AN ASSESSMENT OF PSYCHO SOCIAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS (A CASE STUDY OF KEFFI, NASARRAWA STATE)
BACKGOUND OF THE STUDY
The Nigerian government in her National Policy on Education (2004) sees major subjects like mathematics, English language and economics as one of the core subjects to be offered at the senior Secondary School level. Despite this, there are some psychosocial factors that are affecting the teaching and learning of Economics. It should be noted that no great cornerstone of our understanding about the psychosocial factors affecting the teaching and learning of Economics is either erected or overthrown. Psychosocial factor is referred to the psychological and social factors that may or mar the study of a subject or course. The school, home background and the interest of the student stand out as strong variables in explaining variation in the teaching and learning of Economics in senior secondary schools. Again, it could not be established that differences among school related arrangements bear any direct simple universal relationship to teaching and learning of Economics performance especially when the home and interest factors are held constant. Consequently, it should be noted that most students get a lot out of school, the highest variations in the teaching and learning of Economics is observed around that basic levels may be attributed more to home and interest than to school differences. Cultural and psychosocial learning theories have not been used to explain the factors affecting the performance of students in the teaching and learning of Economics. This is because no literature has been established in this area of study. However, in order to promote effective teaching and learning of Economics, the secondary school, home and the interest of the students are pertinent factors that must be considered. According to Cohen et al. (2003), school fees constitute an important for schools and represent potential for creating an enabling teaching and learning environment Cohen et al. further stated that school with few financial resources tend to perform poorly in relation to school with greater finances. Oyenuga (2007) linked poor teaching and learning to shortage of qualified teachers and this accounted for poor academics performances in senior secondary schools. Oyenuga (2007) also attributed the poor teaching and learning in secondary schools to inadequate material and infrastructural resources which are below expectation with some schools having few classroom accommodations without windows, poor spacing and crowded seats. Okonkwo (2010) attributed the students’ poor academic performance to indiscipline in schools and low level of educational standard. From the above, it is pertinent to say that the school is a psycho social factor that may affect the teaching and learning of Economics in Nigeria senior secondary schools. On the issue of the home as a psychosocial factor in the teaching and learning which can also make or mar students’ performance, Oyenuga (2007) argued that good home background and conducive environment tends to promote students academic performance. Ajila and Olutola (2007) viewed that the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual life. This according to Okonkwo (2010) is because the family background and concern of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance. Okonkwo (2010) also sees the home as having a great influence on the students’ psychological, emotional, social and economic state. However, one could deduce that the home is a recognized psychosocial factor having a lot of influence in teaching and learning of various subjects in which Economics is of no exception. On the issue of interest, the home plays a significant role in this regard as many parents may discourage or encourage their children towards a particular subject or career. Teachers also play a significant role in the interest of a student in a particular subject. In a study carried out by Fakunade (1993), it was reported that students’ hatred for some school subjects was a result of poor instructional strategies by the teachers. In order to facilitate teaching and learning of Economics, interest of the students is also a relevant factor (Oyenuga 2010). Chukwu (2002) stated that interest has been viewed as emotionally oriented behavioral trait which determines a student’s whim and vigour in tackling educational programmes or other activities. Therefore, interest is an affective behaviour that can be aroused and sustained in teaching and learning through motivation and appropriate teaching technique. It has been widely acknowledged in technical and vocational acquisition research that the learning of Economics is an inseparable subset of technical education as the school; home and interest may influence the perception of the society on the subject.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
It is a known fact that there is a decline in the academic performance of secondary school students in the teaching and learning of Economics in recent times as many students fail in both internal and external examinations. The low performance of the students in Economics may be attributed to many factors such as school, home and interest. However, the extent to which these variables facilitate the teaching and learning of Economics is not certain. The study, therefore, examined the psychosocial factors affecting the teaching and learning of Economics in secondary schools in Keffi Government Area of Nassarawa State, Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to assess the psycho social factors that influence academic performance in economics in senior secondary schools. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant relationship between the psycho social factors and students academic performance.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the psycho social factors and students academic performance.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to secondary school teachers as it would reveal the psycho social factors affecting economic students’ academic performance. The study would also be of immense importance to researchers, students and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the assessment of psycho social factors that influence academic performance of secondary school students in economics in keffi area of Nassarawa state.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.AN ASSESSMENT OF PSYCHO SOCIAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS