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The relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing one for educators. Although, several scholars have proposed various factors responsible for the poor performance of students, few research have been dedicated to the correlation between class size and academic achievement of students. This study therefore examines the relationship between class size and academic performance of students using some selected secondary schools in Agege Local Government area of Lagos State as case study. Four null hypotheses were raised and analysed using the simple percentage statistical analysis. Based on the findings, it was discovered that large class size negatively affects students’ academic performance. The study recommends that a national policy on teacher-student ratio should be implemented. More qualified teachers should be employed and workshops should be organized for already employed ones. More classrooms should be built with up-to-date facilities and improve on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) that would aid teaching-learning process.
1.1 Background to the Study
The relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, class overcrowding, and teaching methods are all variables that affect students’ achievement (Molnar, et al., 2000). Other factors that affect student achievement are school population and class size (Gentry, 2000; and Swift, 2000).
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the decline in standard of education. Since the academic success of students depends largely on the school environment, it is imperative to examine the impact variables of class size and school population on the academic performance of students in secondary school.
Large class size and over populated schools have direct impact of the quality of teaching and instruction delivery. Overcrowded classrooms have increased the possibilities for mass failure and make students to lose interest in school. This is because large class size do not allow individual student to get attention from teachers which invariably lead to low reading scores, frustration and poor academic performance.
In order to better understand the skill levels of students, it might be necessary to evaluate factors affecting their performance. These factors can include: school structure and organization, teacher quality, curriculum, and teaching philosophies (Driscoll, Halcoussis, & Svorny, 2003). The idea that school population and class size might affect student performance is consistent with the growing literature on the relationship between public sector institutional arrangements and outcomes (Moe, 1984). The purpose of this study is to further examine the relationship of class size, school population and student academic achievement
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The performance of secondary school students in NECO, WAEC and JAMB calls for proper investigation. Although, several scholars have proposed various factors responsible for the poor performance of students, few research have been dedicated to the correlation between class size, school population and academic achievement of students. This study therefore looks at how class size affect students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between class size and student achievement using some selected secondary schools in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State as case study. The specific objectives are to:
1.4 Research Questions
i. Is there any correlation between class size and academic performance of students?
ii. Is there any relationship between school population and academic performance of students?
iii. Is there any relationship between over population and classroom management?
iv. Is there any relationship between over population and school resources/ facilities?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1 There is no significant relationship between class size and academic performance of students
Ho2 There is no significant relationship between school population and academic performance of students
Ho3 There is no significant relationship between over population and classroom management
Ho4 There is no significant relationship between over population and school resources/ facilities
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on the relationship between class size and student achievement using some selected secondary schools in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State as case study. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State. However, four public secondary schools will be used as case study.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study is important for several reasons.
First, the findings will help teachers to identify the reasons for the academic performance of students in large classes with high population and how they can address the problems;
Second, it will provide comprehensive information for educational planners, educators, and parents on how they can assist students to cope in large classes;
Third, this research work will lead to further in-depth study on the impact of class size and school population on the academic performance of students in Nigeria;
Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related areas
1.8 Research Methodology
A descriptive research design will be use in carrying out this study. The sample for this study constitutes one hundred (100) respondents. For this research work, random sampling technique will be used. This study will be restricted to the categories of teachers and students the researcher considered essentially relevant to issues being investigated. Simple percentage statistical analysis will be used for the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Academic Achievement – Knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test scores.
Secondary school (also “high school”) is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.
Overpopulation: This is when the number of students in a particular class exceeds the standard of student-teacher ratio of 1:30.
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1.1 Background to the Study
Research on teaching methods has for long been of interest to educationists. However, some studies have been carried out on certain aspects of the programme but have not investigated the academic performance of pupils in Nursery and Primary level of education in the use of some specific teaching methods.
Research evidence shows that the challenges confronting the nursery and primary school teachers are basically on the methods of imparting the knowledge. It was argued by Adufe (2008) that teaching is based on methods which at the long run bring about effective teaching.
Teaching, according to Oladipo and Ayeni (2000) involves bringing about or at least facilitating desirable changes in learners. However, effective teaching requires the teacher to step out of the realm of personal experience and step into the world of the learners. (Brown, 1997). It is the learner who must be engage for learning to occur, the learner is the one who must take the commitment to learn.
Instruction is the transmission to the learner and the acquisition by him on specific skills, information, knowledge or other established data. The mode of instruction or teaching applied in achieving these objectives is referred to as method. Methodology therefore, refers to the processes and techniques a teacher of either nursery or primary education uses to transmit facts, skills, information and knowledge to the learners so as to facilitate the accomplishment of the set objectives.
Research evidence shows that the major problem in the nursery and primary schools is the method of imparting knowledge. To this Adepoju (2006) citing Kernest and Levin (1973) revealed the difficulties children of some ages (usually nursery and primary level) encountered when they are instructed using verbal approach. This is also confirmed as the study carried out in Nigeria by Busari (1991) revealed that the method presently employed in teaching, in most of our public primary schools is inadequate or not effective.
It is of a necessity that a skillful teacher needs to be conversant with various teaching strategies which may be applied to subjects at different class situations. Adufe (2008) affirms that many methods of teaching exist in education and these methods are meant to make teacher succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge.
However, the success in the use of any method differs as a result of an intelligent analysis of the objectives, the pupils in class, the curriculum content or the type of subject matter.
Also, the impact of any teaching method is not only limited to the conditions surrounding the teaching but also the advantages and the disadvantages of a particular method in a particular situation should not be left out.
Every profession has a method or set of methods it employs to disseminate its intent to the young ones waiting to enter the profession. Any discussion on teaching methodologies must take cognizance of the whole teaching process. In an effort to transmit knowledge to learners, a teacher adopts or employs some strategies, techniques, means or measures.
This means or measures adopted by a teacher to transfer knowledge to learners is known as ‘method’. A method then is defined as the overall strategies, processes, means and techniques employed by a teacher to enable him achieve his objectives.
Given the over-abundance of supply of methods, teachers are still faced with the problems of choice. We make choice simply because we cannot use one method in virtually all situations. Many methods of teaching exist in education. All these strategies are meant to make teacher succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge.
Factors Determining Teaching Methods
Learners’ interest, age, level and weaknesses should guide the selection of the relevance method. For instance, it would be wrong of a teacher to impose the use of discussion method on any category of learners that have speech deficiency.
Adesanya (2006) also submitted some basic criteria which must be considered before the selection of any teaching methods.
Also, Ckenzie, et al (1980) in Adesanya (2006) argues that the objectives of the teacher should also be considered before the selection of any method. This implies that what the teacher intends to achieve at the end of the lesson should be in line with the selected method.
As a result of these factors, it is advisable that a skillful teacher in nursery and primary level of education should consider these factors when he/she needed to achieve his/her stated objectives.
It is however, sustained that various methods of teaching exist but there is a distinctive difference between them. There are methods used in higher education which virtually cannot be use in the lower level of education which nursery and primary education exist.
Nursery and primary education therefore, gives room for any method which will help in facilitating the teaching and learning of a teacher and also make the stated objectives achievable.
As a result of this, the study on the comparative study of some teaching methods and its effects on the academic performance of pupils in nursery and primary schools worth pursuing. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide evidence as to the nature of two basic teaching method virtually used in nursery and primary education (play way method and story telling method) and their distinctive approach towards the achievement of pupils in both nursery and primary school level.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many methods of teaching exist in education. All the strategies are meant to make teachers succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge. However, little are considered on some factors that are necessary before selecting the appropriate method. Also the methods used in teaching the young ones are not effective for their teaching and learning and this negate their academic performance.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to:
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this study will provide basis for effective teaching methods by Nursery and Primary school teachers to modify or reinforce pupils’ academic performance.
This study will focus mainly on two method of teaching: story telling and play way methods. Moreover, their effectiveness in assisting pupils to learn in classroom situation will also be looked into. Although, the study is meant for all pupils in Ijebu-Ode Local Government, however, due to time and fund, the research will only be limited to some selected nursery and primary schools in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
1.7 Operational Definitions of Terms
Teaching Methods: In this study, it implies the principles and methods of instruction
Methods: A way of doing something, especially in a systematic way, it implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps).
Academic Performance: Refers to how pupils deal with their studies and how they cope with different task given to them by their teachers.
Pupils: Pupils in this study refers to children who are learning in both the nursery and the primary level of education.
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Dr. R. O. Ajetunmobi, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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