Jss3 Students’ Attitude towards Learning Of Integrated Science In Secondary Schools
1.1 Background to the study
Learning is a process by which behaviour can be initiated for the first time in the life of a person, or an old or existing behaviour can be modified (as when a person is given correction) or an old behaviour is completely changed or wiped out (as in the case of truly born again Christians) (Enang, 2014). Learning is a purposeful, conscious and complex process which involves a permanent change in character of the learner. An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interaction between the students and the learning concepts. However, the students occupy the central role for learning to occur as learning cannot be forceful and as such the learners must be ready to learn before they can learn. Nevertheless, due to the important position occupy by students in the teaching/learning process, their attitude towards learning become necessary to be investigated upon.
In addition to personal and mental developments, students’ attitudes analysis is critical for ensuring ones access to social, economic and civic life. In the contemporary Nigerian society, greater emphasis is being placed on industrial and technological development. As a result, students are being encouraged to take up science related subjects. One of such subjects that cut across all the areas is integrated science. In our march towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of schooling. Attitude in this study is conceptualized as a mental representation or views of students, apparently constructed as a result of social experiences, mediated through interactions at school, or the influence of parents, teachers, peers or mass media. It also refers to some kind of mental representation of something, originated from past experience as well as associated beliefs, thoughts and conceptions which reflect in the physical behaviour of the students. In this study, the attitudes of the students include lateness to class, absenteeism and truancy.
The students are mandated by the school laws to attend school daily and early but some students after they might have leave the house with the intension of going to school some factors (such as fear of punishment from teachers, joining of bad gangs, hating of a particular teacher or the subject taught by the teacher, fear of reading in the class and engaging in drug abuse outside the school) may cause most students to exhibit certain attitude which may lead absenting themselves from formal school activities. According to Thomas (2017), the attitude of students exhibited by students include lateness to class activities, absenteeism and truancy which may influence their participation during the teaching-learning process and thereby influencing the students’ academic performance in integrated science in secondary schools. Another variable in this study is truancy which is staying outside the classroom during school hours by students. This attitude of students may result in various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse; examination malpractice, and sexual abuse which have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of imparting knowledge to the learners (King, 2013).
Jss3 Students’ Attitude towards Learning Of Integrated Science In Secondary Schools
However, Ma’aruf (2009) asserted that some of the factors that affect students’ attitude in school include: Poor relationship between children and parents; poor physical conditions at home; use of corporal punishment in the house; as well as lack of parental interest in the child’s welfare. Other factors which may exert negative changes in the attitude of the students according to Obe (2008) include a boring and boredom classes where the teacher is unable to manage the class or is not using relevant instructional materials during lessons thereby engaging the students in abstraction lessons, harsh teachers who are difficult to be approach by the students, an unconducive school environment, lack of writing materials such as pens exercise books, lack of recommended textbooks, and lack of other materials such as correct uniform and stockings.
The government is another major factor which influences students’ attitude. This is attributed to the fact that when government do not pay teachers regularly and most of their allowance are being withheld, most teachers find it difficult to be committed and dedicated to their primary duties of teaching. When this occurs and the students do not find their teacher in the class, the next plan of action is for the students to develop attitudes such as truancy and absenteeism. It is common these days to see students roaming the streets during school hours. Similarly, according to Shyam (2010) some parents due to the nature of their jobs show nonchalant attitudes to their wards and as such the children grow up to be corrupt and aggressive hence the parents getting nothing and giving out nothing from the children afterward.
Moreover, so many studies have been conducted concerning the attitudes of teachers in secondary school but little attention has been given on the influence of students’ attitudes on academic performance of students in integrated science. It is against this background that this study investigated the influence of students’ attitudes on academic performance in integrated science in secondary school students in Ini Local Government Area with the aim of proffering some recommendations that could lead to improvement in the educational system.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The mass failure recorded by students in Integrated science in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State has been a matter of concern to parents, guardians, government and even students themselves. To alleviate the performance of students in the subject, the Akwa Ibom State government has provided free and compulsory education and has provided free textbooks in the subject from junior secondary one to senior secondary three to enable the students to read and prepare for external examinations.
However, despites the effort of the government, there have been report of persistent failure of the students in Integrated science and these have cause serious confusion among the stakeholders in education such as the government, parents, teachers and even in the students themselves. These have raised a question “could attitudes of the students (such as lateness, absenteeism and truancy) influence the academic performance of students?” The quest to answer the above question triggered the researcher to investigate students’ attitude towards the study of integrated science and their academic performance in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to examine the JSS3 Students’ Attitude towards Learning of Integrated Science in Secondary Schools in Ini Local Government Area in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area. Specifically, the study intended:
- Examine the influence of lateness on academic performance in Integrated science in secondary school students in Ini Local Government Area;
- Assess the influence of absenteeism on academic performance in Integrated science in secondary school students in Ini Local Government Area;
- Determine the influence of truancy on academic performance in Integrated science in secondary school students in Inl Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings of this study would be useful to the following:
- To school administrators: this study examined and concluded on the effect of students’ attitudes on students’ learning thereby making recommendations which would be of help to school administrators as a vital instrument for effective school administration.
- To parents: the study would give them an insight on how and why their wards fail in schools.
- The study would also be of immense value to graduate and undergraduate students who are studying educational administration as it will give them an insight on how to handle to handle students with different attitudes.
- To counselors: the study would help them in discovery of the fundamental attitude of students that is mostly found among students thereby helping them in providing proper guidance and counseling to the students.
- To teachers: the study would help them in evaluating themselves and making necessary modifications with regards to their relationships with their students.
- To students: the study would help them understand the effect of their behaviours on their academic performance thereby helping them in adjusting or amending their ways.
vii. The study would serve as a source of data for future researchers on related topics.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated to guide the study in line with the objectives of the study.
- Does lateness influence the academic performance of students in Integrated science?
- How does absenteeism influence the academic performance of students in Integrated science?
iii. To what extent does truancy influence the academic performance of students in Integrated science?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study in line with the objective of the study
- There is no significant influence of lateness on academic performance of students in integrated science.
- There is no significant influence of absenteeism on academic performance in integrated science.
- There is no significant influence of truancy on academic performance of students in integrated science.