Abstract: The main purpose of the study was to investigate on Students’ attitude and learning of vocational skills among secondary school students. To achieve the purpose of the study, the following null hypotheses were formulated to give direction to the study. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students with positive attitude vocational skills and their counterpart with negative attitude, there is no significant relationship between students’ positive attitude towards learning and their academic performance, there is no significant relationship between students’ negative attitude towards learning and their academic performance, there is no difference in attitude of male and female students towards learning and their academic performance. Literature was reviewed according to the hypothesis directing the study. Survey research design was adopted for the study. The essence of the design was to allow researcher to make inference and generalization of the population.
A total sample of two hundred (200) respondents were randomly selected for the study. The selection was done through the simple random sampling technique, this was to give every member of the population area equal and independent opportunity of being selected for the study. The questionnaire was the main instrument used for data collection, it was design by the researcher under the supervisor’s guide that gave its face and content validity. To test the hypotheses and to ascertain whether to reject or retain the hypotheses, Pearson product moment correlation analysis and Independent t-test were considered appropriate because of the nature of variables involved. The 0.05 level of significance was used for the statistical testing of each hypotheses. Based on the conclusion of the study, recommendation and suggestions for further studies were made.
Students’ attitude and learning of vocational skills among secondary school students
1.1 Background to the Study
Attitudes as defined by Achieng (2012) is refers to as how one thinks and feels about an act towards objectives and ideas. It also defines attitude as positive or negative feelings that an individual has about objects, persons or concepts. Achieng posits that positive or favourable attitude towards vocational education positively impacts on the learning and performance of students of vocational education. This is due to the fact that individuals are typically biased towards those attitude objects which they evaluate positively and against those evaluated negatively. Attitude is an individual attribute that can be developed, influenced and changed over time. Researchers have shown that attitude plays a very vital role in learning processes (Anwer, 2012).
Incessant supply of any nation’s workforce for the sustenance of technological and industrial growth of that nation’s economy can be achieved through vocational and technical education. Vocational and Technical education offers the trainee both semi-skilled and skilled training required for either construction of new products or modification/maintenance of existing ones (Owolabi, 2003). This evolved from the non-formal apprenticeship programme to a more sophisticated formal training in skills acquisition (Arowolo, 2010).
The overriding requirement for practical is the ability of the learner to be able to do the job rather than only talk about it (Odu, 2011). According to Chauhan (1983), the job and competence of craftsmen are measured by what he/she can do as against how well he/she can describe what he/she can do. The worth of an individual to society grows out of contribution of his/her skills, knowledge and applied productive capacity to tasks that need to be completed rather than out of artificial status connotation attached to some glamorous jobs (Okorie, 2001). In this regard, technical education is a suitable type of education that is capable of responding to economic and labour force changes in the society (Dasmani, 2011).
The learning ability of an individual can be increased by improving such individual’s attitude (Depaolo & Mclaren, 2006). Attitude arouses student’s interest, stirs participation and consequently achievement (Anwer, 2012). According to Mwamwenda (1995) students’ performance in a particular subject is determined by their attitudes not ability to study. A number of studies on students’ attitude and academic achievement correlation found in literatures showed positive relationship (Sabellah, 2010).
According to Alkport (2000), an attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual responses to all objects and situation with which it is related. Attitudes are learned behaviour and they thrive under favourable conditions. Students with favourable attitude towards school usually work to their capacities and make good adjustments in schools. Those with unfavourbal attitudes in time begin to think of themselves as less able than they actually are (Hurlock 1999). Recent social sciences curricular have focused not only on more effective cognitive strategies to enhance the development of positive attitude toward social science.
To maximize the usefulness of technical education, the trainee, staff situation, funding, adequate training facilities and social services must be effectively engaged and exploited (Olunwa, 2007; Sahu, 2008). While staff situation, funding, adequate training facilities and social services may serve as input variables, trainee’s performance represents the aftermath of nominal engagement and utilization of these input variables. Although there is no reliable statistics on manpower demands in technical manpower development in the country (Ekunke, 2008), the projection data available showed that there has been acute shortage on manpower required for self-reliance and national development in the nation (Olaitan, 1996).
More so, there has been technical skills gap between the students of technical/vocational education and the industry in the country (Idris & Rajuddin, 2012). Moreover, researches have demonstrated that ineffective and inefficient training of the students reflects in the quality of graduates produced (Dasmani, 2011). Ozoro (1990) asserted that lack of required competence and resourceful skills of technical personnel marks a lot of supposedly unemployed technical personnel in the nation. This makes the student factor the major focus in this study.
1.2 Statement of problem
The findings of earlier studies on the effect of attitude on the students learning of vocational skills showed that student’s attitude greatly affect the learning of vocational skills. Some believed that vocational courses are for male students while female students are destined to go for art courses and the languages. The worries of the researcher lie in the fact that students may result into the “law of comparative advantage” if care is not taken; that is, male students may have lukewarm attitude towards the art courses like Law and thereby turning it into a female profession.
Also, female students may not care for the science courses like Medicine and Engineering, also tagging it a male profession, which should not be, hence the need for this study to compare their attitudes. Furthermore, attitude of students differ in relation to their sex and specialization, and such factors have been found to affect their attitudes and consequently their learning of vocational skills. The worries of the researcher is the fact that attitude has been found to be a contributory factor to the poor learning of vocational skills of students.
Students attitude towards studies seem to be nonchalant. Because of this misconception that they do not spend much time studying it before going for examination or test and thus the massive failure of students in the subject. Therefore, this study is designed to find out the relationship between students attitude towards the learning of vocational skills among secondary school students.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine students’ attitude and learning of vocational skills among secondary school students.
Specifically, this study aims at finding out:
(i) How students’ positive attitude influences learning of vocational skills in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
(ii) The extent to which student’s negative attitude influences learning of vocational skills in secondary schools.
(iii) How the attitudes of male and female students differ in their learning of vocational skills in secondary schools.
Students’ attitude and learning of vocational skills among secondary school students
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is the researcher’s view that the findings of the study will be of immense benefits to parent, policy makers, educational counselors, planners of educational program, students, classroom instructors and the society in general.
The study will be useful to parent, since the child’s attitude and its consequence to academic achievement of the child will encourage the parent to help cultivate productive habit among their children of early stages in life. The study will be of significance to the educational administrators because they will see the need for considering students attitudes for her understanding and educational enlistment.
The educational counselors advice and motivate students by providing rich and useful counseling advice that will facilitate healthy and positive attitudes of students.
The study will also be useful to the students because the students will note the positive and negative attitudes that fosters or hinders better academic performance of students.
A study of this nature will help teachers to adopt and use appropriate instructional techniques that will stimulate students to develop effective study techniques and enhance positive attitude towards learning. The teacher will also have a good understanding of the problems associated with students and therefore guide them towards achieving academic performance.
The study will expose researchers to problems associated with student’s attitude towards learning. It will add more information to the existing literature in this area.