CLASS SIZE AND TEACHING / LEARNING OF GEOGRAPHY IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                       Page No

Title page                                                                                                       i

Approval page                                                                                              ii

Certification                                                                                                  iii

Dedication                                                                                                     iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                     v

Table of content                                                                                           vii

List of Table                                                                                                  ix

List of Figure            s                                                                                              x

Abstract                                                                                                         xi

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

Background to the Study                                                                            1

Statement of the Study                                                                                5

Purpose of the Study                                                                                   6

Significance of the Study                                                                            7

Research Questions                                                                                     8

Hypotheses                                                                                                   9

Scope of the Study                                                                                       10

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature

The concept of large class                                                                   11

Defining a small class                                                               13

Small Class – size and the teaching of Geography in schools      17

Large class – size and the teaching of Geography in Schools      19

Comparison between small and large classes                              21

Geography teaching and learning in Nigeria                               23

Missing Links in Teaching and Leaning of Geography in                Secondary Schools                                                                        26

Summary of the review                                                             33

CHAPTER THREE: Methodology

Research Design                                                                                           35

Area of the Study                                                                                         35

Population of the Study                                                                              39

Sample and Sampling Technique                                                              39

Instrumentation                                                                                            39

Validity and Reliability of the Instrument                                               40

Procedure for Data Collection                                                                   41

Method of Data Analysis                                                                            41

CHAPTER FOUR: Presentation of Data, Analysis and Discussion of Result

Result                                                                                                             42

Discussion of Findings                                                                                47

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion, Recommendations and

Summary of Findings                                                                                  49

Conclusion                                                                                                    50

Recommendations                                                                                       50

REFERENCES                                                                                            53

APPENDIX I                                                                                                58

APPENDIX II                                                                                              61

APPENDIX III                                                                                            62

LIST OF TABLES

                                                                                                                        Page

Table 4.1        Gender Distribution of Respondents                                42

Table 4.2        Age Distribution of Respondents                                      44

Table 4.3        Achievement Mean Score of Students from large                            class size and small class size                                           44

Table 4.4        Relationship between teachers’ method of

teaching and class size effect                                             45

Table 4.5        Relationship between the policy guiding

class size and learning of Geography                               46

Table 4.6        Relationship between the lesson objective

through the use of instructional materials and

level of class size in learning of Geography                    47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF FIGURES

Fig. 3.1       Map of Ekiti State showing the study Area                   38

Fig. 4.1       Gender Distribution of Respondents                    43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

This study examined class size and teaching / learning of geography in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Research questions were raised to guide the study in the chapter one of the study; Experimental survey were used to elicits data from students’ from two selected secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State. Data collected were analysed using t-test statistics, it was revealed from the findings that there is link between class size and teaching/learning of geography, geography students in small size class in secondary schools show higher achievement relative to their colleagues in large size class. The findings further concluded that small class size is recorded in geography classroom as reslt of choice among the students’ that choose the subject. It was further recommended that it is necessary to involve students in meaningful and purposeful learning activities base on investigation examination and observation of their own immediate environment in the teaching of Geography. All efforts should be made by everybody in the society to ensure the effective teaching of geography regardless of class size. Also, Geography teachers should Endeavour to maintain discipline irrespective of the size of the class. This is one of the qualities of good teachers. Therefore whether in a large or small class, the teachers’ ability to control students will determine the effectiveness of teaching.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study                                                  

The significance of Geography as a school subject cannot be over emphasized. It combines with many school subjects – Arts, Social Sciences, Pure Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Languages and Technical Education to make a child qualify for tertiary education in Nigeria and outside the country as well. Similarly, it has led to making of professionals in various fields of human endeavour – planning, administration, academics, catographic, hydrologic, climate, environmental and others – just to mention but a few. But there are complaints about the large scope and abstract nature of the subject. The complaints are widespread among students and teachers alike. That the subject is abstract is accentuated by the assumption that it is difficult to teach and learn about. More importantly, class size was one of the major problems been faced by teachers and students, and there are no readily available teaching aids for effective teaching and learning of geography.

It seems that geography teachers have no doubt that large size of classes is a prime impediment for the efficient geography teaching and learning. With more students enrolling in schools, large classes in a country like Nigeria and other developing countries like Egypt, India and Pakistan tend to be obligatory rather than exceptional. Therefore, the problem seems to expand widely. As a matter of fact, large classes are not in and of themselves an issue to look forward to with dread. Admittedly, they require a great intention and careful preparation from teachers before the teaching process takes place. Heppner (2007), views large classes as a small business which should be set up and handled carefully. Generally speaking, experienced geography teachers in general and teachers beginning teaching in particular find it onerous to manage a class with a big number of students with various levels and different personalities. Therefore, it is helpful for teachers to divert a lot of class responsibility to students and back up a little and that will give students space to teach each other.

Ozochie (2009) opines that class size is to be one of the crucial elements that are often considered by education planners in order to achieve the set out objectives in any educational system. This is because of the obvious negative implication of a crowded classroom on the teacher and the learners. He further reveals that to make the correct estimate of the resources needed is the function of population. This point suggests that the essence of having a definite number of learners in a classroom is to ensure that the resources (the teacher, the instructional materials, class space, seating arrangement) are adequately provided for smooth teaching and learning of geography.

Apart from the need for adequate provision of resources, effective teaching and learning seem to be the function of the teacher understanding the individual differences of each of the learners as this forms the basis for the appropriate teaching skill to be applied. Onah (2008) apparently notes in this regard that the essence of having a manageable class-size is to ensure that the understanding rate of each of the learners and their respective general background are put into consideration by the teacher in the course of his teaching.

The national policy on education revised in 2010 stipulates that the maximum teacher – student ratio is one teacher to thirty students (ratio 1:30). The obvious reason for this standard is to ensure that the teacher not only controls the class but also understands the learning capabilities of each of the learner in the classroom. Ozochie (2009) affirms that there is a limit to which a teacher can effectively control an overcrowded Classroom. Mulryan-Kyne (2010) defines an overcrowded or large class as “a class that is too large for effective teaching to occur”. Teachers’ perception of large class-size differs from one context to another. Hess (2001) assumes that a class is considered large if it has 35 students or more. As regard to Nigeria context, a class of 50 students is considered to be large, while in some far countries, such as Japan, China, Pakistan and India, a class of 80 students and more is deemed to be large. In contrast, small class-size is a class in which there is less or no concentration on class control and management of students’ delinquencies and deviances (Pong. et al, 2001).

Teaching and learning of geography, like every other subject requires observation and learners centered activities. In order to achieve the desired result, the teacher should ensure that he monitors the activities of the learner. As Heppner (2007) rightly notes and portrays class size as the entire instrument to ensuring child centered purposeful set of activities within a coherent and structured frame work. This cannot be achieved unless it can be translated into meaningful action. For Heppner, this requires more than simply presenting children with organized activities, rather, such becomes meaningful when the purpose of the activities becomes meaningful, explicit and shared between students’ and teacher under a class that could be managed effectively by the teacher.

In an overcrowded classroom, the learner-centered activities would pose great challenge to the teacher; hence the desired behavioral changes may not be easily achieved. It is therefore the focus of this study to examine class size and teaching / learning of geography in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Statement of the Problem

No one is absolutely certain whether small classes are inherently better than the large once in regard to the roles both classes play and their effectiveness on the process of geography teaching and learning. Therefore, finding a definition to an idealistic class size which could be applicable in almost all teaching and learning environment tends to be difficult. As school population increases class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an issue. Class size has become a phenomenon often mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on student’s feelings and achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. Class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have little or no control. It is expected that students should be within the range of 25 and 30 in a class. Most researchers start from the assumption that size of the class would prove a significant determinant of the degree of success of students. In fact, with the exception of a few, many studies have reported that under ideal situation, class size itself appears to be an important factor. Secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State today, the teacher – student ratio in some schools has gone far beyond the stipulation in the national policy on education. There are places where students stay more than fifty in each of the classes. The seating arrangements are altered, thereby making teaching and learning of geography difficult, add to what other researchers have written on class size, this study is set to investigate class size and teaching/learning of geography in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Purpose of the Study

The following research purposes have been designed for this study. These are to:

  1. find out the teacher – students ratio in geography classroom in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State
  2. find out how class size affects students’ academic performance in geography subject in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State
  3. examine the effectiveness of the policy guiding teacher-student ratio in senior secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
  4. Examine the effectiveness of the use of instructional materials in an overcrowded classroom environment and small class size.

Significance of the Study

Considering the fact that teaching of Geography in large classes is a great problem and a real national issue which is worrying Geography teachers at all levels. This study aims at investigate class size and teaching / learning of geography in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The study is hoped to therefore assisting geography teachers to adopt more suitable teaching methods in teaching over-populated classes.

It is equally believed that it will provide curriculum planners with ways of combating problems of teaching geography in over-populated classes and as well assisting geography teachers to adopt suitable method in achieving proper class management.

It is hoped that it will serving as a measure for government to know their weaknesses and thus make provisions for infrastructural and human resources in secondary schools.

Research Questions

This study is designed to provide answers to the following questions;

  1. What are the students – teacher ratio in geography classroom in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
  2. How effective is the teacher’s method of teaching in both large class-size and small class-size in geography classroom in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
  3. Does policy guiding teacher-students ratio still in effective for teaching and learning of geography in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
  4. Are the lesson objectives achievable through the use of instructional materials in large class-size and small class – size during the teaching and learning of geography in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?

Hypotheses

The following null hypothetical statements are made with respect to the objectives of the study:

  1. There is no large class size in the geography classroom in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State
  2. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ method of teaching and class-size effect in teaching and learning of geography.
  3. There is no significant relationship between policy guiding teacher-students’ ratio and teaching and learning of geography in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
  4. There is no significant difference between the lesson objective achievable through the use of instructional materials and the level of class size in teaching and learning of geography in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

 

 

Scope of the Study

This research is on the class size and teaching / learning of geography in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. It is worth mentioning that this study focuses on some selected senior secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area and not the entire Local Government Area in Ekiti State. In other word, due to time limits and financial constraints, this research has been limited to two senior secondary schools in the Local Government Area.

 

 

 

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