The Relationship Between Class Size And Secondary School Students Academic Performance In Geography In Abeokuta-South Local Government Area Of Ogun State

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The Relationship Between Class Size And Secondary School Students Academic Performance In Geography In Abeokuta-South Local Government Area Of Ogun State


Abstract


The study found out the relationship between class size and academic performance of geography students in secondary school in Abeokuta – South Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The study adopted random sampling technique to select one hundred and twenty respondents in five secondary schools in each ward of the Local Government. Pearson correlation was used to test the hypothesis.

The results showed that male and female teachers were similar in their opinion on the relationship between class size and academic achievement of secondary school students in geography, indicating that the performance of students in large classes were very low compared to those in smaller classes.

It was recommended that policy makers and government should recruit more geography teachers and ensure that more classrooms are built and number of students in a class should not be > 30.


Table of Contents


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables

Chapter One

Introduction

  • Background to the Study
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Research Questions
  • Research Hypotheses
  • Scope of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
  • Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • Overview of Secondary School Population in Geography
  • Enrolment in Secondary School Education in Geography
  • Effects of Class Size on Academic Performance in Geography

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • Research Design
  • Population
  • Instrumentation
  • Administration of Instrument
  • Data Analysis Technique

Chapter Four

Data Analysis and Interpretation

  • Hypotheses Testing
  • Summary of the Findings

Chapter Five

Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

List of Tables


  • Table 1: Distribution of Respondents by Sex
  • Table 2: Distribution of Respondents by Educational Qualification
  • Table 3: Distribution of Respondents based on Years of Experience
  • Table 4: Shows the relationship between students academic performance in geography and the opinion of male and female teachers
  • Table 5: Shows the relationship between students academic performance and class size
  • Table 6: Shows academic performance and the effect of teachers and principals opinion
  • Table 7: Shows academic performance relationship with students score

Chapter One


Introduction

Background to the Study

The relationship between class size and academic performance of secondary school students in geography has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, class overcrowding, teachers methods, grade level, pupil characteristics and subject areas and other learning interventions are the variables that affects students’ achievement (Molnar, et al., 2000). Other factors that affect student achievement are school population and class size (Gentry, 2000 and Swift 2000).

Since the attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has been experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion in secondary school education. According to Fafunwa (1982) secondary school increase from 315 – 1240 between 1960 and 1965, the figure quadrupled in 1970 as a result of the revenue generated from the oil boom in Nigeria. In all the states of the federation there was a corresponding increase in students’ enrolment at both primary and post-primary schools, the increase is evident as it cuts across all the secondary school subjects including geography.
The core subjects are the basic subjects which will enable a student to offer Arts or Science in higher education, the classification of geography as a core subject therefore enhanced the status of the subject in the secondary school education system the fact that geography belong to social science, art and pure science also makes the subject popular among the students, so also the inclusion of geography in the same group with literature in English, History, Economics, and Political Science also makes the subject popular among the students, and also gives them a wider choice, literature is seen by most students as too wide, while history is becoming a dead subject as a result of the teaching of government.

Geography has consequently attracted more students in recent years which results in significant increase in the total number of students enrolment which has created logistic, structural and personal problems. While the large number of students studying geography does not correspond with the stagnant facilities and the primitive resources available in most schools.


Statement of the Problem

It is observed that the number of geography students in Abeokuta-South Local Government Area of Ogun State is increasing exponentially but there are little or no corresponding resources for effective teaching and learning of geography, such as, classroom, laboratories, charts, maps, and the number of teachers are not enough while the little available resources are over laboured. For instance a geography class that supposed to be 1:40 teacher – students ratio, according to the specification by the National Policy on Education (1977 revised in 1981, 1998 and 2004) is now 1:80 teacher – students ratio or more.


Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between class size and secondary school student academic achievement in geography using some selected secondary schools in Abeokuta – South Local Government Area of Ogun State as case study.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Examine both positive and negative effects of class size on the academic performance of students in geography.
  2. Examine the relationship between class size and academic performance of students in geography.
  3. Examine the relationship between school population and academic performance of students in geography.
  4. Examine the relationship that exist between the opinion of male teachers and female teachers on the effect of class size on students academic performance in geography.

Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship between class size and academic performance on students’ comprehension of geography?
  2. Does class size influence project execution in geography?
  3. Does class size have effect on the level of attention in geography class?
  4. What influence does class size has on students scores in geography?

Research Hypothesis

  • H01: There is no significant relationship between the opinion of male and female teachers on students academic performance in geography.
  • H02: There is no significant relationship between class size and students academic performance in geography.
  • H03: There is no significant relationship between the opinion of teachers and principals on the effects of class size on academic performance of geography students.
  • H04: There is no significant relationship between class size and students score in academic performance in geography.

Scope of the Study

This research work focuses on the relationship between class size and student academic achievement in geography using some selected secondary schools in Abeokuta – South Local Government Area of Ogun State as a case study.

This research work covers all public secondary schools in Abeokuta – South Local Government Area of Ogun State. However, five public secondary schools will be used as a case study.


Significance of the Study

This study is important for several reasons.

Firstly, the researcher believes that this study will expose and enlighten the school administrators and teachers on the negative and positive effects of class size on students academic performance in geography in secondary school in Abeokuta – South Local Government.

Secondly, the suggestions offered in this study will assist the educational authority in planning and administration of the school curriculum, most especially in the area of evaluation of students academic performance in geography.

Thirdly, this research work will lead to further in-depth study on the impact of class size and school population on the academic performance of students in Nigeria.

Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related areas.


Definition of Terms

Effects:

This is the positive or negative effect of class size.

Class size:

The total number of students in the class

Positive:

This means the maximum number of students that should be in the classroom.

Negative:

This means the students has increased above the maximum estimate.

Abeokuta –South:

This is one of the twenty Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Core Subject:

This is one of the main subjects in secondary school.

Classification:

This means the grouping of geography into different categories such as physical, human, and regional geography.

Academic achievement:

Knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test scores.

Secondary School:

(also “high school”) is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specific age takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.

Over-crowding:

This is when the number of students in a particular class exceeds the standard of students – teacher ratio, as specific by National Policy on Education, that is 1:40 (One teacher for forty students in a class).


Chapter Five


Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations

This chapter discuses this study; from there draw up conclusion and make recommendations.


Discussion

The results go in line with the fundamental of the questions. As regards the finding that there is significant relationship between the opinion of male and female teachers on students academic performance in geography. This finding disagrees with a compilation of studies examined by Educational Research Service, Robinson (1990) concluded that research does not support the expectation that class size will of themselves result in greater academic gains for students. He observed that the influence of class size on students learning vary by grade level, pupil characteristics, subject areas, teaching methods and other learning interventions. And his research rather consistently fins that students who are economically disadvantaged or from some ethnic minorities perform better academically in smaller classes.

Another finding is that there is significant relationship between class size and students academic performance in geography. This finding agrees with Kolawole (1982), who observed that the relationship between class size and student achievement was negative, such that the larger the class, the lower the student achievement will be. Adeyela (2000), also gave credence to this fact in her study that large class size is not conducive for serious academic work.
The finding that there is a significant relationship between the opinion of teachers and principals on the effect of class size on academic performance of geography students is in disagreement with the Slavin (1989), who submits that substantial reductions in class size have small positive effect on students and the effect was not cumulative and even disappears in later years. He further asserted that large effects of class size reduction are not likely to be seen until the class size is reduced to one (that is one – on – one tutoring).

The finding that there is significant relationship between class size and student score in academic performance of geography students is in agreement with the research of Wisconsin and Helming (1991) in that large class size coupled with excessive responsibilities contributes to high stress levels of job dissatisfaction among teachers.
Results also showed that the performance of students taught by teachers in smaller classes was good because the scores of students in the geography achievement test were very high.

The exam score of both male and female students in the geography examination was very high in a class with the total number which ranges from 20 – 40. These findings are in conformity with the findings of Muller et al (1988), which indicated that in a reduced class size, students received more individual attention and more immediate feedback that both below average and above average students achieved more, that a greater variety of instructional materials were used, that the instructional atmosphere were less hectic, that teachers assigned more home work, and that teachers were happier and more enthusiastic about their teaching.

These findings are also in agreement with the findings of Bernett (1987), who agreed with the results of researchers that small classes result in increased student – teacher contact, greater achievement gains for students with lower academic ability and for those who are economically or socially disadvantaged, improvement in classroom management, higher teacher moral and reduced stress, produce considerable higher achievement.


Conclusion

From the results, it can be seen that the larger the class size of students being taught the less the performance of the students. There is therefore, the need to make the number of students to be taught in the geography classes to be moderate so that the teacher can be able to manage the class efficiently and effectively and be able to give individual attention to students who may have problem of assimilating the concepts of what has been taught.
Overpopulation retards students’ project execution in geography class because effective supervision cannot be carried.

The prevailing situation in congested geography class could not guarantee effective teaching and learning process. Appropriate instructional strategies could not be applied and individual approach is required for effective teaching in geography. The absence of this which results in over-populated class size greatly affects students’ performance in geography.


Recommendation

It is recommended that the educational policy makers should formulate policies that will ensure that the number of students in a class should not exceed 30 students. This in turn will make the government to provide enough classrooms for the schools.

The government should also recruit more geography teachers into their scheme in order to meet the yearnings of the ever increasing number of geography students in secondary school. This recruitment would minimize the work load of geography teachers and also reduce congestion in class.

The school authority should provide fund for the procurement of necessary materials for the effective teaching of geography in secondary schools. The adequate provision will go along way to reduce the number students on equipment during geography practical.

Geography teachers should show dynamism and employ their professional efficiency towards effective teaching of the subject.

Teachers’ effectiveness could be enhanced through periodic exposure to seminars and workshop, therefore teaching service commission should consider it as a matter of priority, the retaining of geography teachers and the students of geography should show more enthusiasm during teaching and learning process, so that their objectives of schooling could be realized.


The Relationship Between Class Size And Secondary School Students Academic Performance In Geography In Abeokuta-South Local Government Area Of Ogun State


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The Relationship Between Class Size And Secondary School Students Academic Performance In Geography In Abeokuta-South Local Government Area Of Ogun State


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Frequently Asked Questions


Does class size and school population affect academic performance in secondary school?

Since the academic success of students depends largely on the school environment, it is imperative to examine the impact variables of class size and school population on the academic performance of students in secondary school. Large class size and over populated schools have direct impact of the quality of teaching and instruction delivery.

Does class size affect student achievement in Georgia?

A researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data from third grade teachers teaching in the same nine rural, economically disadvantaged school districts. Initial correlation analyses indicated a positive relationship between class size and academic achievement.

How does class size affect reading achievement?

Initial correlation analyses indicated a positive relationship between class size and academic achievement. Regression results indicated that the percentage of gifted students, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, and the class size were significant predictors of reading achievement levels.

How does class size affect the quality of teaching and instruction?

Large class size and over populated schools have direct impact of the quality of teaching and instruction delivery. Overcrowded classrooms have increased the possibilities for mass failure and make students to lose interest in school. 

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