THE EFFECT OF TEACHER PERCEPTION AND STUDENT PERCEPTION OF PHYSICS CLASSROOM LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON THEIR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL PHYSICS
Background to the Study
Physics is one of pre-requisite subjects for the study of engineering, technological, medical and other applied science courses in the university. It also equips graduates with mathematical and information technology skills. Its study instructs a person in act of critical thinking, how to pose questions and how to solve problems. The study of physics has been and will remain of tremendous importance of mankind because it is capable of explaining natural phenomenon and everyday occurrence. Physics is the most basic and fundamental of all the sciences and according to (Adeyemi, 2003) and (Oraifo, 2005), it plays a very important role in scientific and technological advancement that Nigeria cannot develop technologically if the subjects physics is not taught effectively in our secondary schools.
The fact that a lot of factors are responsible for student’s underachievement in physics is not new to researchers but among those factors could be teacher and students perception of physics classroom learning environment. Classroom teaching is a complex task in a complex task in a complex environment. The classroom is the immediate management for formal knowledge acquisition. It is made up of the teacher, the learners, learning equipment and environment
Moreover, in recognition of this fact, the federal government of Nigeria introduced a new system of education in the country known as the 6-3-3-4 system (FME, 2008). The first six year is the primary school education where the child learns to read/write and adapt to its environment. The junior secondary school education involves three years of training which enable the child to apply creative thinking and the use of materials especially around his/her environment which basically applies to the partial approach of science. The senior secondary school education which is also three years of training, involves development of the scientific skills learnt in JSS (junior secondary school) level, while the four years of university education relate to the adaptation of the skills learnt. It is this skill that the individual applies in his daily life to enable him/her fit into society.
It has been strongly argued that teacher and students perception of the learning environment are very important on the achievement of the students in physics and that the knowing the student’s perception will help the teacher in shaping their students class perception and relatively their achievement in physics (Argvage, 2001).
Over the years, a number of research project on classroom learning environment have been carried out examples are the Horrvard project and physics of Walberg project. The interest in the study of learning environment has become more prominent since it has been evident that learning outcomes and students’ attitude towards learning were closely linked to the classroom learners interact to classroom environment.
However, there has been a wide range of problem with the available classroom learning environment in the senior secondary schools in Nigeria which prevent effective learning to take places. Some of the problems associated with classroom arrangement which include the tall students obstructing the view of the short ones at the back to see the chalkboard inadequate chairs and tables which can cause discomfort for students. Another problem is poor classroom with little or no ventilation.
Due to the composition of physics education, most physics teacher’s believe it should be done theoretically and practically to allow for effective understanding of the knowledge by students from finding of (Mitchell and Dejong 1990), and Thornton (2003) good learning requires constant variation in the purposeful intellectual activities of the learners and a wide range of pedagogical technologies stratifies. To them many teachers do not access to didactic materials and modern educational technologies (laboratory printer, video, multimedia, software e.t.c), which could have made training learner-centered.
It is henceforth important to study the teacher and student perception of physics classroom learning environment in senior secondary school since science without physics is incomplete and because there can be no technological advancement without physics. This study will be more scientists to advance technology.
Statement of the Problem
Over the years the problems of under achievement of science students in physics has been a general problem. For example, any researcher in Nigeria has conducted serious of research to actually fund out what could be responsible for the problem. Factors such as lack of adequate laboratory equipment, lack of qualified teacher lack of effective function of A.E.O, readiness of the students and school factors have been identified as major cause of under achievement of severe students in physics. Despite all these efforts, the poor performance of students still exist, however, little emphasis has been laid on the effort of teacher perception of physics classroom, learning environment. This henceforth justifies the need for the study of the effect of teacher’s perception and student’s perception of physics classroom learning environment on their academic achievement in senior secondary school.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to identify the efforts of teacher and students perception of physics classroom learning environment on students academic performance in physics.
- To find out, the lack of effective function of A.E.O.
- To find out, the lack of adequate laboratory equipment.
- To find out, the lack of qualified teacher.
- To diagnose may be the students is ready to learn.
- To find out, the effects of school factor
- What are the student’s perceptions in learning physics?
- What are the factors that influence the level of student perception to learn physics among students?
- What effects does the teacher’s perception have on the academic performance of the students?
- What impact does teacher’s perception have on the student perception on the academic of student in the secondary schools?
In this study, the following null hypotheses shall be tested
(1) There will be no significant difference in the teacher’s perception of physics classroom learning environment and their academics achievement in physics
(2) There will be no significant difference in the teacher’s perception of physics classroom learning environment and the student’s academic achievement in physics.
(3) The teacher’s perception and student’s perception of physics classroom learning environment will not differ significantly.
Significance of the Study
As a research on the student and teachers perception, especially on the subject of physics, is not very well documented, the results of this study would be quite useful, especially as reference material for researchers in related fields, to conduct further research for the purpose of improving existing method of teaching physics. The study is also expected to provide guidance to teachers about the level of secondary school students perception towards the subject of physics, and cam help prompt changes to be made, if desired, to the teaching and learning method to promote student interest.