CLASSROOM VARIABLES AND THE LEARNING OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NSIT UBIUM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background to the Study
Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviours, skills and values. The ability to learn is possessed by humans and machine under favourable condition. Humans learning before birth and continue until death as a consequences of ongoing interactions (Akpan, 2016). The nature and processes involved in learning are studied in many field, including educational psychology, neuropsychology, experimental psychology and pedagogy.
Research in such fields has led to the identification of various sort of learning, for example learning may occur as a result of habituation or classical conditioning, operant conditioning or as a result of more complex activities. (Agwu, 2015).
Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness, learning that can aversive event can’t be avoided nor escaped may result in a condition called learned helplessness. A research work by Akpan, (2016) revealed that learning process is a complex adaptive system which individual has that drive accommodating process to assimilate new knowledge in the long term memory.
The word learning is used routinely in discussions about teaching in higher education, so it’s important to clarify what are referring to when we talk about learning. Educational researchers agree that learning is much deeper than memorization and information recall.
Deep and long lasting learning involves understanding, relating ideas and making connection between period and new knowledge, indecent and critical thinking and ability to transfer knowledge to new and different contexts (Strong, 2008).
Learning of integrated science can take place in any atmosphere but the most considerable atmosphere in this work is the classroom. When learning and teaching are occurring in schools, learning depends not only on the variables of students but also on number of additional variables related to that fact that learning in classroom setting has its advantaged compare to others.
When teaching has to be carried out with groups of 25 to 30 learners, there is that tendency that learners will learn faster as compare to large group (Mbakuwem, 2014). In elementary school programs for severe emotional disturbance participated in a comprehensive functional assessment process designed to yield a useful understanding desirable and undesirable behaviour.
Classroom variable exerted an influence on students in the learning of Integrated Science either positively or negatively depending on how classroom variables are considered. It is also believe that certain classroom variable exerted influence over individual’s behaviour toward learning. Such variable include: chalkboard, chairs, tables, projectors, screen display, teachers variables, classroom size, classroom gender, teacher’s degree, experience, certification, authentic instruction and content coverage etc, (Achilles, 2010).
The above mentioned classroom variables have a significant influence in the learning of Integrated Science. Integrated Science is one of the science subjects which require systematic classroom arrangement so as to bring out the desirable outcome in the teaching/learning process.
According to Oganya (2012), a classroom can be seen as a four walled enclosure in the school system with sits and desks facing a chalkboard and the teacher position as fixed as that of any other member in the classroom. Classroom management is described as the methods and strategies and the teacher use to maintain a conducive classroom environment for student’s learning and success (Mbakwem, 2014). It endorses management activities of planning, organizing, co-coordinating, directing and controlling of various variables in the classroom with the aim of achieving the desired instructional objectives.
The whole essence of classroom variables is for effective learning. Effective teaching/learning combines the components of good classroom management, organization, effective planning and teacher’s personal characteristics. The best lesson plan, the most fascinating/educative instructional materials and the most positive classroom environment are all meaningful of the classroom variables (Strong, 2008).
Teacher effectiveness demands that the effective teacher diagnoses classroom situations, accommodates all types of unforeseen interruptions or situations that may arise, understands nature of the instructional group and skillfully selects learning experiences that will enable the students to achieve the goals of education. Sound managerial skills of the teachers are placed on demand here. “the classroom teacher must carry the class members along with him or her, instill in them, the habit of team spirit, co-operation, moral rectitude and emotional balance in the face of all odds (Mbakwem, 2014)”.
The effective classroom learning needs a platform that would lure children to work together in the classroom situation and achieve individual and group objectives. It is necessary that teacher exhibits maturity and good sense of authority, justice and fair play in conflict or restoring morale in his class. The growing emphasis on classroom variables is based on the general recognition that effective instruction requires effective classroom management and high management skills are the foundation of good and qualitative learning.
An effective teacher, who has observed and worked with a student for an appreciable length of time has a sense of the potential that students possess. He encourages the students to excel by providing the necessary push to motivate the students to make a sustained effort needed in their learning (Strong, 2008). Study attempts to investigate the classroom variable and the learning of Integrated Science among secondary school students in Nsit Ubium Local government Area.
Classroom Variables and the Learning of Integrated Science among Secondary School Students
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The act of leaning is fundamentally concerned with gaining ideas, skills and attitude from the teacher to the learners. In Nigeria for example, in the communication of ideas which are grossly inadequate, ineffective and inefficient in producing desired learning outcome. Every year when result of Junior Secondary examinations are released, there are always been mass failure in Integrated Science subject in particular (Amos, 2011).
The reason for this could be ascribe to the fact that educational problem that besiege in the country today, none is as persisted and as compelling as the one relating to how learning productivity are affected due to unfavourable school climate and administrative laxity on the part of the teacher, and lack of classroom variables.
Some people attributed the mass failure rate to be caused by school variables gender differences, race and interaction effects. However, these observations then necessitate the researcher sought to address the extent to which Classroom Variables influence the Learning of Integrated Science in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the Classroom Variables and the learning of Integrated Science among secondary school students in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. Specifically the study sought to:
- Examine how classroom size influence the learning of Integrated Science
- Ascertain how teachers’ experience in the classroom influence the learning of Integrated Science
Classroom Variables and the Learning of Integrated Science among Secondary School Students
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the study will help to enrich the teaching of classroom management and control in schools. The results of this will be utilized by teachers, school authorities, and government is expected to create awareness to learners, the school authorities; the ministry of state on classroom variables. This will make the school authority and government to intervene strategies and consequently supervise and monitor the classroom which will improve learning among students, and it will help the students to develop positive attitude toward learning without references to their classroom variables.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study.
- To what extent does classroom size affect the learning of Integrated Science?
- To what extent does teachers’ experience affect the students’ ability to learn Integrated Science?
1.6 Limitation of the Study
For effective management of data, the study was limited to JSS 3 students in ten (10) selected public secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. The study faced a financial constraints as the researcher scarcely had enough money to expand the scope of the work.
And also, time allocated for the completion of this work was not enough to provide a wider scope for this research work.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study is delimited mainly on the classroom variables and learning of integrated science among secondary school students. Also restricted to JSS3 students in public secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government area of Akwa Ibom State. Classroom Variables and the Learning of Integrated Science among Secondary School Students.
1.8 Definition of Operational Terms
The researcher deemed it necessary to define the following operational terms for easy understanding as they are used in the study.
Classroom variables: Classroom variables can be defined a those variables which can change in the course of teaching/learning situation. Examples are: class size, teachers’ experience, classroom gender, teachers’ degree and chalkboard etc.
Classroom: This is a four enclosure-walled room which students stay to receive lessons.
Influence: The power to affect, control or manipulate something or an action exerted by a person or thing with such power on another to cause change.
School:This is taken to means a place where formal or organized education is being given.
Performance: This refers to the students achievement score within the school and this position related to the performance in Integrated Science.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.