Background to the Study

Education is a process which helps individual to develop his abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive and meaningful value in the society in which you live. It is the pillar of nation building.  In order to accomplish this goal effectively, an official medium or language is required (Osoba, 1987)

Christian Religious Studies is one of the core subjects in secondary school and as well as an elective in the senior secondary schools In Ekiti State. The subject gains its root into Nigeria education system through the European Missionaries who introduced the subject as a means of converting Nigerians into white man religion (Christianity). Shortly after Nigeria independence, management of schools shifted from the hands of the missionaries to the Nigerian government. The shift affected the study of CRS such that the name was changed from Bible knowledge to Christian Religious knowledge and later CRS, in the same way series of changes occurred in its contents. With government take over of schools, there was a call for review of Nigeria education curriculum in 1983, and the curriculum of study was expanded to include Arts, sciences and technological subjects. In the review, many subjects were introduced, and the teaching of CRS was upheld among others. The Federal Ministry of Education (FME) reviewed CRS curriculum with major focus on building human values, moral and attitudes.

In a particular unit of instruction. Learning outcomes according to Obanya (2004) are statements that describe significant and essential learning which learners have acquired and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or program. The desired or expected learning outcomes of CRS study is on the attainment of ethical and moral behavior of school pupils, in other words, building up the moral character of an individual using example of Christian religion values rather than mere precepts. The main aim of including CRS into Nigerian education curriculum therefore is to advance Christian moral virtues in the lives of school pupils. Most often those desired outcomes do not manifest in some pupils’ behaviours judging from the rate of immorality observable in schools and the society at large.

Teaching method refers to the principle, science of teaching and management strategies used for classroom instruction (Njoku, 2002). It involves approaches, styles, tactics and principles used in impacting knowledge to the learner. In the context of this study it refers to class discussion used by teachers in guiding learning, and to transfer given learning content to the learner. The use of varieties of methods depends on the teachers’ disposition and wealth of knowledge. In the past, the teachings of CRS have been through a rote method handed over by the missionaries. The rote methods centered on the use of memorization, discussion and story telling approaches to mention but a few, and those methods are teachers centered which do not give learner the opportunity to participate actively rather make learners’ passive listeners.

Rote methods according to Okafor (2001) prepare the learner to achieve the cognitive objectives of the subject without due considerations to the affective objectives. In most cases, pupils taught with the rote methods end up passing their examination without relevance to the learners’ needs and character formation which the study of CRS advocates for. However, one of the distinguishing qualities of the most recent CRS curriculum is on its approach in adoption of varieties of methods in the teaching of CRS which incorporate discussion of local and contemporary moral issues without contrast to the traditional customs and beliefs. This means that the new curriculum advocates the use of varieties of methods in the teaching of CRS.

New approaches to the teaching of CRS according to ILori (2002) may result to excellent attainment of CRS learning outcomes in the pupils. This is possible in that when teachers show interest and make effective use of varieties of methods which are learner centered in teaching, learners are abound to learn better and acquire expected ethical behaviour. For instance in most schools within the area of study some negative attitude are predominant as such it seems that desired behaviour expected in the learner of CRS lessons may not be attained. When CRS teachers deploy methods which are learners effectively pupils will attain maximum experience capable of changing their ethical behavior positively. Duckin (1999)  noted that for objectives of any given subject to be achieved the teacher should be acquainted with the use of techniques, in that if good method is adopted and appropriate techniques or skills applied the desired impact of the lesson would be attained. Imperatively this means that attainment of learning outcomes requires effective combination of teaching methods.

Affective impact of CRS lesson in the lives of students is as paramount as the cognitive achievement. The learning outcomes are the major aim of inclusion of CRS in the school curriculum. The strategy to achieve the cognitive knowledge is different from that of the affective attainment. Some subject matter demands that the teacher should be current with innovations in education so as to avoid the use of obsolete or outdated methods/ resources. For effective use of methods, the teacher of CRS should consider the age bracket of the pupils and time available.

The study addresses method that offers maximum advantage in attaining the learning outcomes as stated in the objectives of the subject. Since the affective and the cognitive aspects of the lessons are equally important, there is need to select appropriate methods that shall nurture the learner’s sense of wellbeing so that the desired habits, attitudes and skills will manifest in their ethical behaviour.  One fundamental aspect of the educational process is to obtain information through some devices to evaluate a student’s over-all progress towards some predetermined goals or objectives. At any point in teaching and learning process, a conscientious attempt must be made to provide both quantitative and qualitative judgement on the learner’s progress.

This required information on the student’s progress towards the pre-determined goals, especially in Religious education, this can only be obtained through assessment. Assessment is thus an integral part of the educational process. Its aims include fostering learning, improving, teaching, and providing information about what has been done or achieved. It provides important feedback for student and teachers, and information on the education system or the society at large. It gives opportunities for evaluation of curricula and for students and for the certification of achievement. It is through proper assessment that valid certification of the student’s can be achieved. Certification through assessment brings about in the students positive effect in practical way for time and effort given to the study of a syllabus. Assessment of students at secondary school level provides also information on decision that may be taken with regard to pathways at tertiary level. Indispensable role of assessment is also seen in providing feedback for students on the quality of their learning and understanding.

Despite the importance of Christian Religious Knowledge to the individual and nation in imparting moral values and behavioural change, it is worthy to note that the performance of students in the subject is diminishing and poor (Lawal, 2002).

Poor performance occurs yearly and more students are running away from the subject. This alarming rate of poor performance in Christian Religious Knowledge has generated growing concern from various quarters, the parents, teachers, schools and the government. One is also worried because of the relative importance of the subject to education excellence and moral development, if care is not taken, the country will be eroded of its moral values and cultures if trends continue like that.

Abioye and Adekunle (1991) were of the opinion that, every subject has its unique value and importance, the uniqueness of Christian Religious Education emerges from its dual function. It is a single subject which aims at simultaneous development of the intellectual ability of the pupils as well as moral character. It also emphasizes the effective domain of education taxonomy – the domain which many seem to be silent about give less emphasis or even neglect completely. In the same vein, Okafor (1992) said that Christian Religious Knowledge helps to inject sanity into society and to minimize the turning of a nation into a police state by cultivating citizens who acknowledge metaphysical sanctions and therefore, whose acceptable behaviours are often determined not just by external constraints but by spiritual consideration.

Abioye and Adekunle (1991) described the Elementary Education Bill of 1870 in the House of parliament as being” To bring elementary education within the reach of every home, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that religious teaching must be give its proper place in a system which was to be formally approved by the state”. Earlier studies by Butler and Uren (1960) have also shown that lack of interest on the part of students make them to perform low. For example, there is some evidence to suggest that at about age 17, most adolescents reach a crisis in the process of shaping their attitudes to religious beliefs and practices and that this crisis is resolved, one way or the other by about the age 20. Lewis (1968) has also confirmed in his study that attitude towards many school subjects can be affected by a host of factors, such as student ability, developmental crisis, lack of textbooks, teachers and school environment.

According to an investigation conducted on the attitude of most secondary school students towards Christian Religious Knowledge, most students that are doing it, do it not because they are interested in it but as an additional subject to complete the number of subjects required in the Senior School Certificate Examination. Some do say, I offer it because I am a Christian. Personal ambition on the part of the students motivates them to learn. It is an intrinsic towards learning and success. While stressing the importance of interest in a student in order to attain teaching, Folayan (1980) commented that: The most significant finding of the analysis of factors influencing the choice of courses (subject—) is that more than half of respondents choose their subjects as they found them most interesting.

Oyetunji (1976) further emphasized on the training of teachers when he stated that: “The number of unskilled teachers of English in West Africa is still very large and discouragingly alarming. It is not only their unawareness of modern techniques but also their mistaken confidence in their own effectiveness which militate against their improvement”. The above shows that there is need for every teacher to be trained in his subject before teaching. In his own contribution, It has been observed thatmost students get very high marks in their schools, but performed woefully in the school certificate examination. He pointed out that the teachers score their students high when indeed the students least deserved such grades. The false sense of security so created in the students always led to their dismal performance in the public examinations. It has been found that Christian Religious Knowledge tends to be abstract in some situation and to remove the abstractness associated with the subject, the use of teaching aid is essential.

Johnson and Rising (1967) were of the opinion that successful and dynamic teacher is always searching for ways to make his instruments more meaningful. They know that the proper use of audio-visual materials may help build in students the space perception and imagination to master ideas. Teaching aids no doubt enable students to learn faster, remember longer, gain more accurate information and receive and understand delicate concept meanings.

Also, Okafor (1992) stressed the role of Christian Religious Knowledge when he noted that “It injects human qualities into their ‘humanness’ for their own good and for the social good”.

Chauhan (1979) reported that the use of simulation techniques in instruction at different levels is of high motivational value.  He further said that this was one of the most distinctive features of simulation which made it acceptable at all levels of teaching because if any teaching technique succeeds in creating motivation in learners all other problems may be drastically reduced.

Aderounmu (1989) observed that at the end of primary education, the child can neither read nor write.  This situation is becoming observable at the secondary and tertiary levels which means the problem emanated from the early education received/poor foundation in Crk which eventually leads to their poor performance in secondary schools.  I support of this, Ajayi (1977) opined that the most disturbing symptom of the falling standard of educational system in the intellectual performance of the average school leaver who after six years of elementary school can hardly read or write.

Nigerian society today like other nations of the world is undergoing through some aspect of moral decadence or moral degradation associated with world-wide development. The moral status of the society has reached to the level one could ask what role multiple religious groups play in building up moral society. The moral ills identified among the secondary school pupils have raised questions on the efficacy of religious studies on shaping moral behavior.

CRS curriculum review of 1983 included inculcation of moral values in the content in order to address challenges of moral behaviour among pupils, but the aim seems to be under siege. Scholars like Njoku (2012) attributed the breakdown in moral behaviour of the school pupils to teachers’ attitude and government lack of commitment to the teaching of CRS as some that are committed do not handle the subject well, which has made it almost impossible for learners to attain the set goals. It is against this background that the researcher sought to find out if appropriate selection and effective use of teaching methods could enhance attainment of desired learning outcomes in the pupils’ lives. The question here is: how could effective use of teaching methods help in attaining learning outcomes among secondary school students in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

The importance of Christian religious studies cannot be over – emphasized.  Christian religious studies has contributed to the well being of the society.  Teachers, educational administrator, parents and West African Examination Council have expressed grave concern about student’s consistently poor performance in Christian religious studies

Some of the primary sources of literature in this word include.  Journal of Research in science teaching.  Journal of Science Teacher Association of Nigeria and speeches of eminent educationist, one fact, which is clear beyond any doubt, is that the government and educator alike appreciate the importance of Christian religious studies.

Ehiemere, in a paper titled “Developing the source for the lower forms of secondary schools” and quoting Blum asserts that the study of Christian religious studies is more and more becoming a powerful tool in developing of nation.  Its concentration in the hand of the technologically advance countries will widen the gap between the developed nations and those who have only one chance and other subject is a part of it.

The  teaching Christian religious studies can only be result – oriented when students are willing and the teachers are favourably disposed, using the appropriate methods and resources in teaching the student with the current increase in knowledge the world over, much demand, is placed, and emphasis is laid on the teacher, the learner, the curriculum and the environment in the whole process of teaching and learning of Christian religious studies (Adesoji and Olatunbosun, 2008).

Despite the importance of Christian religious studies to mankind and the effort of researches to improve on its teaching and learning the achievement of students in the subject remains low in Nigeria.  Among the factors that have been identified outcomes in Christian religious studies are, poor methods of instruction (Osuafor, 1999) teachers’ attitude (Agbadiuno, 1992), laboratory in – adequacy (Okegbile, 1996, Raimi, 1998; Bajah, 1999 and Adeyegbe, 2005), and poor Christian background (Oshokoya, 1998 and Adesoji, 1999).

Papanastasiou (2001) reported that those who have positive attitude toward the learning of Christian religious studies tend to perform better in the subject.  The affective behaviours on the classroom and strongly related to achievement, and bible attitudes are learned (George and Kaplan, 1998), the teachers play a significant role during the learning process and they can directly or indirectly influence students’ achievement.  Teacher are, invariably, role models whose behaviours are easily mimicked by students what teachers like or dislike, appreciate and how they feel about their learning or studies could have a significant effect on their students.  By extension, how teachers teach, how they behave and how they interact with students can be more paramount than what they teach.

Student’s attitude toward the learning of Christian religious studies is a factor that has long attracted attention of researchers Ojo (1989) and Adesokan (2002) asserted that inspite the realization of the recognition given to Christian religious studies among other subjects.  It is evident that students still show negative attitude towards the subject, there by leading to poor performance and low enrolment.

The achievement of students in Christian religious studies is also reported to be causally influenced by the previous experience of the students in other areas of life. A student cannot learn Christian religious studies effectively without going through some experience in the bible (Oshokoya, 1998 and Adesoji, 1999).

Other factors that may have causal relationships with students academic achievement, particularly Christian religious studies include teacher attendance at class, instructional materials, class size and school location.

One of the fundamental problems facing Christian religious studies teaching today is the question of how current are the professional teachers.  The majority of teachers who have been employed in the past decades have been doing the same thing, the same way all along.  They have no knowledge of the current ideas and innovations that have taken place in the educational field in the recent past.  What account for this is that teachers have not been given the opportunity for re – training (Ogunbiyi, 2004).  He therefore recommended that teachers should be encouraged to go for workshop training in their areas of specialization.

The question, “Are smaller classes better than larger classes” continues to be debated among teachers, administrators and parents as well as in the research community.  However, Robinson (1990) concluded that researcher does not support the expectation that classes will of themselves result in greater academic gains for student.  He observed that the effects of class size on student learning vary by grade level, student characteristics, subject areas, teaching methods and other learning interventions.  Adeyela (2000), found that large class size is unconducive for serious academic work.

Also Afolabi (2002) found no significant relationship among the class size and students’ learning out comes.

The relationship between school location and student academic achievement in Christian religious studies has been widely reported.  Adepoju, (2001) found that students in urban schools manifest more brilliant performance than their rural counterparts.  Also, ogunleye (2002) Ndukwu (2002), Odinko (2002) and Warwick (1992) reported a significant difference in the achievement of students in urban and peri – urban areas.  However, Daramola cited in Ougnleye (2002), and Orji (1997) did not found any significant difference in the urban and peri – urban schools.

Alke (1999) described performance as a state of readiness a tendency to act or react in certain way.  A student’s attitude toward a subject is believed to affect his performance in that subject either positively or negatively.

Fakuade (2002) found that performances in Christian religious studies are important for students even at “O level”.

Shapiro (2002) found that perseverance toward finding solutions to problems, to problems was higher in children who liked the subject than in those who hated it, hence students who fail chemistry are likely not to persevere in the solution of problems.

Alkin and Dreger (1999) found that college men who dislike Christian religious studies tend to view their teachers as more impatient, not caring, dull, severely lacking in knowledge and not knowing anything about how to teach Christian religious studies.

Torrance et al (2000) found that teacher effectiveness had a positive effect on students’ performance toward the teachers subject, studies have also shown that the attitude of the teacher toward Christian religious studies do affect those of their students.  Some teacher are not qualified to teach Christian religious studies in the senior secondary school but due to insufficient or few number of qualified science teacher in the state the OND, HND and Engineers are employed to teach chemistry at the rural areas.  Students in urban areas whose parents have post primary and higher education and good occupation are likely to be favoured in relating to higher education than the children of parents who have no schools experience on only elementary with poor economy.

In urban areas, some students’ attitude towards the subject plays an important role in students’ performance.  The attitude may be positive or negative depending on individual interest.

Wilan (1999) asserted that student attitude towards attending schools, paying attention to the communication presented by the teachers, co-operating with his class mates and his teacher all those are of great significance in determining how really he learn.

Ibukun (1994) believes that, in managing education successfully there must be personnel, these personnel who are teachers must be trained and developed for a period of time.  To him when workers are trained and developed, goals of education are both qualitative and quantitative.

According to (Nwosu, 1993) the teacher is the key of resource availability through their improvising efforts and also their utilization the teacher’s ability to achieve all these represents a marked quality of Christian religious studies teaching effectiveness.

The material resources include instructional materials in terms of consumables and non – consumables, such as science equipment and chemicals textbooks, supplementary books, journals periodicals and other types of reference materials etc. The infrastructure includes the building for example classroom, staffroom and all others used to meet an educational need.

Others include the environment of the schools, field space, time and purposefulness.  These teachers have no good method of teaching and they are not familiar with different factors which influence student’s performance in the school.

Ibukun (1994) said that the personnel to be employed in the school (education) to foster teaching and learning process in Christian religious studies are those that are exposed to education process who have become modified in behaviour.

The national policy on education (1990) addresses as the effects of qualified personnel as far as expectant quality of our education is concerned.  It further stated that “there is no education system that can rise above the quality of it’s teacher” qualified teachers are not adequate in rural schools so the bulk of the school work is left for unqualified personnel to carry out.

Duyilemi (1998) said that some teachers have little knowledge of Christian religious studies practical during their school years, therefore they have no confidence to face practical when teaching Christian religious studies and result to theories always.  He also said that there is the aspect of balance of time versus the area of coverage in the syllabus drawn for the practical work to be done.  This had created serious problem whereby the student ended up having little or no knowledge of ordinary level practicals at the time of sitting for practical examination paper.

Owuamanan (1991) contends that before any subject can be taught successfully and gainfully in schools, the number of the teachers teaching such subjects must be adequate and professionally qualify.  If teachers are adequate and qualified, the school will be an educative agent.  In the process of teaching and learning, such teachers should hold positive expectation of his students.

In selecting textbooks, the intellectual abilities of the readers as well as the reading ability to the book have to be considered.  Some textbooks merely catalogue facts and concepts, some teacher will just recite and this demoralizes them.

Statement of the Problems

It has been observed generally that performance of students in Christian religious study is very low in their terminals examination, this leads to their woeful performance in Christian religious study at the secondary certificate examination.  The students in urban areas are exposed to modern the study of major path of Christian religious study that is meant to promote the knowledge and skills of the students.  While the students in rural areas have no access to do so.  This has always prevented the students to gain admission into higher institution of learning to pursue their desired course of study.

The above phenomenon has led this study to examine student attitude on the teaching of Christian Religious Study in Secondary school in Ekiti State.

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Updated: 10th August 2017 — 7:53 pm