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TEACHER PREPARATION, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EDUCATIONAL DISTRICT IV, LAGOS STATE
The study attempted to examine the relationship between teacher preparation, professional development and students’ academic performance in selected secondary schools in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. In the study, relevant and related literature was reviewed under sub headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of the respondents’ opinions, with the use of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. In this study, two hundred respondents were selected randomly through the application of the stratified random selection method to represent the entire population of the study.
Five null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient tool at 0.05 level of significance. Results indicate that: a significant relationship exists between teachers’ mastery of content and students’ academic performance in the school, a significant relationship exists between teachers’ teaching method and students’ academic performance, teachers’ educational qualification had a statistically significance relationship with students’ academic performance, there is a significant relationship between teachers’ years of teaching and students’ academic performance and it was revealed that a significant relationship exists between teachers’ attitude and students’ academic performance. The following recommendations were made by the researchers at the end of the study, teachers should always endeavour to teach well in the school, knowing that, they are the people that are responsible for the moulding and changing the characters of the children in the school. and students should be responsive to their teachers' instruction.
1.1 Background to the Study
Before one becomes a teacher, a studious stage is passed through. For instance Uzor (2006) agrees that a teacher passes through the teacher-training college or the University to become a trained teacher. According to Uzor, the essence of a teacher going through rigorous teacher-education or training, is to fortify or arm him/her with the skill, the ability and expertise that are inherent in the teaching process. As Onyeji (2007) puts it, teachers are specially trained in order to acquire the skill of teaching (i.e. mastery of content) and (mastery of methodology). The teacher, who is trained and experienced, equally knows how to manage the classroom and how to deliver the objectives of what is taught in the classroom. At any stage or school level, a teacher requires to acquire cognate experience and training to effectively deliver the good appropriately as a professional.
The teacher occupies a very important position in any school system. According to Akande (2005), teachers’ work is very crucial because without the teacher, there will be no president, the governors, senators and illiteracy would have covered the whole earth. With the teacher, there is enlightenment, knowledge and civilization in the world. No nation can rise above its teachers. Therefore, the teaching profession is important because it is the job that produces educated and learned people for the development of the society (Wuji, 2005).
For the teacher to effectively handle any subject well and effectively, preparation is needed. This could be in terms of reading through what is to be taught, writing note of lessons, doting appropriately all ‘it’s and all ‘it’s, in order to deliver the lesson and for the students to maximize the objectives of what has been taught. According to Arinze (2004), effective teacher preparation comes as a result of previous professional development the teacher had undergone. This culminates from the strict education the teacher has received which had helped him to master the nitty gritty of the arts of teaching and classroom management (Greenfield, 2006). Greenfield observes that both the preparation and professional development of a teacher give the teacher the impetus and academic authority to effectively teach in the classroom and by extension, the effective learnability of the students. Greenfield is of the opinion that effective teaching as a result of preparation and professional development result in effective students’ academic achievement in any subject-matter, at any school level (primary, secondary and tertiary institutions).
A teacher gets prepared to teach by getting professionally developed. For instance Arisekola (2007) opines that, there are some stages of preparing or developing a teacher to get him ready for the classroom job of teaching and learning. At the primary school, the teacher receives the Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) to teach at the basic level, for the secondary school, the teacher receives the degree or certificate of Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A.Ed); or Masters in Education (M.Ed), while for the tertiary institution, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree is required for the teacher to effectively teach. The above degrees or certificates enable the teacher to carry out the teaching work without let or hindrance, and for the students to learn with high academic achievement (Nkemjika, 2000).
A teacher needs to be developed professionally through the teacher-educational programmes that are available in the Nigerian higher institutions. According to Lawal (2002), a teacher is said to be effectively developed and professionally competent when he/she is specifically trained or educated in order to train others (the learner(s). Not only knowing how to educate the learner(s), the teacher who is professionally developed, has some personality variables that distinguish him/her from a non-professional, non-trained teacher. Leon (2004), says that a non-professional teacher is a ‘cheater’, because he does not know how to teach and as such, the learner learns poorly under a non-professional, non-trained teacher’s tutelage.
Teaching begets learning. Trained teachers who are professionally sound, produce students who are academically sound. The primary goal of a teacher is for the student to have high academic laurel and to excel in his educational career.
Adeleke (2006) is of the view that teachers’ performance is determined by the performance of the students at the end of any examination or test in the class. Highly trained, prepared, professional developed and experienced teachers produce students that are excellent in academic and characters be it at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels of any educational system. A student is said to have performed well if he/she scores 60% and above in any examination organized by the school at the end of any school year or session.
A traditional assumption in teaching has been that students require challenging learning tasks, tasks of intermediate difficulty. This idea has been disproved. Research shows that students need and enjoy very high success rates, which come only from tasks at an appropriate difficulty level that are clearly taught and readily comprehended. For example, Good and Good (2001) and Everton, (2003), found that high socio-economic status elementary children learned best when the teachers’ questions elicited about 70% correct responses, while low socio-economic status pupils learned best with about 80% correct answers to questions. They concluded that learning proceeds best when the material is some what new or challenging, yet relatively easy for children to understand and integrate with existing knowledge and skills. Another study concluded that for younger students and less able students, almost errorless performance during learning produces better achievement and greater satisfaction (Filby, 2005).
In effective schools, monitoring of students progress takes place at all levels. Effective teacher’s monitor minute-to-minute comprehension, success and engagement rates along with the longer term achievement records of every student. Effective principals monitor achievement scores for individual students, classes, grade levels. Improvement minded superintendents also monitor average achievement scores for their classes and schools, comparing them with schools in other districts and with national average (Boot 2003). Whatever level or form, monitoring of students’ progress takes effective school administrators and teachers of note to use the achievement information as the basis for modifications of teaching and or school wide improvement plans.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem inherent in the teaching and learning process, is as a result of teacher – factor. For instance, the academic performance of students are affected negatively, when teachers do not possess the necessary mastery of the content or possess poor teaching method. Also, teachers’ negative attitudes, poor personality, inexperience, poor classroom management, poor personal hygiene, poor teacher – student relationship, lack of communicative skills and poor judgments in the classroom, contribute greatly to the poor academic achievement of students in the school. Not only that, many teachers are lazy and therefore, find it difficult to prepare themselves before appearing in the classroom. This has caused them to be poorly exposed to the course materials and deficiency in the mastering of what to teach. By extension, this has caused the great down-ward trends of the quality and educational standards in Nigerian school system.
Many teachers who teach in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions these days are “cheaters”, because they do not possess the required professional skills, the required cognate experience and the training that is innate in effective classroom teachers. So lack of training and professional development, are factors militating against high academic performance by students in the Nigerian school system.
The above problems, gave rise to the examination of teacher – preparation, professional development and students’ academic achievement in some selected secondary schools in school district IV, Ikeja, Lagos
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the teacher – preparation, professional development and students’ academic achievement in some selected secondary schools in school district IV, Ikeja, Lagos.
The specific objectives of this study are amongst others to:
(1) find out whether teachers’ mastery of content affects students’ academic performance.
(2) examine the difference between teaching methods and students’ academic performance.
(3) investigate whether there is difference between teachers’ qualification and students’ academic performance.
(4) find out whether there is difference between teachers’ experience and students’ academic performance.
(5) examine whether teachers’ attitudes influence students’ academic performance in school.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the background information and statement of the problem of the present study, the following research questions will be raised to guide the study:
1. Will teachers’ mastery of content affect students’ academic performance?
2. Is there any significant difference between teaching methods and students’ academic performance?
3. Is there any significant difference between teacher’s educational qualification and students’ academic performance?
4. Is there any difference between teacher’s experience and students’ academic performance?
5. Will teacher’s attitude influence students’ academic achievements?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
On the basis of the problem stated earlier, four null hypotheses will be postulated:
H01: There will be no significant relationship between teacher’s mastery of content and students’ academic performance.
H02: There will be no significant relationship between teaching method and students’ academic performance.
H03: There will be no significant difference in student’s academic performance due to teachers’ educational qualification.
H04: There will be no significant difference between teachers’ years of teaching and students’ academic performance.
H05: There will be no significant difference between teachers’ attitude and students’ academic performance in the school.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of great benefit to the following:
(1) Teachers: They would benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study because it will give them an insight on how to carry out their jobs in the school. It will enable teachers to be more productive in doing their daily job of teaching and learning. With this study, many teachers would be-oriented in the art of teaching knowing fully well that the way they teach will affect students’ academic achievement in schools.
(2) Students: They would benefit from the study because it will help them to have the understanding that their teachers required to be an exemplary one, if his/her teaching experiences would be of great benefit to the child or the student. With the findings and the recommendations of this study, students would be able to identify teachers who “cheat” and real teachers of note in the school system. with this study also, students would be able to know that they need to be taught by trained and experienced teachers if they would put up high performances in their academic careers.
(3) Parents: They would learn that the careers of their children hang in the balance, if they are being coached by unprofessional, inexperienced teachers. With this study, parents would be able to know that there is a great difference between the academic achievement of students who are taught by well trained teachers and those taught by non-trained, inexperienced teachers.
(4) Society: The society will be able to understand the difference in the academic performance of children taught by two types of teachers (the trained and the untrained) in the school system. This is because the society benefits if the children are well brought up by a well trained teacher. Students will be well behaved apart from the exhibition of high academic achievement, and this will better the lots of the society.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will cover the teacher – preparation, professional development and students’ academic achievement in some selected secondary schools in school district IV, Ikeja, Lagos.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This study will be limited to the examination of the teacher – preparation, professional development and students’ academic achievement in some selected secondary schools in school district IV, Ikeja, Lagos. Time, finance, shortage of necessary materials and other logistics will pose a hindrance to the successful conclusion of this study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
1. Education: Education is derived from the Latin word “educare” which means to draw out. Education is therefore defined as a process of drawing out and developing the potentialities of an individual.
2. The School: The school is one of the chief agents of education. It is a formal and a planned institution with rules and regulations established for educating the young and charged with the responsibility of transmitting the cultural heritage of the people by showing knowledge and its appreciation as well as adherence to its norms.
3. Teaching: Hyman (1990) sees teaching as the art and practice of imparting to a learner knowledge, skills, values and norms that will be useful to the total development of the individual.
4. Training: This refers to giving a course of specific instruction or practice to a learner with the purpose to shape, develop or acquire appreciable habits.
5. Instruction: Ofoegbu (2001) sees instruction as causing someone to know or be able to do something. It is also giving a group of people some specific knowledge or skill within or outside a school environment through observation, discovery and experience.
6. Indoctrination: This is a process in which the learner is compelled to accept a set of ideas without questioning.
7. Coaching: This involves teaching, training, instructing or advising an individual or persons in a particular area of subject in which a student is deficient.