BIOLOGY TEACHERS AGE AND THE STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Background to the study
Biology is important for national development and incidentally serves as basis for advance learning of professional courses in fields such as nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and other allied courses. Biology therefore records the highest number of students when compared to other science subjects (chemistry and physics), and it is offered in secondary schools in Nigeria by both science and non- science majors. Considering the importance of the subject, the poor academic achievement in Biology should therefore be a thing of serious concern to the nation.
The teacher is the pivot on which the educational process rests. In fact, the importance and place of teacher in the education process is highly priced by all nations of the world. Little wanders why the Federal Government of Nigeria clearly stated that no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers. Thus, teachers should be provided with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and make them adequate to changing situations (FRN, 2009). It is important that teachers’ voices are widely accepted as the driving force for educational improvement and development, particularly at this time when the education system faces so many challenges and conflicting pressures.
However, whatever the influences of the teacher would be on the system of education, it can only be determined by the teacher’s quality, teacher’s quantity and teacher’s value (Abodunrin and Ogundore, 1996). This scenario calls for teacher professionalism in order to enhance the role of teachers in the formulation and implementation of educational policies in Nigeria. Nigeria needs teachers who will meet the expectations of the nation; teachers who will help the nation raise a generation of citizens whose performance will meet the international standards; a generation that will be prosperous, vibrant and peaceful. This notion cannot achieve the expected quality education without competent teachers and school administrators who are well equipped with the desirable knowledge, skills and effective operations of the education system (Wokoha, 2014). The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN, 2010), advocates that teaching just like other professions now requires that only those who are adequately prepared and regulated should be entrusted with the teaching- learning process.
Success in certain endeavours may be contingent upon certain factors. This may also be true of achievement in schooling. Good achievement in schooling could be the partial contributions of an individuals age sensitivity, cognitive, affective (attitude) and psychomotor domains. Adodo (2007) argued that one key overriding factor for the success of students’ academic achievement is the teacher age. In the same vein, Ibrahim (2000) believed that teachers’ age and exposure can go a long way to bring about pupils’ high academic achievement. It is probably for this reason, Ibukun (2009) asserted that no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers. Considering the assertions of Ibrahim (2000), Adodo (2007), and Ibukun (2009), it implies that teachers’ role in the preparation of students to succeed in examinations cannot be undermined.
Usman (2003) argued that shortage of qualified teachers is responsible for the poor academic achievement observable among the students while Ademulegun (2001) argued that students taught by more qualified and experienced teachers in terms of knowledge of the subject matter perform better than those taught by less qualified but experienced teachers. The educational analysis recently carried out in Nigeria by the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS, 2005) indicated that more than forty nine percent (49%) of the teachers in Nigeria are unqualified. This revealed the quality of teachers teaching various school subjects to the secondary school students. The teachers teaching biology as a subject in the various secondary schools would probably be among the said over forty nine percent unqualified teachers.
As important as knowledge of biology is to human beings, it appears students’ achievement in this subject at the secondary school level is becoming worse than in the other science subjects. Ibe and Maduabum (2001) argued that candidates performance at the senior school certificate examinations (SSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council have consistently remain poor, with biology having the highest enrolments and the poorest results over the years. Looking at the importance of biology to the national development and considering the state of poor academic achievement in this very subject at the secondary school level which incidentally serves as the foundation for advance learning and professional courses in fields such as medicine, pharmacy, nursing and other allied courses, the poor academic achievement observable in the biology results of the students should be a thing of serious concern to any citizen of Nigeria. The teachers’ attitude (TA), teachers’ qualifications (TQ), teachers’ workload (TW) in terms of number of students handled by teachers and the experience possessed by teachers (TE) teaching biology as a subject to the students coupled with the students’ attitude (SA) toward the subject may be responsible in part for the downward trend in achievement observed in the results of the students in the subject.
Studies on the influence of teachers age on students learning have found a significant connection between teachers effectiveness and teachers‟ age. Few studies, however, exist in literature on teachers‟ age and academic achievement of students. The reason according to Sloane & Kelly (2003) is that most developed countries such as America do not care about the age of a teacher. A study on teachers‟ age carried out in Martin and Smith (2014), teachers‟ age was grouped into three levels – young age, middle age and old age. The study revealed that middle aged teachers were perceived by learners to be more effective in classroom organization, motivation, communication and competence. On the other hand, the study of Goebel and Cashen (2010) revealed that old teachers were rated lower on teaching skills than young or middle aged teachers. In Rlley and Ryan (2009), younger teachers were rated contrary however; Dehanty (2007) found no significant difference between the ratings of old and younger teachers. This is also in line with Abrami and d‟ Appollonia (2009) and d‟ Appollonia and Abrami (2007).On the variable, teachers‟ marital status, Kong (2005) discovered that unmarried and married teachers had higher scores than those separated and divorced in the dimensions of job engagement, especially in the dimension of vigor and dedication.
Statement of the problem
The problem of Teaching and learning of Biology depends to a large extent on teacher’s own knowledge of the content and ability to adequately deliver the instruction to the students. However a lot of variables may inhibit or hinder effective dissemination of knowledge to the understanding of the content by the students, such variables may be teachers age, teachers’ experience. The major problem that the study will focus on are. Does teachers’ age influence students’ academic achievement in Biology in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State? Does teachers working experience have effect on students academic performance in Biology. In view of the above problem the study sought to examine biology teachers age and students academic performance in Biology in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state
Objective of the study
The main objective of this study is to determine biology teachers age and the student academic performance, with especial reference to Ikere Local government area of Ekiti State
The specific objective is
- To determine the influence of biology teachers age on students academic achievement in Ikere Local government area
- To find out biology teachers working experience on students academic performance
- To determine if biology teachers ages influence their teaching method
- To find out if teachers’ attitude have effect on students’ academic performance.
To address the problem of this study, the following research questions were raised
- Does teachers’ age influence students’ academic achievement in Biology in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
- Does teachers working experience have effect on students academic performance in Biology
- To what extent does biology teachers ages influence their teaching method?
- What effect does teachers’ attitude have on students’ academic performance.
Below are the hypotheses for this study:
- There is no significant influence of teachers‟ age on students‟ academic achievement in Biology in Ikere local government area
- There is no significant difference on teachers working experience and students academic performance in biology
- There is no significant difference between teachers’ attitude and students performance in Biology
Significance of the study
This study is considered significant in the sense that it will generate sufficient data useful to teachers and government that are concerned with the welfare of students. Also, it is hopeful that the study will provide data on effects of teachers age on the academic performances of the students.
Also, it will help the curriculum planners to known if teacher age is the major factors of student poor academic performance in the sample school.
The outcome of this research study create data that will help in future research. The result of the study would assist the federal government and the ministry of Education on how to improve the performance of students in secondary schools.
Scope of the Study
This research work focus on biology teachers age on students academic performance in Biology. The study covers five selected secondary schools in Ikere local government area of ondo state. One hundred (100) teachers were used for the study
This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
Abia Umuahia, Adamawa Yola, Akwa Ibom Uyo, Anambra Awka, Bauchi Bauchi, Bayelsa Yenagoa, Benue Makurdi, Borno Maiduguri, Cross River Calabar, Delta Asaba, Ebonyi Abakaliki, Edo Benin. Ekiti Ado Ekiti, Enugu Enugu, Gombe Gombe, Imo Owerri, Jigawa Dutse, Kaduna Kaduna, Kano Kano, Katsina Katsina, Kebbi Birnin Kebbi, Kogi Lokoja, Kwara Ilorin, Lagos Ikeja, Nasarawa Lafia, Niger Minna, Ogun Abeokuta, Ondo Akure, Osun Oshogbo, Oyo Ibadan, Plateau Jos, Rivers Port Harcourt, Sokoto Sokoto, Taraba Jalingo, Yobe Damaturu, Zamfara Gusau, FCT Abuja.
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