The study investigated the Impact of Teachers’ Qualification and working experience in students’ academic performance among students of political science.
One hundred (100) teachers were used for the study and it covers Secondary School Ikere – Ekiti. Five general questions were generated and answered descriptively, while four hypotheses were formulated and tested using t-test statistic.
The result showed that there is significant difference between teachers’ qualification and student’s performance. Significant difference exists between teachers experience and students’ performance in political science. Significant difference also exists between teachers’ method teaching and students’ performance. Lastly, there is significant difference between teachers attitude and students’ performance in political science at p<0.05. It is recommended that teachers with high qualification, good experience teaching and good attitude should be recruited and allowed to teach political science.
Background of the Study
The quality of education of a nation could be determined by the quality of her teachers. The most important factor in improving students’ achievement in political science is by employing seasoned qualified teachers in all schools (Abe and Adu, 2013). Investment on quality of teachers is related to improvement in students’ performance. Specifically, the measurement of teacher’s preparation and certification are correlates of students’ achievement in science and political science. It is further reported that, teacher’s characteristics such as certification status and degree in area of specialization are very significant and positively correlated with students learning outcomes in political science. This report was in line with the findings of Salman (2009). Abe and Adu (2013) and Wiki (2013) opined that, a teaching qualification or teacher qualification is one of a number of academic and professional degree that enables a person to become a registered teacher in primary or secondary school. Such qualifications include, but are not limited to, the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGDE). The Professional Diploma in Education (PDE), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). In Ekiti State, teachers who are academically qualified and those that are professionally qualified are engaged to carry out instructional process (Ahiazu and Prince Will, 2011).
Academically qualified teachers refer to those who have academic training as a result of enrolment into educational institution and obtained qualifications such as HND, B.Sc, B.A, and M.A. and so on; while professionally qualified teachers are those who got professional training that gave them professional knowledge, skills, techniques, aptitudes as different from the general education (Edu and Kalu, 2012). They hold degrees like, B.Ed., B.Sc. Ed, B.A. Ed, and M.Ed and so on. On the other hand, there are studies that have found no significant relationship between teacher educational qualification and students’ academic achievement.
For instance, the impact of teacher’s qualification and experience on academic performance of teacher’s and the respective qualification contributed maximally to the variance with students’ cognitive achievement. Izumi and Evess (2002) buttressed this by saying that teacher quality is the most important among other critical factors like quality curricula, funding, small class size and learning situation. George (2004) attributed poor achievement of students in political science to teacher qualification, inadequacy of materials as well as administrative factors. In teaching political science. Holders of minimum of B.Sc in political science, many other teachers would be confronted with problem of teaching secondary school political science syllabus effectively.
In view of this, a teacher is someone who has been exposed to a good measure of training in a teaching subject area as well as in professional education: such professionally qualified teachers may according to the Federal Ministry of Education (2004) fall into a number of academic categories.
A trained teacher is someone who underwent and completed his education in a formal teacher training institution or in a planned programme of training. Among such areas of training may include principles and practice of education as well as being exposed to an observed period of internship either after or as part of the period of training. People who fall within this category should under normal circumstances be able to fulfill the various functions expected of teachers within and outside the four walls of the classroom.
Furrugia (1987) perceived a professional teacher as one who possesses professionally based knowledge in the theory and practice of education as well as find job satisfaction in the belief that he/she is making an important contribution to the social, cultural and economic development of his/her country. Such a teacher should equally, be able to understand students’ abilities to exploit educational benefits of the social context within which he/she lives. He/She should be able to assist Students to reach their full intellectual and social-potentials. The comparison of students’ scores in political science achievement test based on teachers’ qualifications becomes necessary in order to know if formal teaching methods has any significant effect/influence on students’ performance in political science or not.
Many teachers in sub- Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, are not able to apply modern information technologies in teaching due to computer illiteracy hence they mostly rely on lecture method of teaching ( Haambokoma, 2002). Failure to expose learners to hands- on experiences has resulted in their low academic achievement in the SMT subjects namely Political science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Agriculture. A study by Adeogun (2001) in Nigeria found that the quality of any education system depends on the quality of teachers. Review of related literature indicates that the most important school‐based determining factor of students achievement is the teacher quality (Rockoff, 2004; Rivkin et al., 2005; Aaronson et al., 2007; Harris and Sass, 2008).
Therefore, there is need to assess the characteristics of the secondary school teachers in terms of qualification, experience and teaching methodology in order to ensure quality of education given to the youths. The teachers of SMT should be in-serviced where gaps are identified to enable them to cope with the requirements of the dynamic school curriculum (Murunga et al., 2013). According to Usman (2012), a qualified teacher can be defined as one who holds a teaching certificate and/or licensed by the state, owns at least a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution and well qualified in his/her area of specialization. Moreover, Usman quotes the Pakistan Ministry of Education officials who described a qualified teacher as one who possesses knowledge of: the subject matter, human growth and development, ethical values, instructional planning and strategies, assessment, learning environment, communication and advocacy, collaboration and partnership, continuous professional development, code of conduct and skillful use of information communication technologies.
Educators, government, parents and society in general have constantly been interested in the academic achievement of students (Lydiah and Nasongo, 2009; Yusuf and Adigun, 2010). According to Adeyemi (2010), teachers play an important role in determining the students academic achievement. Researchers have never reached a consensus on the specific teacher factors that influence students academic achievement (Rivkin et al., 2005). Some studies found that teachers’ experience and educational qualifications significantly influenced students’ academic achievement (Njeru and Orodho, 2003; Ankomah et al., 2005; Ugbe a n d Agim, 2009; Asikhia, 2010; Yala and Wanjohi, 2011; Olaleye, 2011). When conducting research on factors contributing to under achievement of Nigeria students in O-Level Political science examinations, Maguswi (2011) found that lack of qualified teachers of political science had a significant contribution. Moreover, a study done by Adaramola and Obomanu (2011) in Nigeria found that lack of qualified teachers led to consistent poor performance of students in SMT subjects.
In many countries, teacher qualifications that are considered to be related to student learning have become targets of education reform. However, the nature of this reform is under debate. Some perceive the main problem to be the low academic and cognitive level of those who go into the teaching profession and call for policies aimed at attracting more capable candidates through shorter, less regulated alternative routes (Goldhaber & Brewer, 2000; United States Department of Education, 2002). Others view the problem mainly as the result of inadequate teacher preparation and call for the “professionalization” of teacher education by making it longer, upgrading it to graduate programs, and regulating it through mechanisms of licensure, certification, and promotion aligned with standards.
In Nigeria teacher qualifications have become the target of several recent reforms, such as those announced by different teacher unions (2004), the National Task Force for the Advancement of Education in Israel (Dovrat Committee, 2005), and the Committee of the Commission for Higher Education (Ariav, Olshtain, Alon, Back, Grienfeld, & Libman, 2006). The reforms suggested in Nigeria are more in line with the advocacy to professionalize teacher preparation. All suggestions thus far envision improving the candidate selection process, upgrading the disciplinary preparation of teachers, opening advanced degree Master of Education (M.Ed) or Master of Teaching (M.Teach) programs, and providing opportunities for professional development.
Given the relatively few studies conducted in Nigeria on the impact of these recommended policies on student learning, and because of the conflicting results obtained from the many studies conducted elsewhere, the study documented in this article attempted to validate some of the assumptions at the basis of the suggested policies. More specifically, the study re-examined the extent to which advanced academic degrees, majoring in the field of teaching, years of teaching experience, and intensive participation in professional development activities—all assumed to be cardinal teacher qualifications—are indeed positively associated with student achievement in mathematics and science.