Background to the Study

Academic achievement ascribes to a student's success in meeting short- or long-term goals in education. In an extensive outline academic achievement refers to a person enduring performance in a given academic arena. A student who earns real genre or bestow in education has achieved in the academic field. Education confederations and schools monitor the overall level of student academic achievement to determine what, if any, changes need to be made in the educational policy (Schutz, 1994).

Success in academics is a major wish and desire for any good parent for their child or children, and though the wish or desire isn’t only of the parent but also of the loved ones most essential the government, accordingly, various factors have been put into place to aid the students in achieving much academically. For example, a conducive learning environment, a private tutor for the student making textbooks available also certain guides have been applied e.g. examining and perceiving of whatever is being taught that same day, taking of brain demonstration enhancing fruits like banana, discerning of self-reading style are employ both by student for themselves, parent and government for the student. These elements have subscribed to student academic achievement in some areas.

Academic achievements can be described as a kind of behavioural product, an end result by itself and which is expected to reflect how much the student has learnt or assimilated of what have been taught;

i.    Something must have been taught

ii. There must be a test

iii. The test result indicates how much of what has been learnt by the student

 iv.   The test result indicates achievement

Academic achievement is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student has achieved their educational goals. It is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but, there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspect is most important-procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts.

Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Student with higher mental ability as demonstrated by Intelligent Quotient tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings. Another very important enhancer of academic achievement is the presence of physical activities. Studies have shown that physical activity can increase neural activities in the brain (Kadian, 2016).

Academic achievement symbolises performance result that connote the range to which a person has achieve definite aim that were the focus of exercise in instructional background. School operations mostly ascertain cognitive aims that either apply across many subject areas (e.g., critical thinking) or consist the collection of information and reasoning in a concrete intellectual domain. Among the many facts they indicate academic achievement, there are general indicators used to gauge it. Among the countless criteria that connote academic achievement, they are very comprehensive indicators such as arrangement and affirmative knowledge attained in an educational policy more circular objected criteria such as genre or accomplishment on an educational achievement test and cumulative indicators of academic achievement such as educational degrees and certificates. All criteria have in common that they describe intellectual endeavours and thus, more or less mirror the intellectual ability of a person (Steinmayr, Meibner, Weidinger, & Wirthwein, 2016). Academic achievement plays an important role in every person’s life. Academic achievement is gauged by standardized assessments drafted for adoption purpose such as the assessment test determines whether a student will have the chance to continue his/her education. (e.g., to attend a university).

The term ‘reflective thinking’ has been applied to various affairs of life and it started long ago yet it is still effective in teaching-learning procedure. Mann (2009) stated that Dewey’s definition of reflection shares similarities with our understanding of critical thinking. Dewey had defined reflection as ’active persistent and careful consideration of any belief or form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it ends. Mezirow (1999) opined that theoretical orientation of reflective thinking suggests that as adult gauge and expand into their personal learning. They become more adaptive and are able to benefit from their experiences. Jesen and Joy (2005) revealed that reflective thinking involves not only cognitive processes, but also affective, social, cultural and political reasoning. Furthermore, Mezirow (1999) highlighted that reflective thinking; habitual action, understanding, reflection and critical reflection, constitute the stages of reflective thinking.

Habitual action is a mechanical and automatic activity that is performed with little conscious thought (Schutz & Lanehart, 1994). Habitual action is supported, analytically, within the framework of reflective thinking. It consist agilities of students that may be obligatory for student achievement. Habitual action is more obvious, whereby learning is operated and very little conscious thought is involved. Other agent that influences the students is id they understand what they were taught.

The consistent factor that projects academic achievement of students care daily actions that are associated to cogitate habits of students which include consistent reading and private studies, peer group, centrum, avoidance of subject, confident about learning, teaching techniques by teachers and amusement habit of students in respect of assimilation, these and many more habitual actions in students’ studies that directly or indirectly affects students’ achievement and subject understanding.

Habitual actions often go unnoticed in persons, exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine task. Habitual action emerges from habit formation process by which attitude, through consistent duplications, becomes habitual. The behaviour is the actual habit that you are exhibiting and the reward, a positive feeling, therefore continues the habit loop. A habit may initially be triggered by a goal, but overtime, that goal becomes less necessary and the habit becomes more automatically (Jaarsreld & Warlde, 2010).

 Reflection concerns active, persistent and careful consideration of any assumptions or beliefs grounded in our consciousness. Reflection is a part of learning and thinking, Moon (2004) stated we reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting, and the term reflective learning emphasis the intention to learn from current or prior experience.

Reflection is a construct of certain response to a situation and the encounter within those events. Moon (2004) opines that reflection is a type of thinking aimed at achieving better understanding. All the following are important aspects of reflective process.

Mezirow (1990) opined that critical reflection occurs when we analyse and challenge the validity of our presuppositions and assess the appropriateness of our knowledge, understanding and beliefs given our present contexts. Critical reflection is a reasoning process to make explanation of an adventure. Critical reflection is considered as a higher level of reflective thinking that involves us become more aware of why we perceive things, the way we feel, act, and do. Critical reflection is descriptive, analytical and critical and can be articulated in a number of ways such as in written form, orally, or as an artistic expression. This process appends depth and breadth to an experience and builds affiliations between course content and the knowledge. In the light of the foregoing, this study examines reflective thinking factors influencing students’ academic achievement.

Statement to the Problem

It has been identified that reflective thinking has the potentials to influence the achievement of students in the teaching-learning process and  part of these processes are also influenced by students’ academic performance. Education is very important in this world and reflective thinking is a tool that promotes good learning. A related question in view of these purposes and problem was whether instructional practises characteristics of reflective thinking produce alignment between these three elements resulting in an increase in student academic achievements.   

Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to examine the combined and relative influence of reflective thinking factor and student academic achievement. It hypothesised that self-reflection and academic achievement influence each other interactively.

Research Question

  1. What is the combined influence of reflective thinking factors on students’ academic achievement?
  2. What is the relative influence of reflective thinking factors on students’ academic achievement?

Significance of the Study

This study would enhance secondary school teachers understanding of the factors that can affect the achievement of students. The findings of the study would also help the students to be exercise their thinking abilities in a reflective way. It is also expected that this study would give secondary school administrators valuable insights into the influence of thinking dispositions on students’ achievement. It could also be a guide for researchers who might wish to carry out a relate study.

Scope of the Study

The research work is limited only to secondary school students in  Akungba Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government in Ondo State, Nigeria.

Definition of Terms

Reflective thinking: this is a part of critical thinking process referring specifically to the process of analysing and making judgements about what has happened.

Secondary Schools: Secondary school is a school which provides education to students between the age of 11- 18, after primary school and before higher education.

Achievement: It connotes final accomplishments of something note-worthy after much effort and often in spite of obstacles and discouragement.

Understanding: This the ability to comprehend or to perceive or ability to grasp.

Habitual action: Habitual action is a mechanical and automatic activity that is performed with little conscious thought.

Reflection: Reflection is an act of casting back a mirror image or Reflection concerns active, persistent and careful consideration of any assumptions or beliefs grounded in our consciousness.

Critical reflection: Critical reflection is considered as a higher level of reflective thinking that involves us become more aware of why we perceive things, the way we feel, act, and do.

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