Self-Concept And Self-Regulation As Predictors Of Academic Performance Of Physics Students In Secondary Schools

Physics Education Project Material

Self-Concept And Self-Regulation As Predictors Of Academic Performance Of Physics Students In Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out on self-concept and self-regulation as predictors of academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, Lagos State. The study is was specifically set to ascertain whether self-concept have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, ascertain whether self-regulation have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, find out whether physics students in secondary schools recognizes the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance and determine whether there is a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises of physics teachers and students in the selected secondary schools, Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using T-test statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that self-concept has a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools. The study also revealed that physics students in secondary schools recognizes the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance. Therefore, it is recommended that teachers, parents, and indeed all stakeholders have it as a duty to consider these self-concept constructs of students since they influence the development of positive self-concept among students when dealing or interacting with them. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organizations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Globally, education has been viewed as a key component which contributes to an individual’s success in life. When a child joins school, he or she is under pressure from parents and teachers to excel in academics. For years, students have been told, “Study hard!’ ‘Get good grades!’ ‘Go to University!”. The reasons for working hard in school, and how to work hard, as well as the factors that predict academic performance have continued to be areas of interest for students as well many stakeholders in education. Research in these areas has been conducted by educational researchers, psychologists and guidance and counseling professionals and the findings are still inconclusive.
Generally, over the decades and across cultures, education has been used to prepare children for citizenship and to cultivate a skilled workforce in readiness for taking up jobs in a competitive global market. In an effort to achieve these goals, different societies have been using public examinations. These examinations are majorly administered by an agency outside the school, for instance, Ministry of Education in Nigeria. At the secondary school level, the functions of these examinations are diverse and include; acting as gatekeepers guarding entry to higher institutions of learning, certification and selecting students during the choice of their careers (Kellagan & Greaney, 2003).

Failure in these examinations has far reaching implications for the student in terms of missing opportunities for further education and even more rewarding life chances. In Nigeria, the Nigeria Certificate of Secondary Examination (NECO) is the second public examination after the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLV), and, it is done by form candidates who are finishing the secondary school cycle. However, students’ performance in this examination in the past three years has been poor. According to 2009, 2010 and 2011 NECO examination statistics, out of the total candidates who sat for the examination in each of these years, approximately 27% scored a mean grade of C+ and above. Statistics further revealed that in each year, approximately 43% of candidates nationally obtain D+ and below. The huge disparity in the number of candidates who obtain the top and the bottom grades, imply a skewed distribution towards lower grades.

The skewed performance in examinations especially in science subjects such as physics is worrying as many candidates continue to miss opportunities in higher education and employment. Siringi (2011) identified poor school admission policies, inadequate staffing, limited learning resources, reduced community support, mismanagement and widespread teachers and students’ absenteeism and indiscipline as the main factors leading to the poor performance in most schools. These are environmental factors and nothing is said about individual psychological factors which may immensely contribute to academic performance. The psychological factors include Self- concept and self-regulation, which were investigated in this study.

According to Ajayi, Lawani and Salomi (2012), Self- concept is an important concept in classroom learning and is linked to increased levels of academic performance. A student who is academically motivated is seen as self determined to succeed in academic work (Gesinde, 2000) and the urge to achieve, that is, the level of motivation varies from one student to another. Furthermore, there are different types of Self- concept. Ryan and Deci (2000), noted that the type of motivation concerns the ‘why’ of a student’s action. For example, a student who is highly motivated to do homework out of curiosity and interest is said to be intrinsically motivated while another student who is motivated to do homework to procure the approval of the teacher or parent is said to be extrinsically motivated.

Interestingly, there is another student who may not value the homework or feels incompetent to do it and lacks an intention to act. This student is said to be a motivated (Ryan & Deci, 2000). The difference in student’s level and type of motivation may explain why some students do better than their counterparts in school despite being exposed to similar schooling experience. The importance of the difference in Self- concept level and type in predicting academic performance of secondary school students in Lagos State needed to be investigated in order to help in guiding the students towards getting high test scores in classroom tests and in public examinations.

The interplay between Self- concept and self-regulation has been found to be important in predicting a students’ academic performance (Kitsantas, 2002). Kitsantas (2002) refers to self-regulation as the self-generated thoughts, feelings and actions for attaining goals, and, lack of it has been identified as a major cause of underachievement when students are unable to control their own behaviour (Dembo & Eaton, 2000). Self-regulated learners have been found to exercise self-control, self-discipline and self-direction when dealing with academic tasks. As a result, self-regulation has become a major focus of educational research in many parts of the world (Tavakolizadeh &Ebrahimi-Qavam, 2011), and this stimulated the design of the present study in Nigeria.

The self-regulated learners embark on planning, self-inspection, self-controlling and self-evaluation and thus create conducive learning environments at different stages of their learning (Walters, 2003). Moreover, to enhance comprehension and memory when carrying out academic tasks, self-regulated learners engage in different cognitive strategies, for example, repetition, rehearsal, elaboration and organization. Having effectively employed these strategies, the learner is able to experience a sense of self- worth and independence in doing school work (Tavakolizadeh & Ebrahimi-Qavam, 2011). This leads to increased success in academic performance. In view of the above, this study seek to examine self-concept and self-regulation as predictors of academic performance of physics students in secondary schools.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Poor academic performance among physics learners in examinations may result to loss of many rewarding life opportunities either for the individual learner or for the society in general. The learner may miss the opportunity to further education while in the long run; the society may not have enough skilled human capital needed to meet the demands for wealth production. Thus, there is need to study the factors that are associated with either high or low academic performance.

From the foregoing background to the study, it is evident that Self- concept and self-regulation have been found to be important variables in predicting students’ academic performance. While some educational researchers have reported the relationship of each of the two variables with students’ academic performance in developed countries, so far no study has been found to have developed a prediction model which explains the best predictor of academic performance. For instance, it is not clear between the two variables (Self- concept and self-regulation), which is the better predictor of secondary school students’ academic performance.

Investigations by educational researchers in Nigeria on the psychological constructs which influence students’ academic performance have focused on academic self-concept, locus of control, attitude towards school subjects, self-handicapping and defensive pessimism and achievement motivation. Thus, Self- concept and self-regulation have received little attention, if any and yet they have been reported to have influence on academic performance of students in developed countries. The central problem of this study was therefore to assess physics students’ academic performance from Self- concept and self- regulated learning of secondary school students’ in Lagos State, Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main focus of this study is to examine self-concept and self-regulation as predictors of academic performance of physics students in secondary schools. Specifically it seeks:

  1. Ascertain whether self-concept have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools.
  2. Ascertain whether self-regulation have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools.
  3. Find out whether physics students in secondary schools recognizes the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance.
  4. Determine whether there is a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation.

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions guides the study;

  1. Does self-concept have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools?
  2. Does self-regulation have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools?
  3. Does physics students in secondary schools recognize the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance?
  4. Is there a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses will validate this study:

Ho: There is no gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation.

Ha: There is a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study may be useful to teacher trainers who may realize the importance of equipping teacher trainees with the necessary training skills needed to enhance students’ Self- concept and appropriate use of self-regulation strategies. This will go a long way in enhancing learners memory and comprehension in academic tasks.

Teachers, parents and students may realize the importance of creating a conducive home and school environment for acquisition of the appropriate type of Self- concept and self-regulation strategies that enhance academic performance. In the field of research, the findings of the study may add to the existing literature on the importance of Self- concept and self-regulation in predicting students’ academic performance.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study was delimited to some selected public secondary schools in Lagos State. The study focused on two variables that influence academic performance, that is, students’ Self-concept and self-regulation. Hence, the respondents for this study will comprise of physics teachers and students in the selected secondary schools.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

The following posed to be a constraint to the study.

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

However in the midst above mentioned limitation the researcher devotedly ensured that the purpose of the study was actualized.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Physics

Physics is the branch of science that deals with the structure of matter and how the fundamental constituents of the universe interact. It studies objects ranging from the very small using quantum mechanics to the entire universe using general relativity.

Self-Concept

Self-concept may be understood as a perception every human has of himself or herself.

Self-Regulation

Self-regulation learning as deliberate planning, monitoring, and evaluating knowledge, skills, and values or educational processes toward complying with any academic task.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on self-concept and self-regulation as predictors of academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, Lagos State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was onself-concept and self-regulation as predictors of academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, Lagos State. The study is was specifically set to ascertain whether self-concept have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, ascertain whether self-regulation have a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools, find out whether physics students in secondary schools recognizes the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance and determine whether there is a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent arephysics teachers and students in the selected secondary schools, Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. Self-concept has a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools.
  2. Self-regulation has a significant effect on the academic performance of physics students in secondary schools.
  3. Physics students in secondary schools recognizes the relevance of self-concept and self-regulation skills in enhancing their academic performance.
  4. There is a gender difference in physics students’ self-concept and self-regulation.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Counsellors are expected to put much premium on these constructs in any attempt to counsel students to overcome their academic challenges.
  2. Teachers, parents, and indeed all stakeholders have it as a duty to consider these self-concept constructs of students since they influence the development of positive self-concept among students when dealing or interacting with them.
  3. Also, they must help, monitor and supervise students to have private time table for learning and to guide them in their day-to-day learning since such effort boost students’ academic performance significantly.

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