Impact Of Learning Environment On The Students’ Academic Performance

Environmental Education Project and Seminar Material

Impact Of Learning Environment On The Students’ Academic Performance


Abstract


This research work centered on the influence of learning environment on the academic performance of students in public junior secondary school in Ojo local government area. This study was aimed at finding how learning environment has an impact on academic performance on students. The researcher made effort to review books, journals and other materials relating to the different headings incorporated in the literature review. The study population for this study composed of 80 students in four public secondary schools in ojo local government area, Lagos state. The instrument used to collect data for this study was questionnaire. Te data was analyzed through SPSS computer package. The result obtained indicate that a significant relationship exist between learning environment and academic performance.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The learning environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect students’ academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000). Hence, the learning environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the learning environment (Ajao 2001) learning environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in teaching-learning process. The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.

Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud, and Turner (2008), quoting Marsden (2005), which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), School facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students’ academic performance in schools. The three researchers, also quoted Glassman (1994), asserting that a comfortable and caring environment among other treatments helped to contribute to students` academic performance.

The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002)

Lyons, 2001; and Ostendorf, 2001). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student. Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students.

Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor learning environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001;Moore, 2002;

Stricherz, 2000; Tanner, 2000). To complement these studies, the present research is to examine the aforementioned areas of learning environment as it affect students performance in Nigerian schools.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

A student faces a lot of problem in the course of his educational pursuit. These problems are multifaceted. The research is concerned with the influence of the learning environment with special reference to student’s academic attainment and possible solution to the problem. The alarming poor performance in examination is definitely of great concern to the researcher who sees the study as inevitable.

It is noted that students’ performance at junior secondary school level at private and public schools differs due to environmental constraints.

The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, little is known on the impact of learning environment on students’ academic performance in junior secondary school in Ojo Local government area of Lagos State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Find out the effect of the learning environment on the students’ academic performance
  2. Examine the reasons for students’ poor performance.
  3. Find out the effect of the learning environment of student on the academic performance of junior secondary school students.

1.4 Research Questions

This research work would also investigate to know the possible solution to the problem. The research would equally pay attention to the family’s financial status. Consequently, the following questions is asked.

  1. Is there any relationship between learning environment and the student academic performance?
  2. To what extent do learning facilities affect students’ academic performance in secondary school?
  3. Does class size has any effect on the academic performance of students in secondary school?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypothesis is stated for work.

H01: There is no significant relationship between learning environment and the students’ academic performance

H02: The extent to which learning facilities affect student performance is very low

H03: Class size does not affect gender performance of students

H4: There is no significant difference between learning environment location and academic performance of students


1.6 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that this study would provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts.

In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.

Also, this work would serve as a stepping stone to other researchers, who are looking for better ways to solve the problem of learning environment and students’ academic performance in junior secondary school in business study, a case study of selected Junior Secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this work is to cover four selected schools under Ojo Local Government Area.

They are:

  1. Awori College, Ojo
  2. Ajangbadi High School, Ajangbadi
  3. Lagos model college, Ojo.
  4. Ojo Community High School, ojo

The subjects of this study are junior school.

It is hoped that the findings made in these areas would serve as a useful pointer to what occurs in other areas of the state and in other part of the federation knowing fully well that students encounter different environmental constraint.


1.8 Definition of Term

Academy:

A school or college for special training.

Student:

The word “Student” means any person who is ready to learn and engage in learning activities.

Environment:

Environment can be seen as the totality of the natural and artificial (manmade) phenomenon having direct and

Learning:

Learning is basically a process of adapting to and improving the environment. What is learned can be measured either by those things that we observe in the behaviour of the individual.

Performance:

Is the act of performing a play, concert or some other form of entertainment.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This study examined the Impact of Learning Environment on the Performance of Students in in Junior Secondary Schools in Lagos State. The study comprised background to the study that highlighted variables such as the concept of education, learning environment vis-a-vis academic performance, meaning of , meaning of performance and objectives of secondary education. This was followed by statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, basic assumptions, significance of the study, scope and delimitation of the study.

Review of related literature was carried out to provide the practical basis for data interpretation and major findings of the study. The review was on the following sub-headings: introduction, theoretical framework, concept of learning environment, relevance of learning environment, component of learning environment, concept of academic performance, learning environment and academic performance, how to evaluate academic performance, empirical studies and summary.

A quasi-experimental research design involving pre-test, post-test and non- equivalent group design was used for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used to select two renovated schools and two dilapidated schools. Thereafter, two large sized classes of JSS III students were selected from two of the schools and another two small sized classes from two other schools given a total of 4 intact classes. Students from these classes formed the sample size of 200 from the population of 25,300 in 200 public secondary schools in Lagos State. Achievement Test (SSAT) that contained 20 items was used as instrument for this study which was adopted from Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) conducted in Lagos state between 2008 and 2012. 8 weeks lesson plan was prepared and both experimental and control groups were taught for 4 weeks each by the researcher. Pre-test was given to the two groups under the same conditions before the commencement of the teaching and post-test was given after the teaching period. The results of the test were collected with the help of research assistant and analyzed. Descriptive statistics were employed to answer the research questions, while t-test statistic was used for hypotheses testing. The analysis and the interpretation of data confirmed some aspects of the theoretical work as highlighted in the literature review.

The findings revealed that all the four hypotheses tested were rejected.

However, based on the findings, the following were obtained:

  1. That class buildings have positive influence on the performance of students in in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.
  2. That class with adequate furniture impacted positively on the performance of students in in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.
  3. That class with small class population has positive impact on the performance of students in in junior secondary schools in Lagos State.
  4. That use of instructional materials in teaching has impacted positively on the performance of junior secondary schools in Lagos State.

5.2 Conclusion

This study has shown a positive and significant relationship between the physical characteristics of the school such as classroom buildings, furniture, instructional facilities and students‟ academic performance in junior secondary schools in Lagos State. This is an indication that these facilities in secondary schools should be a prime concern of the education stakeholders in the state and the nation in general. However, the extent to which students‟ learning could be enhanced depends on the structure of their classroom, availability of the classrooms, instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that conducive learning environment with available school facilities will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process as well as academic achievements of students.

Hence it has been established that facilities are potent to greater academic achievement of students. Therefore, it requires prompt attention on the part of the education stakeholders in Lagos State and the nation in order to improve the poor condition of learning environment and academic situation of secondary schools from its present state. Moreover, there are some facilities that can be improvised by the teachers in order to facilitate teaching and learning, hence such facilities should be improvised by the teachers.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the conclusion drawn, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Government and other education stakeholders should make concerted efforts to provide adequate classroom building and renovate the existing dilapidated structures in public secondary schools. This would help to reduce the problem of school overcrowding and it would go a long way to create enabling teaching and learning environment.
  2. Education stakeholders should endeavour to provide adequate class furniture (chairs and lockers or desk) in public secondary schools and students should be oriented on how to maintain these facilities because most a time’s students destroy these facilities by themselves.
  3. Small class population should be maintained in public secondary schools and the population of students admitted into public schools should depend on the available space and facilities. Because, there is need to make the number of students to be taught in the class to be moderate, so that the teacher would be able to manage the class effectively and give individual attention to students where necessary.
  4. Adequate instructional materials should be made available in public secondary schools and teachers should be encouraged to be using instructional materials in the course of presenting their lessons and they should be made to update their knowledge and skills in improvisation of instructional materials through seminars, workshops and conferences organized by government and professional bodies.

5.4 Contributions To Knowledge

The study contributes to knowledge in the following areas:

  1. Positive learning environment encourages students‟ motivation to learn and improve in their academic achievement.
  2. Conducive learning environment helps teachers to achieve their instructional objectives
  3. Recommendations were made for a more proactive approach that would facilitate provision of adequate facilities in our public secondary schools in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular.
  4. The study had revealed the picture of poor condition of facilities in public schools and urgent attention is needed to put it in proper condition or else it gets to total collapse.

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