THE IMPACT OF STUDENT – TEACHERS’ RELATIONS AND INTRINSIC MOTIVATION ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
One salient indicator of a child’s academic success in school is their ability to learn and retain information taught within the classroom, known as academic success. Students are involved in many important and influential social relationships within the school context including relationships with teachers and peers. These relationships impact performance within several school domains including behavioral, social, and academic arenas. We know that early contributors to academic outcomes are important because early academic achievement has implications for later development (e.g., Berndt, Hawkins, & Jiao, 1999; Graziano, Reavis, Keane, & Calkins 2007; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Pianta & Stuhlman, 2004) including later academic achievement and success and potential career opportunities. Given the importance of academic achievement, we need to identify early social relationships that can put children on a positive trajectory for long-term success.
In this age of high stakes testing and accountability for both students and teachers, it is important to examine the evidence to determine if these relationships are indeed a factor in raising student achievement. Advocates for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act assert that the way to improve student achievement is to focus on test scores. However, learning is a process that involves cognitive and social psychological dimensions, and both processes should be considered if academic achievement is to be maximized (Hallinan, 2008).
An extensive examination of the variables that impact learning should include studying the factors that impact students’ attitudes regarding school and the relationships they form with their teachers. Two arguments can be made for the identification of these factors. First, if students like school they reap important social advantages such as building friendships, gaining respect for peers and adults, and learning social skills. Second, if students like school their academic performance is enhanced (Hallinan, 2008). Regardless of if a teacher-student relationship is close or fraught with conflict, that relationship seems to both contribute to, and be an indicator of, a child’s adjustment to school (Pianta & Stuhlman, 2004).
Similarly humans are driven by a mechanism called motivation. What we think and why we behave as we do is generally described as motivation. Adams (2002) claims that in an achievement setting someone would be concerned with motivation if he were to ask , for example , why some students persists to tasks completion despite difficulty while others give up at the slightest provocation or why some students set such unrealistically high goals for themselves that failure is bound to occur.
According to Maclean (2006) teachers often believe some students have no motivation. There is no such thing as an unmotivated student. Every young person has a motivation mindset, but some have more learning focus profiles than others . teachers need to accept that all students have some form of motivation and the challenge is to try to “tune in” to what motivates students especially intrinsic motivation.
Motivation has been seen recently as a key aspect of emotional intelligence covering the marshalling of feelings of enthusiasm, confidence and persistence (Coleman, 1996). Rabideau (2009), said motivation can be defined as the driving force behind all the actions of an individual. The influence of an individual’s needs and desires both have a strong impact on the direction of their behavior. Motivation is based on your emotion and achievement related goals. He went further by distinguish between the different forms of motivation which include extrinsic, intrinsic, and physiological and achievement motivation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Oladele (2009), some of the problems encountered by students in their academics are due to some salient teachers factors which include teacher inapproachability, poor student- teacher relationship, hatred from teachers ., negative name calling or labeling of students , teacher’s package of his subject and lack of belief in student’s ability to excel. He further stated that this is why some students often find it difficult to move closer to their teachers in the teacher and learning environment.
Similarly adolescents in the school setting need to be motivated if they would achieve high academic performance. Teachers , who are in the habit of motivating their students get the benefits of it because those students motivated in terms of rewards such as praises and using other pattern of motivation outperform others who are not motivated intrinsically.
This study will therefore attempt to examine the relationship between teacher- student relationship, intrinsic motivation and academic performance of students in secondary schools. This is because these two variables are central element in the academic performance and academic success of children even adults in any educational settings.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study will be to examine the relationship between teacher-students relationship, intrinsic motivation and academic performance of secondary school students in Lagos Metropolis.
Other specific objectives of the study will include:
- To ascertain whether intrinsic motivation influences teaching learning outcome
- To investigate whether teacher- student’s relationship influences student academic achievement.
- To find out if there is significant difference in the performance of students who are motivated intrinsically and those who are not.
- To find out if there is significant gender difference exist in the performance of students who are motivated intrinsically.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Is there a significant relationship between teacher- student relationship and academic performance?
- Is there a significant relationship between intrinsic motivation and academic performance?
- Is there a significant relationship between teacher’s personality and academic performance?
- To what extent will teacher’s personality significantly influence student’s academic performance?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
- There will be no significant relationship between teacher-student relationship and academic performance.
- There will be no significant relationship between students’ intrinsic motivation and academic performance.
- There will be no significant relationship between teacher’s personality and academic performance.
- There will be no significant difference in the performance of students who are intrinsically motivated and those who are not.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefits to parents, teachers, counselors.
It is significant for several reasons, firstly it will provide students will see why it is important for them not to only like their subjects but also like their teachers because without a cordial and friendly situation their academic dreams may not be fully realized.
Teachers would be made to see the role of their relationship with students play in promoting or inhibiting student’s academic performance and academic success, also they will learn to use cordial relationship with students to motivate them which will enhance their learning outcomes.
Parents would also learn how to create healthy relationship between their children and their children by encouraging both parties to be friendly with each other since one cannot do without each other because the achievement of one depend on the other.
Guidance and counselors would also see this study as beneficial and good because the recommendation will assist them to counsel people especially the student who are low academic achiever due to poor or no motivation from their parents or teachers.
Other researchers carrying out relevant topics would find this study useful.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on issues relating to teacher-student relationship, intrinsic motivation and academic performance. It will be restricted to senior secondary school in Lagos Metropolis.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Teacher-students’ relationships: this implies the pattern of relation between the teacher and students in the teaching and learning environment and how such relation methods influence learning. In this study teacher’s interaction with students will be considered in term of directing questions /activities to students, allowing them to participate in the teaching and learning process entertaining their questions / opinions, answering their questions and providing their appropriate punishment.
- Intrinsic motivation: this refers to motivation to engage in an activity for its own sake, interest and enjoyment. When we get feeling satisfaction during rather than after an activity.