1.1 Background to the Study
Instructional resources help in the provision of the physical media through which the intents of the Curriculum are experienced. They are collections of materials and equipment that processes instruction and training; such materials and equipment may be derived from the objectives of teaching and learning. They assist in putting across information and enable both teaching and learning to be effectively done. The importance of instructional materials in enhancing effective teaching and learning of Commercial subjects like Economics, Accounting and Commerce cannot be undermined due to the positive impact it has on the level of assimilation of students. Teaching-learning of Commercial subjects in schools without instructional resources such as, chart, maps, curves and graphs etc will not bring out the expected results. Most researchers have discovered the problems of inadequate instructional materials as one of the major problem that lead to poor academic performance of students in Commercial subject.
The materials being used in teaching were called instructional materials teaching aids, they are to assist the achievement of the stated Educational goals and objectives. This means that teaching aids are helping in teaching and learning and also provide help in developing similar skills in solving relevant problems in Commercial subjects for instance, students negative attitude to Commercial subjects is due to poor perception of the course; Commercial as a subject is very simple but because of lack of qualified and experienced teacher to handle the subject makes it difficult to the students in the secondary schools during teaching and learning.
The effect of using instructional resources in promoting students’ academic performance in teaching and learning in Educational development is unarguable. The teaching of Commercial subjects in Nigerian Secondary Schools needs to be properly handled. Commercial subjects contribute to the nation’s economic development, hence the need to be taught thoroughly if it is to meet the educational and economical development. Moreso, that Commercial subjects are one of the core subjects in Senior Secondary Schools and as a vocational subject, it cannot be taught effectively without the use of appropriate instructional resources (Ajayi, 2000).
Instructional materials, since the teacher alone cannot provide all the needed conditions for an effective teaching and learning, other supporting resources should be provided. Students as learners learn better when most of the senses are appealed to the instruction and use of instructional materials has added a new dimension in the positive promotion of the teaching and learning process. It provides the much needed sensory experiences for an effective and meaningful behavioural change. Instructional materials are means for improving the quality of teaching for effective academic performance of Commercial students.
Teachers today, now under rate the use of instructional resources in most of their teaching exercises and some of these materials are not usually available for teachers’ use. Most teachers cling to verbal instruction as the only way to impart knowledge. The researcher is of the view that something has to be done to change teachers’ negative attitude towards the teaching of Commercial subjects. The researcher is also of the view that utilization of instructional resources would make teaching and learning of Commercial subjects interesting and comparatively easy. This study is of the view that instructional resources for teaching Commercial subjects should be selected, supplied and be used effectively. The realization of this objective depends on the utilization principles. These principles include; the learner’s characteristics, behavioural objectives and instructional constraints.
In making use of any instructional materials, such material must be previewed that is, having full knowledge of the material, prepare the environment where it will be used; prepare audience by means of making sure that the material used will attract attention, arouse, motivate and provide the rationale and finally present which of course, could be used in the beginning, middle or end of a lesson (Tella, 2007). The effectiveness of utilizing appropriate instructional materials in teaching and learning of Commercial subjects is not void of quality instructor. In order to give quality Education to the younger generation, there is need for employment of more competent, experienced and qualified economics teachers. The need to identify suitable instructional materials, by which students can be made to trap the extent of the subject easily, is the focus of this study.
However, the use of instructional materials in secondary schools would help in improving the teaching and learning and academic performance of students in economics respectively. Instructional materials which are Educational inputs are of vital importance to the teaching of any subject in the school curriculum. Wales in Richard (2005), was of the opinion that availability and the use of instructional resources would make discovered fact glued firmly to the memory of students. Emmanuel (2008) also added that, a well planned and imaginative use of visual aids in lesson should do much to banish apathy, supplement in adequacy of books as well as arouse students‟ interest by giving them something practical to see and do and at the same time helping to think things out themselves.
Selection of materials can help indepth understanding of lesson by the students in which they make the lesson attractive, thereby capturing their attention and motivating them to learn. Before, the instructional materials are maps, chart, and so on, which are used to enhance the teaching and learning of Commercial subjects, but presently there is technological advancement where film slide, Ipad, laptop, projector, television and internet system are the instructional materials which helps in teaching and learning process. With the above reasons, there is need to carry out research to know the availability and the extent at which instructional materials is being used for the teaching-learning of Commercial subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Instructional resources make teaching and learning more understandable, meaningful and easy. But in spite of the benefits of instructional materials to teaching and learning, the scarcity of the instructional materials has hindered, to some extent, the efficiency of teaching and learning of Commercial subjects. In line with all these difficulties, teachers of commercial subjects still result to the theoretical method of teaching the subjects. This is contrary to the improvement of economics education, which is greatly needed at this period of our development with emphasis on practical oriented learning (Mammudu, 1996). The researcher has taught for a number of years in some secondary schools and had visited a number of secondary schools as a resource person. Through these experiences, the researcher observed that most teachers in secondary schools in the state did not fully make use of instructional materials in the teaching of Commercial subjects to their students. This negligence of the effective use of the instructional resources and materials in teaching and learning of Commercial subjects common to both the trained and untrained teachers affected the academic performance of students in Commercial subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria. Hence, the question of academic performance and students’ performance in SSCE is therefore usually discussed both in and outside the academic circles.
In the last few years, it has been observed in most secondary schools that a high percentage of students are performing very poorly in Commercial subjects in National Examinations for example, WAEC and NECO (Examiner’s Report, 2009) due to ill motivated behaviour of the students towards the Education, lack of professional teachers, existence of lazy teachers and lack of teaching facilities and equipment (David, 2014). Some of these reports have shown that there are poor academic activities in secondary schools which obviously lead to rampant failure in external examinations among secondary schools students. It is also observed that students’ performance in Commercial subjects in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) has continued to be low over the years. Otanyemi (2000), in Mohammed (2003), states that there has been General outcry about poor students’ performance in the Senior Secondary School Examination especially in the social sciences. This study will examine the students’ academic performance in Commercial subjects as it relates to the availability of teaching resources among senior secondary school students in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Objectives
The study has both general objective and specific objectives. The general objective or main objective of this study is to assess of instructional resources and its effects on commercial students academic performance in senior secondary school. The specific objectives are:
i) To identify the available instructional resources in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria
ii) To investigate the impacts of instructional resources on the academic performance of some commercial students in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria
iii) To find out the instructional resources available for teachers of commercial teachers for effective teaching of commercial subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the available instructional resources in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria?
ii) What are impacts of instructional resources on the academic performance of some commercial students in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria?
iii) What are the instructional resources available for teachers of commercial teachers for effective teaching of commercial subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
i) There is no significant difference in the opinions of teachers and students on the instructional resources that are available in teaching commercial subjects in senior secondary schools in Nigeria
ii) Availability of instructional resources have no significant influence on the performance of students commercial subjects in senior secondary schools in Nigeria
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study will be significant to students, teachers, curriculum planners, ministry of education and the society at large. To the students, the effective use of instructional resources will enable them to effectively learn and retain what they have learnt and thereby advancing their performance in the subject in question because, learning is a process through which knowledge, skills, habits, facts, ideas and principles are acquired, retained and utilized; and the only means of achieving this is through the use of instructional resources. The use of instructional resources will give the learner opportunity to touch, smell or taste objects in the teaching and learning process. Consequently, knowledge passed unto the students at difference levels of educational instructions should be well planned and properly allied with relevant instructional resources for clarity and comprehensibility.
The study will enhance teachers‟ teaching effectiveness and productivity. The use of instructional materials provides alternative channels of communication which a teacher can use to compress information and make them more vivid to his learners. It also provides the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to want to learn more and more. Also, by providing opportunities for private study and reference, the learner’s interest and curiosity are increasingly stimulated. As a result, teacher who makes use of appropriate instructional materials to supplement his teaching will help enhance students’ academic performance. Finally, this research work will contribute to knowledge as a reference material for scholars in the research field.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study is designed to assess the availability and use of instructional resources on the academic performance of secondary school students in commercial subjects in Nigeria. The study aims at finding whether variable like; instructional materials, teachers’ improvisation and use of instructional resources are related to students’ academic performance.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The Major Limitations of the study are:
Cost Limitation: There was a cost limitation. This means that we could not offer any gift or monetary incentives for the respondents to answer the questionnaire. This might have resulted in certain prospective respondents choosing not to respond to the questionnaire. This might not have created a motivation among respondents not to take a chance to give opinions. Time Limitation: There are two types of time limitation faced during the study. The study was done for a period of four weeks. Hence the results would reflect the impact of the time constraint. The insights of the employees were observed during the period of study. A more extensive study conducted over a larger time period or during a special period of time like when there were higher numbers of issues, can include insights from employees over a broader time period and can bring in further depth into the research.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Instructional resources: the tools used in educational lessons, which include active learning and assessment. Basically, any resource a teacher uses to help him teach his students is an instructional material.
Learning: is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behaviour relative to the type and range of experience.
Secondary school: is the next step up from primary school. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondary schools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.
Teaching: the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.