This study was carried out to identify senior secondary
school girls’ mentors and role models, determine the mentoring and role
modeling qualities that could promote girls interest and self efficacy in
chemistry. Two hundred senior secondary school girls were purposively chosen
from two senior secondary schools from Lagos educational district 1, Agege.
Questionnaire was used to collect data and data was analyzed using the
Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS). The results showed that senior
secondary school girls mentors are their mothers (N=103, 51.5%), there role
model is also their mothers (N=65, 32.5%) closely followed by medical doctors
(N=47, 23.5%). Both represent more than half of the total sample.
The findings of the study also showed that self confidence
of mentors can significantly promote girls self efficacy in chemistry.
Openness/objectivity of mentors and optimism/hard working nature of role model
significantly promote senior secondary school girls interest and self efficacy
in chemistry. Self confidence of mentor was not a realistic measure of senior
secondary school girls’ interest in chemistry. Moral behavior of role model
cannot significantly promote girls interest and self efficacy in chemistry.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents v
Factors that negatively influence female
participation & performance in
Science and technology 3
1.1.2 Mentoring in
promoting girls attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry. 5
1.1.3 Qualities of a
Role modeling in promoting girls attitudes and
self-efficacy in chemistry 8
1.1.5 Qualities of
a role model 9
of the Study 10
1.4 Statement of
the problem 12
1.5 Purpose of
of terms 14
Literature Review 15
2.0 Introduction 15
2.1 Mentoring 15
2.2 Role modeling 19
attitudes toward chemistry 20
2.4 Self-efficacy 25
Research Design & Methodology
3.0 Introduction 28
3.2 Population 28
3.3 Sample &
sample techniques 28
3.4 Instrumentation 28
3.5 Validity 29
3.6 Reliability 29
Who are the secondary school girls’ mentors and role model? 31
How will self-confidence of mentors promote senior secondary
school girls’ attitudes
and self-efficacy in
To what extent will openness of mentors promote senior
secondary school girls attitudes
and self-efficacy in chemistry? 37
How will objectivity of mentors promote senior secondary
school girls attitudes
and self-efficacy in chemistry? 39
How will optimism of role models promote senior secondary
school girls attitudes
and self-efficacy in chemistry?
To what extent will hard-working nature of role models
secondary school girls attitudes and self-efficacy in
4.7 Research Question
How will moral behaviors of role models promote senior
school girls attitude and self efficacy in chemistry?
Discussion of results
Appendix 1 Questionnaire
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.1 Students
preferences of qualities of mentor teachers
Table 2.1 Scores
of Respondents obtained from the Test
Table 2.2 T-Test
of mean difference in performance of boys & girls in
reacting masses from chemical equations
Table 4.1 Descriptive
statistics of frequency count and percentages of
school girls mentor.
Table 4.2 Descriptive
statistics of frequency count and percentages of
school girls’ role model.
Table 4.3 Pearson
correlation of girls attitude towards chemistry and
confidence of mentors.
Pearson correlation of self-efficacy and self confidence of mentors 36
Table 4.5 Pearson
correlation of openness of mentor and girls attitudes
Table 4.6 Pearson
correlation of self efficacy in chemistry and openness of mentors 38
Table 4.7 Pearson
correlation of objectivity and girls attitudes toward chemistry 39
Table 4.8 Pearson
correlation of self-efficacy in chemistry and objectivity 40
Table 4.9 Pearson
correlation of optimism of role models and girls attitudes towards
Table 4.10 Pearson
correlation of self-efficacy in chemistry and optimism 42
Table 4.11 Pearson
correlation of hard-working nature of role models and girls
Table 4.12 Pearson
correlation of self efficacy in chemistry and hard-working
of role models. 44
Table 4.13 Pearson
correlation of moral behavior of role models and girls
toward chemistry 45
Table 4.14 Pearson
correlation of self-efficacy in chemistry and moral behavior
role models. 46
Figure 4.1 Bar
chart of senior secondary girls mentor in chemistry 32
Figure 4.2 Bar
chart of senior secondary girls’ role model in chemistry 34
The role of chemistry as a requirement for technological
advancement of a nation cannot be over emphasized and Nigeria is not an
exception (Nbina J, 2012). Eke (2008) stated that any nation aspiring to be
scientifically and technological developed must have adequate level of
chemistry education. Based on this, the Federal government through, her
national policy on education, made chemistry a compulsory science subject at
the secondary level (NPE 2004). According to Adesoji & Olatunbosun (2008) Chemistry
is one of core science subjects at the senior secondary level and plays
significant role in unifying other science subjects. This calls for the need to
teach it effectively.
Thomas & Tinu (2008) opined that the senior secondary
school is to prepare student for the future activities in the area of science
and technology. At this level, teaching ought to be activity oriented and
centered on the student. Saage (2009) reported that despite the increasing
important of chemistry, the performance of Nigerian students in the subject at
secondary school remains considerably poor. According to Betiku (2002), the
available report from West African Examination Council(WAEC) shows that student
achievement in chemistry worsen as years go by and many students seem to have negative
attitude towards the subject.
Farhana W & Zainum M (2013) stated that many factors
contributed to student success and one of the factors is students’ attitude to
learning. They opined that understanding students’ attitude is essential in
supporting students’ achievement and interest towards a particular subject
.Papanastasious (2001) reported that those who have positive attitude towards science
perform better in the subject. The teachers play an important role during the
learning process and they can directly or indirectly influence the student
interest towards the subject, which in consequence can influence student
&Pajares (2006) showed that self-efficacy is especially important in
learning difficult subjects, such as biology and other sciences, given that
students enter courses with varying levels of fear and anxiety. As concepts in
the course become increasingly complex, self-efficacy becomes a more important
variable that influences the potential for student learning. They demonstrated
that students’ self-efficacy is a strong predictor of their academic
performance. Poor academic performance of student in science subject is
of great concern to parents, educators, scholars and government. More worrisome
is the poor performance of female students. Orodho A (1996) reported that poor
performance in chemistry is attributed to several factors. These include
inappropriate syllabus, students’ poor attitudes towards the subject and
Bashir & Kabir (2009) posited that gender difference in
science, technology and mathematics is characterized by under representation
and under achievement in these areas by female. Findings from studies on
science education revealed that female enrollment in science subjects are very
low. Reporting National Educational and development research council (NERDC,
1992) reveals that between years 1987 and 1991 only about 40% of students that
sat for the science subjects of the final school certificate examination were
female students. Irowi (1991) noticed that the rate of female participation in
school science worldwide is lower than male participation.
Onekutu(2002) wrote that achievement test results over the years
have shown an ever increasing gap between the performance of boys and girls in
chemistry at senior secondary school level. According to Eriba & Ande
(2006), this has resulted to a situation where there are more boys than girls
doing chemistry at this level i.e. boys dominated chemistry and science classes
while the girls go into reading languages and Arts. This perceived low
achievement of girls in chemistry is an unpleasant development which spells
doom for those who would have like to pursue careers in science programs in the
Some factors have been identified to be responsible for this and are discussed
1.1.1 Factors that negatively
influence female participation and performance in science and technology.
(a) According to Bashir & Kabir (2009), women play
numerous roles at home, leading to the assumptions that women’s place is in the
kitchen, which implies that home duties and family responsibilities should be
her sole priority. This assumption negatively affects women active participation
in national development in general and scientific field in particular. As an
individual, educated woman scientists have numerous roles to play alongside
their home duties. She can be a professional science teacher, doctor, engineer,
nurse, mid-wife etc.
(b) Bashir & Kabir (2009) stated that the assumptions
that female are biologically not designed for energy exerting and hazardous
occupations also militates against female participation in science and
technology and mathematics. This argument may not be true anymore because, with
the age of information technology (IT), intellectual ability counts more than
(c) Catherine W (2008) reported that, in many African
countries, girls’ exclusion from science can be attributed largely to the
construction of feminine identities, ideologies of domesticity and gender stereotypes.
According to UNESCO, “TIMSS 2011 Such gendered stereotypes are often
ingrained early in life and are difficult to overcome. There is a prevalent
view in Nigeria that women’s and men’s traditional roles in society should be
preserved, and therefore girls should not compete with boys in class. Those who
do pursue science can be stigmatized as aberrant or, at best, deemed
“exceptional,” whereas boys are presumed to have a “natural ability.
(d) According to Bashir & Kabir (2009) the home
contributes to female lack of participation in science, technology and
mathematics. At home, some parents discourage their female children from
entering for science subjects at secondary school level. This attitudes
exhibited undermines female confidence and conveying strong messages that science
and technical subjects are no go areas. Some parents only educate male children
at the expensed of female. In the northern part of the country, education of majority
of the female children ends at post primary school level. They are married out
at a very early age and there education disrupted. The school portrays teacher
bias which affects females’ confidence and performance. Teachers’ different expectation
for females affects their achievement.
(e) Lastly, Ekine, A(1999) asserted that with more women accessing science education
and careers, even if in small numbers, these views are beginning to change.
Nigerians are increasingly able to point to female role models such as Grace
Alele Williams, who was the first Nigerian woman to obtain a doctorate, in
mathematics education, and who then rose to become the first female vice chancellor
of the University of Benin. Nonetheless, Nigerian women’s lack of visibility in
the sciences, and the lack of recognition that they can play a part in the
sciences, at both the local and national levels, persists. These different
forms of cultural bias and discrimination against girls in relation to their
participation in science greatly exacerbate their lack of self-confidence,
which often translates into a lack of interest and leads them to drop out of science
classes. As girls get older, they tend to become less confident in their
abilities, even if
they are performing at the same levels as their male peers,
and thus they often show science and
mathematics related anxieties, and
come to believe that science is not for them. Mentoring and role
modeling can be used as intervention strategies to encourage girls’ interest
and self efficacy in chemistry, thereby improving their performance.
1.1.2 Mentoring in
promoting girls attitude and self-efficacy in chemistry
According to Mentorset (2014), mentoring is a powerful
personal development and empowerment tool. It is an effective way of helping people
(students) to make progress in their careers and is becoming increasingly
popular as its potential is realized. Mentoring is a partnership between two
people (Mentor and Mentee) normally working in a similar field or sharing
similar experiences. It is a relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.
A mentor is a guide, who can help the mentee to develop solutions to career
issues. A mentor helps the mentee (female students in this work) to believe in
herself, boost her confidence while providing guidance and encouragement.
Mentors help keep students in school, helps with homework and can improve their
mentees’ academic skills. A number of studies have revealed a correlation
between a young person’s involvement in a quality mentoring relationship and
positive outcomes in the areas of school, mental health, problem behavior and
health. Also, Marshall (2001), define mentoring as a process of people helping
people; where helping teaching, advising counseling, instructing and guidance
are provided by one person to another. He suggested that mentoring increases
networking and social interaction. Lough( 2001),describes mentoring as a
process that links an experienced individual with someone who needs support and
guidance. Abbey (1991) proposed that mentoring schemes as a mechanism for
developing females’ careers and providing a genuine opportunity to become
significant leaders in sport. Bauldry & Hartman (2004) reported that mentoring
programs have achieved extensive public recognition due to their remarkable
success in increasing positive behaviors in youth and reducing negative
behaviors. According to Jekielek, Moore and Hair
(2002), youth participation in mentoring relationships improved important
educational measures such as unexcused absences and better attitudes. They noted
that mentoring also helped develop healthier behaviors (less drug and alcohol
use) and improved social and behavioral outcomes, such as better relationship
with parents and peers. Wood and Mayo-Wilson (2012) in their meta-analysis of school
based mentoring programs for adolescents similarly found small to modest
positive changes in student attendance. Wheeler, Keller, Dubois (2010), Funk
and Ek (2002) and Jekielek et al. (2002) also reported reductions in truancy in
1.1.3 Qualities of a
According to Daloz, 1999 & Guy, 2002. A mentor was described
as an older, more experienced person who shared his or her expertise and
knowledge with a mentee. As mentoring research progressed, age differential
between mentor and mentee was found increasingly irrelevant. Knowledge, skill,
expertise, and experience of the mentor were considered more essential than age
differential. The mentor must also be knowledgeable, experienced, interested,
accessible, and a networker. This individual must be willing to share resources,
observe confidentiality, show mutual respect, and show affection (Carruthers, 1993;
English, 1996). In a qualitative study of 27 mentors from 5 medium to large
companies, Allen and Poteet (1999) found characteristics of an ideal mentor.
Among these were listening and communication skills, patience, knowledge of the
organization, the ability to understand others, honesty, a genuine interest in
mentoring, people-orientation, structure, vision, common sense,
self-confidence, openness to suggestions, leadership qualities, versatility,
respect of others, an ability to teach, willingness to give feedback, and fairness/objectivity.
The mentor has an outlook which is both positive and realistic, is prepared to
give quality time to others, will listen and not pre-judge, retains an interest
in their own growth and development, has a degree of self-assurance which
enables them to be challenged and receive criticism (and to give it), and is
prepared for occasional feelings of discomfort (Whitaker & Cartwright, 2000).
In addition, the mentor displays an ability to readily see potential in a
person; tolerance with mistakes, brashness, abrasiveness, and the like, in
order to see that potential develop; flexibility in responding to people and circumstances;
patience; perspective; and gifts and abilities that build up and encourage others
(Stanley & Clinton, 1992). The mentor is also a person of integrity, judgment,
wisdom, self-knowledge (Garvey, Alfred, & Smith, 1996), and a high
tolerance for complexity with the ability to help the mentee navigate it
(Garvey & Alred, 2001). A unique perspective on mentor function held that
social judgment capacities were essential, including wisdom, social
perceptiveness, and moral and social reasoning (Sosik & Lee, 2002). MacCallum
& Beltman (2002) noted that mentors need to be caring and have a positive
non judgmental approach to young people and guide them in their journey. According to Mc Kimm et al. (2003), the following are
qualities that characterize good mentors: good interpersonal skills,
objectivity, role model, flexibility peer respect, demonstrable competence, reflective
practitioner, non-threatening, attitude facilitator of learning, allowing the
development of initiative and independence, open mindedness, approachability,
self-confidence and self awareness advocacy, sincerity, warmth, commitment,
Heeralal P (2014) carried out a study on student teachers’
perspective of qualities of good mentor teachers. The result of the study is
presented in table A. The data suggests that student teachers would like their
mentors to be knowledgeable, experienced, honest, respectful, fair, flexible
and understanding, Student teachers do not like to have mentors that are
controlling and strict
Table1.1: Students preferences of qualities of mentor teachers
Percentage of students preferring this quality
1.1.4 Role modeling
in promoting girls attitude and self-efficacy in chemistry
According to Kenny, Mann & Macheod, (2003), role
modeling is described as teaching by example and influencing people in an often
times unintentional, unaware, informal and episodic manner. That is, everyone
serves as role model for learners in our field through our routine actions. It
has been referred to as the “hidden curriculum” of professional education as
one often lack understanding regarding the influence role modeling has on
learners. Students learn behaviors that appears successful to them in the light
of their personal goals and rewards. This is a foundational principle of social
learning theory and how role models exert influence on others.
According to Lockwood & Kunda ( 1997), a role model can
be a symbolic entity, an inspirational and/or motivational individual, someone
from whom one can learn and model desired behaviors. Role modeling according to
Dake and Taylor (1994) is teaching by
example and learning by imitation.
Asghani & Atabaki (2011) found that role models not only
help students develop their knowledge and skill, but also play significant role
in shaping and inspiring a career. According to Teach.com (2014), a role model
inspires and encourages us to strive for greatness, live to our full potential
and see the best in ourselves. Students learn through role models, through their
commitment to excellence and ability to make students realize their own
personal growth. A role model can be anybody, a parent, a friend, a sibling but
some of the most influential and life changing role models are teachers.
Therefore, teachers can use this tool to promote girls interest in chemistry,
which will subsequently improve their academic performance.
1.1.5 Qualities of a
According to Freddie (2014), role models inspire youngsters
to reach their full potentials. He stated that not everyone is suitable to be
influential, positive role model. Effective role models possess desirable
characteristics that make them easy to look up to. These qualities are:
220.127.116.11 Moral: A
good role model has high moral values. Research conducted by developmental
psychologist Marilyn Price-Mitchell and reported on her website, Root of
Action; found that children respect those who practice what they preach. Role
models behave ethically and demonstrate honesty.
People admire those who project confidence. Good role models, have a healthy
appreciation of their accomplishments. They are able to acknowledge their
skills and achievement without becoming arrogant.
Role models demonstrate their commitment to a desired goal and are willing to
invest the necessary time and effort to achieve success. They don’t give up
easily and they persevere when confronted by obstacles. Their passion to
succeed inspires youngsters to follow through and reach the goals they set for
18.104.22.168 Respect: For
role model to be influential, they must show respect for others. Young people
appreciate being treated with respect and admire those who treat them and
others that way. Role model who demonstrate selflessness and a democratic,
non-prejudiced view of those different from themselves earn the admiration of
22.214.171.124 Optimistic and
Creative: Role models inspire others with an upbeat, optimistic outlook to
life. No one would want to emulate a pessimistic individual.
Marty Z (2010) highlighted seven traits of a role model to
be: confidence & leadership, uniqueness, good communication, respect,
knowledgeable, humility and doing good things outside their jobs. Sharlyn L
(2013): stated six qualities of a role model; awareness, commitment, empathy,
foresight, listening and persuasion.
1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF
This study will provide science educators, curriculum
planners, government and the wider society with detailed information about
mentoring and role modeling qualities that can effectively promote girls’
attitude and self efficacy in chemistry thereby, improving their academic
performance. In view of this information, curriculum planner and government can
ensure that these tools are incorporated into planning and formation of
policies for science education.
The theoretical background of this study is the social
learning theory. According to Albert Bandura(1977). Social learning theory is a
learning theory based on the ideas that people learn by watching what others do
and that human thought process are central to understanding personality. This
provides a framework for understanding, predicting and changing human behavior.
The main tenets of Bandura’s theory are that:
(i) People learn by observing others.
(ii) The same set of stimuli may provoke different responses
from different people or from the same people at different times.
(iii) The world and a person’s behavior are intertwined.
(iv) Personality is an interaction between three factors:
the environment, behavior and a person’s psychological processes.
Through his research, Bandura (1977) established that there
are certain steps involved in the modeling process:
(i) Attention: one need to pay attention to learn something
new. The more striking or different something is, the more likely it is to gain
(ii) Retention: one must be able to retain (remember) what
one has paid attention to. One store what one has seen the model doing in the
form of verbal descriptions or mental images and bring. These triggers up later
to help one reproduce the model with one own behavior.
(iii) Reproduction: at this point, one has to translate the
images or description into actual behavior. One must have the ability to
reproduce the behavior in the first place.
(iv) Motivation: Unless one is motivated, or have a reason,
one will not try to imitate the model. Badura (1977) states a number of motives
including: past reinforcement, promised reinforcement and vicarious
According to Kendra (2014), the concept of self-efficacy is
central to Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory which emphasizes the role
of observational learning, social experience and reciprocal determinism in the
development of personality. According to Bandura, a person’s attitudes,
abilities and cognitive skills comprise what is known as the self-system. This
system plays a major role in how one perceives situations and how one behaves
in response to different situations. Bandura (1995) defines self-efficacy as
“the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action
required to manage prospective situations” that is, self-efficacy is a person’s
belief in his/her ability to succeed in a particular situation. He described
these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave and feel. Bandura
found that an individual self-efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks
and challenges are approached.
Based on these theories, this research assumes that a
student with a strong/positive self-efficacy and attitudes tends to put greater
effort into studying (chemistry), which eventually results in good performance.
Those with weak/negative self efficacy and attitudes are less likely to put
great effort into the subject which eventually results in low/poor
1.4 STATEMENT OF THE
Many researchers have carried out studies about
under-achievement of females in the sciences (Eriba & Ande, 2006). Adesoji
(2008) stated that there is a relationship between attitude and achievement and
that it is possible to predict achievement from attitude scores. Turner et al
(2009) also agree that self efficacy is strongly related to one’s academic achievement.
Research has shown that youth in mentoring relationship present better
attitudes and behaviors at school ( Jekielek et al, 2002) and that mentoring
helps improve a young person’s self esteem, set career goals and start taking
steps to realize them ( mentor set, 2014).
Asghari et al (2011) examined opinion of fourth year medical
students on role modeling and reported that role models are not only important
in helping students develop their knowledge and skill but 57 percent of the
students claimed their role model influenced their decision regarding their
clinical specialty for residency training.
Some authors and investigator are skeptical about mentoring
and disagree with the idea that mentoring is always a positive experience.
Also, according to Ashley J (2014), a role model could have negative impact on
learners. This study therefore examines if mentoring and role modeling could be
used as intervention strategies to promote senior secondary school attitude and
self efficacy in chemistry.
1.5 Purpose of study
The purpose of study is to:
(1) Identify senior secondary school girls’ mentors and role
(2) Identify the mentoring qualities that could promote
girls attitudes and self – efficacy in chemistry.
(3) Determine the role modeling qualities that could promote
girls attitudes and self efficacy in chemistry.
1.6 Research Questions
(1) Who are the senior secondary school girls’ mentors and
(2) How will self confidence of mentors promote girls’
attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry?
(3) To what extent will openness of mentors promotes girls’
attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry?
(4) How will objectivity of mentors promote girls’ attitudes
and self-efficacy in chemistry?
(5) To what extent will hardworking nature of role models promote
girls attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry?
(6) How will optimism of role models promote girls’
attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry?
(7) To what extent will moral behaviors of role models
promote girls attitudes and self-efficacy in chemistry?
1.7 Definition of
Attitude towards chemistry: refers to students’ interest in
Mentoring: Is a way of helping students to make progress in
their academic work (chemistry) and careers.
Role modeling: Is teaching by example and influencing
Self – efficacy in chemistry: indicates students self belief
in learning chemistry and achievement.
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