Effect Of Class Size On Students Academic Performance In Biology At SSCE

Biology Education Project Material

Effect Of Class Size On Students Academic Performance In Biology At SSCE


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE using some selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State. Specifically the study is set to ascertain whether class size influences students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology, ascertain whether class size influences students’ learning outcome in biology, determine whether over crowed class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE, and ascertain whether class size influences students’ academic performance in SSCE. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises of biology teacher of some senior selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 39 respondents and 35 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Pearson correlation statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that class size influence students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology in secondary school. Furthermore, the study also revealed that over crowded class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE. Therefore, it is recommended that educational planners should ensure that with an increase in student’ population, arrangements should be made for commensurate increase in infrastructure and qualified teachers. This will reduce class size, enable adequate teachers’ workload and encourage student-centered learning. This will go a long way to improve the quality of teaching, learning and performance. To mention but few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, ethnicity, socioeconomics, overcrowding and teaching methods are all variables that affect student achievement (Molnar, 2000). Other factors that affect student achievement are school population and class size (Gentry, 2000; Swift, 2000; Krueger and White Moore, 2007).

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it adds to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Lagos state and Nigeria at large. In order to better understand the skill levels of students, it might be necessary to evaluate factors affecting their performance. These include: school structure and organization, teachers’ quality, curriculum and teaching philosophy (Driscoll, Halcoussis and Svomy, 2008).

Overtime, students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001). As school grows, they typically become more bureaucratic, resulting in more formalized human relations and increased curricular specialization. Another stand, typically conducted by economist directs attention to the potential for increased efficiency and cost reductions as schools get bigger. Conclusions from these two streams are not consistent. Although, the studies with an organizational focus generally favour smaller schools, research with an economic focus tends to suggest benefits from increased size.

Overpopulation classrooms have increased the possibilities for at risk students, as well as others, to lose interest in school and do poorly on test. There identifies for specific problems regarding overcrowding, students not getting individual attention, low reading scores, frustration and stress felt by the teachers and the inability of students to concentrate or stay on task while in class. The problem identified can be that teachers are unable to give individual attention to students. Teachers’ aides are not always available and sometimes students have to share textbooks. It can take the entire class time for students to find seats, make sure everyone has a textbooks to look at and then explain the next assignment. This leaves no time for individual attention to explain assignment and answer questions. Thus, with teacher unable to help individual students, those who need extra help in gaining or maintaining their reading skills get left behind. They are unable to keep up the reading or in class discussions because of many students in one class.

Overpopulation in schools and classes is a serious problem in many schools systems, particularly in the inner cities where space for new construction is limited. As a result, students find themselves trying to learn while jammed into spaces never intended as classrooms, such as libraries, gymnasiums, laboratories, lunch rooms and even closets. Although, research on the relationship between overcrowding and student leaving had been limited, there are some evidence particularly in high poverty schools, that overcrowding can have adverse impact on learning. A study of overpopulation in schools found that students in such schools score significantly lower on both mathematics and reading exams then did similar students in underutilized schools. In addition, when asked, students and teachers in overpopulation schools agreed that overcrowding negatively affects both classroom activities and instructional technologies (Krueger and Whiteman, 2001).

Crowded classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of times teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or on teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required materials. In addition, because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an overpopulated classroom, the likelihood increase that they will suffer from burn out earlier than might otherwise be the case.

Although, there is a significantly amount of research analyzing students’ performance (Matuga, 2009; CerezoRUssillo and Casanova Arias, 2004), there is still a need for more concentrate test results. It is necessary to define the effects of environmental, psychological and sociological elements. This clarity will better enable school to provide a quality learning institution – organized and established public domain, with a sphere of knowledge influence and activity (Meram-Webster Dictionary).

The idea that school population and class size might affect students’ performance is consistence with the growing literature on the relationship between public sector institutional arrangements and outcome. The purpose of this study is to further examine the relationship of class size, and student academic achievement in Biology.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the modern day education, the focus is on the needs, interest and comfort of the students(Doyle, 2014). Thus, managing class size allows students to learn effectively without disturbing one another (Garret, 2008). While a number of studies have found support for the importance of class size on student achievement, others strongly disprove this claim concluding that class size has little or no impact on objective student outcomes. Copious studies have investigated the influence of class size on student attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes. The devastating issue is that limited number of these studies has focused on elementary school effects of class size on student achievement (Altinok and Kingdon, 2012).

According to Charles (2015), the teaching and learning of biology in Nigeria, especially in secondary schools, has a number of obstacles. These problems at this level have spawned a myriad of additional challenges that are impeding the achievement of the students in the subject.

Students’ performance, which is the result of the teaching–learning process, is the most influential aspect in determining the effectiveness of education. With a high student population, it will be difficult for students to gain the educational skills. Secondary schools, along with other institutions of higher education, are the primary providers of high-quality labor force in any community (Medel, 2018). According to Cuban (2016), class size have a significant effect on the educational quality and academic education of students. Students-to-teacher ratio and per-student expenditures are, without a question, essential resource inputs for every academic institution. The lower the class size, the greater the likelihood of increasing the quality of education and achieving the academic objectives of secondary schools. Taft, Perkowski, and Martin (2021), discovered that there is a clear and substantial correlation between class size, and student performance. Moreover, students gained greater knowledge in smaller courses. They also discovered that the greatest advantage of lowering class size happened when there were fewer than 20 students in the class. In terms of student responses, teacher morale, and the quality of the teaching environment, they decided that shorter class sizes were preferable.

In Nigerian public secondary schools, the ratio of teachers to students is impacted by the difficulties of providing a high-quality education and the rise in student population. An increase in the class size promotes classroom overcrowding and opens the door to several social vices. As a result, students are not effectively instructed. This caused them to do extremely poorly on exams. Having reviewed the aforementioned, this study seek to examine the effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically examine effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE.

Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain whether class size influences students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology.
  2. Ascertain whether class size influences students’ learning outcome in biology.
  3. Determine whether over crowed class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE.
  4. Ascertain whether class size influences students’ academic performance in SSCE.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. Does class size influence students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology in secondary school?
  2. Does class size influence students’ learning outcome in biology?
  3. Does over crowded class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE?
  4. Does class size influence students’ academic performance in SSCE?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in Biology.
  • Ha: There is a significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in Biology.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study when completed would enable the teacher to know the dangers associated with over-crowded classroom. It would assist the government and education planners on recruitment and supervision of teachers bearing in mind the expected teacher-learner ratio. The study will assist in providing a guide in the realization of one of the core objectives of Nigeria education which is to make Nigeria one of the technological advanced countries in the world.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study boarders on the effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE. Geographically, this study will be delimited to some selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Class Size

Class size refers to the number of students a teacher faces during a given period of instruction. Dozens of studies on class-size reduction demonstrate its positive impact on student performance, though a smaller number of studies attempt to cast doubt on the connection between class size and student learning.

Academic Performance:

How well or badly students do in studies at school.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE using some selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the effect of class size on students academic performance in biology at SSCE using some selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State. The study is was specifically carried out to ascertain whether class size influences students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology, ascertain whether class size influences students’ learning outcome in biology, determine whether over crowed class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE, and ascertain whether class size influences students’ academic performance in SSCE.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 35 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were biology teacher of some senior selected secondary schools in Badagry, Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Class size influence students concentration during the teaching and learning of biology in secondary school.
  2. Class size influence students’ learning outcome in biology.
  3. Over crowded class room affect students’ academic readiness for SSCE.
  4. Class size influence students’ academic performance in SSCE.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Educational planners should ensure that with an increase in student’ population, arrangements should be made for commensurate increase in infrastructure and qualified teachers. This will reduce class size, enable adequate teachers’ workload and encourage student-centered learning. This will go a long way to improve the quality of teaching, learning and performance.
  2. The Ministry of Education, policy makers, parent – teachers association, old boys/students association and other nongovernmental organizations, corporate bodies and religious organizations should contribute respectively to renovate dilapidated classrooms, build more classrooms to contain the growing enrolments in the schools and provide schools with the facilities they need to make teaching and learning easier and effective.
  3. Where the class size cannot be reduced in a given time due to challenges beyond the control of the school authorities, it is recommended that teachers and management of the school should employ rotational students’ group formation and study. These groups could identify common challenges and present it to teachers for support.

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