1.1 Background to the Study
Learning is a process and its effect can be measured by the learners’ attitude, his response to the learning process and his overall academic achievement of the learner (Clark, 1997). It is a complex process and there are many interacting variables for internal school students learning occurs within the context of a classroom, the school, a broader community and a particular society.
Learning is said to be occurring when change or elaborate what is already known to us (Cambourne, 2000). The learning process can be defined as “making connections, identifying patterns, organizing previously unrelated bits of knowledge, behavior, activity into new pattern wholes” (Cambourne, 2000). The philosophy underlying Cambournce (2000) definition is that the learner is actively involved in the learning process.
The learners interact with materials, direct processes, make connections, identifying patterns and organize materials. All of the learning is linked to existing knowledge. Students’ academic achievement is an important indicator of their success in achieving their goals for higher education (Pascavella and Terenzinin, 2001). Given the importance of students’ leanring, most of the research studies in this area have emphasized students’ involvement with learning (Astin, 2004), established learning outcomes (Kuh, Douglas, Lund, Ramin-Gyernek, 1994).
Attitude as a concept is concerned with an individual way of thinking, acting and behaving. It is a state of readiness or tending to respond in a certain manner when confronted with certain stimuli (Oppoen, 2003). It has very serious implications for the learners, the teacher, the immediate social group with which the individual leaner related and the entire school system.
Attitudes are formed as a result of some kind of learning experience and self-determination. It may also be adopted or learnt through exemplary life or opinion of parents, teaches or friends. This imitation may have a greater part to play in the learning situation and its achievement.
Attitude provides a foundation for the development of social norms of governance for regulating long-term relationship exchanges and reducing opportunism. In fact, teacher-student relationships based on fair attitude are said to require simple governance structures and monitoring system, which providing a host of efficiencies stemming from adaptability; reduced role ambiguity and flexibility (Williamson, 1996). Good attitudes and actions employed by the students can ultimately make a positive difference in their academic achievement. It is believed that attitudes have great impact on learners practice and behaviours.
Richardson (1996), stated that attitudes and beliefs are subjects of groups of construct that name define and describe the structure and context of mental states that are thought to drive a person’s actions. With good attitudes, teachers and students can develop relationship of mutual respect and trust.
Most failure of students in the class is as result of their ill-attitude to learning which may not encourage the teachers to carry them along during class activities and probably encourage them with the little progress they have made. The answer to the foregoing question lack research evidence on the issue. However, it is the lack of limited research evidence regarding attitude to learning and academic achievement in social studies among junior secondary school students in Ika Local Government Area that provide the focus of the problem for this investigation.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A lot of student graduates from schools with low intelligent quotient (IQ) as a result of their attitude to learning social studies being a social science subject, which social character is built up; that really needs students to be committed and self-determined in the subject in order for them to be able to related with other people very social when they get to the marked world. But the reverse is the case, judging from the low achievement of students in the subject. This is attributed to their ill-attitudes to the learning of the subject.
Students lack the determination to be committed to their learning of social studies which will make socially fit in the marked world. They learn the subject partially and may lack basic knowledge of the concept. It is against this background of ill-attitude to learning social studies among junior secondary school students which leads to their low academic achievement that has provide the focus of the problem for this investigation.