THE EFFECTS OF TEACHERS’ FEATURES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
The degree of education in any nation has a significant impact on the country’s development status. Any country’s throbbing heart is education. A country must feed its educational system in order to remain ‘alive’ technologically, economically, politically, socially, and to supply quality commodities. Education via great instruction is about more than just getting good grades; it is about learning the values, skills, and competences that will make an individual a valuable member of society. To achieve this goal, education must be of high quality, which Nwangwu (2000) defines as “not only passing examinations (which is usually the first priority), but also the acquisition of skills (in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains) through improved schools’ ability to facilitate and support teachers’ and students’ work.”
The primary character in the educational process is the instructor. The teacher is the most essential person in the education program, and he has the capacity to make or ruin the world’s finest educational program. Thus, education is shaped by the instructors. As a result, a successful educational system requires skilled, devoted, and properly qualified educators. In other words, instructors are significantly reliant on national targets for adequate exam preparation of students and the attainment of educational objectives. Teacher quality, according to Ingersoll (1996), is a measure of a teacher’s credentials, teaching techniques, teacher certification, teacher experience, and teaching preparations. It is a critical policy issue in education reform, and according to the American Council on Education (1999), “the quality of the teacher is the key to improved student performance regardless of the condition of the schools, the affluence of the student, the nature of the community, or any other element in the lives or educational environment of school children.” Quality teachers employ the following teaching approaches, experiences, assignments, and resources to ensure that students attain a wide variety of cognitive objectives: To ensure that our children reach the high standards necessary to live complete lives and become productive students, we must ensure that their instructors are well-prepared and highly skilled. Topic knowledge, pedagogical competence, teaching qualifications, and oral communication skills are all components of teacher certification. Shulman (1987) defined professional knowledge for quality teaching as seven (7) areas: academic subject knowledge, knowledge of teaching strategies, knowledge of student characteristics and cultural background, knowledge of curriculum materials and programs, knowledge of teaching environment, subject specific knowledge of teaching strategies, and knowledge of the goals and purposes of teaching.
Salvin (2003) noted that a good quality teacher must be well knowledgeable about his or her subject area and understand how to excite students. He must also understand how to make good use of class time and how to deal with variances in personality and learning styles. An integrated science teacher should make every effort to acquire sufficient knowledge to enable him to teach any aspect of the integrated science program’s content, and in order to be effective in the classroom, the integrated science teacher must keep himself up to date on both the content of the integrated science program and the methods of delivering integrated science instruction.
Quality teachers are well-versed in their subject matter and have the language ability to communicate that information to their students, according to research. By attending professional seminars and conferences, they are deliberate instructors who are continually reviewing and improving their own teaching techniques in order to provide the best possible instruction to their students. Reynolds (1995) discovered that competent instructors are able to complete all of the responsibilities associated with providing effective education to their students. Quality teachers are critical thinkers who understand the developmental levels and requirements of their students, who are willing to experiment with new ways to address issues in the classroom, and who are educated to employ differentiated education that takes into account individual variations. Examining the association between teacher features and student academic success in secondary school allows this study to look at the school and see if there are any teacher traits that improve students’ academic achievement. Knowing what teacher traits impact kids’ academic success is crucial for school administrators because it allows the administration to make modifications to boost student accomplishment. This does not necessarily imply that all children will benefit, but it will aid in the identification of teacher traits associated with improving the school’s general student academic performance. Despite governments’ large investments in public education, its output in terms of student quality has been found to be unequal to government expenditure. Following the observed deterioration in academic performance, attitude, and values of secondary school students in public secondary schools, one wonders if the high failure rates and failure of students, particularly in external examinations, are not a reflection of instructional quality in the schools. As a result, instructors’ ineffectiveness lack classroom engagement with students may be to blame for observed poor student performance and Nigeria’s internationally praised falling educational level.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In recent times, there is a lot of interest in the topic of teacher quality among decision-makers, educational leaders, educational institutions that prepare teachers, and those who are engaged in education (enhancing public education in general). According to Omenazu (2018) and my own first-hand experience, there is a severe lack of qualified teachers all around the country. As a direct consequence of this, a number of states have been forced to employ individuals who do not fulfill the requirements of a certified teacher, i.e., those who have not demonstrated subject matter expertise in their particular disciplines. They have not had any formal training to become teachers, and the most of them do not have any prior experience in the field of education in any capacity. A significant number of secondary schools have a vacancy rate that is far higher than the national average; nonetheless, a greater number of teachers are quitting the profession to explore other possibilities. It would indicate that the features of instructors have a significant impact on the level of academic achievement attained by pupils in secondary schools. Educational researchers, parents, and other stakeholders are worried about the causes of this performance as a result of the poor performance and low accomplishment of students in both internal and external examinations. The dismal performance and low success of kids has led to this worry.Teachers have a lot of influence on their classroom practices, this study therefore sought to investigate the influence of teacher features on students’ academic achievement in secondary schools
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the effects of teachers’ features on students’ academic achievement in secondary schools. Other specific objectives includes:
- To investigate whether teachers’ academic qualifications influence student academic performance in secondary schools
- To examine whether teachers’ teaching experiences affectstudents’ academic performance in secondary schools
- To find out whether teachers subject knowledge will impact teaching and learning outcome in secondary school.
- To examine whether method of teaching adopted by the teachers affect student’s academic achievement
1.4 Research Questions
The research is guided by the following question
- Does teachers’ academic qualifications influence student academic performance in secondary schools?
- Does teachers’ teaching experiences affect students’ academic performance in secondary schools
- Does teachers subject knowledge impact teaching and learning outcome in secondary school
- Doesmethod of teaching adopted by the teachers affect student’s academic achievement.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study may hopefully contribute to existing literature by extending the stock of knowledge on the influence of teachers’ characteristics on students’ academic performance in the secondary schools.The study is expected to serve as reference or guide for the teachers in choosing training and development programmes that will help them to improve their quality, skills, knowledge, mastery of the subject matter and also to adapt to the new innovations in teaching and learning method like the use of ICT, projector etc., all which will lead to better academic performance on the part of the students.It is hoped that this study will provide information for educational planners, policymakers and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that helps students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school teachers’ characteristics as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.
It is also hoped that identification of the teachers’ characteristics as a factor that contribute to academic performance of students in secondary schools, will spark the interest of school leaders and instructional leaders to seek to identify similar attributes that will contribute to the resiliency and academic achievement of students internationally.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study focused on the influence of teachers’ characteristics on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.The study is however delimited to selected public secondary schools in Lokoja local government area in Kogi State.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only secondary school in Lokoja local government area in Kogi State. The study also is concerned only with public secondary schools. Private secondary schools were not included in this study because they were not directly under the control of the state governments. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful. The study also is concerned only with public secondary schools. Private secondary schools were not included in this study because they were not directly under the control of the state governments.
1.8 Definition of Key Terms
The following are the definitions of some of the terms used in this research study
Academic Performance: Examination result at the end of an academic programme in the school. In this study, the West African Senior School Certificate examination result is used.
Attributes: a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
Characteristics: these are features that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably someone or something; a distinguishing mark, quality or trait.
Resources: these are stocks or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.
Teaching-learning process: a classroom situation where teachers teach the students and the students imbibe whatever the teacher is passing to them.
Teacher quality: This means a degree of excellence, especially a high degree of goodness and worth of the teachers. In this study, teacher quality refers to teachers’ academic qualification, professional qualification and years of experience.
Experienced Teachers: Trained instructors who must have practiced in the field for at least five (5) years after graduation.
Qualified Teacher:- One who has acquired professional competence as a teacher in any University or College of Education or obtained bachelor degree in education or Nigeria certificate of Education in integrated science, physics, chemistry or biology .