Full Project – influence of school environment and class setting on students academic performance in Offin Ikorodu Lagos
The study examined “influence of school environment and class setting on students academic performance in Offin Ikorodu Lagos”. The objectives of the study include: the class setting techniques that are appropriate for students’ learning; the relative contributions of teachers’ performance on students’ assimilation in the school environment; the impact of teachers’ qualification on students’ academic performance; and the relationship between class setting management and students academic performance. The study population comprised 5 selected Secondary Schools and one hundred (100) teachers, Vice-Principals and principals were randomly selected. The research used primary sources of data which were collected through the use of questionnaire. The research design was the survey. A simple random sampling was employed to gather responses. Simple percentage was use to analyze the data while Pearson Moment Correlation was used to test the hypotheses. The findings revealed that Teachers’ class setting management has enormous influence on the academic performance of students in secondary schools in Lagos State. The study recommended that school administrators should ensure that they regularly organize seminars aimed at intermittent training of teachers on class setting management techniques as a result of their importance in teaching and learning process.
Background to the Study
The school environment and class setting is that space bounded by the wall and roof which a teacher houses his pupils/students for the purpose of giving instruction to such pupils /students. In other words, it is a shelter for both teachers and learners so as to engage in educative activities. School environment and class setting teaching is a complex task in a complex environment. The class setting is the immediate management environment for formal knowledge acquisition. It is made up of the teacher, the learners, learning equipment and the environment. Usually a secondary school teacher is in a modest-sized room with between 20 to 40 students. Kimberly (2001) stated the five characteristics of a class setting as security, open communication, mutual liking, shared goals and connectedness.
Most formal organizations like secondary schools are aimed at effective and efficient management of the human and material resources available for the attainment of organizational goals. The class setting teacher is charged with lots of functions to perform in the teaching and learning process. One of the most challenging functions of the class setting teacher is class setting management and control. The teacher’s effectiveness in teaching is assessed by his ability to use varied class setting management techniques to control students towards effective and meaningful learning during instruction.
Meaningful teaching and learning cannot be achieved in a class setting environment characterized by noise making and other distractions by students. The academic achievement of students of a particular class setting can be attributed to the teachers ability to manage and control the class setting during instruction. Oyira (2006) reported that the variables that measures the class setting learning environment as perceived by students actually predicts their attitude towards schooling and academic performance.
All educational plans of a school involving teaching and learning takes place in the class setting. According to Kyriacou (2005) the class setting is the meeting point for both teachers and students where curricular activities are implemented. Educational objectives cannot be fully achieved without the use of conducive class setting environment. The class setting is characterized by a network of interpersonal relationships directed at the attainment of educational goals. Oyira, (2006) refers interpersonal relationship as the reciprocal behaviour that occurs between individuals such as exchange of information, exchange of expression and mutual activities. Good class setting environment must be well ventilated, fully supplied with chairs and desks, have adequate spatial arrangement, have sizeable chalkboard, good floors, beautiful walls and lightings (Kolawole, 2004). A good class setting environment facilitates desirable behaviour and attitude among students and thus enhancing their academic performance positively. Such an environment provides avenue for effective teacher/students and students/students interaction.
School environment and class setting management is a prerequisite for achieving instructional objectives and safeguarding the well being of students for whom the teaching and learning activities are centered (Ogunu, 2000). Class setting management entails planning, supervising, controlling and coordinating the activities of pupils in teaching –learning process. According to Grieser (2007), successful class setting management enhances students questioning and exploration only if the learning environment is conducive. Class setting management techniques as used in this study, refers to tactics adopted by teachers to ensure decorum in the class setting and thus create a healthy and conducive atmosphere for learning.
School environment and class setting is the term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that class setting lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies that the prevention of disruptive behavior. It is possibly the most difficult aspect of teaching for many teachers; indeed experienced problems in this area cause some to leave teaching altogether.
Class setting is a complex setoff articulate behavior which the teacher uses to establish and maintain conditions to enable learners achieve instructional objectives efficiently. Brown (1995) looked at class setting management as a “process involving the organization of certain academic tasks which are essential for effective teaching and learning in a specific set up.”Class setting management first became a popular topic in education during the1970’s and 1980’s. The focus in these early years was primarily on making the class setting safe and establishing behavior management, used to control and shape students behavior to conform to school rules by the class setting teacher. Class setting management using an authoritarian or punitive approach did repress disorderly behavior, but it did not foster student’s growth or allow the acquisition of more sophisticated modes of learning, such as critical thinking and reflection (Jones, 1995).
In the 1990’s class setting management developed beyond a set of educational techniques to become “a complex process in which an environment is constructed in an on-going, reciprocal manner. This process included dialogue between teachers and students, reflection on past and present experiences, and looking at how one’s behavior affected others in the environment (Schneider, 1996).
Research from Balmer (1998) shows that the time the teacher has to take correct misbehavior caused by poor class setting management skills result in a lower rate of academic engagement in the class setting. From the students‟ perspective, effective class setting management involves clear communication of behavior and academic expectations as well as a cooperative learning environment. Research findings converge on the conclusion that “teachers who approach class setting management as a process of establishing and maintaining effective learning environments tend to be more successful than teachers who place more emphasis on their as authority figures or disciplinarians” (Brophy, 1998). A significant body of research also attests to the fact that that class setting organization and behavior management competencies significantly influence the persistence of new teachers in teaching careers (Ingersoll and Smith, 2003). New teachers typically express concerns about lacking effective means to handle the disruptive behavior of students (Browers and Tomic, 2000).
Effective teaching requires considerable skill in managing the myriad of tasks and situations that occur in the class setting each day. The ability of teachers to organize class settings and manage the behavior of their students is critical of achieving positive educational outcomes. As zeidner (1988) states: adequate class setting discipline is generally regarded to be one of the most essential aspects of education as well as an absolute prerequisite to achieving instructional objectives and safeguarding students‟ psychological, social and physical well-being. The objectives of class setting are for students to gain social and academic success in a structured environment that caters to tolerance, exemplary behavior and learning.
Effective class setting management means implementing strategies that create a safe, fair and rule based learning environment for students to flourish in. Emmor and Evertson (1981) states that effective class setting management consists of teacher behaviors that produce high levels of student involvement in class setting activities, minimal amounts of student’s behavior that interfere with the teacher’s or other student’s work, and efficient use of instructional time. Teachers that are effective class setting manager have; planned rules and procedures carefully, systemically taught these to students, organized instruction to maximize student task engagement and success, communicated directions and expectations to students.
Teachers who have problems with behavior management and class setting discipline are frequently ineffective in the class setting. Class maintenance begins by setting a stage. Lingren (1996) noted that, “stage setting is a way of initiating structure, a term used in recognition of the fact that any ongoing situation has a certain trend, characteristics and cues that people use as basis for action.” This is the initial stage of self-acquaintance with the learners, their attitudes and behavior by the teachers. In establishing effective communication skills with them, through such approach like simple praise, and direct approach with clear natural voice. The teacher, as teaching/learning continues will normally use general class setting management principles.
The effectiveness or non-effectiveness depends on the position of who employs it as stated by Spock (1996) that “strictness or permissive approach is not the real issue but stout hearted teachers who are not afraid to be firm where necessary can get good results with either moderate strictness or moderate permissiveness.” This means it is the firm position of the teacher that will yield good results. The permissive approach gives learners natural development. They solve their problems in the natural ways with no control from the teacher. This approach emanated from clinical or counseling psychology. It deals with human internal reactions, which results in physical action. The socio emotional approach tells of action among more than one individual. There is usually interpersonal relationship with the awareness of the learner. The teacher, who is normally the principle actors in class setting matters, takes his intensions with real zeal and he adapts democratic principles to class setting setup. He takes every learner with confidence where learners‟ negative and positive behaviors are converted to purposeful learning. It is in this approach that teachers establish strong interpersonal relationship with the learners.
This is the way learners are arranged in the class setting for easy instruction. The physical arrangement or positioning is done for easy communication, audience of learners, movement and consultation. This will depend on the likes of the teacher, the type of class, learners composition, types of lesson and learners’ level. Common class setting arrangements are horse hoof, row, cluster, and round table types. It is the type of approach, which uses the harsh action of the teacher or authority to coerce to learners into learning situation. It involves the use of threats, pressure, force, disapproval action, coercion, ridicule and sarcasm. Punishment and scolding may be adapted by the teacher to make learners comply with suitable learning situation. In this way learners may sit quietly with no movement and look frightened. In modern class setting management, this may not be as effective as other approach. As put forward by Okafor (1998;80), learning take place best where both learners and staff feel free and relaxed, but on the other hand there is need for the exercise of legitimate authority such as intimidation to insure law, order and discipline to avoid chaos otherwise, proper learning will not take place. In most circumstance, teachers prefer other approaches to this as they prove better strategies.
On instructional, Offorma (1994) stated that, “It is all in process of activities engaged in by the teacher with the aims of facilitating change in the learners‟ behavior i.e. the planned interaction between the learners and the learning activities.” This means it is diagnosing, planning and the preparation of instructional aides to achieve, educational objectives. It is also aimed at fulfilling policy procedures and need in education through teaching. There is the planning, acquiring of skills, methods and evaluation procedure. With the teachers experience he will guide and direct instruction activity and solve problems through using better strategies. Group process approach to class setting management is the molding or conglomeration of learners in order to achieve instructional objective. It involves the grouping of the learners based on social bases. To it importance Lingren (1996) stated that “nowadays the frontier areas of education that psychologists and educators are exploring are the use of class setting groups in promoting some of the objectives of education.”
Some of the major educational objectives are learners‟ developmental tasks and acquisition of skills and information in learning tasks. In specific terms, these include critical thinking and constructive development of self-discipline, to work corporately, to accept responsibility for one another. Group process has goals, bears leadership made attractive and conditioned by effective communication. There is the acceptance of learning roles, good relationship and problem solving. This emanates from social and power struggle by human beings. In class it deals with the relatedness of the learners to the teacher, the instruction, the materials, to each other, and to the environment. It involves the teacher’s preparedness, his mode of action, the class setting atmosphere, discipline and the effective execution of planned class activities. This is where the teacher has total control over the learners. Their behaviors are molded to conform to unnatural situations. It is termed as teacher centered, and is applied in form of threats to the learners. This came about in the olden days as put forward by Radbill, in Okafor (1998:3) that, “maltreatment of children has been justified for many centuries by the belief that several physical punishment was necessary to maintain discipline to transmit educational idea so as to please certain individuals or authorities”. In this approach the teacher uses control strategies to make learners conform to rules and regulation for effective learning. He uses reward and punishment to reinforce his wishes. There is no independence, no democracy, no trust, confidence from the learners.
Teachers who are interested in fostering and promoting effective class setting learning cannot ignore class setting behavior of their students. They work towards ensuring that learners acquire important habits that would help them cope with learning events. They would want students to feel, think and act with respect for themselves and other people. These enable them to learn how to pursue their own well-being and to act in consideration of the feelings of others. Observant teachers know when learner behavior becomes disruptive and interferes with class setting activities (Sharp and Smith, 1991). Disruptive behaviors are inappropriate behavior, which interfere with the academic and administrative activities of a school (Amada, 1999). Among the disruptive behaviors commonly identified by teachers are bulling, hitting, name calling, sleeping in class, prolonged, chatting, excessive lateness, unexcused exit from class, verbal or physical threat to a student or teacher, eating in the class (Amada, 1991). These disruptive behaviors may persistently or grossly interfere with the academic learning of the school making it difficult for both the learners and teachers function effectively and efficiently. Learners who are disruptive have been observed not only to cause a lot of problems to their classmates and teachers but are most affected both socially and educationally (Santrock, 2004 and Sorcinelli, 2002). A number of factors have been suggested as being responsible for disruptive behavior in the class setting.
According to Santrock, (2004), the most valuable advice in trying to locate the cause of disruptive behavior in the class would be to raise questions in these questions in this order. Is the cause from the school/class environment? Is it from the teacher? Is it the child? The physical and psychological environment of the school may be such that do not promote orderly behavior. School that are two large, impersonal, competitive, lack rules and regulations, and meaningful curriculum may create conditions not conducive for learning (Eze, 2002, and Sontrock, 2004).
Research has shown that learners‟ ability to interact effectively with peers, teachers and family members is crucial to their socio-psychological development and adjustment at school (Santrock, 2004). Inadequate socio-psychological has also been observed to relate positively to low academic achievement among learners in schools (Charles and Senter, 2002).
Statement of the Problem
In Nigerian secondary schools, the most common problem reported by teachers is those that relate to behavior management in the class setting (Igbo, 2005). The evidence is irrefutable, surveys of graduates education schools and colleges indicate that sometimes in an attempt to maintain order in the class setting sometimes teachers can actually make the problem worse which leads to known implications such as; lackadaisical attitude towards learning, loss of interest in the subject and in general a poor academic performance of such a child. Considering this observation, one wonders the extent these teachers are aware of and apply research supported class setting behavior management skills.
It has also been observed that students no longer have interest in education. Since class setting management is a keystone for students learning and has been cited by virtually every researcher and reviewer who looked at the relationship between educational practices and student results (Angell, 1991; Harwood, 1992).
If the school authorities and teachers emphasize more on how to implement class setting management skills perhaps these problems stated above could be minimized. However, there is a need to determine the strategies teachers perceive to be effective in handling disruptive behavior in secondary schools, therefore this research work will look into better ways of implementing effective management strategies which aid in the improvement of students and also how the interest of students in the subject could be regained.
Purpose of the Study
The study examines influence of school environment and class setting on students’ academic performance in Offin Ikorodu Lagos
. Then, the specific purposes of the study are to:
- Examine the class setting techniques that are appropriate for students’ learning.
- Find out the relative contributions of teachers’ performance on students’ assimilation in the school environment.
iii. Examine the impact of teachers’ qualification on students’ academic performance.
- Examine the relationship between class setting management and students academic performance.
The study is guided by the following research questions:
- What are the class setting techniques that are appropriate for students’ learning?
- What are the relative contributions of teachers’ performance on students’ assimilation in the school environment?
iii. How does teachers’ qualification affect students’ academic performance?
- Does any relationship exist between class setting management and students academic performance?
The following hypotheses were developed for the study:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between class setting and students’ academic performance in Secondary School.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between teachers’ qualification and students’ academic performance in Secondary School.
Significance of the Study
The significance of the study are stated below:
The school administrators may use findings from the study to understand the factors affecting class setting management and control on students’ academic performance in Secondary School.
The study will serve as a guide to head teachers and Board of Governors, parents and teachers’ association, members of the public, district education officers, district inspectors of schools to realize the effects of poor school environment and class setting on students’ performance.
Again, it will enable secondary school proprietors to be able to plan systematically for the provision of good class setting. Other stakeholders of education (parents, students, teachers, support staff, donors) will use the findings of study as a checkpoint to happenings of the same nature.
Furthermore, Ministry of Education will be able to renovate or build standard class setting that will aids students assimilation in the class setting. It will contribute to the existing body of knowledge and will stimulate other research as in areas of retention of qualified teachers in government secondary schools.
Scope of the Study
The work examines influence of school environment and class setting on students academic performance in Offin Ikorodu Lagos. The research study is limited to the institutions under study.
Definition of terms
The under listed terms are relevant to this research study:
Job Performance: This is the work related activities expected of an employee and how well those activities were executed.
Student: Student is a person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college.
Teacher: A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils (children) and students (adults).
Class setting: A room or place especially in a school in which classes are conducted.
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