Factors Associated With Mass Failure Of Students In Social Studies In Primary School (Case Study Of Logo Local Government Area Of Benue State)
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, there have been growing concerns about the attitude of students towards the study of social studies in secondary schools. The need to adapt our education to the needs of the Nigerian society started before and after independence. Many educational elites began to recognize that the functional inadequacies of the educational system inherited from the colonial education failed to develop positive values, attitudes and habits in our society because the social studies they taught was British oriented and has nothing to offer to the Nigerian child.
Fafunwa (1974) observed that the present educational system instead of developing positive values in the society which the African child lives, tends to alienate him from his cultural environment. This was the reason behind the re-evaluation of the educational system and the curriculum of the school and objectives that are relevant to the society.
The major ideas and philosophies behind the curriculum innovation in the 1969 Naional Curriculum Conference according to Akinlaye (2001) were:
- The need to make education more relevant to the needs of the individuals and the society.
- The need to use education for national integration and socio-economic development.
- The need to develop the right societal value and;
- The need to make an individual responsible to the society in which he lives.
This has been the case, the National Policy on Education (2004) has in recognition the important role social studies will play towards the achievement of the country’s educational aims and objectives. Thus, social studies was made a core subject. Hence, there is a greater responsibility for social studies teachers in Nigeria today than the days before independence, this is because the Nigerian youths now live in an environment characterized by social ills and moral decadence which have to be curbed at all cost. The youths therefore need social studies education which focuses on the problems and issues of human beings in their changing environments and seeks to devlop desirable habits, values, attitudes and skills in order to solve them.
Researchers have concentrated much on the cognitive aspect of teaching in our secondary schools because of the importance attached to success in public examinations, however, there is an interplay between the cognitive and affective areas of teaching. For example, Taylor (2001) and Gunsch (2005) have shown that there is a relationship between interest and developments in different school subjects, therefore, it is believed that favourable attitude towards social studies may influence to a considerable extent the uptake of knowledge in social studies.
Studies relating to specific aspects of pupils’ attitude towards social studies and other related subjects have been undertaken by several researchers. Jekayinfa (2007) has reported that high grade in social studies at lower forms is a factor that can pull students to history in the secondary schools in Nigeria. In the study of factors associated with interest in science, Ormerod and Dukworth (2000) have also identified a number of factors like personality, home and other environmental factors among American and British High School students.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The poor attitude of students towards the study of social studies in secondary schools in Logo Local Government is in an unsatisfactory state of affairs and imbalance in the educational sector in particular and the nation’s development in general.
Social studies as a core subject in the junior secondary school level suggest the importance the government, parents and students themselves attach to the study.
The phenomena increase in students’ attitude towards the study of social studies in junior secondary schools should not be allowed to remain for too long unattended to.
The need to motivate students to develop positive attitude towards the study of social studies in secondary school and to create a conducive environment for studying social studies is not disputable and cannot be over-emphasized.
The unfortunate thing is that students’ attitude towards the study of social studies in schools is fraught with a lot of problems. There is a general belief that whenever students perform poorly in their courses the teacher has not really taught them well. People hardly look at the problem from the point of view of the student’s attitude towards the courses; the problem of this study therefore is to ascertain why students have poor attitude towards the study of social studies in secondary schools.
1.3 Research Questions
- Does noise pollution hinder the development of memorization skills by pupils?
- Does the presence of rich but illiterate businessmen discourage excellent academic performance or behaviour in class?
- Do Pupils who indulge in so much domestic chores have poor academic performance than pupils who do not?
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- H0: There is no significant difference between the attitudes of male and female students towards the study of social studies.
1.5 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to know the factors associated with mass failure of students in social studies in primary schools. The following specific objectives are to guide the study:
- To determine the extent to which a noisy environment hinders the development of memorization skills by primary school pupils.
- To find out how the presence of illiterate but rich businessmen affect the behaviour of primary school pupils towards learning.
- To ascertain the ways in which the home environment affects the performance of primary school pupils at school.
1.6 Significance of the Study
As Nigeria is still a developing nation, it is hoped that the findings of this research will encourage various governments to provide conducive environment, teaching aids and qualified teachers for effective study of social studies in secondary schools.
This study is of educational importance because it is believed that if social studies teachers in secondary schools understand the factors which stimulate the growth of interest in social studies, such knowledge may provide bases not only to make social studies popular but also to make the teaching of social studies humanizing.
Re-orient students with negative attitude towards the study of social studies in secondary schools. Assist the government to identify students’ attitude towards the study of social studies in secondary schools. Serve as a basis for other researchers who are carrying out investigation on similar problems facing the development of education in Nigeria. Help teachers and educational planners to acquire knowledge of solving problems associated with the attitude of students towards the study of social studies in secondary schools.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to ascertain the Factors Associated With Mass Failure Of Students In Social Studies In Primary School Case Study of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
A research of this nature requires adequate time to ensure thorough work, but the time allowed for this study was limited.
Some respondents may not have provided accurate and sincere answers that represent the true situation required for some of the questions in the questionnaire.
The researcher experienced a lot of problems during the process of this study which are as follows:
- Delay in administration of questionnaire due to public holidays.
- Typing and administration of extra copies of questionnaire because some respondents did not return their copies.
- Appealing to the principals of some of the schools used for the study due to interruption of lectures.
1.9 Definition of Concepts
The following concepts were defined:
According to the Sun Mobile Dictionary, the term influence is the “power to affect another”. The Oxford Advanced learner’s dictionary defines influence as “the effect that somebody or something has on the way a person thinks or behaves or on the way that something works or develops”.
The Sun Mobile Dictionary defines Environment as “surrounding, things, conditions, etc.” The Oxford Advanced learner’s dictionary defines it as “the conditions that affects the behaviour and development of somebody or something; the physical conditions that somebody or something exists in”.
The Sun mobile dictionary refers to the concept academy as a “school”. A school on the other hand is a place of learning. A school is a place where children are thought (Oxford mini School Dictionary: 2007). A primary school can therefore be called an Academy.
The Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines the term performance as “How well or badly you do something”. Performance as directly related to this study can also be defined as how well or badly pupils of Primary schools do in there academic work.
This can be define as the score a child or individual obtain in test or examination based on his or her learning experiences.
This is the total state of an individual based on inequality in terms of occupation, level of education and other societal issues defined by the environment.
This is a formal instruction or training given to a child in school. According to the 6th edition of the Oxford dictionary, it is a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This research work surveyed the influence of environment on three variables namely: cognition, affective behaviour and manipulative skills. The result shows that environment has a tremendous influence on the above variables. This is understandable in view of the fact that the primary school children are still in their impressionable years with initiation, and observation as their basic means of learning. The research shows that the school is not an Island that uses immune to influence extraneous variables; the school is rather a part and parcel of the community. In fact the research shows that parents can influence tremendously the academic career of their wards by altering the environment either positively or negatively.
In conclusion, from this research it has been discovered that the environment influences largely the academic performance of students generally more especially students in primary schools. Hence in other to achieve a better academic performance of students especially children in primary school, a conducive environment must be created for learning both at home and at school. It can be concluded from this angle therefore that the environment has great influence on the academic performance of a child.
Base on the findings and implication of this study, the following recommendations were made:
The study reminds us that no man is an island. Pupils are highly influenced by the environment is which they live. Therefore the current war against environment pollution by the government should be intensified. The government should emphasize pollution features like noise, filth and illegal market structures especially those around schools.
The ministry of education should re-visit policies regulating the location and maintenance of schools to ensure effective compliance. Those who violate the rules should be adequately punished.
School administrators like headmasters and principals should check the influx of distracting variables into the school premises. This can be done by employing the services of a security man who will check the movement of pupils; prevent hawkers from entering the school compound and give report on illegal or suspicious movement for prompt action.
Guidance counselors especially in primary schools should hold seminars and workshops for teachers on effective classroom management. The workshops should emphasize principles of socio-psychological conditioning in learning.
Parent teachers associations (PTA) of different schools should help to promote a good environment for learning by fencing the school compounds so as to make them inaccessible to intruders like hawkers, football clubs, churches etc. during the school hours.
Finally, excellent academic performance is the result of external and internal motivation. Therefore there is a need for parents to motivate their wards by setting attainable goals, reducing domestic chores assigned to the children and helping them to develop effective home study habits and time management.
5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies
This research on the influence of environment on the academic performance of pupils is by no means exhaustive.
Further studies could be carried out on the subject in the following areas:
- The study can be executed on a larger geographical scope such as Abia State as a whole or the entire nation.
- Research work can be initiated to explore the influence of environment on the variables such as morality, achievement, motivation, intelligence- quotient, personality etc.
- The research can be replicated with a different population such as secondary school students or university students.
- The research can also be replicated with a different research design such as experimental or quasi-experimental.
- The work can be narrowed down to a survey of the influence of specific environments such as physical, social or psychological on the academic performance of pupils.
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