Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology

Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology
Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology

ABSTRACT: This study investigated Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology. The main objectives were to examine the parental background, use of praise and reward and teacher motivation towards effective learning of Biology. Hence, three null hypotheses were proposed to guide the study. Survey design was adopted to highlight information from 270 SS2 Biology students who were sampled from six (6) selected secondary schools in the area.

Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology

Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was used as major instrument for data collection while the hypotheses were tested using an independent t-test at 0.05 levels of significance. Recommendations were made among others to the enhancement of effective academic performance of students through motivations and reward.





1.1     Background to the study

Motivation is the process through which individuals are charged to increase their action or performance either by internal intrinsic (external or extrinsic) factors. Intrinsic motivation is said to be derived internally in the task itself. It occurs while a person is performing an activity in which he takes delight and derives satisfaction in doing such activity.

He receives internal reward after finishing the work (Tella 2007) motivation can be influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors such variables are considered in this study, in the context of this study, students motivation is the extrinsic variables that are not within students themselves (intrinsic) that can change or encourage them to learn and perform better in their examination.

It is well documented in the literature that motivation plays an important role in influencing students, academic performance several researchers found that students use different motivation strategies in different learning situation. In general, students are found to value both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Individual student have varying levels of psychological heeds that do exert much influence on their academic performance and determine the degree of their activities in the classroom.

The extent to which ability can be translated or elevated into performance is dependent on the level of incentive provided by the organization which satisfies the needs of people. For this reason, parents have the role and responsibility of motivating their children towards effective learning in school and subsequently toward recording successes in their examination. It is not only sending their children to the most expensive school that matter but ensuring that all their learning needs are provided.

Strategies adopted in improving teaching learning situation in the school system have attracted the attention of the researchers widely opinion is that many students are no longer showing seriousness towards their studies. It is the belief of this school of thought that many students are enervate in their study habits which thus affects their academic performance in the various subjects. A high level of academic performance calls for hand work borne out of their determination to succeed.

According to Okoro (2007), every human being loves to be praised for his/her achievements. The author further commented that rewards rouse interest and have position effects in motivating students for learning.

Parents also have roles to play in motivating their children to learn. There are parents who equipped their children with all the recommended textbooks as well as other school requirements most of such parents equipped student take interest in academic activities demanded the needed learning materials. Some students are on the other hand handicapped and not motivated to participate in academic activities because, they lack the learning materials.

1.2     Statement of the problem

The performance of students in various examinations has been a source of worry to most parents, principals of schools, educators, planners, administrative and the general public performance by student due to poor provision of good learning facilities has hampered learning and teaching. Again, lack of qualified teachers has caused most students to be poorly motivated to learn. In essence, poor facilities such as school libraries not well equipped or poor incentive in the teaching profession has caused most teachers to be non-clallant in their classroom activities.

Parents are not able to provide their children with the necessary textbooks required to meet up the current academic challenges due to poverty and financial instability of the parents some people believe that teachers motivation will lead to better performance by students and vice versa.

Also poor salary structure, poor social and psychological needs of the teacher’s affect student’s academic performance, since prompt payment of salary etc by government is positive motivational factor.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

This study was aimed to determining the influence of motivational variables on academic performance of students in second schools.

Specifically, the study sought:

  1. To access the extent to which the parental background affect academic performance of students
  2. To investigate the extent of which teacher’s praises and rewards of prizes on student’s affect academic performance.
  3. To assess the extent to which teacher’s motivation has brought changes in student’s performance in secondary school biology.

Motivational Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Biology

1 .4    Significance of the Study

The benefits that shall accrue from this study are many specially; the findings will go along in contribution to the existing body of knowledge on motivation and academic performance of secondary school student as thus;

  1. It will be of a great value to the students they would be guided to inculcate intrinsic motivation variable for independent study habits.
  2. Teachers and students will also benefit from the finding of this study as the will be guided see the need of using motivational variable to encourage students to study and perform very well.
  3. School authorities will also find this research useful as they would be guided to see the greater need for the instructional supervision of teachers.
  4. The study will also encourage the teachers to see the need for assessment and their subjects as such encourage better performance.

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