The Influence Of Teacher Self-Efficacy On Junior Secondary School Students’ Academic Performance In Mathematics

Mathematics Education Project Material

The Influence Of Teacher Self-Efficacy On Junior Secondary School Students’ Academic Performance In Mathematics


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

It is an understatement to say that education is the single most crucial building element for a nation’s progress. It is, after all, the fulcrum around which all of the nation’s endeavors and businesses spin. The extent to which these industries are effective and meaningful endeavors is mainly determined by the level of education provided by a nation’s people through the arch-man known as the teacher (Abroampa and Wilson, 2013).

Though attempts to provide high-quality education need participation from a variety of stakeholders, teachers are the frontrunners and final implementers of the curriculum. As a result, the quality of learners produced by an educational system is determined by the quality of instructors; to a greater extent, the quality of teaching determines learners’ accomplishment. Without equivocation, it can be stated that no nation can go above the level of its professors (Hallack cited in Abroampa and Wilson, 2013).

According to Nelson (2007), the quality of a student’s educational experience is determined by what instructors bring into the classroom. Teacher characteristics associated to student interest must be examined in order to understand how to build optimal learning settings that enhance academic interest. Teachers, without a doubt, do a variety of responsibilities, including but not limited to managing classrooms, planning and delivering classes, evaluating student work, and increasing student desire for performance. A high feeling of effectiveness is perhaps one of the most well-documented characteristics of good instructors.

Teachers’ efficacy refers to their conviction in their abilities to make a difference in students’ learning, especially when dealing with tough or unmotivated classmates. Positive student results and motivation have been related to teacher efficacy. Teachers that have a strong feeling of self-efficacy come up with new techniques to make sure their kids learn. Efficacious instructors aren’t pleased with underachievers, and they work hard with their pupils to increase their self-efficacy (Pollock, 2007; Poulou, 2007; Knoblauch & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2008 and Chong, Klassen, Huan, Wong, and Kates, 2010).

Teachers’ attitudes and beliefs have been found to have a significant impact not just on their teaching techniques and classroom behavior, but also on their students’ accomplishment (Adeyemi, 2013).

Public debates in Nigeria typically center on educational standards. Following the annual announcement of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination results, the public’s dissatisfaction grows. Student results do not equal the amount of money invested by the government and parents. All stakeholders are worried about why the system produces pupils with poor academic performance. “No Education system can rise beyond the quality of instructors in the system,” according to the National Policy on Education (FGN, 2006).

The researcher intends to explore the impact of teacher self-efficacy on junior secondary school students’ academic progress in Mathematics based on this basis.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of students’ poor academic performance in Mathematics in junior secondary schools in Lagos State has piqued everyone’s interest. The situation is so severe that it has resulted in a generally acknowledged drop in educational standards in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. As a result, observers believe that the quality of education is determined by the instructors’ self-efficacy as expressed in their work.

Secondary education is a prerequisite for admission to university institutions and further education (MOE, 2005). Poor performance in mathematics and other subjects by secondary school students in the country jeopardizes students’ chances of enrolling in higher education institutions, jeopardizes job placement opportunities, and, in most cases, reduces an individual’s active participation in national development.

Given the importance of instructors in the teaching and learning process, it is necessary to investigate teacher-related aspects such as beliefs, confidence, effectiveness, experience, qualification, and gender, all of which are likely to impact students’ academic progress. This study aims to investigate the impact of teacher self-efficacy on junior secondary school students’ academic success in Mathematics in Edo State.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The study is was conducted with the following objectives:

  1. To examine the effect of teacher’s self-efficacy on junior secondary school students’ academic achievement in Mathematics.
  2. To investigate the influence of gender on teachers’ self-efficacy in students’ academic performance.
  3. To explore the relationship between experienced, less experienced, teachers’ self-efficacy and academic achievement of secondary school students in Mathematics.

1.4 Research Questions

The research project is being guided by the following research questions;

  1. What is the effect of teacher’s self-efficacy on junior secondary school students’ academic achievement in Mathematics
  2. Does teachers’ gender have any influence on teachers’ self-efficacy and students’ academic performance?
  3. What is the relationship between teachers’ experience, self-efficacy and academic achievement of secondary school students in Mathematics?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study sought to find out from our own setting, the relationship between these self-regulating constructs (self-concept, self-efficacy and self-esteem) and academic performance in mathematics especially among junior secondary school students in Edo State. Therefore, the results may generate useful information, knowledge and understanding of self-concept, self-efficacy and self-esteem as well as their relationships with academic performance in mathematics. The findings will be beneficial to students, psychologists, counsellors, educators/teachers, parents and even the society at large.

This study will help secondary school students develop self-consciousness to look inward for performance and excellence that could make teaching/learning situation effective, interesting and result oriented. It will help them develop independent thinking ability and to look inwards for solutions to academic problems. If they discover that they can tap from their innate potentials and that they can pass examinations without stress, study to them will be fun. Understanding of this study will make students admit psychological problems, if need be, and be able to ask for help.

Since this study was based on scientific research, it will give helpful information to psychologists and counselling consultants as well as educational planners and developers. These specialists could consider self-beliefs while planning essential skills, such as problem solving so as to help students boost their self-confidence and belief; thereby helping them to succeed in their studies, jobs and future relationships. With the help of this study, educators can also help students to enhance their self-beliefs by the use of peer model, planning relevant and affordable challenging tasks and teaching specific learning strategies.

The study will be of great benefit by providing useful information to parents who are always anxious about their children’s examination outcome and academic progress. Apart from school fees, enrolment fees and others, it perhaps falls on some of them to also pay for examination malpractices. The result of this study is likely to help parents to lead and direct their children on a better way of academic performance by helping to enhance self confidence (self-efficacy) in them at home.

The teachers will also benefit from the findings of this study since their task of teaching will be made easier and better. If students will pay undivided attention to instructions they can change their world. Teachers will enjoy seeing their students performing well and achieving academic success through self-learning. The results of the study are likely to increase the awareness of educators and counselors on ways of improving student’s academic performance in mathematics.

The society at large will benefit from this study because if students can change their thoughts, they will change their ways of life, which will invariably lead to an orderly society. People with high self-beliefs are more mutually independent and are likely to function more successfully in the society. Improved self-image can help students’ adjustment to do well in many diverse situations. The idea can equally be extended to other areas of life outside academics. It will encourage a positive change of attitude for better performance.

Finally it will contribute to existing body of literature in this area of study. The result of this study is likely to be helpful for future study to extend to new scheme and find other factors that may be related to students’ self-constructs and academic performance. The outcome is likely to contribute to understanding the importance of self-concept, self-efficacy and self-esteem among students in their school work.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study was carried out among all students of junior public secondary schools in Edo State. Class three of the Junior Secondary School was used to represent them. JSS III was purposely sampled. The age range of these students varied from eleven to sixteen (11-16) years. Nevertheless, some of the students may have been slightly older or younger than this age range, but were included in the study because they were enlisted and enrolled into J.S.S. III that year and therefore met the inclusion criteria.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The focus of this study is on teacher’s self-efficacy as correlates of academic performance. The limitations of the study included: First, only public junior secondary schools in Edo State were used in the study while private secondary schools were excluded. This posed an obvious limitation, as the result of the study may not be generalized to include private school students. Secondly, the exclusion of all other classes was a serious limitation, as only JSS3 students were used in the study. Therefore, although the sample size of this study was relatively large, it still did not by any means represent the entire students in the state. JSS 1 and JSS 11 as well as the senior secondary school classes were omitted. The result will not likely be the same if all categories of secondary school students were used. Thirdly, the use of only one subject – Mathematics – and the exclusion of all other subjects, as the measurement of students’ academic performance was another limitation. A note of caution is therefore, needed to be exercised when generalizing the findings of the study. The results of the study may not be generalized to include JSS1, JSS11 and students of senior secondary schools as well as students’ performances in subjects other than Mathematics.


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