Adequacy And Effectiveness Of Sex, Age And Attitude On The Academic Achievement Of Different Group Of Students In Physical Education

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Adequacy And Effectiveness Of Sex, Age And Attitude On The Academic Achievement Of Different Group Of Students In Physical Education


Abstract


This study aims to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of sex, age and attitude on the academic achievement of different group of students in physical education, when taught with physical education concepts in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis. The population of this study comprised of all students and teachers in secondary school in calabar metropolitanis. The study was conducted in a tertiary school in the city of Lagos. The data were collected using a computer-aided learning environment. The results of the study revealed that students’ performances improve immensely in small class size compared to large and medium class sizes. The effects of class size, ability levels and student’s ages on students’ performance in Physical Education were also analyzed. It is hoped that this study would contribute in enhancing the standard of teaching/learning of physical education in any given class size and the students’ ability levels. The findings would be useful in educational policy making and finding may arouse instructional educational agencies such as Federal Ministry of Education, Facilities or Health Teachers Association of Nigeria (HTAN) to formulate educational policies. This study would provide physical education teachers with a guide on how to control poor performance.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Physical education has always been regarded as a health education. It is an important discipline in the learning and understanding of the human body and how it works. It is an instrument for effecting health, social, political, scientific and technological changes. In order to achieve these goals of education, the teachers are required to perform their duties efficiently, need to be given controllable and adequate class size of 35 students to teach for effective learning in physical education, (Balogun, 2002). The history of development of knowledge and much of the development in health and technology has been greatly facilitated by applications of mathematical knowledge and procedures.

The role physical education plays in the realization of healthy skills is well known that any society that is serious in its quest to develop its technology, must be serious in the teaching and learning of physical education. Physical education is always overlooked by many students even when they know that they need it for solution to problems in area of health. They claim that if it was possible not to take physical education at all, they would have preferred it but would continue their study of health. Hence, they put up negative attitude towards the learning of physical education which consequently appears to affect their performance in the healths. Because students have already conditioned their minds on the impossibility of learning physical education, they therefore fail to get a grasp of the subject matter, no matter how hard they persevere (Uhumuavbi and Umoru, 2005). The researcher is of the view that something has to be done to change students‟ negative attitude towards the learning of physical education. There is need to arouse the interest of students towards the learning of physical education.

This study attempts to expose some of the numerous problems facing physical education that prevents the effective teaching and learning of physical education in Nigerian secondary schools. The issue of class size is one important area of this study as it relates to teaching/learning of physical education in secondary school level. Alio (2003) attributes students’ development of negative attitude towards physical education teachers to what is called “idiosyncrasy” of physical education instruction. The usual way some physical education teachers approach the teaching of physical education contributes to the students’ development of negative attitudes to both the subject and the teachers. Effective and good physical education performance cannot be possible when students’ attitude towards the teachers and the subject is negative.

The need for development of health and technology in this nation will not be successfully achieved without solving the problem of poor performance in physical education (Betiku, 2002). According to Onu (2003), the usefulness, power and place of physical education in the field of human endeavor continue to be recognized. In trying to develop health and technology in a nation, physical education is the key. It is seriously needed to gain access into the world of scientific knowledge and understanding. The importance of physical education is not a doubt, that is why in the first ordinance enacted by Fredrick Lord Luggard (1914), enforcing western education, Arithmetic, writing and reading were the three areas in which the pioneers of formal education in Nigeria were trained. The need to identify suitable class size by which students, especially with medium and low ability can be made to receive teachers’ attention to grasp the content of the subject easily and intelligibly is the focus of this study.

Education (FRN, 2007) recommended an average class size of 30. Anikweze (2004) recommends teachers/pupils ratio to be 1:35 in order to be more effective to, cope with an over-crowded classroom in our schools. The present study considers class size as the total number of students in a class at a given time to a teacher. That is students/teacher ratio of 20 students to a teacher, which constitutes a small class size; 40 students to a teacher as average class and 90 students to a teacher as a large class. These are to be tested in this study to see the effectiveness. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2007) recommends an average class size of 40 students to a teacher, but hardly is this attained in Nigerian schools. Duyilemi (2004) observed that in most Nigerian schools what exists in the class ranges from 50 to a large number of 120 students to a teacher in many secondary schools. Oakes (1992) and Lynch (1994) defined ability grouping as dividing students into separate classes of high, average and low achievers, that is classifying students according to their academic performance. This can best deal with individual differences in the classroom. Feldhusen (1992) noted that students of lower and average ability often flourish or become better students when the high ability level students are present and leading to competition. High ability or gifted students are needed in all classrooms in order to stimulate, motivate and inspire other students. Salau (1996) concluded that the achievement profile of high achievers declines as the class size becomes larger. This means that increase in class size tends to reduce the performance of students generally, despite the level.

The researcher is of the view that the use of heterogeneous class could be of more advantage since low and average groups would gain more knowledge from their interactions and sharing with the high achievers whether the class is large or small. The major objective of this study is to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of sex, age and attitude on the academic achievement of different group of students in physical education, when taught with physical education concepts in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis. This is with the view to establishing instructional problems: age, sex and attitude as it causes poor performance among physical education students. This is then the rationale for this study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The objective of secondary school education is to produce high quality students who would be able to face the challenges of the society and prepare them for higher education.

Today, our secondary education is faced with high population of students since the inception of Universal Primary Education in Nigeria. Consequently, there has been high percentage of student‟s failure in Physical education.
Many studies have been conducted to find out the causes of this poor performance in Physical education among secondary school students (Korau, 1988). Reasons ranging from quality of teachers, lack of utilization of instructional materials as a result of shortage of funds, lack of workshops and seminars for Physical education teachers, over-crowded classrooms, lack of Physical education textbooks, lack of Physical education laboratory to mention a few have been advanced. On the part of the students themselves, reasons given range from lack of interest, poor attitude to learning, and effects of peer groups influence and many others (Kemiyele, 1993). These variables make teaching/learning of Physical education in secondary schools difficult for government to achieve the main stated objectives


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Investigate the relationship between class size and varying ability levels and students‟
    performance in Physical education in secondary schools.
  2. Determine the effects of sex, gender-related difference in the performance of students in Physical education in secondary schools.
  3. Determine the relationship between teachers‟ age of students and students performance
    in Physical education in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

In an attempt to come up with relevant findings in this study, the following questions were raised to guide and give focus to the study:

  1. What is the relationship between class size, ability levels and students performance in
    Physical education in secondary schools?
  2. What is the effect sex, with different ability levels and students‟ performance in Physical education in secondary schools?
  3. What is the relationship between student’s age and students‟ performance in Physical education in Secondary Schools?

1.5 Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.

H01: There is no significant relationship between class size and performance of students exposed to various class sizes and ability levels in physical education.

H02: Class size does not significantly affect the performance of male and female students exposed to different class sizes and varying ability levels in physical education.

H03: Student’s ages have no significant relationship with the students’ performance in physical education in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will hopefully provide the following benefits:

It is hoped that this study would contribute in enhancing the standard of teaching/learning of physical education in any given class size and the students’ ability levels. This study would encourage physical education teachers particularly in secondary schools to acquire skills and appropriate teaching methods so as to encourage interest and comprehension of the principles and concepts taught in any given class size and varying ability levels of the students.

Education planners, physical education educators and curriculum designers would hopefully benefit from the findings of this study through the evolution of teaching/learning of physical education in secondary schools with the aim of improving students’ performance in any given class size.

This study would provide physical education teachers with a guide on how to control various class size at any given time in order to improve students’ performance in physical education.

Education authorities and state ministry of education would be alerted to the extent to which various class size effects can contribute to the achievement of various ability levels in teaching/learning of physical education in secondary schools.

This study would hopefully enable other researchers to identify areas for further studies in relation to the effects of class size and students’ ability levels for the improvement of teaching/learning.

The findings would be useful in educational policy making and finding may arouse instructional educational agencies such as Federal Ministry of Education, Facilities or Schools of Education, National Teachers’ Institute as well as professional bodies such as Physical education Association of Nigeria (PAN), Health Teachers Association of Nigeria (HTAN) to formulate educational policies which would be useful in implementation of physical education curriculum.


1.7 Basic Assumptions

This study is guided by the following assumptions:

  1. The students used were familiar with the area of staffing, facilities as well as students enrolment.
  2. The selected topics were appropriate for the level of subjects used for the study.
  3. Most physical education teachers in the secondary schools do not know how to cope with overcrowded class rooms.
  4. Teachers are employed to teach physical education in secondary schools without
    considering the effects of sex, age and attitude of the students.
  5. The teachers cannot give individual attention to the medium (average) and low achievers in schools where physical education are overcrowded.

1.8 Scope of the Study

This study is basically on instructional problems associated with poor performance among students studying physical education performance in Physical education among Secondary School Students in Calabar Metropolis. The study sought to expose some of the numerous factors responsible for poor performance in Physical education. It was therefore restricted in its coverage to all J.J.S. two (2) students in the Government Secondary Schools in Calabar Metropolis with total students‟ population of three hundred and two thousand, one hundred and sixty-one (302,161) students.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

This segment summarizes the effect of class size, ability levels and student’s ages on the performance of students in physical education in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis. Physical education is a core subject in secondary schools in Nigeria. It is therefore compulsory at both senior and secondary levels of education.

The researcher investigated how students would perform if they were taught in small, medium and large classes such as is obtainable in any average Nigerian school.

The strength of the study therefore, lies on the selection of appropriate class sizes as observed in schools. The researcher tried to find out if by adopting the right class size a better teacher-students interaction can be enhanced and thereby boost students’ performance in physical education. Three objectives, research questions were raised and three hypotheses were formulated and tested in the course of the study. Three secondary schools were randomly selected for the study; one school represented the small class size, another represented the medium class size and the third school represented the large class size.

A pre test test was administered to the students. The test was a 50 item test after which there were several intensive teaching sessions during which students were taught the same topics. This was followed by a 50 item post-test to evaluate their performances as indicated in the appendix. The students’ scores for both pretest and post-test were recorded. Data gathered from the study were analyzed at 0.05 (5%) level of significance.

Results from the data were collected, analyzed, interpreted and discussed giving rise to the following findings:

  1. Students’ performances improve immensely in small class size compared to large and medium class sizes.
  2. The difference in the performance of male and female students in physical education is independent of the class size.
  3. From the scores of observation schedules used for the teachers, the analyses showed
    that teachers’ ages affect the performance of students in physical education.

5.2 Conclusion

The main focus of this study was to find out the effects of class size and teachers age on students’ performance in physical education in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis. The results of the study showed that there existed a significant difference in the performance of students in the three different class sizes. This finding led to the conclusion that small class size is most appropriate for effective teaching/learning of physical education to take place. Based on the analysis of results in this study, the high rate of poor performance in physical education observed by several researchers in the years past could be lowered by reducing the population of students in large classes.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the preceding conclusions, the following recommendations are made in order to address the issue of poor performance in physical education:

  1. Teaching/learning of physical education can barely be effective in a densely populated class where the teacher cannot very well attend to the students at individual levels to identify their needs and weaknesses. Therefore, educational policy makers should stipulate and enforce maximum class size of 20 – 40 in Nigerian schools.
  2. Government should ensure the adequate employment of dedicated and qualified physical education teachers to teach the subject. The teaching profession should be made attractive for university graduates to practice since this group of teachers appeared to be more competent than their colleagues with lower ages. High salary levels, better working conditions, affordable and comfortable accommodation, benefits and loan schemes would all be suitable incentives that can go a long way to attract university degree holders to pick up interest in teaching as a profession.
  3. Already practicing teachers with poor ages should be encouraged to pursue higher ages so as to improve their competence. Training courses, seminars and conferences should be organized from time to time to identify and meet the training needs of teachers in service.
  4. Students’ tutorials should be encouraged where by students with high ability levels take it upon themselves to instruct their colleagues having low ability levels in physical education. Such tutorials can be incorporated into the school time-table. Where this is not feasible, periods outside the school time can be fixed for the tutorials to take place.
  5. Students with low ability levels need to align themselves more with their contemporaries who have higher ability levels.

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