EFFECT OF TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONALISM ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

EFFECT OF TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONALISM ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Nations are built and destroyed in classrooms; that is the future of a Nation depends on the youths, while youths are the product of educational organizations. Thus, teachers are considered as the builders of a nation. If the teacher shows positive professional attitude towards students from all the perspectives such as maintenance of personality, knowledge, communication and management during the class, then students will be easily motivated towards their academic performance (Khan, 2016). There is a great relationship of professional development between teachers and their performances. Positive professional attitude of teacher have a significant effects on the overall academic achievements of the students (Borko, 2004).

During the last few decades, the professional life of teachers has significantly changed. Educational development and technological changes brought a lot of positive modifications in the educational environment of the schools, colleges and universities. Professional development is also among the positive modifications of educational institutions i.e. schools, colleges and universities (Kirk, 1998). Borko (2004) mentioned in his study that improvement or modification of education totally depends on the professional development of the teachers. No doubt, one can say that teachers have key role in bringing changes in the educational system. Professional attitude of teachers needs to be changed for bringing positive modifications in educational system (Villegas-Reimers, 2003).

Attitudes are important to educational psychology because they strongly affect the thinking abilities and social thoughts of children. Attitudes of teachers greatly influence the student’s performance as well as their own performance. It is necessary for teachers to teach students with interest and also in such a way that the attention of the students are concentrated on them (Eggen&Kauchak, 2001).

Attitude is the personal and mental state that affects the performance of an individual while profession is the occupational status of a person. Combining the profession and attitude means the intention of a person while performing or fulfilling occupational or professional duties. Professional attitude always varies from one to another (Bain & Ken, 2004).Teachers with positive attitude always shows good performance in teaching/learning process. Students also respect the teachers with positive attitudes towards students (Villegas-Reimers, 2003).

 

A teacher with positive professional attitude always performs the assigned duties in right way. Professional attitude contains beliefs, experiences, desires, hopes, likes, dislikes and intensions. The attitude of teachers must be collaborative and disciplined. Teaching is a profession which largely depends upon the attitude of a teacher. Effectiveness of teaching is either possible when a teacher show positive attitude toward his/her profession (Ball &Lampert, 1999).

 

Negative professional attitude refers to disinterest of teacher towards their profession. Negative and unfavorable attitude makes teaching difficult, tedious and unpleasant (Litt& Turk, 1985). A teacher who has positive attitude towards students can contribute more to teaching and learning process, similarly positive attitude of teachers also helps in strengthening the relationship among students and teachers (Brown & Richard, 2008).

 

The issue of this poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties.

The word competence is taken by two common meanings, first is the ability to do a task. The narrow conception of competency standards is lists of particular, discrete vocation task of a teacher.

Overtime students’ academic performance in both external and internal examinations had been used to determine excellence in teacher teaching (Ajao, 2001). Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievements and they also play crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practices during interaction with the student ( Afe, 2001). Both teachers and learners depends on teachers, no wonder  an effective teacher has been conceptualized as one of  who produce desired result in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefona, 2001). Many studies have revealed that students academics achievements is enhanced where the teachers possess adequate knowledge of the subject matter and a good command of pedagogical skill have a strong positive effect on students’ academic achievement in regular classroom teaching (Olarewaju, 1995, Lockhead, &Verspoor 1991).

Owolabi (2003) described a teacher as an instructor responsible to teach, direct control, interpret and instruct the learner for better attainment. Records have shown that student’s performance in senior secondary certificate of education (SSCE) is quits, below average (Ikoh, 2007). This performance is blamed on teachers (Ashibi2005) and government inability to effectively sponsor education and motivate teachers to enhance their productivity (Agbaetal, 2009). The mixed feelings about the cause of poor academic performance of student in secondary school, especially at SSCE make this research more imperative even as it focuses on the competency level of the financial accounting teachers.

The school environment has a strong positive relationship with students’ ratings of their overall school satisfaction, students’ self-esteem, and academic performance. Teacher’s competency enhances a teacher’s ability to create an environment that is fair, understanding, and accepting of diverse students, ideas, experiences, and backgrounds. Teachers have been found to be the single most important factor influencing student achievement (Cochran-Smith, 2002; Kaplan &Owings, 2002; Lasley, Siedentop, &Yinger, 2006). The present study will focus on factors which may influence teacher’s competency in classroom situation, including (a) teacher use of Continuous Assessment; a technology-based tool the teacher can use for communication with students, (b) number of special education students, (c) class size, (d) teacher use of research based best practices, and (e) instructional leadership. Few studies have examined the factors together applying a mixed methods research approach to identify the complex relationships between all of the factors and student achievement. A study of teacher classroom practices as they relate to student achievement is important for several reasons. Understanding the reasons why the teacher is important will give insight to professional development planners. Identifying such factors contributing to increased student achievement is paramount in this age of accountability. The Federal of Nigeria mandates for student achievement through the various examination bodies are not going away; schools are held accountable through statewide assessments of all students. Teachers need to be held to high standards and implement research-based best practices in their classrooms. Identifying factors contributing to student achievement is very important. Regarding leadership, the principal indirectly impacts the performance of teachers under his or her leadership as well as the climate and culture of the building (Stewart, 2008). The idea of highly qualified teachers is a good one, but compliance has not been widespread (Viadero, 2007). Some states in Nigeria have set low expectations for teacher quality, and sometimes it depends on what school in whicha teacher teaches in. The question which begs to be asked is what defines teacher quality?

If a student is asked about a teacher who is highly qualified, they will most likely say that it is the teachers who spend extra time with them and who makes the class content clear and attainable (Lewis, 2005). Conversely, the unqualified teachers are the ones who are boring and don’t connect with them. Students don’t care about educational certificates or years of experience. Anobi (2006) recognizes that as true educators, teachers are always learning; and teachers need to continue to define the meaning of highly qualified, instead of doing as little as possible within the meaning of the law. As teachers, educators need to move from mere competence to excellence in practice. Defining teacher quality is a question that resurfaces again in the literature on teacher preparation. Does content knowledge in addition to knowledge about teaching make a difference in student achievement (Kaplan &Owings, 2001)? One group believes quality teachers possess content knowledge and have studied instructional ideas and practices that have increased student achievement, while another group believes teachers just need strong content knowledge. Kaplan and Owings (2001) found disagreement in the literature over whether traditional teacher preparation positively affected student achievement. They found that teachers who learn and practice sound pedagogical practices techniques can affect students” measured achievements and also students whose teachers had strong content knowledge and had learned to work with students who came from different cultures or special needs tested higher than one full grade over their peers. Due to the increasing nature of poor academic performance of secondary school students especially in external examinations like West African Examination Council (WAEC) or Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), many educationists tend to shift the blame on lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks. However, these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly in examinations. It is clear from all indications that some secondary school teachers are not competent which might lead to poor academic performance of the students.

Statement of the Problem

Teachers professionalism is the   most critical piece in improving student achievement and closing the achievement gap. The most important difference between the most and least effective classrooms is the teacher The single most important influence on student learning is the quality of teaching, yet most schools are still face with incompetency or non professional teachers. Main while, teaching and learning depends to a large extent on teacher’s own knowledge  and professionalism of the content and ability to adequately deliver the instruction to the students. However a lot of variables may inhibit or hinder effective dissemination of knowledge to the understanding of the content by the students, such variables may be teacher competency, teachers leadership style, teacher teaching style and teacher qualification and many more others

In view of the above problem the study  sought to determine the  effect of teachers professionalism on students academic performance in Nigeria secondary  in Ikere local government area

Purpose of the study

The major purpose of this study is to determine the effect of teachers professionalism on students academic performance in Nigeria secondaryThe specific objective is;

  1. To find out the relevance of teacher professionalism on secondary schools students academic performance
  2. Examine the factors influencing teachers professionalism
  3. Investigate the perception of teachers leadership style on students academic performance
  4. Assess the impact of teachers teaching style on students academic performance

Research questions

  1. To what extent does teacher professionalism influence students academic performance
  2. What are the factors influencing teachers professionlism in
  • What is the students perception of the teachers leadership style and ites effect on students academic performance?
  1. What are the impacts of teachers teaching style on students academic performance?

Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis was test at 0.05 level of significance

  1. There is no significant relationship between teachers professionalism  and students academic performance
  2. Teachers’ qualification, teachers experience and teachers; mastery of the subject are not correlate of teachers’ professionalism
  3. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ teaching style and students academic performance

Significance of the Study

A major concern in schools is to increase student achievement. One way to do thisis to focus on classroom environment with the teacher at the centre which willinfluence student achievement and create the best environment in which tofacilitate learning and engage students. The study is therefore significant for thefollowing reasons:

This study will be useful to both teachers and students who may want to knowthe factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance. Understanding classroom climate variables will allow for professionaldevelopment for teachers to focus on areas to increase student achievement.

Lastly, understanding the importance of teachers and their impact on studentperformance will help school administrators at secondary schools retrain teachersto make their teachings student-centered.

Scope/Delimitations of the Study

This study centers on the effects ofteacher’s professionalism on academic performance of students in Ikere LocalGovernment Area of State. It is aimed at all secondary school students in IkereLocal Government but due to time, money and other factors it will be limited toonly five selected schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

 

 

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