilized, our schools will function more effectively since teachers will be better prepared/trained Find well motivated, and on their part, they will motivate our children to learn and this will reduce the incidence of absentees, frustration, failure and dropping out.
Why Parents prefer Private Schools?
Igbonedion (2004) reported that:
The failure of public schools is responsible for the increasing preference for private schools on poor parents in developing countries across Africa and Asia. Also absenteeism and lack of accountability on the part of the teachers have contributed to the increase in the search for alternative education for the children of the poor (P. 31).
These were part of the submission at a workshop in Lagos organized by the Institute of public policy Analysis (IPPA) in conjunction with the E.G. Obingwa Centre of the School of Education, University of Newcastle, upon Tyne, United Kingdom, on the role of public/private partnership, in providing Access of Low Income Families to Basic Education in Africa and Asia. The workshop was part of the ongoing research, to explore bow different ch.oo1 cater for chi1dr in Africa. It is also premised on the importance of collaboration of the private and public sectors in poverty reduction and human capital development in Nigeria, said Mr. Thomas Ayodele, (IppA) Coordinator in Lagos.
Facilitators of the Workshop comprised lecturers and top class researchers from the 1niversity of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, end the University of Ibadan, while participants at the workshop included Head Teachers of public and private school primary schools, Association of Private School owners, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Local Education District official and the Lagos State Ministry of Education officials.
It is the expectation of the organizers of the workshop that the outcome provides policy options for increasing access of children from low-income families to quality education and helps reduce poverty.
Why are parents paying fees when State Schools are free?
Tooley (2000) asked; it a because of the failure of state schools across Africa arid Asia. For example, only in about fifty-three per cent of the state schools visited un-announced in Lagos State, was there any “teaching activity” going on. In fully thirty-three percent, the head teacher was absent. Significantly, the low level of teaching activities occurred even in those schools with relatively good infrastructure, teaching aids and pupil-teacher ratio, the report discovered. He added that:
The problems do not manifest in the private schools. In the great majority again visited unannounced, and at random, there was feverish classroom activity that majority of the parents reported that if the coat of sending a child to a private school were to increase hun3red percent, and a state school were to reduce significantly, they would rather send their children to private schools (P. 4).
The workshop also found government teacher absenteeism as being responsible for why poor households prefer to send their children to private schools. The main advantage of the private school over the public school, according to popular opinion, is the level of accountability. The private schools, according to the report were successful because they were more accountable. The teachers are accountable to the manager (who can fire them), and through him or her to the parents (who can withdraw their children). Such accountability is not present in government schools, and the contrast is perceived in crystal clarity by the vast majority of parents.
Education in Nigeria:
Okoro (1999) reviewed, there were three fundamentally distinct education systems in Nigeria in 1990;
The indigenous system, Quatrain schools, and formal European-style education institutions. In the rural areas where the majority lived, children learned the skills of farming and other work, 88 well as the duties of adulthood, from participation in the community. This process was often supplemented by age-based schools in which groups of young boys were instructed in community responsibilities by mature men. (P.15).
Apprentices systems were widespread throughout all occupations; the trainee provided service to the teacher over a period of years and eventually strict out on his own. Truck driving, building trades, and all indigenous crafts and services from leather work to medicine were passed down in families and acquired through apprenticeship training as well.
In 1990 this indigenous system includes more than fifty percent of the school-age population and operated almost entirely in the private sector; there was virtually no regulation by the government unless training included the need for a license. By the 1970s, education exports were asking how the system could be integrated into the more formal schooling of the young, but the question remained unresolved by 1990.
Duru (2001) pointed out that:
The raw scores from out student achievement tests show considerably higher achievement in the private than in government schools. In Hyderahad, for instance, mean scores in mathematics were about twenty-two centage points and twenty three percentage points higher in private unrecognized and recognized schools, respectively, than in government schools (P.3).
Okonkwo (2000) wrote that,
It was that renowned British educationist John Blackie who, concerned with how to improve the public school system in England decided to undertake a comparative study of educational opportunities, achievements and resources distribution in Britain, France and the United States of America (USA). His study led him to conclude that it is certain that British children today do not learn in our public school as much as their parents and teachers did or hoped (P. 2).
He attributed this apparent failure to the fact that it must be admitted that British educational thinkers today, are not all of one mind about the learning process and there is quite a great deal that they do not know yet about it.
Perhaps, the concern for this situation gave birth to a number of commissions and conferences directed at improving public school education delivers in the African sub-region. Such commissioner and conferences include: the Asbby Commission in Nigeria which published its report in 1960; the Addis Ababa Conference which led to the publication of the Final Report of 1961; the Ominde Commission in Uganda which published its report “to enquire into and examine all aspects of our public education system having regard to its content, structure and direction, its function as an instrument of national unity and detect Defeats in the present system.
Delimitation of the Study
This study contains a lot of information that will benefit government and parents towards the realization of the objective of education. The government will after going through this study given much attention to improve the conditions of public schools in social studies to ensure effective standard quality of education in Nigeria. Parents as well will be able to develop interest in sending their children to public schools. Teachers as well will develop more interest in teaching in public schools in social studies. Further researchers will make use of the data contained in this study for their related future studies.
The following research question were formulate for the study.
- To what extent has poverty contributed to the academic performance of students in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State?
- How has corruption and corrupt officials pose a problem to the academic performance of students?
- Does adequate or lack of infrastructures an impeachment to academic performances of students?
- Did inadequate home care and good parenting a threat to students’ academic performance?
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