Background of the Study
The importance of experienced and qualified teachers in schools has been highlighted by many researchers (Akinleye, 2001; Ogundare 2001; Commeyras, 2003). Researchers have also given different opinions about teachers teaching experience and qualification on students’ learning outcomes in schools (Al-methen, 1983; Schuler, 1984; Waiching, 1994; Ijaiya, 2000; Akomolafe, 2001).
Their arguments centred on the fact that teachers experience and qualification improves teaching skills while pupils learn better at the hands of teachers who have taught them 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 perception of their teaching objectives was significantly more subject-oriented than was that of first-year teachers. Hence, effective teaching could be measured by the level of a teacher’s subject matter competence which Mullens (1993) regarded as a prime predictor of student’s learning. However, teachers’ theories about teaching are being guided by their previous experience as learners and as teachers (Waiching, 1994). The importance of teachers experience and qualification in schools has been argued as being necessary for school effectiveness (Zaku, 1983). This suggests that many experienced and qualified 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 (1998) 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. In terms of students’ learning outcomes, Blaug (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). Schultz (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 results of the system’s activities. According to him, the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is, changes in the 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 noncognitive skills that are learned by students. Hence, Sheehan (1973) remarked that education yields benefits which are ‘consumed’ over a long period (the life-time of the educated person). As such, education is an end in itself irrespective of any future benefits. Lord (1984) supported these views and enumerated four major areas of measuring output in education. These include the assessment by the teacher; standard examinations as a measure of educational output; other standardised 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 in Kenya. According to them “the quality of output is equated with students’ examination performance.” They argued that if the average examination performance in one school is higher than in another, the quality of output of the first is considered to be higher than that of the 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 leavers. As a measure of students’ learning outcomes, examination occupies an important position in the Nigerian educational system as a measure of quality. Although the SSC examinations has replaced the WASC and GCE examinations in Nigeria, it still uses the GCE ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards as its norms since it was pitched between the ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards (Salami, 1992). The pattern of grading candidates’ scores in the 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 D7 and E8 while while the failure grade was represented by F9. It needs to be mentioned however, that the distinction and credit grades are the only requisite qualifications for admissions\ into universities in Nigeria and candidates must have at least five credits in five subjects including English Language in order to qualify for admission (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB 2002). 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 (Dunkin, 1997; Rice, 2004; Bauer, 2005). In measuring teachers’ effectiveness, Stiggins and Duke (1990) suggested three parallel evaluation systems.These include an induction system for novice 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 achievement to judge teacher 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 teachers’ teaching experience in secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state, Nigeria and determine whether teachers teaching experience and qualification had any relationship with students’ learning outcomes.
There are hues and cries among stakeholders in education over the growing rate of failure and subsequent drop-out in the Nigeria secondary schools in recent times. The growing failure rate could be noticed in the yearly decline in students’ performance in the Senior School Certificate (SSCE). Stakeholders in education blamed students for general unpreparedness to study as one of the major causes of students’ failure. Teachers were also blamed for lack of dedication to their jobs which has inadvertently affected the academic performance of student. Whoever to be blamed, the general view is that high quality teachers are education’s best resources and assets (Ayodele 2004).
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.
Ehindero and Ajibade (2000) asserted that “students, who are curious stakeholders in educational enterprise, have long suspected and speculated that some of their teachers lack the necessary professional qualifications. That is, skills, techniques, strategies required to communicate concepts, ideas, principles in a way that would facilitate effective learning.” They believed that these deficiencies contribute significantly to the growing rate of failure and subsequent drop out of students in secondary institutions. These observations by stakeholders necessitate the need to investigate the effects of teachers characteristics such as professional qualification, teaching skill and techniques necessary for teaching and learning in secondary schools on academic performance of students
Adeogun (2001) found that the quality of the education system depends on the quality of teachers and a school without resources it is impossible to achieve the goals and objectives of the education system. Adesina (1980), also revealed that teachers are the primary indicator and determinant of the quality of education. Teachers are very professional, dedicated needed in schools. It is known that there is a relationship between teachers’ knowledge of what they teach. Thus, the ability to teach effectively depends on the knowledge of teachers and knowledge that exists in many forms. Teacher effectiveness will be hampered if the teachers are not familiar with the body of knowledge that is taught and teacher effectiveness is specific. The implication of this for teachers is that teachers must thoroughly understand the content of what they teach. Teachers who master the material will pass a language more clearly and provide better explanations than 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 Kaunchak (2001), positive attitudes of teachers is essential for effective learning. Fisher et al (1980) stated that the high level of learning that will take place on learners when they are happy going themselves and the material being studied when teachers use instructional time effectively. Ways to deal with student teachers affect students’ attitudes toward school and academic performance of students. How can students ‘perceptions of their teachers’ attitudes while teaching in the classroom will be measured in this study. Qualifications, Experience and Skills Teaching Teaching is a registered variable has an effect on students’ academic performance.
Ehindro 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 professional qualifications. In a sense, skills, techniques, strategies are needed to convey concepts, ideas, principles are a means to facilitate effective learning. They assume that these deficiencies contributed significantly to growth failure and drop-out students in middle school. 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).
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 Zambian female students in OLevel 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; Musau etal., 2013). Furthermore, a study done by Feng and Sass (2010) found that in‐service professional development for teachers has little effect on their ability toincrease the achievement gains of students. Aaronson et al. (2007) found little or no difference in teacher effectiveness among Chicago Public School teachers with different college majors.
Statement of the problem
A common observation of the school system in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State, Nigeria would show a large number of young teachers with few years of teaching experience. Many of these teachers seem to lack the much needed experience and adequate qualification that could bring about effective teaching and learning in schools in terms of teaching methodology (Ekiti State Ministry of Education, 2002). Hence teaching tends to be done in abstract while learning is perhaps by rote memory. The issue of whether or not a relationship existed between teachers’ teaching experience and qualification and students’ learning outcomes in schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State, Nigeria constituted the problem of this study.
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