RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND SECONCARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHIKUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE
This project work is design to investigate the “Relationship between Learning Environment and Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State”. On the basis of this, four research hypotheses were formulated and tested. A total of one hundred (100) copies of questionnaire were distributed to one hundred (100) sampled students from five (5) different schools to elicit their responses. The instrument used in the study was questionnaire, the Chi-Square statistics was used to analyze the data collected from respondents. The findings include the following; that there is a significant relationship between facilities in the learning environment and students’ academic performance in secondary school; That there is a significant relationship between teachers’ attitude to work and students’ academic performance in secondary schools; That there is a significant relationship between students’ attitude to learning and their academic performance in secondary schools; That there is a significant relationship between principals’ leadership styles and students’ academic performance in secondary schools. Moreover, in all findings; the table shows that there are relationships in all. Based on these, findings recommendations were made that the government should inject more funds into the educational system; parents should show active interest in their children’s education by providing them with rich instructional materials and also make the home environment conducive for learning by ensuring home work habit, parental support and guidance, intellectual stimulations etc
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the bedrock of the development of any nation. This is the reason that a government invest heavily in the education of her citizens. Secondary education, a sub set of the educational level, is very necessary in human capital formation. It is the very supply base from which tertiary institutions draw their major (Clientele) students for admission into their different programmes. It therefore presupposes that the provision of qualitative education is the sine qua non for the attainment of the goals of secondary education. Nevertheless, to attain this goals the learning environment must take a proper outlook for the furtherance of the overall educational objectives.
Learning environment is one of the easiest to understand. The influence are obvious in nature and comprise such things as the lighting , flooring, furniture, architecture and can also encompass space accessibility and cleanliness, as well as interior colour schemes. The school physical learning environment can convey non-verbal, by either welcoming or discouraging and valuing or disrespecting. (strange and Banning, 2001) Graetz and Goliber (2003), summarized research that links lighting to psychological arousal, overheated space to hostility, and density with low student achievement. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the usage of space to eliminate negative factor. The school learning environment should be well structured, organized, studied and well managed for the attainment of the secondary school education goals and to enhance students academic performance.
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, ministry of education, parents, teachers and even student themselves the quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective co-ordination of the school learning environment. The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students and the learning process, poor highlight, noise, high level of carbondioxide in classroom, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. It has been observed that poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems leads to poor health among students as well as teachers, which lead to poor performance and higher absentee.
These factors can adversely affect students behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers and poor learning attitude among student. For education in the secondary school to be effective the environment needs to be conducive for learning, allowing the student space and time to interact within the learning and teaching process. Creating and maintaining stimulating learning environment can be achieved through effective classroom organization, interactive and a whole display of climate of innovation.
The school learning environment is a well structured, organized and planned place or setting where teaching and learning occur. The place or setting can be in the classroom situation, library (school library and classroom library), school laboratory where experiment and practical works are carried out by students, technical workshop etc.
Thus, the school or learning environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed. Consequently, Joseph (1998) outlines four (4) components that constitute meaningful learning in learning environment.
i. Curriculum that is Relevant:
Students must find relevance in the curriculum so that they can see how it connects with their lives. The relevance of the curriculum to student will help to stimulate their interest in the learning environment
ii. Instructional Strategies:
Students in the learning environment learn best when they have to think deeply about the subject under study
iii. Teacher Motivation:
A teacher’s attitude toward the learning greatly influence the student’s attitude towards the subject and learning.
iv. Class / Hall:
Setting up a classroom/Hall in environment that is pleasant, friendly and conducive to learning will certainly help promote learning.
In the view of Akpojivi (2008), Academic performance mean the level of degree of statement, a student may perform poorly or excellently according to his ability, potential and interest. Academic performance is the outcome of education, the extent institution has achieved their educational goals.
Consequently, there are factors affecting student’s academic performance in learning environment. Danesy and Okediran (2002), learning environment that is not free of barriers or noise, gas, smoke, pollution and so on can constitute health hazard, which in turn affect or reduce student’s concentration in learning environment where by affecting their academic performance . Markets and garages located near schools have always posed a threat to student’s academic performance. Noise and pollution from these sources have always endangered student life and concentration.
Other factors according to Danesy (2002), complementing environment and socio-economic factors to produce high academic achievement and performance include good teaching, counseling, good administration, good building. Dilapidating buildings, lack of mental stimulating facilities that is characterized with low or no sitting arrangement will also be destructive. Danesy, however, lamented that the innovation environment do stimulate head start learning and mental perception, not only that, it has also been proved that students that comes from stimulative environment with laboratory equipment or those that are taught with rich instructional aids, pictures and allowed to demonstrate using their functional peripheral nerves like eyes, hands and sense of taste performed better than those trained under theoretical and canopy of abstraction.
1.2 Statement of Problem
It has been observed by most undergraduate students during their teaching practice and practicum exercise that the learning environment in secondary schools are characterized with dilapidated classrooms, equipment and facilities which have effect on students’ academic performance. Some of the classrooms are over populated with students beyond the normal capacity of the classroom, in this case, the teachers find it difficult to communicate to large population of students and move freely due to lack of space in the classroom.
Students have poor sitting arrangement due to over congested students in the sitting chair in the classroom. Moreover, the attitude, motivate, and interest exhibited by learners in learning environment has constituted a lot of problem, such as his readiness to learn, his entry behavior, is he/she interested in what he/she is expected to learn, motivation, general intelligence could have effect on students’ academic performance in the learning environment.
What then is the relationship between learning environment and secondary school students’ academic performance in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions have been raised to guide the study;
- Is there any relationship between facilities in the learning environment and students’ academic performance in secondary school?
- Is there any relationship between teachers’ attitude to work and student academic performance in secondary school?
- What is the relationship between students’ attitude to learning and their academic performance in secondary school?
- Is there any relationship between principals’ leadership styles and students academic performance in secondary schools?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
- There is no significant relationship between facilities in the learning environment and students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
- There is no significant relationship between teachers’ attitude to work and students’ academic performance in secondary schools
- There is no significant relationship between students’ attitude to learning and their academic performance in secondary schools.
- There is no significant relationship between principals’ leadership styles and students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
1.5 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between learning environment of secondary school students’ academic performance in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. However, the specific purpose of this study is stated as follows;
- To investigate the relationship between facilities in the learning environment has affected students’ academic performance.
- To find out how teachers’ attitude to work in the learning environment have affected students academic performance.
- To ascertain the relationship between the students’ attitude in the learning environment and their academic performance
- To what extent principals’ leadership styles in the learning environment have on students’ academic performance.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The result of this research will be beneficial to the following; parents, teachers, students, various tiers of government, curriculum planners and examination bodies.
To the parents who will see vividly the need to motivate the students by providing them with rich instructional materials and also make the home environment conducive for learning by ensuring home work habit, parental support and guidance, intellectual stimulations. Parents motivation has the highest assessment while facilities provided has the least.
However, the teacher in education will see the need to change their attitude, mentality and instructional method used in teaching students, so as to enhance their academic performance. In the same vein, students will change their attitude, motive, and interest in the learning environment to a more positive and constructive attitude such as their entry behavior, readiness to learn, interest in what they are expected to learn, motivation, general intelligence which will in turn have effect in their academic performance.
Again, various tiers of governments which include the federal, state and Local government will be more motivated to create an enabling and conducive learning environment in the secondary institution by building new classrooms, halls, laboratories as well as rehabilitation of the old dilapidated ones. Also by motivating the teachers by prompt payment of their salaries, giving of incentives, remunerations, award scholarship to students so as to tackle the problem of socio-economic factor.
Lastly, the secondary school curriculum planner and examination bodies will see the need to reconstruct most subjects of study in the secondary school programme or curriculum so that it will be relevant to the students.
The scope of this study focuses on the relationship between learning environment and secondary school students’ academic performance in some selected schools in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study is limited to five (5) secondary schools in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
- Relationship: The way in which two or more people or things are connected or state of being connected
- Learning Environment: It refers to the diverse physical locations, context, and cultures in which physical locations, context and cultures in which students learn. In this context, is the school environment where teaching and learning occurs.
- Secondary School Students: It refers to the learner’s in the secondary schools usually between the age s of 12 and 18 years.
- Academic Performance: The level of attainment of a student in his subject of study. The grade or score in their respective subject of study.
- Local Government Area: It is the third tier of government, Created to make the people feel the impact of the government.