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PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ON THE CAUSES OF FAILURE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Education as a social representation has always incorporated, directly or indirectly, developments, attitudes and interrelations of both market tendencies and dominant ideology. Social change, class differentiation, perceptions of the role of the teacher as well as of the student in academic achievement and failure have been expressed in many ways throughout education systems with attributed different dimensions (Panagiotis and Efstratios, 2011).

According to Boit, Njoki and Chang’ach (2012) the purpose of education is to equip the individual 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; an objective that has kept many worried over the spat of academic failure that secondary school students record yearly in Nigeria (Achoka, Odebero, Maiyo and Mualuko, 2007).

One of the indicators of quality of education being provided is cognitive performance of learners (UNESCO, 2005). The performance of students in secondary school Social Studies in Nigeria has remained an issue of concern to all stakeholders (Ajagun, 2000). The report by Ojerinde (1998) on the survey of the performance of candidates in Social Studies in Nigeria over the years revealed a discernible failure. This perennial failure has remained a source of concern to Social Studies educators, school authorities, parents and students themselves (Nnaka and Anaekwe, 2004).

Yusuf and Adigun (2010) noted that the performance of students in Social Studies 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 in Social Studies. 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).

On personal basis, the success or failure of a student depends upon his/her own zeal, commitment and how studious the student is. Of course, to study is an art and as such it requires practice. Some students study more but they fail to achieve more. Others study less but achieve more. Success of each student definitely depends upon hi/her ability, intelligence and effort. No doubt, regular study habits bring their own rewards in the sense of academic success.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Several researchers have attempted to explore the perception of teachers and students on the causes of failure in secondary school, leaving behind gaps that needed to be filled. Prior studies had different dependent 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 junior secondary school Social Studies subject often blame the school authorities for engaging under-qualified teachers, with little or no teaching experience. 

On the other side of the swing, teachers do not see themselves as being responsible for students’ failure in Social Studies but blame students for their lack of zeal, commitment and not being studious enough. It is against this backdrop that this research seeks to examine the perception of teachers and students on the causes of failure in Social Studies in junior secondary school.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the perception of teachers and students on the causes of failure in Social Studies in junior secondary school. Other specific objectives of this study are:

1.      To explore the effect of teachers’ qualifications on students academic achievement in Social Studies in junior secondary         school.

2.      To examine the relationship between students’ study habits and academic performance of students in Social Studies in junior secondary school.

3.       To investigate the role of parental involvement in students academic outcomes in Lagos State.

4.      To examine the effect of teachers’ experience on students academic performance inSocial Studies in junior secondary school.

5.      To find out the effect of instructional methods on students academic achievement in Social Studies in junior secondary school.

6.      To highlight the causes and implication of students’ failure in Social Studies in junior secondary school.

1.4       Research Questions

1)     Does teachers qualification has any effect on students’ academic performance?

2)     What is the relationship between students’ study habits and academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies in junior secondary school?

3)Is parental involvement a significant predictor of students’ academic outcomes in Lagos State?

4)To what extent will teachers’ experience affect students’ academic performance in Social Studies in junior secondary school?

5)What is the relationship between instructional methods and students academic achievementin Social Studies in junior secondary school?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

HO1There is nosignificant relationship between teachers qualifications and students academic performance.

HO2Study habits have no significant effect on academic performance          of       students in Social Studies in junior secondary school.

HO3      Parental involvement is not a significant predictor of students’ academic       outcomes in Lagos State.

HO4      Teachers’ experience has no effect on students’ academic             performance inSocial Studies junior secondary school.

HO5      There is no significant relationship between instructional methods and           students academic achievement in Social Studies in junior secondary        school.

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