Instructional Planning, Class Size And Students’ Performance In Economics In Senior Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for Economics Education

Instructional Planning, Class Size And Students’ Performance In Economics In Senior Secondary Schools


This project work is undertaking with a view of improving student’ performance in Economics in senior secondary Schools. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study to enhance efficient and effective of this work, literatures on the causes of poor performance by various scholars, journals, articles and other writers’ view were reviewed. Questionnaires were also administered to Economics teachers in some selected secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Development Council Area of Lagos State. The statistical tools employed to analyses the data collected was simple percentage.

The mean findings off the study shows in item 1 that class size plays an important roles in teaching and learning of Economics with the highest percentage of 44.8%. Also percentage of 54.05 shows that there is direct effect of instructional planning (instructional materials, textbooks, curricula etc.) on teaching and learning of Economics. In research question three the percentage score was 89.1% which shows the level of students’ performance in Senior school Certificate Examination in economics. Based on these findings, it was recommended that the relevant authorities (school management and government agencies) should implement the measures to enforce the use of instructional materials in the teaching of Economics.

Chapter One


1.1 Backgrounds to the Study

Education is an instrument for national development. This is because it is the instrument used in developing the citizens who in turn contribute to the development of the nation.

According to Afolabi (2010), the quality of a nation’s education determines the quality of the products of its education system and by extension the quality and quantity, pace and level of its development. This is probably why every nation tends to invest more in getting their populace educated. However, the integrity of the entire educational system depends to a large extent on the quality of its assessment practices.

Economics, as science concerned with how individuals, businessmen and government make use of limited resources at their disposal (Chudi, 2013), plays a key role in the future progress of human kind. As a subject, economics enables students acquire knowledge for the practical solution of the economic problems of society and make them effective member of the community.

With reference to secondary school economics, there exists consistent poor performance/achievement of most secondary school leavers in May/June examinations conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO), (Adu, Ojelabi & Hammed 2009). Of all the economics candidates who sat for the 2005, 2008 and 2009 May/June SSCE, only 36%, 49% and 45% respectively had credit and above (A1 – C6) (Bello, 2010). The impact of instructional planning on the candidates’ future performance should be a cause for concern for the country’s leaders, stakeholders in the education industry and the nation as a whole. A focus of the subject is how economics agents behave or interact and how economics work. Consistent with this, a primary textbook distinction is between micro economics and macro economics. Micro-economics examines the behaviour of basic elements in the economy, including individual agents (such as households and firms or as buyers and sellers) and markets and their interactions. Macro-economics analyzes the entire economy and issues affecting it, including unemployment, inflation, economic growth and monetary and fiscal policy.

Trend of Candidates’ Entry for the May/ June

This illustrates the trends of entries in WASSCE in four of the WAEC member countries for the subjects between 2006 and 2010. However, Ghana did not present candidates for the examination in 2010.

Trends of Candidates’ performance in May/June 2006 to 2010 WASSCE in Economics.

The figure and statistics is available here in the complete material which you will get before the end of this page

Figure shows that less than 57% of the candidates had credit and above (A1 – C6) in Economics in all the countries during the period under consideration. The trend of performance fluctuated in all countries throughout the period. Trends of candidates’ performance in May/June 2006 to 2010 WASSCE in Economics.

Researchers (NCTE Secondary section, 1990) have identified the following encouraging results from reducing class size and improving instructional planning.

  1. Small classes result in increased teacher – student contact.
  2. Students in smaller classes shows more appreciation for one another and more desire to participate in classroom activities.
  3. Smaller classes result in higher teacher morale and reduced stress.
  4. In smaller classes, more learning activities take place
  5. Smaller classes foster greater interaction among students, helping them understand one another and increasing their desire to assist one another.

Instructional planning is a process of the teacher using appropriate curricula, instructional strategies, and resources during the planning, and process to address the diverse needs of students. Poor academic achievement in Economics could be attributed to many factors among which teachers strategy itself was considered as an important factor. This implies that the mastery of Economics concepts might not be fully achieved without adequate instructional planning may certainly result in poor academic achievement. Planning is preparation for action.

To improve practices, one needs to have prior thought and planning, ongoing review, and continuous adjustment as the plan unfolds in practice, and finally, reflection on what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve. Indeed, planning is an essential tool for effective teaching. Teaching is a complex activity that involves careful preparation and planning, both for short term learning purposes or long-term learning purposes. Misulis commented “regardless of the teaching model and methods used, effective instruction begins with careful, thorough, and organized planning on the part of the teacher”.

A solid planning process is integral to a teacher’s efforts in identifying appropriate curriculum, instructional strategies and resources to address the needs of all students. Furthermore, teacher’s planning influences the content of instruction, the sequence and cognitive demands of subject topics, learning activities and students’ opportunities to learn, and the pacing and allocation of instructional time.

In, most third world countries, enrolment exceed provision for secondary education in terms of adequate furnished classrooms. Hence, the perennial problem of classroom congestion, the poverty level and low classroom utilization rates in these countries worsen the situation. Nigeria is a third world country where the situation is not different. Secondary education in the country is poorly funded; hence most of the secondary schools experience classroom congestion, low students-classroom space and low classroom utilization rates. These situations may likely affect secondary school students’ academic performance adversely.

The National policy on Education prescribed a maximum of 30 students in a class, but in most secondary schools in the state average class size exceeds 50. The situation has negative impact on the average classroom space per student. Yet, these students need to learn in comfort.

As school population increases class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an issue. According to Dior (1995), class size has become a phenomenon often mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on pupil’s feelings and achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. In his words he noted, that class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have little or no control.

1.2 Statement of Problem

In spite of the desire for educational development, couple with the fact that Economics is a very vital subject for educational development and as such, the use of instructional materials, the class size as well as students’ performance in Economics have become a source of concerns to all stakeholders. It is on the premise study sought to investigate the effects of using improvised instructional materials and class size on the achievement of secondary school students in Economics.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

  1. To investigate the level of students’ performance in senior school certificate Examination in Economics.
  2. To investigate the impact of class size on students’ performance in Economics as a subject.
  3. The study is also designed to investigate effective use of instructional planning to improve students’ performance in Economics.

1.4 Research Questions

To further understand the study under investigation, the following pertinent questions were raised:

  1. Does class – size have any impact on the performance of students in Economics?
  2. Does instructional planning have any impact on students’ performance in Economics.
  3. What is level of students’ performance in Senior School Certificate Examination in Economics?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The results of the study is hoped to assist planning and manage the class size in some ways enough to arouse the interest of the students.

  1. It would be of good assistance to teachers to create a habit that they would improve on the obsolete teaching methods, use adequate, modern and relevant instructional materials, methods of teaching, mastering of the subject at their disposal to the fullest.
  2. The Students would be alerted on both the positive and negative effects, their interest, perception toward their performance in Economics.
  3. It would also be of benefit to teachers and other stakeholders like government and school owners in making proper planning for students’ population and potential growth.

1.6 Scope of the Study

For the purpose of this study the scope shall be limited to secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Government in Lagos State.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms


All Nigeria conference of principals of secondary schools


A forceful consequence; a strong effect


Is a science that is concerned with how individuals, businessmen and government make use of limited resources at their disposals.


Someone entrusted to hold the stakes for two or more persons betting against one another; must deliver the stakes to the winner.


Is the act or process of making or carrying out plans.

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