Background to the Study
The importance of teacher’s experience and qualification in secondary schools has been highlighted by many researchers such as Akinleye (2001), Ogundare (2001), Commeyrasi (2003), Al-methen (1983), Schuler (1984), Waiching (1994), Ijaiya (2000), Akomolafe (2001). They have given different opinions about teachers teaching experience and qualification on students’ learning outcomes in schools.
Their arguments centred on the fact that teachers experience and qualification improves teaching skills while pupils learn better in the hands of teachers who have been teaching continuously over a period of years (Ijaiya, 2000). In investigating possible differences in teaching strategies, Schuler (1984) grouped teachers into three levels of teaching experience (3 – 6; 7 – 10 and more than 10 years).
His findings revealed that teachers’ experience and qualification is a good perception of their teaching objectives than that of first-year teachers. Hence, effectiveness of teaching would be measured by the level of competence of the teacher’s subject matter which Mullen (1993) regarded as a prime predictor of student’s learning. However, teachers’ theories about teaching is being guided by their previous experience as learners and as teachers (Waiching, 1994). The importance of teacher’s experience and qualification in schools has been argued as being necessary for school effectiveness (Zaku, 1983).
This suggests that many experienced and qualified teacher might have left the school system probably as a result of better job prospects in other sectors of the economy.
Thus, the desire of government to engage more teachers of long years standing is perhaps hampered by the high cost of education. Hence, Adeyemi (1998) claimed that the more experienced a teacher is in a school system, the higher the recurrent cost of education. Charles (2002) suggested the need to involve retired teachers because of their long years of teaching experience to teach in Nigerian schools. In terms of students’ learning outcomes, Blang (1970) argued that there are positive associations between personal earnings and schooling. He reported that the extension of education tends to raise the earnings of those who benefited from it (Blaug, (1983). Schults (1963) classified the outcomes of education into two categories from the economic point of view. These are consumption and investment. Cohn (1975) referred to the consumption aspect as that related to the benefits derived by students, their families and the society as a whole.
He regarded the investment component as including a variety of outputs related to the enhancement of an individual’s or society’s productive skills and future well being. In this regard, Simkins (1981) reported that output represents the immediate resents of the system’s activities. According to him, the main out puts in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals as a result of their experiences. Tsang (1988) supported this view and regarded inputs to education as the various ingredients used in producing outputs. He remarked that the output of education consists of educational effects such as cognitive and non-cognitive that are learned by students. Hence, Sheehan (1973) remarked that education yields benefits which are consumed for a long period (the life time of educated person). As such, education is an end in itself, irrespective of any future benefits. Lord (1984) supported these views and enumerated from major areas of measurement output in education. These includes the assessment by the teacher, standard examinations as a measure of educational output and other standardized tests for national and local monitoring and market research techniques. In recognition of this, Thias and Carnoy (1972) examined the influence of school factors on the quality of schools’ output is equaled with students examination performance”. They argued that if the average examination performance in a school is higher than in another, the quality of output of the first is considered to be higher than that of second. Akangbou (1985) too, calculated the ‘academic index’ of output in Nigeria and remarked that the simplest measure of output of the Nigerian secondary education system is the number of school learners. As a measure of students’ learning outcomes, examination occupies an important position in Nigerian educational system as a measure of quality.
The pattern of grading candidates scores in examinations was such that the distinction grade was represented by A1 to B3. The credit grade was represented by C4 to C6, the ordinary pass grade was represented by P7-P8. However, the distinction and credit grades are the only prerequisite qualifications for promotion into the next class in Nigeria and candidates must have at least five credits in five subjects including English Language and mathematics in order to qualify for admission (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. JAMB). Several studies have found a positive effect of experience on teachers’ effectiveness, specifically the learning by doing” effect is most obvious in the early years of teaching.
In measuring teachers’ effectiveness, (Dunkin, (1997), Rice (2004) and Bauer, (2005). Stiggins and Duke (1990) suggested three parallel evaluation systems. These includes an induction system for new teachers with a focus on meeting performance standards, a remediation system for experienced teachers in need of remediation to correct deficiencies in performance and a professional development system for competent, experienced teachers pursuing excellence in particular areas of teaching. Notwithstanding, Medley and Shannon (1994) expressed doubts about using measures of student’s achievement to judge teacher’s effectiveness while (Darling-Hammond et al, (1995) found certain deficiencies in the attempts to obtain performance measures of teachers. These deficiencies include the fact that the assessment systems do not evaluate candidates in similar job settings and performance situations. Considering the foregoing, the objective of this study was to examine teacher’s teaching experience in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria and determined if the teachers teaching experience and qualification has any correlation with students’ learning outcomes.
Teachers’ experience and educational qualifications significantly influence students’ academic achievement (Njeru and Orodho, (2003), Yala and Wanjoli, (2011), and Olaleye, (2011). When conducting research on factors contributing to under achievement of Zambian female students in O’Level physics examinations, 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 SMT subjects. 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) and 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 gain of students. Aaronson et al. (2007) found little or no difference in teachers’ effectiveness among Chicago Public School teachers with different college majors.
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