ANALYSIS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Environment according to Denek, described someone who is ready and able to learn and also wants to learn, if this same person is kept in a room without books, pictures and has no one to talk to, such a person might not learn effectively. Thus, for learning to take place and the performance of students be enhanced, the school surrounding must be stimulating and encouraging. The school environment must be inviting or welcoming, conducive and accommodating for adequate and effective learning to take place.
According to Grant (1985), school buildings should be a suitable building furnished and well equipped for habitation. As dilapidating buildings, lacking mental stimulating facilities that are characterized with low or no seating arrangement will also be destructive to students’ academic achievement.
It has been proved that students that are taught in stimulating environment with laboratory equipment, rich instructional aids, pictures and are 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.
Alban (1971) believes that each class should have a separate area of quite lesson. According to him, it will be difficult for the students to concentrate if they can hear what is happening in another class. And that each room should be large enough for the students to sit on desks when necessary and yet leave a good space between desks so that the teacher can easily reach the students to give individual help.
Bowers and Burkett (1987) found that improper maintenance of fixtures can lead to low academic performance of students in a school setting and it can lead to misinterpretation of written words especially on the chalkboard.
Thus, teaching and learning should be done under an organized, planned and fortified environment with learning instructional aids to stimulate students’ sense of conception, perception and concentration in order to facilitate systematic understanding and requisition of knowledge in them.
More also Dunn (1985) insisted that the lighting of a school should be considered an active element of the total educational environment. He found that good lighting contributes significantly to the aesthetics and psychological character of the learning space, while inappropriate illumination levels abuse the human eyes and leave unfortunate physiological consequences on students’ academic performance.
Boekaert (1993) had indicated that a supportive/aesthetic academic setting is considered by students as an extension of their personal resources and it serves to reduce anxiety and negative effect that can arise in their performance.
Bandural (1997) in support believe that good aesthetic environment foster psychological growth that contributes to the quality of life beyond the vocational domain.
It is well accepted in the scientific community that prolonged exposure to high intensity noise in community or school setting is often harmful to the health and behaviour of large segments of the exposed population or students. This in turn reduces students’ concentration or conceptual focus to learning.
Evans and Martin (1991) discovered in their findings that there are significant increases in blood pressure associated with students in schools near to noisy urban streets, market and around airport. Students in such noisy environment are often associated with deficits in mental concentration, making more errors on difficult task and greater likelihood of giving up on tasks before the time allocated has expired. In effect, therefore, the location of schools is of critical importance.
Hence, Sprinthall (1987) says markets and garages located near school have always pose a threats to students. Therefore, for an effective learning and high academic performance, schools in both rural and sub-urban and urban areas should be located off zones, characterized with smoke/gas pollution and market centres.
According to the National Centre for Educational Statistics (NCES) (2007), observed that a new building with inadequate educational facilities and aesthetic design influences students attitude and their performance.
More also, location of schools especially at the rural areas is a factor to students attitude to school, as most students are made to walk several kilometres to their school every morning thereby getting them weak and tired for effective concentration. And this invariably leads to poor academic performance.
In an article “science facilities for our schools”, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) (1975) reported that the teaching of science was concerned with helping students understand the facts, concepts, principle and generalization of science. And science as a problem solving skills and techniques requires adequate laboratory facilities for wide variety of learning activities and experience. But in most rural schools, the equipment are either inadequate or non-existence.
It is an indisputable fact that the home environment/ background exert considerable influence on the development and academic performance of the child/student.
The home being the first and major agency of socialization has great influence and bearing on the development of the child. Most students who are successful/great achievers and well adjusted come from families where sustaining wholesome relationship exist.
It is the home which sets pattern for the child’s attitude towards people and society, aids intellectual growth in the child and support his aspirations and achievement. A child’s home environment affects his/her degree of achievement academically.
According to Morrison (1975), many of the distinctive characteristics of a child’s home in relation to his experience in school may be seen to influence his academic achievement. Students from homes where books, magazines, newspapers, periodicals and other reading materials are bound to achieve more academically than the rest of his/her mates who may not be opportuned to such an enabling environment and materials.
Oladele (1981) supported this view by claiming that home should provide the opportunity for the child to show his interest and ability by providing an environment intellectually stimulating to the child.