Abstract: The study examined Teaching Methods and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools. To achieve the objectives of the study, three research questions and three hypotheses were formulated. The population for the study consisted of 1042 Senior Secondary two (SS2) students in 11 public secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area. One hundred Economics students were randomly selected from four selected public secondary schools in the area. Economics Achievement Test (EAT) was used as the instrument for data collection and independent statistical method was employed in analyzing the data collected.
Findings revealed that there is a significant difference in the academic performance in Economics among students taught using discussion method and those taught using lecture method of teaching; there is no significant difference in academic performance between male and female students taught Economics using discussion method of teaching and that there is no significant difference in academic performance between male and female students taught Economics using lecture method of teaching in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
Based on the findings of the study it was recommended that discussion method of teaching should be used in teaching concepts in Economics in secondary schools as to improve academic performance of students, interest and participation in the subject; and seminars, workshops and symposium should be organized to train Economics teachers on how to use effective instructional approaches such as discussion in teaching Economics.
Teaching Methods and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools
1.1 Background to the Study
Teaching is the act of educating or instructing the learners. It is the act of imparting knowledge or skills on learners. Teaching as a process involves several activities by the teacher and the students. Ekanem (2006),states that it is because of this that the teaching activity of the teacher falls under the search light of the larger society. Similarly, the National Policy on Education cited in Ekanem (2006) clearly recognized the role of the teacher when it declared that teacher’s education shall continue to be given major emphasis in all educational planning and development. This is because the role of a teacher remains pivotal for the overall achievement of the educational objectives of the nation. This statement also backs up what the National Policy on Education stated that no education shall rise above the level of its teachers, owing to the fact that the teachers select, organized, arrange and implement the curriculum of the nation. Therefore, their method of teaching need to be suitable in teaching the concept they want to teach.
The teaching of Economics in Nigerian schools needs to be properly handled because the subject exposed the students to diverse field in the area of social sciences such as financial accounting, business and finance, public finance amongst others. The strategies, methods and materials used by teachers to teach and drive home their subject matter at the secondary school level of education is indubitably a paramount or important issue in classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the learners. Discussion method of teaching entails the discussion of real life situation with the learners by the teacher. It is a natural method of learning that can take different forms such as modeling, games, dramatization, drawing and painting. According to Uwameiye and Ojikutu (2008), teaching can be defined as the action of a person (teacher) and may also refer to instruction of education performed by teacher.
However, Okon, (2014) maintained that the teaching of Economics and other social science subjects is very difficult as the subject does not have concrete materials to be presented to the students during lesson presentation and therefore, the use of lecture method of teaching becomes the order of the day for teachers. This method of teaching reduces the teaching of the subject to mere memorization of facts and encourage cramming leading to poor presentation when need arises. This method may not be appropriate for secondary school students and therefore, some researchers.
Also, the impact of any teaching method is not only limited to the conditions surrounding the teaching but also the advantages and the disadvantages of a particular method in a particular situation should not be left out. According to Keene (2015), each student learns best using strategies and objectives that reflect his experiences, abilities, aptitudes and interest.
Similarly, there is no standard teaching method. The various teaching methods overlap in definition and application; none being mutually exclusive although researchers often delineate several teaching strategies. Laboratory technique is one of the many teaching method under the investigative or activity based. It is a method which is capable of improving learning through its diversity effect activity. It has the prerequisite characteristics for individualized instruction and therefore has high potential for making teaching-learning process challenging and rewarding but this method may not be appropriate for the teaching of Economics.
There is a radical departure from the direct teaching model in which the teacher engages student to learn. Students are encouraged to ask questions (questioning method). The student is viewed as an inquirer, a seeker of information and a problem-solver. These attributes are crucial to problem-solving and are at the heart of effective of teaching.
Consequently, there is now a growing concern for the use of demonstration technique in the teaching of Economics in Nigerian secondary schools. In recent times, much research attention has been focused on teaching of Economics in Nigerian Secondary Schools with a view to ascertaining the adequacy and appropriateness of the teachers’ method of teaching and indeed the effectiveness of instruction. Investigation into the use of demonstration instructional technique in the teaching of Economics in Nigerian Secondary Schools seem to have focused mainly on teachers’ frequency of the use of this technique and sparingly on the application of important variables influencing its effective use.
In a sense, no research attention has yet been paid to the effectiveness of teaching Economics using discussion method technique in Etinan Local Government Area. The use of discussion instructional technique as an innovative instructional practice can only be effectively implemented if the teachers possess the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities related to its use in the classroom situation.
The present concern for Nigerian Economics teachers with regards to utilization of certain teaching is born out of the fear that since most of these teachers have been used to lecture teaching approach and considering the existing inadequacies in teacher education in Nigeria, their awareness, equipment, orientation and willingness to embrace and effectively use the guided inquiry technique as a mode of teaching are bound to be questionable. This activity technique is at times misconstrued and hence wrongly applied in the teaching of Economics as there are no materials to use in teaching the subject.
Nowak, Watt and Walther (2014), articulated this position and present evidence that, demonstration method is generally effective in teaching sciences, mathematics and mechanics as well as subject areas within vocational and technical education. While discussion is appropriate for the teaching of social science and art and other related subjects (Economics inclusive).
As stated by Gokhale (2016), the professional success of a technologist is directly related to his/her ability to transfer knowledge gained in the academic environment to real-world situations. Much student learning occurs through observing others. This paper attempts to elucidate the concept of method of teaching, and empirically establish its effectiveness on SS 2 students’ achievement in Secondary School. The discussion method has been widely accepted and recommended by some educators as the good method of teaching in secondary schools (Phipps & Osborne, 2012).
The discussion method is the method of teaching where the central and essential characteristic is interaction (Binkley and Tulloch, 2011). During discussion session students participate in the learning process by contributing problems, analyzing the factors associated with the problems, developing possible solutions to the problems, placing the solution(s) into action, and evaluating the results of the solution. A discussion provides the link between “knowing about” and “being able to do.” Research reveals that discussions are most effective when they are accurate, when learners are able to contribute effectively and understand what is going on, and when brief explanations occur during the discussion (Saskatchewan, 2012).
Ekanem (2006) stated that teaching is a complex process in secondary school that at these level teachers are dealing with adolescents who needs more attention. The author added that teachers who teach in secondary schools must be made to understand that they have a very important role to play in preparing the youngsters for the greater task ahead in the higher field of learning. Teachers therefore should be able to lay the foundation to students at this level to ensure better academic future of the learners. It is against this background information that the researcher intends to investigate the teaching method and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
Teaching Methods and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The act of teaching is fundamentally concerned with passing ideas, skills and attitudes from the teachers to the learners. Experience has shown that spoken words alone in the communication of ideas are grossly ineffective and inefficient in producing desired learning outcome. The mass failure recorded by students in certificate examinations in secondary schools which according to the chief examiners of West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) in 2016 report that out of 1,104,13 students who registered for the examination only 571,006 obtained pass with five credits including Economics, Mathematics and English Language. The reason for this could be attributed to the fact that Economics as a social science subject in secondary schools pose serious problems of comprehension to students and that this subject cannot be taught effectively without relevant instructional method.
In-effective selection and utilization of instructional process is one of the reasons advanced for poor performance of students in Economics this is because the method of teaching selected constitutes an integral part of teaching and if the teaching methods selected are not students’ centered, the teaching of Economics will be mainly verbalization of words without adequate understanding by the students. Also, students may not be sufficiently expose to discipline in class as some of the method of teaching encourages students being passive during the process of teaching and learning and this attitude has rendered Economics teaching in many of our secondary schools ineffective, this is because students hear when you teach them, they see when you demonstrate and they understand when they practice. Some methods lead to ineffective classroom supervision and follow-up for slow learners as well as complicated learner’s evaluation procedures.
From the foregoing, there is a strong indication that academic achievements of Economics students are a correlates of teaching method utilized by teachers in the process of instructions. Therefore, a careful and cautious attention is accorded to it if we want to build and sustain effective performance of students in Economics in Nigeria. Based on these facts, the study seeks to find out the effects of teaching methods on academic performance of students in secondary schools in Etinan Local government Area.