Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science

Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science
Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science

Abstract: This study was conducted to investigate Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The population of the study comprised 2,874 primary five (5) pupils in the eleven (11) public primary schools in the study area. One hundred and twenty (120) pupils were chosen for the study through a simple random sampling technique. The design used was descriptive method. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire titled “Pupils’ Characteristics and Academic Achievement Questionnaire (PCAAQ)”.The data collected was analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC). The findings revealed that, there is a significant relationship between Laissez-Faire attitude of pupils and Academic Achievement in Basic Science, also, that there is a significant relationship between pupil’s commitment to study and Academic Achievement in Basic Science. It was recommended that, Teachers, Counselors and school Administrators should give adequate attention to the emotional and academic need of pupils’ who are influenced by different pupils’ behaviours and Government should pay attention and provide adequate facilities and materials in school for the benefits of pupils.


Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science




1.1 Background to the Study

For many years, educators, administrators or managers, researchers have debated over which variables influence pupil’s academic performance. A growing body of evidence suggests that home, family, parents, socio-economic status, peers, mentoring and gender can make a great difference in terms of pupils’ academic performance and a substantial portion of that difference is attributable to pupils. Specifically differential teacher effectiveness is a strong determinant of difference in pupils’ learning, far outweighing the effects of differences in class size and class heterogeneity. Personality is something everybody knows that it exists, it is certainly true that it is difficult to put human personality which Goethe (2007) called the greatest happiness for children of this earth into scientific terms. Personality determines a set of important characteristics and that how people interact with others. Human personality is the combination of a number of traits. Personality can be measured as a set of items usually questions about behaviour and feelings to which the subjects have to respond by agreeing or disagreeing with that question or statements. In 1930 personality psychology became an identifiable discipline in social sciences.

Academic performance is a major issue among pupils, teachers, parents, school administrators, and the community at large. Attempts have been made by researchers to unravel the complexities surrounding academic performance. Psychologists have put forward a lot of reasons why these disparities in performance exist. A lot of attention had been paid to external factors such as type of school, teaching methods, school location, instructional materials, teachers experience, age and so on (WAEC, 2005). Many spend lots of money in order to secure good schools either for their children or themselves and those who can afford it even invest on education abroad as they believe this will enhance performance, and which in turn gives an added advantage in terms of securing gainful employment. Opinions vary as to why some pupils excel academically while others appear to be underachievers.

Many psychologists have consistently attempted to identify the major predictors of individual academic performance. Factors such as intelligence, self concept, gender, study habit, maturation, home background, (characteristics) amongst others, just to mention a few, have been extensively explored as being responsible for academic performance. Other factors that have been researched into in the past include: child rearing patterns, peer group influence, socio-economic background and learning environment. Another major factor that is believed to be responsible for academic performance in pupils is their characteristics/ traits. Traits Theorists have tried to identify the major traits that characterize personality.

Notable among these are Sigmund Freud in the early 1900’s, Gordon Allport (2006) and a host of others. Oxford, (2003) shown that pupils characteristics like motivation, learning styles, gender, and, learning strategies played a very important role in academic performance. Chan (2011), have compared high achieving and low achieving of pupils according to their study habits, purpose for learning, approaches to study, use of support systems, other commitments and self-perceptions and have shown that motivation is a factor effecting performance.

Characteristics is a feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify it. “inherited characteristics such as blood groups” Characteristics have been defined in many ways by many psychologists who wrote on the concept.

According to Feldman (1994) in Daminabo (2008), Characteristics is the sum total of the individual that differentiates people, or the stability of a person’s behaviour across different situations. In other words it means those qualities the individual is noted for. Traits on the other hand are “enduring dimensions of personality characteristics which differentiates people from one another” (Colman, 2003). Traits are therefore the sum total of stable characteristics in a person across different times and situations, which make him or her unique or distinct from others. This agrees with the definition by which it refers to Characteristics traits as consistent differences between the behaviours of two or more people. It is also defined as “any distinguishable, relatively enduring way in which one individual varies from another” (Guliford, 2009 in Agbakwuru 2010).

However, there has been an increasing interest in the big five Characteristics traits and the role they play as regards academic performance of pupils. Of particular interest is the role that these traits play in the academic performance of pupils. These traits, popularly known as the ‘Big Five’ include conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience, extroversion and locus of control. These Characteristics affect academic performance in pupils, either positively or negatively. And so parents, educationists, psychologists, counselors, are all worried at the rate of decline of academic standard.

A high score on Conscientiousness shows a student who is self disciplined, careful, thorough, organized and determined. Low scores on this Characteristics portray indiscipline, carelessness, disorganization and indifference. That pupil who scores highly on this Characteristics is expected to perform excellently well, academically and vice versa.

Agreeableness describes one who is sympathetic, trusting and cooperative. Pupils with high scores on agreeableness are selfless, flexible and pleasant. Such pupils work with others easily with little or no friction. Those scoring low on this Characteristics however find it difficult to get along with others. He noted this to be psychotics, which refer to a person who is skeptical, unsympathetic, uncooperative and rude. Low scores are expected to affect academic performance negatively. The researcher is therefore out to examine Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science in Ukanafun Local Government Area.


Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of underachievement has assumed a worrisome dimension in the Nigerian educational system. Desperate to make it anyhow, pupils have devised various illegal means to succeed in examinations, even when they are not academically competent. And unfortunately, the system has buckled under the pressure. Examination malpractice has risen steadily to become a seemingly untameable monster.

It is increasingly becoming difficult to equate competence of people with supposed academic performance as represented in their certificates. Many candidates are unable to defend the result they supposedly acquired honourably. And of course this has consistently led to inability to compete effectively in the job market which has become a serious issue. Several factors have been researched into in the past as to the cause of this social malaise, but there seem to be indications that some hidden factors may be responsible that needs unravelling. This desire to see this problem curbed gave rise to this study and the researchers’ aim is to see if there is a way in which the big five characteristics can help, especially from the perspective of the analytical and scientific approach of measurement and evaluation.

The researcher has consequently chosen to explore this problem among the pupils. This study is therefore aimed at examining the Pupils’ Characteristic And Academic Achievement In Basic Science in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

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