The study attempted to examine the relationship between teacher factor and students’ academic performance in selected secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. In the study, relevant and related literature was reviewed under sub headings.
The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of the respondents’ opinions, with the use of the questionnaire. The sample consisted of 120 respondents selected randomly through the application of the stratified random selection method to represent the entire population of the study.
Five null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient tool at 0.05 level of significance. Results indicate that a significant relationship exists between students’ academic performance in the school and each of the teacher factors investigated. These results were discussed and recommendations were made based on the findings.
1.1 Background to the Study
Teacher education is a sine qua non to the academic performance or educational attainment at any level of life especially, in the educational system where candidates at all ages require guidance as a preparation for life.
At the secondary school level, trained teachers are to guide candidates in all class works and for examination conducts. Teachers need to be properly treated at the secondary school levels to avoid their aloofness from students in correcting youthful exuberance (Madumere, 2004). According to Onyema, (2003), the importance of teachers cannot be over emphasized. Teachers are the custodians of knowledge in the school system. They are regarded as wise people because of the peculiar nature of their job. Teachers’ work is very crucial because without the teacher, there will be no president, the governors, senators and illiteracy would have covered the earth. With the teachers, there is enlightenment knowledge and civilization. (Akande, 2005)
As Greenfield, (2005) puts the work of the teacher cannot be disregarded because if there is no teacher in any nation, there will be brazen ignorance which will stall development and growth. According to NPE (1998), no nation can rise above its teachers. The teaching profession is very important because it is the job that produces educated and learned people for the development of the society. This is because, the teacher through his teaching, produces the student who goes out there in the society to work for the society, and this affects the society positively.
According to Wuji (1989), without the teacher, there will be no student. The teacher occupies an important space in the school system and in the life of the student and his achievement. Therefore, for the students to perform better, there is need for the training and retraining of teachers, so that their imputs would be maximally used by the students and for effective prductivity.
Cage (1994) has explained that teaching is both an art and a science. According to him, it is an “instrumental practical art” rather than a “fine art”. That is, teaching requires improvisation, spontaneity, the handling of a vast array of consideration of form, style, pace, rhythm and appropriateness in ways so complex that even computers must lose the way.
According to Nath (2002), the teaching process is too complex, with a nearly infinite variety of circumstances, subjects, students groups and age groups, to be reduced.
Clark and McCarthy (1998), Austen (1994) state that teaching can and should have scientific basis. According to them, science deals with relationships between both input (independent variables) and outputs (dependent variables). A sizeable amount of good research has been carried out that relates teaching and administrative practices to student achievement as well as motivation, attitude and self-esteem.
A traditional assumption in teaching has been that students require challenging learning tasks, tasks of intermediate difficulty. This idea has been disproved. Research shows that students need and enjoy very high success rates, which come only from tasks at an appropriate difficulty level that are clearly taught and readily comprehended. For example, Good and Good (2001) and Everton, (2003), found that high socio-economic status elementary children learned best when the teachers’ questions elicited about 70% correct responses, while low socio-economic status pupils learned best with about 80% correct answers to questions. They concluded that learning proceeds best when the material is some what new or challenging, yet relatively easy for children to understand and integrate with existing knowledge and skills. Another study concluded that for younger students and less able students, almost errorless performance during learning produces better achievement and greater satisfaction (Filby, 2005).
In effective schools, monitoring of students progress takes place at all levels. Effective teacher’s monitor minute-to-minute comprehension, success and engagement rates along with the longer term achievement records of every student. Effective principals monitor achievement scores for individual students, classes, grade levels. Improvement minded superintendents also monitor average achievement scores for their classes and schools, comparing them with schools in other districts and with national average (Boot 2003). Whatever level or form, monitoring of students’ progress takes effective school administrators and teachers of note to use the achievement information as the basis for modifications of teaching and or school wide improvement plans.
According to Goodhead (2000), there are many ways to increase clarity and thus improve students’ understanding and achievement. In addition to using reviews, objectives, outlines and overviews, good teachers of note give clear verbal and written directions. They also repeat key points and instructions and call attention to main ideas. They give additional explanations and examples whenever necessary. They structure and sequence the material to minimize clarity, and they emphasize transition points between lesson parts. They check for understanding by asking clear questions and making sure that all students have a chance to respond including the quieter ones.
Effective teachers reduce confusion by avoiding digressions and irrelevant content (or the addition of relevant content at the wrong time), that is Kouin’s (2001) slip-flops and dangles. Effective teachers also review the main ideas and subparts at the end of the lesson.
All of these techniques help structure, clarity and reinforce the learning task. They also help students synthesize information into integrated wholes, with an understanding of the relationships among parts. These techniques are used by effective and good teachers and all are positively related to student-achievement.
The teaching work is very stressful due to the nature of the job. A situation where the teacher has to grapple with the writing of the lesson note, reading always to master the content, preparing the lesson in such a way that he teaches without consulting any materials and coupled with the everyday life struggles, the teacher ought to be highly remunerated and rewarded materially judging the enormity of the work he does and the importance of it to the entire society. But suffice it to say that teachers in Nigeria are not regarded as doing a great work. Rather people (society) and the government pay them back with total neglect, disregard as doing a great work and contempt as if they are not important to the society (Uzoma, 1998). Teaching job is a noble profession which ought to be handled very well and teachers therefore must be treated well, recognized and given its reserved position.
1.2Statement of the Problem
The problem inherent in the teaching and learning process, is as a result of the teacher – factor. For instance, the academic performance of students are affected negatively, when teachers do not possess the necessary mastery of the content or possess poor teaching method. Also, teachers’ negative attitudes, poor personality, inexperience, poor classroom management, poor personal hygiene, poor teacher – student relationship, lack of communicative skills and poor judgments in the classroom, contribute greatly to the poor academic achievement of students in the school.
1.3Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between teacher-factor and students’ academic performance in selected secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Based on the background information and statement of the problem of the present study, the following research questions will be raised to guide the study:
1. Will teachers mastery of content affect students’ academic performance?
2. Is there any significant difference between teaching methods and students’ academic performance?
3. Is there any significant difference between teacher’s educational qualification and student academic performance due to teacher-factor?
4. Is there any difference between teacher’s experience and students’ academic performance?
5. Will teacher’s attitude influence students’ academic achievements?
On the basis of the problem stated earlier, four null hypotheses will be postulated:
H01: There is no significant relationship between teacher’s mastery of content and students’ academic performance.
H02: There is no significant relationship between teaching method and students’ academic performance.
H03: There is no significant difference in student’s academic performance due to teachers’ educational qualification.
H04: There is no significant difference due to differences in their teachers years of teaching on students’ academic performance.
H05: There is no significant difference between teachers’ attitude and students’ academic performance in the school.
1.6Significance of the Study
This study will be of great benefit to the following:
(1) Teachers: They would benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study because it will give them an insight on how to carry out their jobs in the school. It will enable teachers to be more productive in doing their daily job of teaching and learning. With this study, many teachers would be-oriented in the art of teaching knowing fully well that the way they teach will affect students’ academic achievement in schools.
(2) Students: They would benefit from the study because it will help them to have the understanding that their teachers required to be an exemplary one, if his/her teaching experiences would be of great benefit to the child or the student. With the findings and the recommendations of this study, students would be able to identify teachers who “cheat” and real teachers of note in the school system. with this study also, students would be able to know that they need to be taught by trained and experienced teachers if they would put up high performances in their academic careers.
(3) Parents: They would learn that the careers of their children hang in the balance, if they are being coached by unprofessional, inexperienced teachers. With this study, parents would be able to know that there is a great difference between the academic achievement of students who are taught by well trained teachers and those taught by non-trained, inexperienced teachers.
(4) Society: The society will be able to understand the difference in the academic performance of children taught by two types of teachers (the trained and the untrained) in the school system. This is because the society benefits if the children are well brought up by a well trained teacher. Students will be well behaved apart from the exhibition of high academic achievement, and this will better the lots of the society.
1.7Scope of the Study
This study covers teacher-factor and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to the examination of teacher-factor and students’ academic performance in secondary schools. Time, finance, shortage of necessary materials and other logistics will pose a hindrance to the successful conclusion of this study.
1.9Definition of Terms
1. Education: Education is derived from the Latin word “educare” which means to draw out. Education is therefore defined as a process of drawing out and developing the potentialities of an individual.
2. The School: The school is one of the chief agents of education. It is a formal and a planned institution with rules and regulations established for educating the young and charged with the responsibility of transmitting the cultural heritage of the people by showing knowledge and its appreciation as well as adherence to its norms.
3. Teaching: Hyman (1990) sees teaching as the art and practice of imparting to a learner knowledge, skills, values and norms that will be useful to the total development of the individual.
4. Training: This refers to giving a course of specific instruction or practice to a learner with the purpose to shape, develop or acquire appreciable habits.
5. Instruction: Ofoegbu (2001) sees instruction as causing someone to know or be able to do something. It is also giving a group of people some specific knowledge or skill within or outside a school environment through observation, discovery and experience.
6. Indoctrination: This is a process in which the learner is compelled to accept a set of ideas without questioning.
7. Coaching: This involves teaching, training, instructing or advising an individual or persons in a particular area of subject in which a student is deficient.