1.1 Background to the Study
The relationship between school location and school effectiveness has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, locality of school in rural or urban area, socio-economic status of the neighbourhood, ethnic location of the school, overcrowded classrooms built near market centres, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, school plant planning, among others, are all school locational variables that significantly affect school effectiveness (Adewuyi, 2002; Ahmed, 2003; and Ijeoma, 2007)
School effectiveness in this context refers to the extent to which schools are able to accomplish their pre-determined objectives. School effectiveness transcends beyond students passing final examinations. It also encompasses students’ attainment in other domains of learning (the affective and the psychomotor domains). According to Bandele (2002), these other domains, apart from having influence on the cognitive achievement, also make the beneficiary of the education system live a fulfilled life and contribute meaningfully to the development of the society.
School effectiveness research started in the mid-1960s with the Coleman Report (Coleman et al. 1966) in the United States. Since then, there are three distinct but inter-related branches of school effectiveness research, namely, (a) school effects research – i.e. scientific properties of school effects, e.g. the size of school effects, (b) effective schools research – i.e. process oriented study of characteristics of effective schools, and (c) school improvement research – focusing and limiting its test of specific models of effective schools. It must be noted that most of school effectiveness research studies have traditionally come from USA, UK and some continental European countries, in particular, the Netherlands. Much is yet to be examined on the effects of school locational factors on school effectiveness in Nigeria.
Nigeria as a nation strives to experience real growth and development. This requires a clearly defined development strategy that allows intensive utilization of resources which is endowed. These resources are the various school physical facilities that are indispensable in the educational process. They include the sitting, the building and physical equipment, recreation places for the achievement of educational objectives (Oluchuckwu, 2000).
School location with its attendant features of instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in the teaching-learning process. The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location in the locality, within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.
The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002 Lyons, 2001; and Ostendorf, 2001). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student.
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students.
Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001;Moore, 2002; Stricherz, 2000; Tanner, 2000). To complement these studies, the present research examines the aforementioned areas of school locational factors such as location of the school itself, class size, school facilities, and school population affect the effectiveness of schools in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Emphasizing the importance of school location to school effectiveness started with Coleman’s Report (Coleman et al. 1966) in the United States. Since then, various researches have been conducted on school effectiveness. These researches, however, were centred on the developed countries. With the exception of few works (Isaac et al, 2010; Adewuyi, 2002; Ahmed, 2003; and Ijeoma, 2007), no serious attempt has been made to study how school locational factors serve as determinants of school effectiveness in Nigerian secondary schools. It is on this basis that the present study seeks to unravel how location of the school itself, class size, school facilities, and school organization are structurally significant to an effective school.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The purposes of this study are:
- To examine the relationship between school location and school effectiveness
- To examine the impact of school facilities on the effectiveness of schools
- To explore factors such as class size that have been perceived to promote or inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in secondary school
- To investigate the extent to which school organization affects the effectiveness of the school
1.4 Research Questions
- Is there any relationship between school location and school effectiveness?
- To what extent do school facilities affect school effectiveness?
- What effect does class size has on the academic performance of students in secondary school?
- To what extent does school organization has on the effectiveness of the school?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1 There is no significant difference between school location and school effectiveness
Ho2 There is no significant difference between school facilities and school effectiveness
Ho3 There is no significant difference between class size and academic performance of students
Ho4 There is no significant difference between school organization and school effectiveness
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that can aid the school to be effective in helping students to achieve their goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing these recommended factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on school locational factors as determinants ofschool effectiveness. 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.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Apart from time-frame and shortage of finance, the major limitation to this research is the inability of the researcher to cover the whole public secondary school in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State as the scope of the study suggest.
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