Teachers’ Characteristics And Students’ Academic Achievement In Government
The importance of teacher characteristics in realizing educational goals and objectives in any educational system cannot be over emphasized. Teacher characteristics are the instructional behaviours exhibited by the teacher towards goal attainment. These characteristics are the combination of peculiar qualities, traits, mental or moral nature/strength and status that make one person or group different from another. Successful teachers’ characteristics are those that have been found by empirical researches to be related to improved achievement by students in the cognitive, affective or psychomotor outcomes of education. The study examined the relationship that exists between teachers’ characteristics and the academic achievement of students. The study made use of chi-square in testing the formulated hypotheses, while conclusion and recommendation was made based on the findings.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is widely regarded as a basic human right, a key to enlightenment, and a source of wealth and power (Mugenda and Mugenda, 1999). Education is critical to industrial and technological development, with the history of developed nations bearing records of this, developing nations aspiring to realize the same status have to put a premium.
According to Boit, Njoki and Chang’ach (2012), the purpose of education is to equip the individuals to reshape their society and eliminate inequality. In particular, secondary school education is an important sector in national and individual development. It plays a vital role in creating a country’s human resource base at a level higher than primary education (Achoka, Odebero, Maiyo and Mualuko, 2007).
Provision of quality secondary education is therefore important in generating the opportunities and benefits of social and economic development (Onsumu, Muthaka, Ngware and Kosembei, 2006). One of the indicators of quality of education being provided is cognitive performance of learners (UNESCO, 2005). Levin, Wasanga and Somerset (2011) reported that the academic performance of students at secondary school level is not only a pointer of the effectiveness of students but also a major issue that depends on teachers characteristics.
Yusuf and Adigun (2010) noted that the performance of students in any academic task has always been of special interest to the government, educators, parents and society at large. It has been proved that teachers have an important influence on students’ academic achievement. They play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe, 2001).
Wright, Horn and Sanders (1997) posit that the most important factor influencing student learning is the teacher’s characteristics. Teachers stand in the interface of the transmission of knowledge, values and skills in the learning process. If the teacher is ineffective, students under the teacher’s tutelage will achieve inadequate progress academically (Lydiah and Nasongo, 2009). This is regardless of how similar or different the students are in terms of individual potential in academic achievement.
A teacher is the bridge that makes teaching and learning effective. The teacher is thus the builder whose performance depends on adequate qualification, gender, experience and preparation. This adequate knowledge and experience could be attained or achieved by acquiring additional knowledge that will stimulate his/her communication in teaching for efficiency (Oyedeji, 2000). That is, teachers’ attitude, personality, quality, effectiveness, academic qualification, experience and gender of a teacher enhance or determine his/her performance. It could also be noted that the level and quality of education attained by the teacher determines the characteristics exhibited vis-à-vis the performance of the students. Hence, this study investigates the effects of teachers’ characteristics on students’ academic achievement in Government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Several researchers have attempted to investigate the link between teacher’s characteristics andacademic achievement, leaving behind gaps that needed to be filled. Prior studies had different independent variables and were conducted in different contexts which justify the need for the proposed study.
Many schools whether public or private in Nigeria engage unqualified teachers and tutors who lack the requisite characteristics in terms of academic competence and training needed to transfer knowledge to their students. These teachers who ought to be the catalyst for learning and aiding academic performance in students have become a cog in the wheel of academic progress in the Nigerian educational system.
Parents while being worried by the under-achievement of their children and wards in the senior secondary school government often blame the school authorities for engaging under-qualified teachers, with little or no teaching experience. It is against this backdrop that this research seeks to examine the effects of teachers’ characteristics on students’ academic achievement in government.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine the effects of teachers’ characteristics on students’ academic achievement.
Other specific objectives of this study are:
- To explore the relationship between teachers qualifications and students’ academic achievement.
- To find out the link between teachers’ gender, status and students’ learning outcomes.
- To examine the effects of teachers’ experience and status on students’ academic performance in senior secondary.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were answered in the study:
- Does teachers’ qualification have any effect on students’ academic performance in government?
- What is the nexus between teacher’s gender and students’ learning outcomes in government?
- Is teachers experience a significant predictor of students’ academic performance in senior secondary in government?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested in the study:
- HO1: There is no significant relationship between teachers’ qualifications and students’ academic performance in government.
- HO2: There is no significant effect of teacher’s gender on student learning outcomes in government.
- HO3: Teacher’s experience is not a significant predictor of students’ academic performance in senior secondary school in government.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The teachers’ related variables have been identified as factors that are linked to Students academic achievement in all subjects especially at the secondary school level (Darling Hammond 2000, & Wenglinky 2002). This study adds to the literature of researches on the relationship between teachers’ characteristics and students’ achievement in government studies.
First of all, this study is timely in the light of recent concern about teachers’ quality and its influence on students’ academic achievement in Nigerian secondary schools. Many of these concerns draw attention to such issues as the professional training teachers receive and the qualification of teachers who teach a specified subject (Government in particular), since teachers certification, pedagogical content knowledge and subject knowledge have been identified as important element of teachers effectiveness and students achievement.
Thus the research findings will be relevant to the Ministry of Education as they reveal the underlying factors toward spoor performance in Government. Secondly, the result of the research will help the teacher to identify their strengths and weaknesses and a desire to improve upon their weaknesses.
Thirdly, this study will help policy makers and researchers in the sense that this study will expose teachers’ characteristics that influence students’ performance and serve to encourage policymakers to arrest the problem through seminars and workshops, while offering researchers opportunity to find lasting solution to the problem through further research.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to junior secondary III students in Uruan Local Government Area. It is also delimited to the study and examination of teachers’ variables with particular references to teachers’ qualification age, and attitude on students’ academic performance.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is to carry out an assessment on teachers’ characteristics and the performance of students in government in selected secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area of AkwaIbom State. The study was limited by unavailability of sufficient funds for collecting data and lack of proper data kept by the management of visited secondary schools during the period of this study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the influence of teachers’ characteristics on the achievement of secondary school students in Government.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of on the influence of teachers’ characteristics on the achievement of secondary school students in Government.
This study investigated the influence of teacher characteristics on secondary schools students’ academic achievement inGovernment. The findings reveal that student academic achievement (in 2007, 2008 and 2009) was below average for 45% of the schools, achievement was on average while (25%) of schools had high student academic achievement. The poor performance was attributed to inadequate number of teachers in most secondary schools within the District. On teacher qualification, the study established that 65% of teachers were degree holders, 25% had diploma certificates while only 10% were untrained. Cross tabulation results suggest that there was no difference in performance between teachers who had degrees or diploma suggesting that teacher qualification did not result to increased student academic achievement. The chi square result illustrate that there is no significant result between teacher qualification and student academic achievement. Participation of teachers in professional development programmes has benefited a lot with improvisation of teaching methods. Teachers with 3 years and above of teaching, recorded higher student academic achievement. This led to rejection of null hypothesis that there was no significant relationship between teacher experience and student academic achievement.
From the study, it is concluded that three out of four independent variables could predict the dependent variable. For student’s achievement, school location, Library adequacy and frequency of practical classes were predictors as they have significant effects on the academic achievement of Government students especially at secondary school level. School type was found to have significant effect on students’ achievement in Government. These factors have indicated the area that need to be addressed in order to enhance the learning outcomes of students in Government. If the government and other stakeholders in education industry could improve on the school factors, it is very likely that students’ achievement in Government will improve.
The following recommendations are hereby made based on the findings of the study. Government and school authorities should through the allocation of funds, materials and apparatus for Nationals teaching make school libraries more adequate for effective implementation for Government curriculum so as to enhance the performance of students. A range of authentic assessment such as hands on performance tasks, constructed response investigations and open-ended questions are recommended. Students should be exposed to more Library applications and activities so that they can recognize Library materials and equipment.
A compulsory practical examination at the JSCE is also suggested. It is the investigators’ opinion that various schools should find a way of helping in generating funds for the laboratories. Government teachers too should try to improvise materials for practical work where possible so as to lighten the financial burden of school administrators while the government should improve on the funding of schools to alleviate this problem. Practical activities should be taught by techniques that will generate interest in students. It therefore follows that the students who do not show significant interest in Government are not likely to internalize concepts learnt inthis subject and may consequently not able to apply them in life experience.
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