SCHOOL SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent times, concern about the fallen standard of education has been on the increase and the poor performance of students in our different secondary schools. School social environment revolves around persons who get in contact with the student such as the teacher, student to students (peers) and others are the physical environment that may influence the school social climate like market, stadium, parks, hotels, event centre’s, open space etc. (Matsushita, 2019). These may be unwanted and distracting phenomena to academic performance.
Environment according to Longman dictionary of contemporary English is defined as the situation, event or people that influence the way in which people live or work. According to Mach (2011), school environment is referred to as the school culture or the school climate. The emphasis here is on the individual or students operating within a given educational content. According to Adeyemo (2019), environment is the total circumstance surrounding a group under two features, the social features consisting of the culture, beliefs, ideas, ethics, and attitude of people operating in the environment, and the biological features. For the environment to be considered good and conducive, these factors must be well articulated.
The environment can be named in relation to where people are found, for instance the home, church, school, village and town. According to Nicholas (2012), the school is the first environment that provides the child with the opportunity to interact with a large number of people outside the home environment. It is the place where the child spends a sizeable amount of time when he wakes up in the morning, he goes to school, stays there till late in the afternoon.
Above all, school social environment is the learning environment for the child and other socialization experience. The primary purpose of the school as an organization is to provide learning experience for the child, which aims at promoting the total growth and development of the child. It should be noted that the school environment can help the child to actualize his\her objectives or it can hinder the realization of these goals.
According to Nicholas (2012), environment may be loving or frightening, stimulating or boring, conducive or inhibiting to the development of educational goals, the form and structure of a school is dictated by the buildings, therefore, the materials used for the building should be strong and reliable, the architectural design should also be considered in order to give the school a beautiful outlook.
Social interaction is conceptualized as an exchange of ideas, thought or feelings between two or more individuals which can be studied in group of two, three or larger social group (Ibia, 2016). He opines that by interacting with one another, people design rules, instructions and systems within which basic seek to live. These interactions form the basis for social structure between members and the groups.
Social environment is a combination of human made while environment itself is one of the most important gifts of nature to man, it supplies the resources needed by man for his existence and comfort (Colewell, 2010).
Meanwhile, the school one attends is the institutional environment that sets the parameters of a student’s learning experiences. A school can either open or close the door to academic achievement (Johnson, 2014). The school social environment is influenced by various elements such as; school organization and management, school climate, attitude of both teachers and students, and the school socio-economic environment.
According to Herbert (2019), the distinctive characteristic of social interaction among people, is that human beings “interpret or define each other’s action instead of merely reacting to each other’s action,” as interaction emphasizes the meaning that we attach to people’s behavior shaped by our interaction with the larger social society.
The relationship between teacher and student in learning environment influences a student to develop either positive or negative attitude toward school. Students are motivated to learn if the learning environment is safe and supportive. This means that positive relationship between teacher and student will lead to developing a positive attitude toward school while a negative relationship leads to a negative attitude toward school. The teacher needs to develop a caring relationship with their students in order to develop in-depth students’ understanding of learning and positive attitude toward school (Labaree, 2010).
Luckmann and Berger (2016) stated that social reality is literally constructed from our social interactions. Most importantly, the school buildings should be taken away from the main street to prevent accident. But the building should be of moderate distance to the children (Flavell, 2011).
Isangidighi (2018) stated that if a child decline is likely to be partly caused by the event of the school that orient him for failure. Many children do not do well in school because of what events in their respective schools mean to them and learners are uncomfortable with the ways instructions are given out, which the tone of social interaction is not visible.
The assumption of this study is that school social environment variables are important factors which influence student’s academic performance. It is against this background that this study undertakes to investigate how student academic performance in government is influence by school social environment variables in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
School Social Environment and Students Academic Performance
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Since quality education is a product of learning environment or institutional setting that will definitely elicit a positive impact on the learner educational achievement in life, the environment is believed to provide a practical avenue for the child learning outcome to prevail.
An attitude toward educational excellent here centres on the positiveness of children’s feeling, perceptions and beliefs about school and the various learning tasks. To be able to adjust adequately and participate in learning and social activities, children have to relate well with their teachers. This is more so because of the role teacher play in the life of learners. This is why William (200), opines that a conducive environment enhance effective learning outcomes. If the teaching role is well articulated, the academic good will be achieved.
The need to investigate how students’ academic performance in government may be influenced by the barrier of school social environment variables, is vital since it is common knowledge that students academic performance in the subject still remains low at various examinations. Students declining performance in the subject of government is a healthy situation for the development of socialization of citizens. Many fathers may be alluded by the poor state of students performances in various examinations in government.
It has been established that peer group interaction plays an important role in the academic achievement of students (Ife, 2002; Okon, 2003). The task of this research study is to investigate the role of school social environment variables typified by peer group interaction, teachers-students relationship and school management styles in the secondary school students in the academic performance in government.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate into the influence of school social environment and students’ academic performance in government. Specifically, the study seeks;
- To determine the effect of peer group interaction on students academic performance in government.
- To determine the effect of teacher-students relationship on students’ academic performance in government.
- To determine the effect of school management styles on academic performance of students in government.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of immense benefit to the followings
- School administrators in the ministry of education will use this study as a reference point in their monitoring process, and not to locate a school to where it is too congested since environment entrance effective learning. On the other hand, some congested environment where there is existence of government institutions may help a student of government after visit to know they are being run.
- Researchers, curriculum planners, school supervisors will understand that secondary schools set the parameter for one choice of study in the higher institutions.
- The finding of this study will serve as a guide on the upliftment of effective teaching and learning of government as a social science subject. Also it will propel every sectors of government including Non-governmental organizations (N.G.Os) to provide for decapitated schools facilities in other to boast the standard of learning in secondary schools.
School Social Environment and Students Academic Performance
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To actualize the purpose of this study, the following research questions are formulated
- What is the influence of peer group interaction on students’ academic performance in government?
- What is the influence of teacher-students relationship on students’ academic performance in government?
- What is the influence of school management styles on students’ academic performance in government?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
In order to find answers to the research questions, the following hypotheses is formulated
- There is no significant influence of peer group interaction on students’ academic performance in government.
- There is no significant influence to teacher-students’ relationship on students’ academic performance in government.
- There is no significant influence of school management styles on students’ academic performance in government.
1.7 BASIC ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
In this research study, the following assumptions were made;
- The instrument constructed and used for data collection will be valid and reliable
- There will be accurate response on questionnaire distributed because they will be treated in strict confidence.
- The sample of the study is a true representation of the entire population.
- All secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State implement the same government curriculum.
- There are observable variables identified as school social environment variable.
- Evaluation instrument can be developed which will measure students’ academic performance in government.
- The selected school social environment variables (peer group interaction, teacher-students relationship and school management styles), do play roles in the secondary school students’ academic achievement in government.
- Students involved in this study will provide unbiased answers on school social environment variable items.
School Social Environment and Students Academic Performance
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to the assessment of school social environment and students’ academic performance in government in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Many factors could contribute to students’ academic performance in government but for the purpose of this study, peer group interaction, teachers-students relationship and school management styles were selected for investigation. Specifically, the school covered only sample of senior secondary two (SSII) students of government in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area within the 2016/2017 academic session.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
School Social Environment: This refers to the interaction between students, teachers and staff of the school.
Students: This refers to the children in the secondary school or in a learning environment.
School Environment: This is seen as physical and biological surrounding of the school which allows for the child to gain new knowledge.
Academic Performance: this is the level of knowledge or skill attained by a student in a given subject usually designated by a test score or grade obtained by a student in learning government.
School Management: This is the utilization of human and materials resources to obtain a set goal or task in schools.
Peer Group: Peer group refers to a social group of equal status or equal social students, classmate, age mates, roommate, car owners etc.
Secondary School: It is a school which provides secondary education between the ages of 11-16 after primary education and before the attainment of higher education.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.