Background of the Study:
Education is a fundamental process through which knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits are transmitted from educators to students. In Nigeria, the significance of education for sustainable development, peace, and stability is well recognized in the 21st century. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2013) emphasizes the effective implementation of educational policies for national development. In the pursuit of efficient teaching and learning processes, the physical environment plays a crucial role in creating conducive spaces for education.
Classrooms are integral to the learning environment, providing spaces where students engage in the process of enlightenment. Classroom quality, defined by various features, influences the effectiveness of teaching and learning. It encompasses the physical structure, layout, design, acoustics, color selection, furniture arrangement, and the overall environment. A well-designed classroom is essential for creating an atmosphere conducive to active participation and improved academic performance.
Classroom quality involves a balance of warm and cool colors, proper acoustics, and appropriate furniture arrangement. Research indicates that these factors contribute to reduced absenteeism, increased focus, and better academic performance among students. Wooler (2010) emphasizes the importance of considering the arrangement of desks, suggesting that a circular pattern facilitates positive interactions and dynamic academic changes.
The interaction between teachers and students is a vital aspect of classroom quality. Teacher-child interactions, encompassing emotional support and instructional support, have been identified as key elements. High-quality interactions positively correlate with students' engagement, leading to better academic performance. Effective teachers possess certain qualities, including qualifications, experience, leadership styles, student-teacher relationships, and competency levels.
Teacher qualification involves academic and professional degrees that equip individuals to be registered teachers. Experience contributes to a teacher's knowledge and skills, making them experts in their field. Leadership styles, student-teacher relationships, and competency levels are crucial in creating a conducive learning atmosphere.
Gender differences in the classroom, as highlighted by Swearer (2014) and Davis (2015), can influence academic performance. Boys and girls may exhibit differences in physical behavior, social interactions, academic motivations, and subject choices, impacting their overall engagement and achievement in the classroom.
The study focuses on the concept of animal nutrition within the biology curriculum. Animal nutrition involves the processes of food intake, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, and excretion. Understanding the intricacies of animal nutrition is crucial for biology students.
Statement of the Problem:
Despite the importance of biology and the specific concept of animal nutrition, there is a persistent issue of poor academic performance in secondary schools, particularly in external examinations. Several factors, including poor teaching strategies, insufficient utilization of instructional materials, and inadequate classroom quality, have been identified as contributing to this problem.
The researcher has observed that classrooms used for teaching and learning may not meet the standard quality required for effective education. This discrepancy has prompted an investigation into the relationship between classroom quality and the academic achievement of biology students, specifically focusing on the concept of animal nutrition in secondary schools within Eket Local Government Area. Understanding the impact of classroom quality on academic performance can inform strategies to enhance the learning environment and improve student outcomes in biology.Top of Form
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1.1 Purpose of Study
The study aims at investigating classroom quality and biology students’ achievement on the concept of animal nutrition among secondary school students in Eket Local Government Area. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Find out the difference that exist between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a small class size and those taught in a large class size.
- Find out the difference that exists between academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in an organized classroom and those taught in an unorganized classroom.
- Find out the difference that exist between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a classroom with flexible sitting arrangement and those taught in a classroom with a non-flexible sitting arrangement.
- Find out the difference that exist between the academic achievement of students taught in a classroom where there is active teacher - student interaction and those taught where there is no teacher student interaction when teaching the concept of animal nutrition in biology.
1.2 Research Questions
The following research question, were posed for the study:
- What difference exists between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a small class size and those taught in a large class-size.
- What difference exists between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in an organized classroom and those taught in and unorganized classroom.
- What difference exist between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a classroom of students taught animal nutrition in a classroom with flexible sitting arrangement and those taught in a classroom with a non-flexible sitting arrangement.
- What difference exist between the academic achievement of students taught in a classroom where there is active teacher-student interaction and those taught in a classroom with no teacher-student interaction the concept of animal nutrition in biology.
1.3 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were raised to guide the study:
- There is no significant difference between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a small class-size and those taught in a large class-size.
- There is no significant different between the academic achievement of students taught in a classroom that is adequately designed (proper organization) and those taught in a classroom that is not properly organized (unorganized) the concept of animal nutrition in biology.
- There is no significant difference between the academic achievement of students taught animal nutrition in a classroom with flexible sitting arrangement and those taught in a classroom with a non-flexible sitting arrangement.
- There is no significant difference between the academic achievement of students taught in a classroom where there is active teacher-students interaction and those taught where there is no teacher-student interaction when teaching the concept of animal nutrition in biology.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Findings of this study will be beneficial to:
- The students will see it deemed fit that they need a classroom that is of standard quality that motivates learners promotes effective learning.
- The teacher will find it necessary to check the classroom quality as to improve the quality of lesson given to the students.
- The school proprietors will benefit from this study as it will remind them of their duty to make sure that the classroom quality of their schools is of high standard to enhance effective education in the school.
- Curriculum planners would find the study needful during their planning and developing school curriculum as it would identify the classroom qualities needed to be included in the curriculum.
- The different examination agencies would see this study deemed fit as they would advise curriculum developers to include the various classroom qualities needed for effective teaching/learning when developing schools curriculum for different schools examinations.
- Text book publishers would find this work needful as they are in the position of translating the content of the curriculum in readable materials (text books) thus they would also include that classroom quality is one of the features for effective learning.
- Parent teacher association would also find this study necessary in that their opinions and ideas on inclusion of classroom quality in the curriculum would make curriculum planners and innovators to consider the idea appropriate.
- Federal, state and local government will see to agencies for quality educations are set up to supervise the quality of classroom in public schools. They can also organize seminars and workshops to promote classroom quality in our schools as the finding make attempt to provide such.
1.5 Delimitation of the Study
The study was delimited to only senior secondary one (SSI) students in two (2) public secondary schools in Eket local government area. It was delimited to cover four variable which were class-size, organization of the classroom, flexibility of the sitting arrangement in the classroom and teacher-student interaction.
1.6 Limitations of Study
There were certain limitations in the process of conducting the research work some of which were bad road network and non-co-operation of some of the teacher in the school. Because they were busy with their official duties so the students who were not part of the study helped the researcher to carryout the study.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
(i) Classroom quality: This encompasses class-size, teacher’s qualification, teaching experience instructional materials, ventilation and illumination, the physical structure of the classroom and classroom arrangement and class management.
(ii) Animal nutrition: This is a concept/topic in biology which focuses on how animal feed.
Post-primary institutions where teaching and learning take place
(iii) Class-size: This is the smallness or largeness of a class. The number of students in a class.
(iv) Small class-size is a class with lower number or population of students. It often has an average number of 19 students in a classroom.
(v) Large class-size is a class with a high number or population of students it often have an average of 58 students in a classroom.
(vi) Flexible sitting arrangement is a type of sitting arrangement that allows students to choose where they work and with whom they are worthy and are allow given opportunities to relate with teacher as they have direct eye contact with the teacher during lesson. It allows them to change their location and positions as needed.
(vii) Non-flexible sitting arrangement is a type of sitting arrangement that does not given student opportunity to relate with their teachers. The seats are fixed and cannot be changed.
(viii) Teacher-students’ interaction is a bidirectional interaction between a teacher and the student which create either a positive or negative impact in the way the student will respond in return.
Classroom quality: This include those features such as acoustics, colour selection furniture/material arrangement and teacher student interaction that make a classroom conducive for effective learning.
From this background, the researcher intends to investigate classroom quality and biology students academic achievement on the concept of animal nutrition among secondary school students in Eket local government area.