Background to the Study
Economics education in both public and private schools in Nigeria has been experiencing reforms directed towards the integration of technology in Economics courses dating back to the late 1990’s. there is evidence that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Economics key learning areas has not been fully embraced by schools in Nigeria especially in Ekiti state (Jone, 2008). Despite the provision of computers to students and teachers by Ekiti state Governments, Economics teachers are still not effectively integrating technology into their teaching. (Foley and Ojeda, 2011). The international evidence by li (2007) suggested that, one reason for the teachers not embracing technology is the fear that it might replace teachers in the school system. Others attribute the ineffective integration of technology to the lack of adequate knowledge about when and how computers could be used in Economics instruction, and lack of sufficient training (James and Finger, 2008).
Ability to work with Information Communication Technologies (ICT) is recognized as one of the key competencies necessary for success in life and competition in the labour market (Levy and Murmane, 2001; Salganik, 2001; Eurydice, 2002) which every citizen should possess (Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council, 2006), and term ‘computer literacy’ was introduced to distinguish between users and non-users of ICT (Bawden, 2001). Concerning ICT, two important roles are assigned to schools. The first is to fulfill the expectations of society for demanding ICT skills, and the second is to raise the quality of education in the schools with the support of ICT. Many scholars, teachers and teacher-trainers have recognized the potential of ICT to enhance teaching and learning, and as a side effect the number of published articles about the use of ICT in school work is enormous (Bell and Bell, 2003). However, despite significant investment in training and resources, in reality schools are still far below the level of ICT use in science, transport, communication, industry, and many other fields (Hawkins 2002; Hepp, Hinostroza, Laval and Rehbein 2004; Machin, McNally and Silva, 2007; Eteokleous, 2008).Usage of ICT in schools is so diverse that it is almost impossible to list all possible applications. Taylor (1980, 2003) recognized three roles of computers in a classroom: as tutor, tool, and tutee. Introduction of ICT in Economics lessons can raise not only level of knowledge but students attitudes toward Economics as well (Haunsel and Hill, 1989; Kubiatko and Halakova, 2009). As Economics (science) teachers we additionally have to distinguish between two groups of applications. In the first group are generic applications used in all subjects, like word-processing, searching for information, communication using e-mails, and multimedia presentations. In this case if a science teacher does not use ICT in a classroom damage to the students is limited because they can achieve missing skills with their work in other subjects, or at home (Kuhlemeier and Hemker, 2007). In the second group are applications adapted or developed to be used in science teaching (McFarlane and Sakellariou, 2002), like imaging systems in microscopy (McLean, 2000; Fiche, Bonvin, and Bosman, 2006), virtual dissections (O’Byrne, Patry, and Carnegie, 2008), simulations (Ramasundaram, Grunwald, Mangeot, Camerford and Bliss, 2005), virtual laboratory (Jenkins, 2004), and real laboratory exercises with data acquisition systems (Šorgo, Hajdinjak and Briški, 2008). The most important difference among these two groups of applications is that if a science teacher does not use such applications in teaching students in most cases they would not be able to compensate loss with work in other subjects or at home.
The introduction of computers into the teaching and learning in secondary schools has followed two general tracks. The first one was the introduction of the compulsory subjects, Computer Science and/or Informatics, into the curriculum. The second one involved the use of computers in a rainbow of different subjects. The introduction of computers into student Work in other subjects is encouraged by the authorities, but the final decision about their use in teaching is left to the discretion of the teachers. The difference between these two paths is that teachers from the first group are trained professionals in Computer Science and Informatics, while teachers from the second group are more or less enlightened ‘computer amateurs’. Occasionally cooperation between a teacher of Informatics and a teacher from some other subject occurs and enhances student work (Šorgo and Logar, 2006).
Statement of Problem
Despite the values and importance of Economics in secondary schools, the subject still seems to be difficult for students. This was evidenced in their low performances in the subject especially at certificate examinations. The cause of this fallen standard and poor performance could be traced to the long and old methods used by Economics teachers which are not in line with the present technological development and advancement.
Also Economics teachers do not embrace the modern method of teaching through technology due to the fear of being replaced by the new development. Those that support the use of computer, do not have adequate knowledge about when and how computer could be used as Economics instruction.
The performance of students is nothing to write home about. All these are attributed to poor method of teaching and learning Economics concept.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of information and communication technology (ICT) on Economics students’ performance in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti. The overall focus of this research study was on the effects of ICT in schools. Implementing ICT into education involved several interest phenomena
- First issues related to technology: do students and teachers have a good access to ICT? How do genders and generations differ related on ICT
- Second, issues related to activities in classrooms using ICT ios teaching changed? What is the actual role of teachers and students? Is ICT as a catalyst for change or not?
- Third, issues related to effects and consequences of implementing ICT for school and for teaching community: what kind of effects there will become? What kind of practices among teachers develop? How does school reality match to the various expectations of society and parents? These unclear issues have guided this study programme.
The following research questions were raised to guide this study.
- Is there any difference in the performance of Economics students taught Economics using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
- Is there any difference in the performance of male and female students taught Economics using ICT?
- Is there any difference between the pre-test achievement score of students exposed to ICT strategy and those exposed to conventional method?
From the research questions raised from the study, the following hypotheses were formulated.
- There is no significant difference in the performance of Economics students taught Economics using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
- There is no significant difference in the performance of male and female students taught Economics using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
- There is no difference between the pre-test achievement score of students exposed to ICT strategy and those exposed to conventional method
Significance of the Study
The usefulness of this study would enable teachers to identify information and communication technologies (ICT) as a means and method of teaching Economics. Also, the study would create avenue for more research about topics and content to be taught by teachers. More so, the finding of the study would encourage and create pupils interest in learning Economics, thereby improving their performance in the subject.
The study would also help government to make provision for information and communication technologies (ICT) as an instrument for effective teaching and learning of Economics in secondary school.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to both public and private schools within Ikere Ekiti that is schools owned by the state government and schools owned by individuals. The study is delimited to conventional methods of teaching and learning of Economics such as the lecture method, discussion method and modern method of teaching Economics called ICT (Information and communication technology).
Definition of Terms
The following terms are operationally defined below:
Performance: This is the noticeable change in behavior or action of the students achieved and exhibited as a result of their exposure to a body of knowledge. It is a measure of achievement.
ICT: Information and communication technology.
Conventional Method: The conventional method of teaching refers to the traditional lecture methods of teaching which involves concept generalizations and fact. It is teacher centre method because the teacher does all the talking and leaves the learner as a mere listeners.
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