The physical world around us is a compact of “mysteries” to a lay man. Yet these mysteries are unraveled through the teaching of science. What then is science? Science is narrowly deferred as organized body of knowledge derived through observation and experimentation. Science is generally used to explain, predict and control the physical world. Science therefore as a discipline (especially the basics) is essential to man if he must understand his environment and harness the principles embedded in nature for his development. This fact inspires Ugochiwu (1999) to observe that science education has been accorded a prime position world-wide.
However, within the contest of science education, chemistry which is that branch of natural science that deals with the composition and constitution of substances and the changes that they undergo as a consequence of alterations in the constitution of their molecules, has been identified as a very important science subject and its importance in both science and technological development of any nation has widely reported. According to Dosmond (2005), it was as a result of the recognition given to chemistry in the development of the individual and the nation that it was made a care subject among the natural sciences and other science related courses in Nigeria education system. Hence, “it is of great notice that the poor \state of chemistry education in secondary schools has been of great concern to everyone who looks forward to the scientific and technological advancement of our nation” (Inyang 2006).
Chemistry teaching is suppose to be result oriented and students-centered. This can be achieved only if the students become willing to learn and teachers favorably disperse using the appropriate teaching methods and resources in teaching the students knowing that the brain is not a passive consumer of information (Robertson 2002). But in Nigeria, the assimilation of chemistry is slow. The sluggishness in assimilation of chemistry is determined by certain variables and factors and the provision of solution constitute the main purpose of this research.
School variables have been known to determine learning outcome to some extent. This is because educational resources and facilities available in a given school to influence teaching and learning. According to Abia,
School variables includes educational infrastructures, facilities, staffs, learning space, learners involve, class size, school size, school size, teacher’s level of professionalism in their field, school management system, teacher’s personal attitude as well as laboratory inadequacy (2004)
It is further realized that children are stimulated to learn in a conducive learning environment to ensrure optimum teaching and learning in secondary schools. As such, the nature of these school variable listed above exert significant influence on students’ learning and overall performances.
It is therefore in the light of the above that this research work is carried out to examine school variables and students’ academic performance in chemistry in Uyo local government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The understanding of science in General and chemistry in particular in Africa as married by the attitude of both teachers and students of chemistry, and environment related factors such as class size, and school location. This has culminated in the reliance and dependent on the western world by Africa for explanation and solution to scientific problems.
The main purpose of this study is to determine the differences in academic performance of students in chemistry based on school variables in Uyo Local Government Area. The specific objectives of the study include:
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
I What is the difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on class size?
Ii What is the difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on school location?
Iii what is the difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on teacher’s qualification?
Iv what is the difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on learning environment?
The following null hypothesis were raised to guide the study:
H0 1 There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on class size.
H0 2 There is no significant difference in the academic performance of student in chemistry based on school location.
H0 3 There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students in chemistry based on teachers’ qualification.
H0 4 There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students chemistry based on learning environment.
The study expounds the causal relationship among the students and the teachers’ variable under investigation and achievement of students in chemistry. The outcome of the study assist all stakeholders in the teaching of chemistry particularly at the senior secondary school level, to fashion out appropriate strategies that would enhance teaching and learning of the subjects.
Hence, the consideration of school variable and student academic achievement are important criteria in development and implementation of both curricula in instructional performance.
I School Variables:
The concept is used to refer to a number of factors that influence and determine learning in the formal setting of education. According to Inyang (2013), it is the sum total of everything within the school setting that influence supports and promotes academic achievement of learners. They are those factors within the school environment that contributes to the poor performance of students directly or indirectly in the Educational system. These variables are exemplified by Iko(2000) thus, distance between the learners’ home and the school, large population of the classes, teachers’ ability and other related variables within the school settings all constitutes the school variables greatly responsible for determining the outcome of students performance in science generally and chemistry a particular.
Ii Academic Performance
In this case, academic performance does not only refer to students’ GPA. Several factors are considered. This informs Mbeh’s (1999) definition of Academic Performance as a raw information obtained by teachers from examination and test to use as means of accessing the level of students response to teacher’s variables. It is a raw score obtain from school recorded by teachers from various forms of achievement test he administer to a student.
Ii Effective Teachers
After a probationary period, a teacher is effective if and only if, based on the available evidence (such as from classroom observations, students surveys and student achievement gains), their predicted impact on students exceed that of the average novice teacher. In other words, if, after a few years in the classroom, a teacher’s predicted effectiveness is below that of the average novice teachers in their grade level and subject, then he or she would fail to meet the minimum standard of effectiveness required for tenure. Immanuel (1972) puts it these way thus effective teachers are those teachers that are able to achieve the goals which they set for themselves or which were set for them by other bodies (like the Ministry of education, the legislators). The possession of knowledge and skills is what makes a teacher competent, but the use of knowledge and skills in a classroom setting is a test of teacher’s performance
Iv Genetics and Environmental Factors
These are factors which are often beyond the control of the teacher. Teachers also find it difficult to compel students to learn. In as much the teachers want the students to learn, they cannot open the heads of the students and staff them with knowledge. Hence a student has a veto power over the success of instruction he gets.
Motivation is simply a willingness of action especially in behavour. It is “the needs, desire, interest or a consideration of reason that arouses a person and direct him towards a specific goal” (Olatunji 2005). Moreso, Akande (2002) defines motivation as a definite, natural and positive desire to do certain things.
Vi Class Size
This is the number of students in a given classroom, especially either the number of students being taught by individual teachers in a classroom or the average number of students being taught by teachers in school.
Viii School Location
A school location is referred to the community or geographical environment in which a school is located. it may be a village, rural area, small town, city or even a territory.
Viii School Proprietor
This is simply referred to a person who owns a school and is personally responsible for every activities going on in the school. He is not a legal entity’s but is personally responsible for the debts and other important issues in the school.
Okoye (2003) defines learning as a relative permanent change on behavior resulting from experience. It is a step-by-step process in which an individual experiences permanent, lasting charges in knowledge, behavours, or ways of processing the would.
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