Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools

Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools
Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools

ABSTRACT: This study was designed to examine Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area. Two objectives and two research questions were formulated to guide the study. The survey research designed was adopted. The population of the study comprised 2,748 senior secondary one to three (SS1-3) students who offer Economics in the study area. A sample size of 330 students was used for the study. The instrument for data collection was “Motivation and Academic Performance Questionnaire (MAPQ)”. The data generated from the study were subjected to statistical analysis using frequency counts and simple percentages. The result showed that the use of praise / reward, threats / punishment and ward of prizes/ marks as motivational techniques help to improve the academic performance of students  in Economics.    


Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools



 1.1 Background to the Study

The issues of motivation of students in education and the impact on academic performance are considered as an important aspect of effective learning. However, a learner reaction to education determines the extent to which he or she will go in education. The impact of motivation on education of a child cannot be undermined. That is why Hall (2009) believes that there is a need to motivate students so as to arouse and sustain their interest in learning. Motivation raises question on why people behave the way they do it. An individual could therefore, from psychologist’s point of view, be seen as politically, socially and academically motivated depending on the motive behind his or her activities. Motivation is the key to school success. Just as the actor asks a director, what is my motivation, for this scene? The child turns to teachers, parents, and peer to discover the “why” of learning (Tella 2007). Motivation is often defined as a need or drive that energizes behavior toward a goal. As the new school year begins, the most common problem that teachers and parents face is lack of students’ motivation.

Motivation can either come from within the student (intrinsic) or from outside (extrinsic). A child who is intrinsically motivated performs a task because of the joy that comes from learning new materials. A child who performs in school to gain parents’ approval, grades, or  rewards is externally motivated. With concentration, intensively and extensively as in the days gone, Ntoidem (2007) believes that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are necessary for success in academic. pupils and students need to have the inward drive to become something and they also need to be motivated by parents, peers, teachers and others. While research shows that those children with internal motivation may achieve greater success, teachers and parents often find that many children seek external reinforces.

Parents who ask questions that lead to more questions for a child are more successful in developing intrinsic motivation. For example, a parent that gives a child a special toy as a “reward” for reading a lesson about how an airplane works and for completing the related homework that requires answers to questions about parts in an airplane, will stimulate less motivation than the parent who helps a child discover how planes work by building a balsam plane and letting the child practice flying it. This parent can ask what changes the plane’s flight pattern. The child can then experiment, discover and generate new question and new discoveries (Asaywara, 2008).

Motivation, as parents and teachers know, often varies depending on the setting, the people involved, the task and the situation. A child with a learning disability may be a very reluctant reader who resists reading a science assignment or writing the homework, but eagerly absorb all the teacher shows about evaporation of water in a science class. The key for each learner is to find that which motivates. Unfortunately, other factors often intervene to lesson a student’s motivation. These factors according to Aire (2003) include, fear of failure, lack of challenge, lack of meaning, emotional problems, anger and the desire for attention, among others.

According to Camara (2006) achievement motivation is often corrected with actual achievement behaviour. The motivation to achieve, however may evidence itself only in behavior that children value. For example, any child may be highly motivated to achieve and this may be exhibited in athletics but not in school work.

Thus, attaining values for children individuals’ actual achievement behavior depends not only on their motivation to achieve but also on whether they expect to achieve and whether they fear failure. People are more likely to work hard when they perceive a reasonable chance to succeed than when they perceive a goal to be out of reach (Atkinson, 2004). Nevertheless, motivation is to a teacher what an implement like a hoe or a cutlass is to a farmer in order to clear the farm well for farming a farmer needs and uses a sharp cutlass for purpose. Therefore, in the process of teaching in class, a teacher makes use of motivation to help bring about learning in children. Therefore, the important of motivation in boosting academic performance among students cannot be over-emphasized.

Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools

1.2 Statement of problem

There is a huge concern by educators, researchers and the government over the poor state of students’ academic performance in school. Over the years, there has been public outcry on the abysmal performance of students in both internal and external school examination. The poor state of students’ academic performance in school has kept tasking the realization of set goals and objectives in the teaching-learning process. The situation has assumed a frightening dimension and its is worrisome.

Worried by this ugly developments, the government and well meaning individuals have made concerted effort towards improving the academic performance of students in school, yet academic performance of students in most school subjects including Economics is still nothing to write home about.

However, it is against the backdrop of the significance of motivation in relation to academic achievement of students in schools that this study “Motivation and Academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area” was carried out with a view to finding out if the use of motivation will guarantee the much needed improvement in the academic performance of students.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.