EFFECTS OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY

EFFECTS OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1Background to the study

The learning environment, which includes the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affects students’ academic achievement (Ajayi,2001and Oluchukwu, 2000). Hence the learning environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ achievement in chemistry. The student is often seen at home or within the school premises which constitute to learning environment where they acquire some basic knowledge of chemistry around them, living with people in the society and also contributing their own quota to the development of the location which they (the students) find themselves.

The learning environments that a student often belongs to, have some levels of relationship with the academic performance. The home learning environment cannot be overlooked. There are lots of home related factors that have negative as well as positive consequences on students’ academic performance and ability in chemistry. Educators and psychologists believe that the home provides the basic ingredients that propel the student for wholesome development. Hamilton – Ekeke, (2013) stated that when students’ grow up to school age, the home environment still play significant role in the students’ academic achievement. This is because materials, kitchen wares, home equipment, home accessories etc. which most of them used as improvisation at school in the laboratory for practicals can easily be used to enhance learning at home by the students.

Students see home as a means of a challenge mostly because of parents’ attitude like restriction, over protection, harassment, physical abuse, not providing enough money for the students’ practical work at school, irrelevance of things at home to chemistry contents taught at school, and all attributes to emotional distress among students and adolescent which consequently result to individual behavioral attitudes towards school work or activities and also study habit at home.

The level of academic performance of a student is often affected by the school learning environment. School learning environment has also been viewed as one factor that affects students’ academic achievement, Akpan (2001), stated that especially when a school is wrongly situated. The Ministry of Education, Lagos State attest that a school must not  be located close to the following areas; bus stops, market, motor park, highway noisy environment etc. when these factors are not observed, it can result in poor performance. Further, it is expected that the chemistry learning environment has the adequate learning resources most especially the laboratory where practical class often takes place.

For instance, stern (1994), comparing urban school children with rural school children revealed that rural school children tend to have lower educational aspirations, place less value on academics, and have lower academic motivation (Hu, 2003; Kannapel&DeYoung, 1999). These differences further suggest that rural and urban school children may approach their homework differently (i.e., homework completion behaviors and homework management strategies), as students’ perception of the instrumentality of the present academic tasks to obtain future goals influence their use of self-regulation strategies, deep-processing study strategies, effort, and persistence (Miller & Brickman, 2004; Schutz, 1997), and as such enhance their academic performance in chemistry.

1.2Statement of the Problem

Poor level of performance of students academically in chemistry is of greater concern to teachers and school administrators. Researcher observed that most times, chemistry teachers would have effectively taught the students with different techniques and methods, yet, the academic performance is still poor and discouraging. It may appear that the reasons for the above are as follows; the different disturbances and distractions coming from the surrounding environment of the geographical location of the school which they belong. Some of these disturbances and distractions often come from markets, car parks, cinema houses, stadia, industrial estate, shopping malls, restaurant and game centers couple with lack of instructional materials which are meant to be displayed in both classroom and laboratory. All these have significant effect on nature of learning environment made available for the chemistry and academic performance of the students. Some students even find it difficult to cope with assimilation and concentrate on what is being taught by the teacher in chemistry and personal study habit becomes difficult to develop and poor performance is often the result. It is therefore against the forgone that the study seeks to examine the impact of learning environment on students’ academic achievement in chemistry in secondary schools

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Updated: 14th August 2018 — 12:06 pm