Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools

Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools
Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools

Abstract: The study investigated Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The study population was 2500 students from seven (7) Public secondary schools and the sample size was 200 respondents selected randomly from 5 public secondary school in the study area. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire on family variables. Three research hypotheses were stated and tested using the independent x2 chi-square statistic at 0.05 level of significance. Findings, showed that the family variables all have a significant effect on the students attitude towards the learning of Biology in secondary schools. Based on the findings; the following recommendations were made; parents should be actively involved in the academic pursuit of their students (Children) by encouraging them to like the subject that they are doing and also improve in their subject.

Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools



1.1    Background to the study

Family variables can be identified as very important variables that have the potential for promoting directly or indirectly, students academic performance. The term family variables have been given different meanings. It has been used to mean parental expectation of school performance of their children/ it is also a deliberate effort by the family to reinforce improved academic performance, general academic guidance and support for their children. Oguntelure (2007) sow family variables as a determinant of attitude towards learning and also contribution to children’s activities which include home work and also encouraging students to read their books at home.

The family is also seen as a place in which the whole range of human existence and experiences takes place. Bloom (2004) demonstrated that, it is what parents do in the home that counts for learning development of their children. Parents are difference from one another, both in their relationship with their children and their feelings towards schooling of their children. They have their own concerns, their own difficulties with their relationships and their tensions.

Some parents are better able to relate to their children than others some are warm and supporting, others may be rejecting or even negligent. Some parents are intelligent, competent people while others may be uneducated, illiterate, unable to grasp the meaning of situation involving their children, even though they love them (Ryan, 2007)., Some parents have a high regard for education, but others look upon education as something required by law and society (Brown, 2004). It is pertinent to observe that values differ among parents. Their goals and standards for their individual families will differ from one another.

It is widely recognized by educations and researchers that parents –child relationship are closely associated with important aspects of children’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Parents are viewed as primary facilitators of children’s self concept, interpersonal skills and educational performance or attainment.

Attitude is a concept, which arises from the attempt to account for the observed regulations in the behaviour of individual performs, the quality of which is judged from the observed evaluative responses one tends to make. An individual can show positive or negative attitude towards a particular object, subject or idea. Kind (2007) viewed attitude as having different components which include cognitive (Knowledge, beliefs and ideas); affective (feelings, like, dislike) and behavioural (tendency towards an action). The attitude that one has towards an object is good or bad, harmful or beneficial, pleasant or unpleasant, important or unimportant. Attitude towards learning plays a crucial role in a student’s examination outcome.

The attitude showcased by students towards their learning can be attributed to many factors which include the student’s perception of their school environments, their other factors can be the different challenges in which the child is passing through at home. Epstein (2005) outlined areas in which the family variables can affect students attitude towards learning. These variables include the family size, which could be large or small, the educational background of parents, and the socio-economic status of parents. All the above mentioned variables can bring about positive or negative attitude in students towards their learning processes.

The family size or family structure constitutes one of the family variables that can create in the students, positive or negative attitude towards learning. This can come in various ways. A large family structure can lead to children developing negative attitude (Bassey, 2010) towards education because other siblings can influence them to opt out of school and choose vocational learning because there is no financial support to center for their educational pursuit. Like wise a small family size tends to cause children to have a positive attitude towards learning since the family is small enough for parents to take care of their feeding and educational activities.

Another variable seen as one factor that can affect students’ attitude towards learning is the parental socio-economic status. Students from high socio-economic status tend to posses better academic learning attitude because according to Anene (2000) they are exposed to  relevant learning tools and materials at an early stage thereby encouraging them to develop a good attitude while those students with low socio-economic status develop a nonchalant attitude towards learning since most times, their educational means cannot be met. Parental educational level also is a family variable that can really affects the academic performance and also the students learning attitude towards Biology.Parents of high educational attainment will also want their children to follow suit. They will desire their children to reads or surpass their own level of educational attainment.

From the aforementioned family variables, this study seeks to investigate the various family variables that can really promote positive attitude among students in the learning of Biology in senior secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.

Family Variable and Students Attitude towards the Learning of Biology in Secondary Schools

1.2    Statement of the problem

According to the research of Epstein (2001), children learn and develop through three overlapping spheres of influence namely family, school and community. Students who have support from their family or parents at home show better performance at school while students lacking support are struggling. Getting parents involved in the education of their children a crucial factor for the continuing educational development and success of children in school. 

Comments from educators have shown that the blame for lack of performance has been as a result of neglect and carefree attitude towards learning by students and parents. The family is the first school for a child where they are taught the basic norms and values by the parents before the child leavers for formal education. The family possess certain variables that play a part in the students’ attitude towards learning. These variables are the family size, family or parents educational background their occupation and their socio-economic status. These are all factors that can promote or hinder students learning abilities and interest. Hence the study seeks to investigate these variables and how they affect students’ attitude towards the learning of Biology in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.

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