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 social studies is by employing seasoned qualified teachers in all schools (Abe and Adu, 2013). Okuruwa (1999) found that, policy 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 social studes. 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 science and social studies . This report was in line with the findings of Salman (2009).
Studies have revealed that poor quality of teachers is a strong factor responsible for the dwindling standard of education in Nigeria. Research also indicates that the achievement gap widens each year between students with most effective teachers and those with least effective teachers. This implies that the most significant gains in student achievement will likely be realized when students receive instruction from well qualified and experienced teachers over consecutive years. Although teachers’ academic degrees and their average years of experience have been traditional indicators of the qualification of the teacher work force, research has not found the highest degree attained by teachers to be a good predictor of gains in students’ academic achievement (Hanushek, 1997).
Number of years of teaching experience has also proven to be problematic in predicting such gains. Generally beginning teachers (three or less years of teaching experience) are not as effective as teachers with more years of teaching experience, with brand-new teachers typically being the least effective teachers (Rivkin and Kain, 2003). Research has consistently found out that brand-new teachers make important gains in teaching quality in the first year and smaller gains over the next few career years. However, there is no consistent linear relationship between years of experience and students achievement after the initial three years of teaching, making it difficult to say whether there are any discernible difference among more veteran teachers for example between teachers with 7-10 years of experience (Rivkin and Kain, 2003).
Researchers agree that teaching experience is positively correlated with higher students’ achievement even though finding about its meaning varies. For instance, some studies found that years of teaching experience are a consistent predictors of higher test scores, other documents revealed a negative effect, when a high proportion of non-experienced teachers are present in a school in terms of higher dropout rates and lower students achievement score (Agbatogun, 2010). Some research studies suggest that effect of teacher experience is small relative to the effect of other desirable teachers’ characteristics such as teachers’ content knowledge, and overall academic ability (Agbatogun, 2010).
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, Igwe (1990) investigated the influence of teacher’s qualification on academic performance of students in science subjects in Kano State. The researcher found no significant relationship between teacher’s qualification and students’ performance. While Adeniji (2009), Osokoya (1999) and Oladele (2009) found out that teacher’s qualification contributed minimally to the variance with students’ cognitive achievement and Bilesanmi (1999) and Okonwa (1999) found that teacher’s experience was highly significant on students’ academic achievement in Social Studies . Coonery (1990) opined that students do not understand Social Studies when it is taught by an ineffective teacher. 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 Social Studies to teacher qualification, inadequacy of materials as well as administrative factors. In teaching Social Studies , Adesina (1982) and Fafunwa (1985) opined that with an exception of holders of minimum of B.Sc in Social Studies , many other teachers would be confronted with problem of teaching secondary school Social Studies syllabus effectively. Hence, Lussa (1985) argued that no one gives what he/she does not possess. He further said that no matter how good a course curriculum is, if we do not have well trained, qualified and motivated teachers, we may not achieve the desired goals. 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. Mkpa (1987) regarded the trained teacher as 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 s hould be able to assist Students to reach their full intellectual and social potentials. According to Adieze (1986) non qualified and non-professional teachers in teaching profession are killing the profession because they are not really teachers. He regarded them as “bird” of passage that create unnecessary vacuum whenever they see greener pasture and better prospect in the profession they are originally trained for. The comparison of students’ scores in Social Studies 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 Social Studies or not.
The differential scholastic achievement of students in Nigeria has been and is still a source of concern and research interest to be educators, government and parents. This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. All over the country, there is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria. (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government are in total agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend.
Statement of the problem
Teaching and learning of social studies depends to a large extent on teacher’s own knowledge of the content and ability to adequately deliver the instruction to the students. However a lot of variables may inhibit or hinder effective dissemination of knowledge to the understanding of the content by the students, such variables may be lack of qualified teachers, teachers’ qualification, experience, inadequate use of instructional materials among others. The major problem that the study will focus on are. Does teacher qualification have effect on students academic performance in social studies. To what is extent is the perception of teacher on students for poor performance and teacher’s qualification. Does teachers qualification have impact on student academic performance
In view of the above problem the study sought to determine the effect of teachers’ qualification on secondary school students’ performance in social studies .
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