THE INFLUENCE OF ATTITUDE TO SCHOOLING ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF PUPILS IN IBEJU-LEKKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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ABSTRACT

 

The study examined influence of attitude to schooling on the academic achievement of pupils with focus on Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The study adopted a Descriptive survey research design. To achieve the objectives of the study, 125 teachers were sampled from 5 public primary schools in the study area using stratified sampling technique. Based on the objectives of the research and previous findings related to the variables incorporated in the research; primary source of data was adopted using a well-structured questionnaire. Data extracted from the administered questionnaires were presented on table using percentile. Based on the objective of the research, the four hypotheses tested were rejected as the calculated Chi-Square were greater that the tabulated Chi-Square, hence it was concluded that; pupils’ Interest is a predictor to academic achievement; pupils’ attitudes towards modern learning technologies relate to pupils’ academic achievement; relationship exists between socio-economic status of parents and pupils’ academic achievement; and classroom environment relate to pupils’ academic achievement. It was recommended among other recommendations that teachers and school practitioners should pay attention to the pupils’ attitude towards school as its important predictor of academic achievement.

 

Key Words: attitude, Interest, Value, Academic Achievement, Qualification of Teachers

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                                                  i

Certification                                                                                                               ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                     iv

Abstract                                                                                                                     v

Table of Contents                                                                                                      vi

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                             6

1.3       Objectives of the Study                                                                                  7

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                       7

1.5       Research Hypotheses                                                                                      8

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                               8

1.7       Scope of the Study                                                                                        9

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms                                                                     9

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1        Conceptual Framework                                                                              11

2.1.1      Concept of Attitude                                                                                    11

2.1.1.1   Factor Influencing Attitude                                                                          13

2.1.1.2  The Characteristics of Attitude                                                                     15

2.1.2      Concept of Interest                                                                                      17

2.1.3      Pupils’ Attitude and Academic Achievement                                           21

2.2         Theoretical Framework                                                                                  25

2.2.1      Theories of Attitude Change                                                                         25

2.2.1.1   Consistency Theories                                                                         28

2.2.1.2   Early Learning Theories                                                                                33

2.2.1.3   Social Judgment Theory                                                                                35

2.2.1.4   Functional Theories                                                                                       37

2.3         Review of Related Empirical Studies                                                         40

2.4         Summary of Literature Reviewed                                                             44

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1       Research Design                                                                                             45

3.2       Population of the Study                                                                                  45

3.3       Sample and Sampling Technique                                                                   46

3.4       Instrument for Data Collection                                                                       46

3.5       Validity of the Instrument                                                                               47

3.6       Reliability of the Instrument                                                                           47

3.7       Method of Data Collection                                                                             47

3.8       Method of Data Analysis                                                                                47

 

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1        Introduction                                                                                                    49

4.2        Personal Characteristics of the Respondent                                                   49

4.3        Response of Respondents to the Problem Areas.                                           50

4.4        Testing and Interpretation of the Hypotheses.                                               60

4.5       Discussion of Findings                                                                         66

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary                                                                                                         69

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                       69

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                          69

5.4        Suggestion for Further Studies                                                                       70

References                                                                                                                  72

Appendix: Questionnaire                                                                                            76







 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1       Background to the Study

Education is widely recognized as an indicator of development. One of the basic purposes of education is producing trained human capital who can overcome development impediments of a given country. Many researchers (Altinok, 2004; Linnehan, 2005; Schreiber, 2000) have agreed that the effectiveness of this sector has been challenged by many factors. In order to make pupils grasp the lessons successfully, it is prudent to investigate potential factors that influence academic performance of primary school pupils. Attitude seems to be an important factor that influences academic performance of students.

Obviously, attitude has been a very difficult concept to describe since it cannot be directly observed. Attitudes will affect the choices that a learner makes and may be acquired from a variety of sources Popham, (2005) extended the definition to explain attitudes. These were behaviors that are associated with critical thinking. The affective variables according to Popham were: attitude, belief, opinion, value, behavioral intention, and behavior. The interaction of the affective variables helped to determine the attitudes a pupil possess. Popham summarized three reasons for continuing to study attitudes. First, attitudes are enduring and seem to remain relatively stable over time. Second, attitudes are learned (pupils are not born liking or disliking schooling). Third, attitudes are related to behavior, that is, pupils’ actions reflect their feelings toward objects and issues.

Motivation is another important variable that has received much attention from many researchers with different psychological and philosophical perspectives in different fields of study, especially psychology and education due to its significant effect on pupils’ learning, persistence and academic achievement. It has been operationally defined from the perspective of different theoretical approaches over the past decades. For instance, Krapp, (2002) defined human motivation from both intrapersonal and environmental perspectives as the driving force that causes people to work towards a goal and is essentially the power of hierarchy of human needs. Altinok (2004) emphasized that one of pupils’ features that have an important effect on learning process is pupils’ attitude towards the lesson.

Lewis (2008) stated that values of education can make a very important contribution to fostering strong positive relationship with academic achievement, positive dispositions to learning, producing a calm teaching and learning environment. Values of education nurture in students various dimensions of intellectual depth, communicative competence, and capacity for reflection, self-management and self-knowledge.

Attitude denotes a positive or negative predisposition towards schooling and every activity in the school environment, which could be cognitive, emotional, or behavioral (Bernstein, Penner, Clarke-Stewar& Roy, 2006). Fazio and Roskes (2004) said Attitudes are important to education because they strongly influence social thoughts; the way an individual thinks about and social information. It is evident that, when so defined, attitudes cannot be directly observed but must be inferred from overt behavior, both verbal and nonverbal. Most children come to school ready and willing to learn; how school can best foster and strengthen their predisposition and ensure that they leave school with the motivation and capacity to continue learning throughout life has remained a matter of great concern. Without development of the right attitudes, students may not be well prepared to acquire the new knowledge and skills necessary for successful adaptation to changing circumstances and the necessary situation for pupils’ performance (Kuusinen & Leskinen, 2008). In school, teachers manage much of pupils’ learning. However, learning might be enhanced if pupils can manage it themselves; moreover, once they leave school, individuals have to manage most of their own learning. To do this, they need to be able to establish goals, to persevere, to monitor their learning progress, to adjust their learning strategies as necessary and to overcome difficulties in learning. Students who leave school with the autonomy to set their own learning goals and with a sense that they can reach those goals tend to be better equipped to learn throughout their lives (Candeias, Rebelo, Olivera & Mendes, 2012).

Attitude as a major factor affecting schooling, may be implicit, hence, has not attracted enough attention from all stakeholders in education and therefore, it is important to consider the fact that learners can mainly contribute to their learning outcomes as a result of their belief and perceptions about the subject matter e.g. whether they like it or not and whether they see any value in it. Attitudes are seen as more or less positive and encompass emotions, beliefs, values and behavior and hence affect individual way of thinking, acting and behaving which has a lot of implications to teaching and learning (Mensah, 2013). They have a strong effect on behavior which helps in understanding and predicting peoples’ behavior in a wide range of contexts. Attitudes though not directly observable are inferred from observable responses and behaviours which reflect a pattern of beliefs and emotions. They are elicited by certain stimuli and gradually get established into a consistency or a tendency. A person’s behaviour and choices when confronted with tasks are determined more by his beliefs and personal experiences rather than by his knowledge of specific tasks.

Beyond pupil’s perception of how well school will prepare them for life, their overall attitude to all the school-related activities could be important. For some pupils, school is central to their daily life. They view schooling as essential to their long term well-being, and this attitude is reflected in their participation in academic and non-academic pursuits. The pupils tend to have good relations with school staff and with other pupils when their attitude to school is positive this will enhance their performance in the school. However, some express negative attitude towards school as they do not tend to believe that the school and their performance will have a strong bearing on their future. Such negative feelings and attitudes may result in their becoming disaffected with school (Williams, 2000). They may withdraw from school activities, and in some cases, participate in disruptive behavior and display negative attitudes towards teachers and other pupils. Pupils’ attitude to schooling can be seen as a disposition towards learning, working with others and functioning in a social institution. It is partly for this reason that the Pearson Foundation (2014) with the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspiration identified eight conditions for children to realize academic, social, and personal performance; and emphasized that attitude towards school, also referred to as the interest or sense of belonging is the first and most crucial. It emphasizes self-worth, engaged learning and sense of purpose. Attitude is an important condition for a pupil's performance in academic, well-being, social engagement, and competence. Highly positive attitude towards schooling increases intrinsic motivation, for it fosters self-confidence and investment in the community. It is only with positive attitude towards learning that a child can develop good sense of belonging and engagement in learning process. The condition of belonging means that a student is a valued member of the school community while still maintaining his or her uniqueness. It is a relationship between two or more persons characterized by a sense of connection and support for individual achievement of self-actualization and advancement in pupils’ performance. Attitude towards learning can be, for some students, indicative of Students’ performance.

Studies have revealed that there are two main contributing factors to academic performance that are psychological and sociological factors. Psychological factors refer to the internal elements of individual including emotional and cognitive domains, whereas sociological factors refer to external factors such as socio-environment and friendship. However, both factors are inter-related and dependable. Most past studies tended to discuss the subject in a specific context. For instance, a study of academic achievement carried out by Ariffin (2007) focused on individual’s learning style and how it affects his/her pupils’ performance. Although learning style has a close link with a person’s personality and intellectual capabilities, the selection of learning styles is also influenced by environmental factors such as educational support provided by peers and teachers.

Although previous studies found that there is a positive relationship between pupil’s interest in academic subject and its performance (Arham, Mesir& Mohammad, 2006; Zainudinet. 2007), classroom environment and their existing knowledge on the particular subjects also play major roles (Rhoda, 2011). According to Popham (2005), pupils’ attitudes or interests should be enormously important to educators, because affective dispositions are powerful predictors of pupils’ subsequent behaviour. In a related study, Erdogan, Bayram, Deniz (2008) found that there is a positive relationship between pupils’ attitudes towards modern learning technologies and their academic achievement. Academic achievement increases with the use of modern technologies positively. There is a strong association between individuals’ attitudes towards education and their academic performance and commitment. Children who have negative attitudes towards education activities are found to exhibit challenging behaviour including anti-social and off-task behaviour (Awang, Jindal-Snape& Barber, 2013). Ming, Ling and Jaafar (2011) found that streaming in education has a close relationship with pupils’ academic performance. They also found that pupils from science classes are more positive about academic performance compared to other pupils.

Previous research revealed that there is a link between academic achievement and socio-economic status (Ghazali, 2008). Living in poor and slum areas are found to contribute to the low academic achievement among students. Most low achievers also are from poor families (Farooq, Chaundhry & Berhanu, 2011). In the light of the aforementioned, this study tends to investigate the influence of attitude to schooling on the academic achievement of pupils in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The development of any nation is hinged on solid educational foundation for its citizenry. This suggests that primary education is a means of effecting changes in the society physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and intellectually. Education is the key to creating a society, which is dynamic and productive, offering opportunity and fairness to all. Therefore, it is axiomatic that efforts should be geared towards maintaining high standards in schools. The standards will be reflected in pupils’ academic achievement. Like in all other facets of national planning and development, education has its own share of poignant challenges. Academic problems are frequent indicators of larger problems, often having to do with personality and lifestyle, societal and economic factors and the family. Problems of non-achievers are numerous but the truth is that they lack the knowledge of their abilities and strengths, moreover, they have not developed the necessary study skills and techniques and they also lack the interest and motivation that are requisite for performance. Literature review on this area reveals that there are two main contributing factors to students’ academic achievement that are psychological and sociological factors. Psychological factors refer to the internal elements of individual including emotional and cognitive domains, whereas sociological factors refer to external factors such as socio-environment and friendship. However, both factors are inter-related and dependable.

The need to motivate pupils to develop positive attitude towards schooling in primary school and to create a conducive environment for studying is not disputable and cannot be over-emphasized. The unfortunate thing is that pupils’ attitude towards schooling is fraught with a lot of problems.  There is a general belief that whenever pupils perform poorly in their subjects the teacher has not really taught them well.  People hardly look at the problem from the point of view of the pupil’s attitude towards the subjects.

The negative attitude and interest in subject has created a lot of laxity and anxiety among pupils who continue to perform dismally as they lack the interest, curiosity and patience needed for learning and performing related tasks concerning to the subject. Pupils’ performance have mostly pointed to the fact that student’s Interest and attitude is a major contributor yet has received very little attention if any. There is therefore a need to study the effect of pupils’ attitudes as is the integral part of cognitive schooling which affects the learning outcomes (Burstein, 2002).

The negative attitudes of pupils towards schooling are identified with lack of utilization of teaching aids and instructional materials for effective teaching and learning, technological anxiety, poor study skills, low motivation, inability to work independently, among other. This lack of resources affect students’ interest, hence their performance.

 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study was to investigate the influence of attitude to schooling on the academic achievement of pupils in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The specific purposes are:

i.                    To examine whether interest has impact on pupils’ academic achievement

ii.                  To ascertain if pupils’ attitudes towards modern learning technologies has impact their academic achievement

iii.                To investigate how socio-economic status affect pupils’ academic achievement

iv.                To determine how classroom environment affect pupil academic performance

 

1.4       Research Questions

In order to achieve the objectives of this research and make specific recommendations the following questions were proposed to guide the entire research work: 

i.                    Does relationship exist between interest and pupils’ academic achievement?

ii.                  To what extent does pupils’ attitudes towards modern learning technologies relate to pupils’ academic achievement?

iii.                What is the relationship between socio-economic status of parents and pupils’ academic achievement?

iv.                Does classroom environment relate to pupils’ academic achievement?

 

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested during the cause of this study.

Ho:       Interest do not significantly relate to pupils’ academic achievement

Ho:       There is no significant relationship between pupils’ attitudes towards modern learning technologies and academic achievement

Ho:       There is no significant relationship between socio-economic status of parents and pupils’ academic achievement

Ho:       Classroom environment does not significantly relate to pupil academic performance

 

1.6       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would help all the interested parties in understanding the factors within the learners themselves and how the learners ultimately can contribute to their own learning processes and performance in school. The study is to help in exposing some of the interest and attitude which learners acquire and carry into the classroom environment and which are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in education in attempting to improve teaching and learning in all schools. The study therefore would provide crucial information to curriculum planners that will guide in the designing policies and strategies towards improving academic performance.

The teacher would understand pupils better so as to capture their attention and change their perceptions and attitude towards schooling. Motivation, reinforcement and relevant instructional strategies by the teachers, might help the learners get directions on what is expected. Through this study, learners would understand themselves and that their performance is a consequence of their interests, attitudes and effort which they can control for their successful learning and improvement.

The school administration would understand what is ailing each subject and would help in putting up policies towards an enabling learning environment and providing necessary support and be able to put up mechanisms towards improved teaching and learning of the subjects e.g providing time, space, materials and moral support. The study would also be useful to other researchers in supplementing the existing literature on the same study area and would also provide a rich ground for further research based on the gaps left out by this study.

1.7   Scope of the Study

The study concentrates on the influence of attitude to schooling on the academic achievement of pupils with focus on public primary schools in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria.

 

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined operationally in the study.

Attitude:         This is an acquired disposition to respond in a certain way towards an object or situation.

Interest:          The feeling of wanting to give your attention to something or of wanting to be involved with and to discover more about something

Value:             The amount of interest that can be received for something

Academic Achievement: Something very good and difficult that you have succeeded in doing

Qualification of teachers: teacher who has the necessary ability experience and knowledge in the subject area

Socioeconomic Status: Socioeconomic status is the social standing or class of pupils’ parents. It is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation.

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