Background of the Study
Gender is one of such factors also mentioned to have considerable effects on students’ academic performances especially in Computer Science. Gender is the range of physical, biological, mental and behavioural characteristics pertaining to and differentiating between the feminine and masculine (female and male) population. The importance of examining performance in relation to gender is based primarily on the socio-cultural differences between girls and boys. Some vocations and professions have been regarded as men’s (engineering, arts and crafts, agriculture etc.) while others as women’s (catering, typing, nursing etc.). In fact, parents assign task like car washing, grass cutting, bulbs fixing, climbing ladders to fix or remove things etc. to the boys. On the other hand, chores like dishes washing, cooking, cleaning and so on are assigned to the girls. In a nutshell, what are regarded as complex and difficult tasks are allocated to boys whereas girls are expected to handle the relatively easy and less demanding tasks. As a result of this way of thinking the larger society has tended to see girls as a weaker sex”.
Consequently, an average Nigerian girl goes to school with these fixed stereotypes. Gender differences in achievement have been examined for some time resulting in a substantial body (Alao, 2012). Some of these researchers pointed out that there is no significant gender difference in students’ academic achievement and retention in various subjects while others found significant difference with either the boys or the girls performing better.
So many factors contributes to the varied conclusions arrived at by all researches. Some of such factors include campaign for, understanding and implementation of gender equality in the study area. Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and consists of several tribes with different sociocultural backgrounds and believes system, therefore, campaign, understanding and implementation of gender equality in different parts of the country varies from one place to another. Another reason for the varied conclusion is the subject on which the gender equality is being measured on. For example, there has been global concern about gender differences in students’ performance in Computer Science and some researches have been undertaken in many parts of the globe in this respect.
Although some researchers have found that there are no significant differences in male-female computer science performance at any level, most have identified gender differences (Akintola, 2012). In fact, it has been the general belief in most parts of the country that male students tends to perform better compared to the female students in computer related or technology based subjects.
Development of any nation is a measure of her development in the area of Technology. Technological growth of a nation leads to its social and economic development. In the world today, science and technology has become a dominant power development indicator. Nigeria is on of the typical examples of a nation which is refer to as developed, as a result of its development in the area of Science and technology. At the heart of science and technology is information communication technology (ICT). In fact, literacy is now being said not to be a function of ability to read or write, rather literacy is now digitally divided
Computer science is the study of the theory, design, use and analysis of computer devices. This entails knowing the computer itself, its operation, what it can do, how it can do it and why it’s doing it, these form the basis of computer studies curriculum in secondary school. Therefore, computer studies, a recently introduced subject in the colleges of Education curriculum in Nigeria which introduces students to ICT needs to be given due recognition because of its unquantifiable significance to introducing students to ICT on a wider scope.
Ensuring quality instruction at all levels of education is one of the core objectives of Computer science and these can be achieve through effective classroom interaction which create equitable chances for either of the students gender to acquire; right knowledge of the subject matter, positive attitudes, values, behaviors and have equal opportunities for participating intelligently in making rational decision for their own well-being. This implies that classroom interaction should among other things; create the desire and equal opportunity for understanding in both students’ gender when confronted with critical situations that they cannot explain in terms of their initial experiences and knowledge. The students’ desire to know is motivated by their relationship with their teachers who might be either male or female and conducive learning environment, which provide basis for critical reasoning, reflecting, questioning, and reading to find out information, and readily to initiate and carry out investigations. It therefore means that, for Social studies education to ensure qualitative instruction the classroom must be properly managed to give students equal opportunity to display their worth irrespective of their gender. Since this seems to be a yardstick for quality instruction that gives rise to increase in students’ achievement in classroom interaction, the issue of gender disparities in students’ achievement in Social Studies should be put in consideration.
Gender is a specially constructed phenomenon that is brought about as society ascribes different roles, duties, behaviours, and mannerisms to the two sexes, (Mangvwat, 2006). It is a social connotation that has sound psychological background, and it is used to refer to specific cultural patterns of behaviour that are attributed to human sexes. Gender relates to cultural attributes of both males and females (Akpochafo, 2009). Gender according to Lahey (2003) is a psychological experience of being a male or female. It has to do with personality and central components of self-concept. Unlike sex, which is concerned with, only the distinction between male and female based on biological characteristics, gender encompasses other personality attributes as roles, orientation and identity based on individual’s conceptualization of self. For instance, Singh (2010) opines that gender refers to a socio-cultural construct that connotes the differentiated roles and responsibilities of men and women in a particular society. This definition implies that gender determines the role, which one plays in relation to general political, cultural, social and economic system of the society.
In view of the belief that students’ gender may have impact on the students’ academic performance, this study will study the relationship between them if any.
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