Abstract: The study examine School Characteristics and Teaching Effectiveness among Teachers of Economics in Secondary School in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The population consist all Senior Secondary school two (SS2) students offering Economics in all public Secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area, six (6) Secondary schools with a total of (2,154) students. A sample size of 120 students randomly selected from six (6) secondary schools through a simple random sampling technique. The design used was descriptive research design. Three research questions and hypotheses were formulated to guide this study.
The instrument for data collection was Economics Achievement Test (EAT). An independent t-test was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significant. The result of the study showed that there is a relationship between class size and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers, there is significant relationship between school location as it relate to teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers and there is a significant relationship between physical school facilities and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers.
It was therefore recommended among others that Teachers with NCE should strive to improve their knowledge in Economics by acquiring additional qualification through in-service training or part-time or sandwich degree programme in the Universities around their place of working, also Graduate teachers without teaching qualification should endeavour to proceed on PGDE or PDE programme to enhance their teaching method in Economics in Secondary school level and Government should provide funds for basic infrastructural facilities in schools to enhance teaching and learning of Economics in the study area.
1.1 Background to the Study
For many years, educators, administrators or managers, researchers have debated over which variables influence student’s academic performance. A growing body of evidence suggests that schools can make a great difference in terms of students’ academic performance and a substantial portion of that difference is attributable to teachers. Specifically differential teacher effectiveness is a strong determinant of difference in students’ learning, far outweighing the effects of differences in class size and class heterogeneity. Students who are assigned to one ineffective teacher after another have significantly lower achievement and learning than those who are assigned to a sequence of several highly effective teachers.
Thus, the impact of teachers’ effectiveness or ineffectiveness seems to be additive and cumulative. Which factors then contribute to teacher effectiveness? Certainly, there has been a convergence of the available research data pertaining to this question over the past years. Some of these factors fall under the general heading of teacher behavioural traits. Teacher behavioural traits are relatively stable traits that are related to, and influence, the way teachers practice their profession (UNESCO, 2004}.
Several of these traits have also been identified by other researches. Commitment and drive for improvement, for example, combine to form what Slavin (2009) referred to as relentlessness, and what Andersen and Pellicer (2008) termed zero tolerance for failure. Also confidence is similar to what Ashton and Webb (2006) termed self-efficacy. Despite differences in nomenclature, the teacher behavioural traits have been found to be related to teaching effectiveness and student’s academic performances in a variety of settings by a variety of researchers. It is important to note however, that the influence of teacher characteristics on teacher’s effectiveness of teachers in Economics is not direct.
Rather it is moderated or mediated by their effects on the way in which teachers organize their classrooms and operate within them. What teachers are influences, are what teachers do, in return, influence what and how much, students learn (UNESCO 2004). So, effective teachers must possess the knowledge and skills needed to attain the goals, and must be able to use that knowledge and those skills appropriately if these goals are to be achieved. The possession of knowledge and skills fall under the heading teacher competence while the use of knowledge and skills in the classroom is referred to as teacher performance /productivity.
The school is a social and learning agent that provides an enabling environment within which a child may be formally educated in order to attain educational goals. Human beings have unlimited capacity to learn but may however, be limited by the behaviour patterns and facilities that the immediate environment offers. According to Umoh (2006), nature only provides the raw materials in form of potentials, but it is the characteristics that determines the extent of development. In furtherance to the menace caused by low academic performance in the Nigerian academic system, it could be deduced that there exists a vacuum in the quality of students produced and the required quality of individuals for various institutional needs in the country.
In assessing the cause effect of the level of teaching effectiveness, the researcher considers some school characteristics as those instruments that could enhance or mar teaching effectiveness of teachers’ among students in Economics. The school characteristics or variables include the school size, school type, family structure, class size, school location, instructional materials, leadership style, teacher’s qualification and other school characteristics deemed fit to affect effective teaching of Economics in Coleman (2000).
School characteristics is the location, structure, resources, and social atmosphere of a school often are related to students’ academic success. In Ini, students who live far from school may not be able to afford costs related to travel, which reduces school enrollment rates and attainment (Fentiman, Hall, & Bundy, 1999; Shabaya & Konadu-Agyemang, 2004). Lower enrollment and attainment are associated with decreased student achievement and literacy and poor teacher satisfaction (Tansel, 2007).
School-level variables included measures of school structure (i.e., class size, student-to-teacher ratio, and number of teachers without a post-secondary certificate) and school facilities (i.e., electricity, drinking water, and toilet facility). All three measures of school structure are interval-level variables. Toilet facility includes flush toilets, pit latrines, or Ventilated-Improved Pit. In many schools, smaller schools with access to water and electricity, are associated with better student performance and academic achievement (Bacolod, 2005). Increased per student/pupil expenditures and physical resources (e.g., office space, playgrounds, classroom furniture, and libraries) are associated with higher levels of academic performance.
However, some studies have shown that the quality of school facilities does not significantly predict academic (Bowers & Urick, 2011). School cohesion—an atmosphere of mutual trust and positive interactions between staff and students—is a predictor of better student grades (Stewart, 2007). Student, home, and school factors can affect academic performance. Wealth and gender interact to intensify achievement gaps between boys and girls, and increased income is associated with decreased dropout rates among girls in school. Age, wealth, and rural location affect school enrollment and teaching effectiveness in Ini local government area (Fentiman, 2009). The effects of school characteristics on student learning depend on the student’s academic attainment and whether he or she has repeated a school grade (Lee,2005). These interacting factors create a complex context for schooling..
Glass and Smith (2000), despite conventional wisdom that school input makes little difference in students’ learning. A group of researchers suggested that the following characteristics can be attributed to poor academic performance of students there are: school type, location, size, ventilation, leadership, laboratory, qualification, age, gender, peer, etc. the school can make a difference and a substantial portion of that difference is attributable to other factors mentioned above. Hence, the school characteristics remain an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance teaching effectiveness.
However, research has not been very successful at identifying the specific variables/characteristics and teaching effectiveness that are most likely to improve students’ learning. Unfortunately, this is just the information that educational policymakers need most. This justifies the desire to break this ground so as to extend the frontier of knowledge in order to help improve the unimpressive, teachers’ behavioural characteristics, teaching effectiveness, productivity and students leaning outcomes and serves as the motivating factor for undertaking the present piece of research so as to fill the-existing important research gap.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The problem under study has to do with an unsatisfactory condition of the educational system being operated in Nigeria. The establishment of government schools/community schools has resulted in a situation where by some school were favoured in terms of the provision of rich environment than others. It has been very difficult if not impossible for government to standardize the school characteristics. Thus the school characteristics varies from school to school. Some schools have adequate school buildings, good library and suitable textbooks, good administrative management, professionally qualified teachers, good laboratory equipment as well as good location. While in some schools little or none of these exist. It is because of this that Chike-Okoli (2007) in line with Ikediashi (2009) have pointed out that poor teaching experience, inadequate or poor physical infrastructure, unsatisfactory building design, class-size, teacher/ students ratio, teacher’s qualification, school location, school climate, school environment / variables, school type are likely to cause some physical discomfort for the teachers and students and are therefore bound to influence their teaching effectiveness.
Most people allege that students attitude towards education today has contributed to these problems. Teachers themselves have contributed immensely to the problem by not making an effective uses of the time to teach the subject. Teachers do not dedicate themselves to teaching the students rather they usually engage in other extra job that would benefit them without taking appropriate time on the student’s academic. It is against this problems that the School Characteristics and Teaching Effectiveness among Teachers of Economics in Secondary School in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is under taken.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine School Characteristics and Teaching Effectiveness among Teachers of Economics in Secondary School in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is under taken. Specifically, this research is carried out to:
- To examine the extent of the school physical characteristics and teachers effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
- To explore factors such as class size and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
- To investigate the extent to which school location and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is anticipated that the findings of this study would be of immense benefits to teachers, educational planners and policy makers, school administrators, researchers and other stake holders in the education sub-sector in the following ways:
- it would reveal the level of students-teacher ratio, library, laboratory, offices, building, teachers accommodation on school.
- it would make known the specific teacher’s qualification affect students’ teaching effectiveness among teachers of Economics in secondary school.
- it would provide Government with research data in planning for the overall development of the school system.
- it would add to the body of existing literature on school characteristics in relation to students’ academic performance.
- Finally it would serve as a reference material for further research on School characteristics in relation to teaching effectiveness not only in Economics but other school subjects.
1.5 Research Questions
Based on the above stated objectives, the following null hypotheses were formulated and tested.
- How does class size relate to teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school Ini Local Government Area
- To what extent does school location relate to teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers among secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
- How does physical school facilities like library, offices, labs and recreational facilities relate to teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
- There is no significant relationship between class size and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between schools locations relate to teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between physical school facilities and teaching effectiveness among Economics teachers in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
This study was delimited to school characteristics and teaching effectiveness among teachers of Economics in secondary school in Ini Local Government Area. Analysis was on Senior Secondary two (SS2) students in Secondary Schools in the Area.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The major factors that limit the scope of this study to senior secondary Schools students in Ini Local Government Area were insufficient fund, time frame for the completion of the research and the researcher’s academic work-load among other factors.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms used in this study were conceptualized by the researcher as explained below:
School Characteristics: It can be described as qualities that can be measured with tests or derived from their academic or professional records.
Economics: To a lay man understanding, economics means the study of the way in which money, industry and trade are organized in a society. According to Lionel Robbins, Economics is a social science subject which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.
Teacher’s qualification: this special skill or type of experience or knowledge that makes someone suitable to do a particular job or activity.
Teaching experiences: the length of time you have spent doing something (such as a particular job)
Effectiveness: this is producing a result an intended effect of a law, rule, etc.
School library: a school library is a library within a school where students, staff, and often, parents of a public or private school have access to a variety of resources.
Students –teacher ratio: A students-teacher ratio expresses the relationship between the number of students enrolled in a school, district, or education and “full-time equivalent” of teacher employed by the school system.