ABSTRACT: This research work examined the influence of classroom variables on students’ academic performance. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were stated and tested at 0.05 alpha levels of significance. Literature relevant to the study were reviewed on Human Relations Theory, conceptual framework and review of empirical studies were also reviewed. The population of the study comprised all the senior secondary two (SS2) students in the study area in the 2018/2019 academic session. The sample size used for the study was two hundred (200) students drawn from five public secondary schools. Researcher made questionnaire and Government Performance Test were the instrument used to collect data for the study.
Influence Of Classroom Variables On Students’ Academic Performance
The instrument were tested on twenty (20) students and reliability co-efficient of 0.74 was obtained using Pearson Product Correlation Coefficient (PPMCC). Data obtained were analyzed using mean, Standard deviation and t-test statistics analysis, findings shown among others that: There is significant influence of classroom discipline in academic performance of students taught using discipline and those taught without using discipline
1.1 Background to the Study
Classroom plays a very significant role in students’ academic performance. Effective classroom management put the teacher in firm control of the classroom and provide orderliness and safety needed for instruction and learning. Yet, the various reforms in education, like, the National Policy on Education of 1977, revised in 1981, 1998 and 2004 in Wali(2007), failed to mention or address classroom variables and the connectivity between students’ academic performance and classroom. Classroom variable is one of the neglected areas in our secondary schools, despite the fact that the success or failure of any teaching and learning process depends on the way classroom are managed. Failure to effectively manage the classroom can have an overall negative influence on the entire school, especially in terms of sound academic performance of the school. When this happens other negative consequences follow such as a dropin students’ population of the school because parents/guardians prefer to enroll their children and ward in schools that are performing well academically.
The importance of good classroom variables in the realization of the objectives of education cannot be over emphasized. Teaching and learning is all embracing involving a wide range of activities such as writing on chalkboard, discussing with students, demonstrating a procedure, supervising student’s class work, reading and marking assignments. Good classroom environment with good desks and seats well-spaced out, well ventilated, good lighting, good ceiling and roof and smooth floor enhances effective teaching and learning. When the classroom environment provides students with what they need, equilibrium occurs but when the classroom environment does not, there is disequilibrium.
The researcher has observed that most public secondary schools in the study area are over populated. In most of these schools, the teacher student’s ratio of 1:80 is evidenced. The National Policy on Education revised (2004) recommended a teacher-student’s ratio of 1:40 for normal or regular school. Besides, research has revealed an increasing rate of behavior problems among secondary school students during lessons which most cases affect the teaching and learning process in the school (Yaduma and Abdulhamid, 2007).
Discipline, is one of the key variable of a Classroom. Discipline is a function of the interaction between teacher and students that bring about self-control and respect for authority. (Ada, 2014). It entails creating and keeping rules based on reciprocal understanding limits that must not be breached. What is common in the present time are students breaching the limits, turning violent in classroom, and exhibiting extreme unruly behavior. The result is a class full of arrogance and unruly student resulting in a noisy and chaotic classroom that does not support effective teaching and learning. This situation agrees no-less with the observation of Martin and Sass, (2010), that over the years, classroom has been observed to be issue for teachers. They continued that students’ performance has been affected in schools where discipline and behavior issues are not properly handled.
Marzono (2007) also express similar worry when he said that the importance of students feeling safe at school is linked to students’ learning. He said, without this feeling of safety, students will develop anxiety and become uneasy in the classroom. Safety and orderly environment protects students from physical and psychological harm and maintained order so learning can take place. Another worrisome issue in the public secondary schools is that of teacher’s quality. Non-professional teachers’ are been recruited into the system.
A professional teacher is one that has passed the Teacher Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) professional qualifying examination. A qualified and professional teacher is more likely to change the life of the students by planting the seed of aspiration, noble goals and dreams in the heart of students and be a role model and show the way to greatness to students. A qualified and professional teacher is more likely to resolve and prevent conflict in the classroom, thus, bring about a better classroom environment conducive for teaching and learning, leading to better academic performance.
Classroom variables may influence the academic performance of students either positively or negatively. It is therefore important that teachers learn to effectively manage their classrooms for a greater output. The academic performance of students these days have given many people serious concern. Our secondary school graduates cannot defend their certificates. This could be as a result of indiscipline exhibited by students in classroom such as lateness to classroom, noise making, and so on. Hence the need for better classroom management that encompasses teachers’ efforts to oversee the activities of the classroom including student’s behavior, interaction and learning.
According to Umoren (2010), the concept of classroom variable is broader than the notion of student control and discipline, it includes all the things present in the classroom that foster students’ academic involvement and cooperation in classroom activities to create conducive learning environment. Morse (2012), stated that for effective teaching and learning to take place, teacher must be prudent in managing the learners. This involves curtailing learner’s disruptive behaviors such as fighting and noise making, close observation, arrangement of classroom learning materials, and response to students who suffer from poor sight (vision), poor reading, poor writing, poor spelling, shame, dullness, hyperactivity and poor study habits. When classroom is viewed in a wider and holistic sense, incorporating every variable of the classroom from lesson delivery to classroom environment becomes important (Nicholas, 2007).
According to Nicholas (2007), this includes creating organized and orderly classroom, establishing expectations, inducing students’ cooperation in learning tasks, and dealing with the procedural demands of the classroom. This view of classroom variable contrasts to a more narrow view of classroom variable as it deals with just discipline and control.
Instructional supervision is another technique of effective classroom management adopted by teachers in the classroom. According to Obot (2010), instructional supervision involves moving around the classroom to observe students closely, engaging students in academic activities, asking questions and employing both verbal and non‐verbal teaching methods to ensure that students a repaying undivided attention and taking more from the lesson than simple facts.
Delegation of authority to learners is still another technique of effective classroom management where the teacher delegates his/her authority to deserving students and assign them duties such as cleaning chalkboard, timekeeping, controlling noisemakers, managing learning materials, collecting assignment from students, copying lesson notes on the chalkboard, class representatives on behalf of the class (Nima, 2004). These contribute a great deal to making the classroom a conducive places in cooperation between students and teachers in the classroom is fostered. It is on this background that the study investigate the influence of classroom variables on academic performance of students in Government in secondary schools.
Influence Of Classroom Variables On Students’ Academic Performance
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The poor or low level academic achievement, high failure rate in examinations such as West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), National Examination Council (NECO) etc. and low quality students that are turned out has called for very serious concern in the society. What could be responsible for this ugly trend, even when there are well-trained and qualified teachers to teach effectively? A closer look at the learning environment proof that something need to be done to improve the academic performance of the students. A conducive classroom is very important for learning, because without the feeling of safety, students will develop anxiety and become uneasy in the classroom.
But what is prevalent in our public secondary schools are chaotic and unconducive classrooms, an environment that is highly unlikely to enhance expansive teaching and learning. Against this background, this study investigated the extent to which classroom variables influence students’ academic performance in Government secondary schools.