THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENT IN CHEMISTRY
The purpose of the study was to find the extent of relationship between the student socio-economic background and their achievement in chemistry.
Two hundred students randomly selected from five schools in Ekiti State were used as study sample. A 30 item multiple choice chemistry achievement test (CAT) and students socio-economic background questionnaire were administered to the selected students.
Five hypothesis were tested at p – 0.05 level of significance using chisquare (X2) goodness of fit and correlation analysis were used for the analysis of data. Finding revealed that there exist a significance relationship between the academic achievement of male and female student in chemistry.
The socio-economic background of student neither influence nor more students achievement in chemistry.
Also, no significant relationship exist between the academic achievement of urban and rural students in chemistry, there was no significant relationship between the academic achievement of day and boarding students in chemistry.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of the study
Statement of the problems
Theories framework of the study
Significance of the study
Limitation of the study
Delimitation of the study
Definition of the terms
Study population and sample selection
Sample and sampling technique
Results and Discussion
Testing Hypothesis I
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Students’ socio-economic background
Chemistry Achievement Test
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Background of the study
Explaining the factors affecting student achievement in various lessons has become a subject that interest a great number of researchers. Studies of this kind are carried out intensively in the field of science, the reason for this is that studies have established that student achievement in the field of science is low.
In Nigeria today there is a high degree of failure among students in their academic work. Inequality of achievement has also been teaching issue. This problem has been attributed to the different social class in Nigeria. To this end, both the government and parents have been trying various avenues to correct these faults, but so far their effort have not yielded any significant results.
Recently, a great number of studies have been carried out to investigate the possible effects of low achievement and to increase students’ learning of the subject. Many variables considered to contribute to low achievement have been discussed. The variables of both cognitive and sensory quality.
Intelligence and achievement tests have played very important roles in modern education because they are sometimes used as sole basis for assignires students to class. They are also used in advising students with respect to causes and vocation guidance and diagnostics procedure and for measuring students’ abilities during research studies.
A further understanding of various factors affecting the performance of the child in the classroom, with a view to increase such performance has been great concern to educators and psychologists over the years (1 paye 1975). Socio-economic status has been to relate in a high positive way to the amount and quality of a person’s education (Warner Havighurst and Loeb 1944). This was perhaps why Jensen (1973) observed that socio-economic status today is largely a matter of educational and occupational status. It means that socio-economic status has direct relevance to and correlation with educational and occupational status.
The school does not and should not function in isolation. It is usually a reflection of the society which it is meant to serve and this has extraneus social forces which influence school outcomes. The ability to succeed does not depend on innate intelligence alone although it may be the most powerful influence in determining the level of student achievement at school (Avotri 1987). Kenneth Eslls et al (1950) also revealed further that significant relationships exist between students’ achievement in school subject and their environment factors.
Psychologists have carried out studies on various aspects of intelligence and have identified various factors that can affect the intelligence of pupils in schools. Some of the factors identified are hereditary and these include genetic characteristic within an individual which inhibit his ability to learn (Taiwo 1968).
Psychologists also believe that environment like hereditary begins to affect the child at the time of conception and continues thereafter till death. Such physical environmental factors include social set up. In general some of the factor affecting the performance of student are: parental background, some location, level of consumption, size of the family, teachers attitudes, sex and student attitude (Anastas 1956).
Studies have been conducted in an effort to identify positive parental influences on academic performance among students. Lavin (1965) as quoted in Erinoso (1984) stated that a long with ability and set, socio-economic status is regarded as a basic correlation of performance.
For instance, if both parents are intelligent, it can be inherited by the child and if it happens that both parents are not intelligent, there is the possibility that the child will be extremely dull.
The educators, psychologists teachers and the policy makers interviewed in Ashaolu (1985) stressed that some parents to a large extent have little concern about the performance and progress of their children in the schools. Some parents do not care about their responsibility and this may lead to low moral and truancy and this may have great effect on pupils academic performance. Both literate and illiterate parent and guidance are quilty of inadequate attention being paid to their children’s school work at home. As a result of this, pupils do not take their school work seriously and this will eventually lead to poor academic performance. Parents and guidance who fall in upbringing of their children cannot expect miracle to be performed in school (Ashaolu 1985).
In a study by Pafford (1973) as quoted in Erinoso (1984) to find the relationship between academic performance in science and father’s occupation. It was observed that children of professional fathers perform at a higher level than do the children of non-professional when individual science courses are considered. This factor leads to the size of the family and the pattern of consumption that is, if the child is deprived of good nutrition he may suffer ill health and even find it difficult to make satisfactory adjustment at school.
According to Anastasi (1956) the family size of the child can also affect the performance of the child. She asserts that a large family at least in certain socio-economic situations would reduce per capital funds available for education, recreation, suitable housing, proper food, medication attention and their environment factors. This means that any reduction in or non availability of the items mentioned above will normally affect the performance of the child in school. Douglas (1964) stated socio-economic background of student has effect on their academic performance in the school. It is agued further that student of higher social class performed letter than those from the lower student from the lower socio-economic class are assumed to engage in domestic works after the school hours. It is assumed that these students have little or no time to do the school work. They performed poorly in the school (Okoro 1988).
Moreover, it is argued that the children from the low socio-economic background are handicapped because there are some facilities that are lacking in their homes to prepare them for the school. This can not be compared with children from the high socio-economic homes who have every opportunity to educational facilities like textbooks comper assisted instruction chalkboard and so on (Okoro 1988).
It is also assumed that the high socio-economic parent employ house help to do the domestic work at homes. Student from the class of high socio-economic status probably have the opportunity of doing the school home work or any assignment given by the teacher and prepare for the next days work in the school. They probably perform better in the school (Okoro 1988)
It has been the view of Ogunlade (1973) Fajuyitan (1978) and Adelusi (1960) that academic aspiration of the school child is positively related to the socio economic status of his parents. This presupposes that the poor performance of a pupil is a function of economic factors like caring from a disadvantaged home. This does not necessary followed because most of the pupil from poor homes always struggle to study hard so that they can become somebody in future.
Teacher characteristics such as background knowledge cognitive development and teaching strategies could also influence the performance of students (Erinoso 1984).
Thompson (1979) report that boys have a more positive attitude towards science then girls. The difference between the attitude of boys and girls may be due to the certain nature of boys and tendency for girls to be shy it cannot be inferred from this study that boys have higher intelligence quotient (I.Q) than the girls.
It is the belief of most people that pupils rather waste time watching the television, ODS, video, movies and programmes that are often of little value to their education. This where parents can function as an effective check on their children. A pupils with low ambition a pupil given to a child limitation of others, a pupil whose attitude to study is generally poor is not likely to perform admirably well in his examination (Ashaolu 1985).
Statement of the Problem
The performance of students in both the internal and external examination in Nigeria has been divindling. This has been a cause of great concern to the stake holders in the educational system. One of the factors that could be responsible for this may be students socio-economic background. Therefore the study sought to investigate how students socio-economic background could influence academic performances of chemistry students.
The following research question will be critically examined in this study:
- Is there any significant relationship between the academic achievement of male and female students in chemistry
- Is there any significant relationship between academic achievement of student from high medium and low socio-economic background in chemistry
- Is there any significant relationship between the academic achievement of urban and rural student in chemistry
- Is there any relationship between the academic achievement of Day and Boarding students
- Is there any significant relationship between the academic achievement of student from mixed and single sex school in chemistry
The following null hypothesis will be tested at P = 0.05 level of significance in this study.
- There is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of male and female students in chemistry.
- There is no significant relationship between academic achievement of student from high medium and low socio-economic background in chemistry.
- There is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of urban and rural student in chemistry.
- There is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of student from mixed and single sex school in chemistry.
- There is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of Day and Boarding students in chemistry.
Theoretical Framework of the Study
Palvako and Bishop (1966) classified socio economic status into high and low. Both see high socio-economic status as non-manual occupations which include professionals, technical managers, officials, professors and engineers. In Nigeria, these are the types of category who hold the top positions in the society, who live in their luxurious and well furnished house or live in quarters provided by government, companies and institution. Such parents send their children to private school where they pay very huge money per term and can afford to provide the necessary educational materials for their children.
Low socio economic status: According to Pavelko and Bishop (1966)consist of manual occupations and includes craft men peasant farmers petty traders and labourers. In Nigeria, this set/category of people hold the lowest position in the society and live in the slum area of the town. They can only afford to send their children to the public school where token fees is being paid per term. Some of them are lucky or who are lucky to live in the government or institutions quarters are found in the smaller houses of one room or in the boys quarters. They also find it difficult to buy the necessary educational materials for their children.
For the purpose of this study, ezewu’s indices will be used but the occupation and income would be together as it is not generally easy to separate both in Nigeria. One can find a wealthy Nigeria who is a timber magnate, painter, roadside mechanic or musician. Also there are some Alhajis and Alhaja who are contractors and business tycoons. These people may have little or no education but they could be in high socio-economic class if it is used to classify them while a school certificate holder a fresh grade II or N.C.E graduate in the government employment whose income is not up to what it should be per annum may find himself in the low socio-economic class. It is becoming increasingly apparent that well educated people are able to ensure by their wealth and their ability to understand and manipulate the school system that their children receive a good or a better education than themselves and that they will constitute the educated alite of coming generation. Conversely, the urban workers has the least chance of any social category that his son will enter secondary school. An open society is rapidly closing (Lioyd 1964).
Jenneth Blakmore and Brain Cooksey (1978) also observed that school in Africa serve contradictory purpose. On one hand, they allow a few children from modest background to achieve varying degrees of upward social mobility and on another hand, they help to perpetrate and deepen general social inequalities between the privileged and unprivileged classes. Thus, we can say that although education does contribute to social mobility in Nigeria, it is also increasingly becoming a vehicle that is helping to deepen the already existing high level of social inequality.
However, series of attestation have been made by scholars concerning the important of school in student’s lives, weather they come from high school socio-economic class or not. It is believed that the school handle the secondary socialization while the family is in charge of the primary socialization (Abimbola, 1990).
Significance of the Study
The motive behind this research was to enlighten the people about problems created by inequality in parental status of student in our society. This study will acquaint people with this educational and social problem and invariably furnish than with their social responsibilities.
As for the government, it is hoped that this study will help the government to be aware of this of this sociological problem and be able to know where to concentrate in term of supplementing the efforts of the parents for instance the government can help to provide books for students whose parental background is not as sound as their contemporaries which will also improve the quality of students academic performance in chemistry.
The findings of this study will also be very useful to both education and educational management. It will also be useful in the area of future plans for the learning of chemistry. To a large extent, a conducive atmosphere will also be useful in teaching chemistry. This study will be useful to the future researchers who may wish to find out the causes of failure and inequality in the performance of student. This study also encourage the teachers to gain an in sight into the social factors influencing students’ achievement and ways by which he can combate them.
Limitation of the Study
During the period of this study, secondary school teachers were not ready to work in Ondo State, this is because they had axe to grind with the government. As a result the study was only limited to only Ekiti State whose teachers and students cooperated.
Delimitation of the Study
The study was limited to five schools in Ekiti State, due to the financial constraint and lack of much time to travel to a long distance.
Definition of Terms
Academic Achievement: Academic achievement in the context of this study will be defined operationally as the pupil performance in terms of their grades or scores in the achievement test given by the researcher.
Socio-Economics: This means the socio-economic status. It is defined in this study as the position occupied in the society by a family determined by the amount of the society’s economy (wealth0 that such an individual or family possesses.
Status: The oxford dictionary defines status as the social position, rank or relation to the others position of affairs person’s relation to others as fixed by law. But for the purpose of this study status will be defined as the social position of an individual in the society.
Class: According to the oxford English Dictionary and Longman Dictionary of contemporary English, class is often used for a set of students taught together or doing the same course in the same year. However, for the study class will be used as rank or high or low social position occupied by an individual in the society.
Socio-Economic Background (S.E.B): The Oxford Dictionary defines “Background” as scenery or ground behind something. But socio-economic Background in the content of this study, borrowing from Dubey (1979), may means one or two things. It may be refer to as hereditary factors, that is the genetic characteristics within an individual which either inhibit or facilitate his ability to learn, factors which limit the potentials of an individual. The second meaning refers to the social background of an individual encountered for by the people around him and his general environment.
Society: This is the set up surrounding the student the kind of people that constitute the students environment.
Hypothesis: These are hunches or guesses put forwards by the researcher in order to solve the problem posed in the study.
Study: The research
Inequality: This means the in balance in the various achievement and also the differences in parental background.
Income: This is the amount of money that are derive from one’s occupation within a period of one year.
Researcher: This is the person who is involves or undertake the study.
Socio-Economic background Questionnaire: This is refer to as the instrument used in determining the social and economic background of the students.
Chemistry achievement Test: This chemistry achievement test refers to the set of thirty questions in chemistry used in determining the achievement of the student.
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