Background of the Study
This study investigated the importance of teachers teaching experience and academic performance qualification as predictor for secondary school students academic performance in Computer Science in Ikere Local Government Areas of Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Education is a continuous process in life. It is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of people. It is also the process by which the latent abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and the society (Olaniyonu, Adekoya and Gbenu, 2008). Meaningful improvements in the quality of education that students receive are determined by the quality of teachers (Anderson, 1991). Therefore quality teaching and learning are sine qua non for students‟ academic performance. For a nation that wants to achieve rapid technological development, academic performance in Computer Science and English Language is central to the attainment of this laudable goal. Computer Science is the foundation science subject for the other science subjects like, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Additional Computer Science.
Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, facilities are trained and skills are developed. Secondary schools not only occupy a strategic place in educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. It is rather unfortunate that secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standards expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistent poor performance of secondary school students.
The controversy over the falling standards of education in Nigeria has been on the front burner of national discourse over the past decades and it is apparent that the debates will continue for some time to come. Poor academic performance has been linked to several factors which include high teacher-student ratio, shortage of good teaching staff, poor quality of educational leadership, political instability and politicization of educational programmes, automatic promotion, age of the learners, and inadequate essential physical facilities and equipment (Ewetan, 2010; Akinwunmi and Odunsi, 2008).
Nwokocha and Amadike (2005) academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing the educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient to maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations. The pattern of failure has however, shown that the phenomenon appears to be higher in some schools than it is in other schools. A number of factors have been linked to the causes but more relevant is the issue of qualification and experience of teachers as well as their teaching methods. This is more important because in the business of teaching and learning, teachers offer only what they have, you cannot offer what you don’t have.
Ali (2009) observes that there was statistically significant relationship between teacher characteristics and student academic achievement. Adeyemo (2005) notes teacher characteristics influenced teaching and learning in classrooms. Olaleye (2011) establishes that there was relationship between teachers characteristics and pupils performance.
Gravestock & Gregor-Greenleaf (2008) states that the explanations for good or poor student’s academic performance have been quite exhaustive yet controversy still exists among scholars as to what contribute singly or jointly to students’ poor performance. The teacher characteristics found to be dominant in cross-country studies are related to; qualification, experience, attitude and personality. Akinsolu (2010) asserts that availability of qualified teachers determined the performance of students in schools. Coonen (1987) emphasizes that teachers involved in in-service training were more effective in classrooms as compared to teachers who had not undergone training. Wirth & Perkins (2013) indicate that teacher’s attitude contributed significantly to student attention in classrooms whereas Adesoji & Olatunbosun (2008) illustrates that student attitude was related to teacher characteristics. This therefore meant that teacher’s attitude directly affected students’ attitude.
On teacher personality, Adu & Olatundun (2007) contend that teachers’ characteristics are strong determinants of students’ performance in secondary schools. Scholars and researchers generally are in agreement that the school variables, which include teacher administration, perform a critical role in educational achievement than other variables (Patrick, 2005). The important role of the teachers in the learning is unquestionable. Teachers have a lot of influence on their classroom practices. Teachers should have and apply specific abilities without which their influence may not be reflected in their students’ performance in the subject. For students to be able to make connection between what is taught in school and its application in problem solving in real life, the teacher has to be effective in their teaching. There has been no consensus on the importance of specific teacher factors, leading to the common conclusion that the existing empirical evidence does not find a strong role for teachers in the determination of academic achievement. This study therefore sought to investigate the influence of teacher characteristics in influencing students’ performance.
Teacher experience and teacher qualification are concepts that are often referred to and frequently applied in different educational contents. Whitty (1996) identifies professional competence which among others includes knowledge and understanding of children and their learning, subject knowledge, curriculum, the education system and the teacher’s role professional competence also necessitates skills such as subject application, classroom methodology, classroom management, assessment and recording and undertaking a wider role.
The 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 students in Computer Science, Maguswi (2011) found that lack of qualified teachers of Computer 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 investigating possible differences in teaching strategies, Schuler (2004) grouped teachers into three levels of teaching experience (3 – 6; 7 – 10 and more than 10 years). His findings revealed that experienced teachers’ perception of their teaching objectives was significantly more subject-oriented than was that of first-year teachers.
Studies done by other scholars found that teachers‟ professional qualifications and teaching experience are not significantly related to students’ academic achievement (Rivkin et al., 2005; Buddin and Zamarro, 2009; Mbugua et al., 2012; Kimani et al., 2013; Musau et al., 2013). Furthermore, a study done by Feng and Sass (2010) found that in‐service professional development for teachers has little effect on their ability to increase the achievement gains of students. Aaronson et al. (2007) found little or no difference in teacher effectiveness
The importance of experienced teachers in schools has been argued as being necessary for school effectiveness (Sander 2007). This suggests that many experienced teachers might have left the school system probably as a result of better job prospects in other sectors of the economy. However, the desire by government to engage more teachers of long years standing is perhaps hampered by the high cost of education. Hence, Adeyemi (2010) exclaimed that the more experienced teachers in a school system, the higher would be the recurrent cost of education. As such, Charles (2002) suggested the need to involve retired teachers because of their long years of teaching experience to teach in Nigerian schools.
The importance of teachers cannot be over stressed. This is because teachers play a number of roles specifically, teachers have been referred to by Adaramola (2011) as an agent of innovation for meaningful innovations, teacher’s academic qualification is very important. This is because education is a very complex enterprise.
The qualification of teachers involved in teaching and learning has a great impact on the performance of students. In addition to the teacher factors, a good or an effective teacher must be innovative, interactive, independent thinking and interdependence imagination.
An effective teacher must have passion and love for the people he/she teach especially children and your profession-which also means dedication, long hours studying, paying for further development and this happens because teaching is not only a job for living. It is also living for the job.
Adesina (2000), also revealed that teachers are the primary indicator and determinant of the quality of education. Thus, the ability to teach effectively depends on the knowledge of teachers and knowledge that exists in many forms.
Teacher must thoroughly understand the content of what they teach. Teachers who master the material will pass a language more clearly and provide better explanations that those with weaker backgrounds. Perspective of students to teachers in this mastery of the material have a significant influence on students academic performance.
According to Eggen and Kaunchk (2001), positive attitudes of teachers is essential for effective learning. Fisher et al (2000) stated that the study that the high level of learning that will takes place on learners when they are happy going themselves and the material being studies when teacher use instructional time effectively. Ways to deal with student-teacher affect student’s attitudes towards school and academic performance of students. How students perceptions of their teachers attitudes while teaching in the classroom be measured in this study are qualifications, Experience and teaching skills.
Ehindero and Ajibade (2000) asserts that students are stakeholders in education, and has been suspected and speculated about some of their teachers do not have the necessary professionals qualifications. In a sense, skills, techniques, strategies are needed to convey concepts, ideas, principles are a means to facilitate effective learning.
Obanyan (2000) says that teacher are considered instrumental to translate content standards into the subject matter in the classroom, the teacher remain a constant factor in the successful implementation of educational programs.
Ajayi(2006) found that the classroom teacher is one of the major determinants of students achievement, training is most important as a determinant of students academic performance.
On the contrary, Husen (2000) reported that increased in-service is accompanied by low achievement levels by students especially where the training is assumed to be for only teachers of low scoring students.
Obi (2000) noted that for the effective teaching of Computer Science, the teacher must be well equipped with the idea of what he or she is going to teach in the classroom. Appropriate method of teaching is also required while supporting the fact that it is necessary to be knowledgeable about a particular concept, it is also necessary to know how to impact the knowledge adequately. The teacher must know the best techniques and method of presenting his/her ideas to his or her pupils, bearing in mind their interest, needs and individual differences.
Kolawole (2005) he Stated that creative teaching requires new materials and thoughtful activities such as learning single as learning skill, procedures analysis of problem and application of generalization.
Therefore, a good teacher must have a sound knowledge of the contents, method and above all good attitudes to work. Based on the general belief that Computer Science is regarded as the foundation of all science subjects there is need to handle its teaching effectively. He further observed that falling standing in performance of pupils in Computer Science in the secondary school could attribute to the teacher’s characteristics toward its effectively teaching.
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. The 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).
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 in Computer Science (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 students in Computer Science, Maguswi (2011) found that lack of qualified teachers of Physics 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 Computer Science.
Adeogun (2001) opined that the quality of the educational system depends on the quality of its teaching staff and that a school without human resources may not to be able to achieve the goal and objectives of the educational system. Adesina (1980) also noted that teachers are the major indicator and determinant of quality education. Highly professional teachers, who are dedicated are needed in schools. It has been established that there is high correlation between what teachers know and what they teach. Thus the ability to teach effectively depends on the teachers knowledge and knowledge occurs in a variety of forms. Teacher effectiveness is impeded if the teacher is unfamiliar with the body of knowledge taught and the teachers’ effectiveness is subject specific. The implication of this for teachers is that they must thoroughly understand the content of what they teach. The teacher whose understanding of topic is thorough use clearer language and they provide better explanation than those whose background is weaker. The way the students perceive the teachers in terms of their (teachers) knowledge of content of subject matter may significantly affect the students academic performance.
A non-challant attitude of some teachers to work, has been attributed to poor academic performance of students. According to Eggen and Kauchak (2001), positive teachers attitude are fundamental to effective teaching. They identified a number of teachers attitude that will facilitate a caring and supportive classroom environment, they are: enthusiasm, caring, firm, democratic practices to promote students responsibility, use time for lesson effectively, have established efficient routines, and interact freely with students and providing motivation for them. Fisher et al (1980) also noted that high level of learning occur and learners feel good about themselves and the materials they are learning when teachers use instructional time efficiently. The way teachers outreach with students influences their attitude toward school and their academic performance. How students perceive their teacher attitudes to teaching in the classroom will be measured in this study Qualification, Teaching experience and Teaching skills are variables noted to have effect on student academic performances.
Statement of the Problem
The view of the researcher is to find the importance of teachers teaching experience and academic qualification as a predictor with particulars reference to senior secondary school in Ikere Local Government, the researcher is going to look critically into the following.
- Do we have enough qualified teacher to teach Computer Science in all our secondary school.
- The issue of whether or not a relationship existed between teachers’ teaching experience and students’ learning outcomes in secondary schools in Ikere Local government.
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