Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools

Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools
Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools

ABSTRACT: The study examined Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools. Three research questions and three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population for the study consisted of 2042 Senior Secondary two (SS2) students in 11 public secondary schools in Onna Local Government Area. Two hundred and ten Economics students were randomly selected from seven selected public secondary schools in the area. Economics Performance Test (EAT) and Questionnaire on Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics (QTTAPSE) were used as the instruments for data collection and independent statistical technique was employed in analyzing the data collected.

Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools

Findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between the academic performances of Economics students taught using discussion, enquiry and demonstration technique and those taught using lecture technique of teaching. Based on the findings of the study it was recommended that discussion, enquiry and demonstration technique 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.




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 the teaching process involves the activities of the teacher and the students 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 performance of the educational objectives of the nation. This statement also backs up what the National Policy on Education which stated that no education can rise above the level of its teachers, owing to the fact, the teachers select, organized, arrange and implement the curriculum of the nation. Therefore, their technique 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, techniques and materials used by teachers to teach and drive home their subject matter at the secondary school level of education is certainly a paramount or important issue in classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the learners. Discussion technique of teaching on the other hand, entails the discussion of real life situation with the learners by the teacher. It is a natural technique 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 technique of teaching becomes the order of the day for teachers. This technique of teaching reduces the teaching of the subject to mere memorization of facts and encourage cramming leading to poor presentation when need arises. This technique may not be appropriate for secondary school students.

The impact of any teaching technique is not only limited to the conditions surrounding the teaching but also the advantages and the disadvantages of a particular technique 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, as there is no standard teaching technique; the various teaching techniques overlap in definition and application; none being mutually exclusive although researchers often delineate several teaching strategies. There is a radical departure from the direct teaching model in which the teacher engages students to learn. 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’ technique 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 technique technique in Onna 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  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 technique 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. Most students learning occurs through observing others. This paper attempts to elucidate the concept of technique of teaching, and empirically establish its effectiveness on students’ performance in Secondary School. The discussion technique has been widely accepted and recommended by some educators as the good technique of teaching in secondary schools (Phipps & Osborne, 2012).

The discussion technique is the technique 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 and 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 institution 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 examine the teaching technique 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 technique and can be seen to be one of the causes of poor academic performance in Economics.

From the foregoing, there is a strong indication that academic performances of Economics students are a correlates of teaching technique 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 Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools.

Teaching Techniques and Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Secondary Schools

1.3       Purpose of the Study

1.4         Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be significant in the following ways:

i. Curriculum designers in developing curricular for Nigerian teachers of tomorrow which will help equipped them with knowledge on what type of techniques to use for instruction.

ii          It will enhance innovative thinking, creativity and resourcefulness among teachers as they will have to think of selecting relevant instructional technique for their lessons. Findings may also provide the teachers with a feedback on the teaching competences in most commonly used teaching techniques as a basis for improvement in their instructional practice so that they can enhance performance.

iii         The findings of this study will assist the Ministry of Education in providing teaching aids to support techniques used by teachers in the teaching/learning process.

iv         The findings will help students to know the level of their performance and therefore thereby becoming learning conscious towards various techniques.

v          Future researchers will use the outcome of the research as reference materials on related topic.

1.5       Research Questions

The following questions were stated to guide the study:

1.6       Research Hypotheses

1.7       Delimitation of the study

This research work was focused on teaching technique (discussion, enquiry, demonstration method of teaching) towards academic performance in Economics among SS2 secondary schools students the study area.


1.8       Limitation of the study

In the process of conducting this study, the researcher was confronted with different problems which threatened the successful completion of this study. Prominent among these problems will include: insufficient time frame allocated for the completion and submission of the research report and insufficient finance to process and purchase necessary materials required by study.

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms were operationally defined:

Academic Performance:       This is the level of performance by a student in an Economics class that is measured by the scores of the students in a continuous assessment and examination.

Discussion Technique of Teaching: This is a technique of teaching which implies the participation of students in the process of raising of issues of their own, contributing ideas, asking questions and seeking solutions based on the study and drawing conclusion under the teachers’ guidance.

Economics:     This is one of the subjects taught in secondary schools from SS1 to SS3.

Enquiry Method:  This the method of teaching which involves the probing of students by the teachers for the students to get information for themselves.

Demonstration Method: This is an act of displaying and showing how something works and parts thereof.   

Lecture Technique: This is a technique of teaching which involves exposition of ideas by the teacher on what he/she thinks they should know.

Teaching Technique: Is a set of teaching procedures to follow in delivering our lessons.

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