Environmental Factors and the Learning of Economics among Secondary School Students
The study examined environmental factors and the learning of Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Survey research design was employed for the study. A sample of two hundred and twenty (220) Economics students were selected using simple random sampling technique. Student’s result (scores) and a structured questionnaire were used as instrument for data collection.
The data collected were subjected to statistical analysis using t-test and pearson product moment correlation (PPMC). The findings revealed that students in school with adequate facilities performed significantly better than their counterparts in school without facilities in Economics. This was evident in calculated t-value of 12.16 against a critical table value of 1.98.
Equally, Government policy on free and compulsory education has a significant relationship with the learning of Economics, as indicated in a calculated (r) value of 0.98 against a critical (r) value of .139. In the same vein, students in urban school performed significantly better than their counterparts in rural school in Economics, as revealed in calculated t-value of 9.27 against a critical table value of 1.99. Hence, the null hypotheses were rejected at .05 level of significance. It was then recommended among others that laboratory equipment, textbooks, instructional materials and other facilities should be provided in schools for use by students and teachers to enhance the learning potentials of students and bring about better results in examination.
Environmental Factors and the Learning of Economics among Secondary School Students
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – – i
Certification – – – – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – 4
1.3 Purpose of the Study – – – – – 5
1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – 6
1.5 Research Questions – – – – – 7
1.6 Research Hypothesis – – – – – 8
1.7 Limitation of the Study – – – – – 8
1.8 Delimitation of the Study – – – – – 9
1.9 Definition of terms – – – – – 9
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 School Facilities and the Learning of Economics – – 11
2.2 Government Policy on Free and Compulsory Education
and the Learning of Economics – – 18
2.3 Location of School and the Learning of Economics – 22
2.4 Summary of the Review of Related Literature – – 28
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS
3.1 Area of the Study – – – – 30
3.2 Research Design – – – – 32
3.3 Population of the Study – – – – 32
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique – – – – 32
3.5 Instrument for Data Collection – – – – 34
3.6 Validation of the Instrument(s) – – – – 35
3.7 Reliability of the Instrument – – – – 35
3.8 Administration of the Instrument – – – – 35
3.8 Method of Data Analysis – – – – 36
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.1 Analysis of Data and Results – – – – 37
4.2 Discussion of the Findings – – – – – 41
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – 43
5.2 Recommendations – – – – – – 44
5.3 Conclusion – – – – – – – 45
5.4 Suggestion for Further Studies – – – – 45
References – – – – – – – 47
Appendices – – – – – – – 50
1.1 Background to the Study
The school is a social and learning agent that provides the environment upon which a child may be formally educated in order to attain educational goals. According to Umoh (2006), nature only provides the raw materials in form of potentials, but it is the environment that determines the extent of development. The school environments which include class size, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, etc. are factors that affect students’ academic performance. Hence, school environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.
However, for many years now, educationists and researchers have debated on which environmental factors influence students’ learning. As policy makers become more involved in school reforms this question takes on new dimension since their initiatives rely on presumed relationship between various education related factors and learning outcome. Ajayi (2001) suggested that schools bring little influence to bear upon a child’s performance that is dependent on his background and general social context. The author noted that for education to thrive factors such as school environment, teachers quality and classroom size need to be considered.
According to Inyang (2008), school is an environment which constitutes all that surrounds the learners in the course of learning. The environment embraces such provisions as good roads, electricity, well equipped laboratory, library facilities, well ventilated classroom and the use of relevant instructional materials among others.
Consequently, the issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the Government, parents, teachers and even students themselves. The quality of education does not only depend on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective co-ordination of the school environment (Inyang, 2008).
The author further admitted that school environment is essential in the teaching/learning process because the extent to which learning could be enhanced depends on their location, the structure of their classroom, availability of educational facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well-planned school will gear up expected outcome of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process as well as good students’ academic performance.
Jatau (2008) holds the view that Economics is actively based, therefore teachers must evolve teaching strategies and select materials that can sustain students’ interest in the learning of the subject, pointing out that students are likely to fail or record abysmal performance in Economics if the environment is not conducive for students’ learning. In a similar development, Ajayi (2001) maintained that poor learning environment due to inadequacy of facilities could lead to teachers’ inability to communicate instruction in the class and also contribute to students’ poor performance in examination.
Moreover, the present research will examine the aforementioned environmental factors as its affect students learning of Economics in Secondary Schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
For sometimes now, the teaching and learning of Economics in schools have increasingly become more challenging as a result of inadequate teaching-learning facilities with its resultant effect on students’ academic performance. However, many education stakeholders have been viewing with serious concern about the performance of students in Economics.
A number of factors have been enumerated by researchers in the past to have accounted for the dwindling nature of students’ performance. Among the factors identified were, teacher’s quality, poor teaching method adopted by some teachers, location of school, unconducive environment and school management (Ogunsaju, 2004).
To ameliorate these problems, Government, teachers, parents and some educational agencies and organizations have made concerted effort to improve the learning of Economics in school. This has been in the areas of construction of dilapidated classrooms to make the environment conducive for teaching and learning as well as equipping of libraries in schools with modern textbooks to facilitate learning. All these efforts not withstanding, the academic performance of students in the subject is still on the decline.
However, it is on the expectation that environmental factors like school facilities and class size could also exert an influence on the learning of Economics thereby resulting into poor performance by students in the subject. It is as a result of the above reasons that the researcher is motivated to conduct a study on environmental factors and the learning of Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine how environmental factors affect the learning of Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Examine the difference in the learning of Economics in Schools with adequate facilities and those without in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- Ascertain Government policy on free and compulsory education as its influence the learning of Economics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- Assess the learning of Economics in urban and Rural Schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will be of immense benefits to teachers, students, educational administrators and researchers in the following ways:
- The results and findings of this study will reveal the impact of environmental factors on the learning of Economics in schools.
- The study will help the teachers to know the instructional method that could help students in a large class size to participate actively during lesson.
- It will also encourage the students to take their studies seriously.
- Through this study, Government will see the need to accord priority to schools to enhance teaching and learning.
- The study will also serve as a source of reference materials to those who will undertake the study of this nature in years ahead.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised in line with the purpose of the study
- What difference exists in the learning of Economics in schools with adequate facilities and those without in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- What relationship exists between Government policy on free and compulsory education and the learning of Economics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- What difference exists in the learning of Economics in urban and rural schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
Based on the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study
- There is no significant difference in the learning of Economics in schools with adequate facilities and those without in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- There is no significant relationship between Government policy on free and compulsory education and the learning of Economics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
- There is no significant difference in the learning of Economics in urban and rural schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area?
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Limitations are bound to occur in a study of this magnitude. The major limitations encountered in the study were, inadequate funds, insufficient research materials regarding the research topic and time frame for the completion of the research work.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to environmental factors and the learning of Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. School facilities, Government policy on free and compulsory education and location of school were the main variables for investigation.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms used in the study were conceptualized by the researcher as follows:
Environmental Factors: The physical conditions that the school exists in. It constitutes all that surrounds the learners in the course of learning. The environmental factors include provision of laboratory facilities, ventilated classrooms, access roads, pipe borne water, electricity and the use of relevant instructional materials.
School Facilities: These are those things of education which enables a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional effectiveness that exceeds what is possible when they are not provided. They include, well-equipped laboratory, library, conducive classrooms, infrastructural facilities among others.
Class Size: This refers to the total number of students in a class at a given time under the supervision of a single teacher.
Government Policies on Education: These are principles in the educational sphere that governs the operation of the educational system. They include: class size, school size, teacher education and certification, school choice, school privatization, teacher pay, teaching methods, graduation requirements, school infrastructure among others.