This chapter covers the following: background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, and significance of the study, delimitation of the study, limitations of the study and definition of terms.
1.1 Background of the Study:
The issue of poor academic performance among students in Nigeria, particularly in Delta State, has become a matter of widespread concern, contributing to the perceived decline in the overall standard of education. The quality of education is intricately linked to the effectiveness of teachers in fulfilling their duties. Teachers exert a significant influence on students' academic achievement, playing a crucial role in translating educational policies into actionable principles during interactions with students (Afe, 2001).
Despite substantial government investments in public education, the output in terms of students' quality appears unequal to the expenditure. The observed deterioration in academic achievement, attitudes, and values of secondary school students raises questions about the instructional quality in schools. The ineffectiveness of teachers in interacting with students could be a key factor contributing to the poor performance of students and the perceived decline in educational standards. Additionally, issues such as teachers' knowledge of the subject matter and the employment process have been identified as potential contributors to the problem.
Teaching effectiveness is a multidimensional construct encompassing aspects like subject mastery, effective communication, and lesson preparation (Onyeachu, 2006). Numerous studies have explored the impact of teachers' teaching effectiveness on students' learning outcomes, with findings suggesting that effective teaching significantly predicts academic achievement (Adediwura and Tayo, 2007; Adu and Olatundun, 2007; Schacter and Thum, 2004; Starr, 2002).
This study seeks to investigate the influence of teachers' effectiveness on students' academic achievement in biology, considering factors such as subject mastery, utilization of instructional materials, and classroom management. The research aims to address the observed poor academic performance by examining the relationship between teachers' effectiveness and students' achievements in Delta state of Akwa Ibom State.
Statement of the Problem:
The decline in students' academic performance in Nigeria, particularly in Delta State, has raised concerns about the effectiveness of teachers and the overall instructional quality in public secondary schools. The problem statement addresses the potential factors contributing to this decline, including teachers' subject mastery, utilization of instructional materials, and classroom management.
There are indications that some teachers lack the necessary qualifications and dedication, leading to ineffective teaching practices. The problem is further exacerbated by issues such as nepotism in the employment process, potentially resulting in the recruitment of teachers who do not meet the required standards. This study aims to investigate the relationship between teachers' effectiveness and students' academic achievement in biology, with a focus on subject mastery, instructional material utilization, and classroom management in Delta state of Akwa Ibom State.
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Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine the effects of teachers’ knowledge of subject matter, utilization of resources and classroom management on the academic achievement of students in Biology. The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To examine the relationship between knowledge of subject matter and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state.
2. To find out the relationship between effective utilization of instructional materials and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state.
3. To determine the relationship between class room management and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be answered
1. What is the relationship between knowledge of subject matter and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state?
2. What is the relationship between effective utilization of instructional materials and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state?
3. What is the relationship between class room management and academic achievement of students in biology in Delta state?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated for testing at 0.05 level of significance.
1. There is no significant relationship between knowledge of subject matter and academic achievement of students in biology.
2. There is no significant relationship between effective utilization of instructional materials and academic achievement of students in biology.
3. There is no significant relationship between class room management and academic achievement of students in biology.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Every research study undertaken is not done in isolation, but for a purpose; as it may have a positive contribution to both the academic field and the society at large. This study therefore, is not an exception as it is significant in many ways:
1. This study is expected to be of immense help to the government, school administrators, policy makers and teachers in examining variables of teachers’ effectiveness.
2. It may also be of help to improve the teaching effectiveness of the teachers in our secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State.
3. The result of this study is expected to provide data for planning, as well as provide additional stock of secondary schools data for other researchers, who might find it relevant and useful in their enquiries.
4. The study will fill the gap of knowledge in past researches as well as offer solution to some practical or theoretical problems affecting students’ achievement.
1.7 Delimitations of the Study
This study was delimited to teachers’ effectiveness and academic achievement of biology students in Delta state. The study is particularly limited to teachers’ level of subject knowledge, utilization of instructional material and classroom management with respect to academic achievement of the student in biology in the 2014/2015 academic session.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
It was difficult to gather materials especially relevant and current information related to the study variables, since the study is not common. This caused scarcity of relevant research materials from local journals, the researcher had to rely greatly on the foreign materials in order to put this work. Another difficulty faced was lack of fund and limited time for the undertaking and submission.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Teachers effectiveness: This refers to the teachers competencies and resourcefulness in terms of their knowledge of biology subject content, use of instructional materials for teaching and satisfactory classroom management.
Academic Achievement: This is the scores obtained by students in a biology achievement test constructed by the researcher for the study.
Biology: This is the study of plants and animals.