SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR AND TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS AMONG TEACHERS OF ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Abstract: This study was carried out to examine school environmental factor and teaching effectiveness among economics teachers in secondary schools in Eket Local Government Area. This research derived its sources from textbooks, journals as well as personal interview of the respondents. The study adopted a survey research design. The population of the study consisted of twenty (20) Economics teachers in all the eight (8) public secondary schools in the study area. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted to select the sample size of fifteen (15) teachers in the study. :
The main instrument for data collection in the study was a questionnaire, titled; School Environmental Factor and Teaching Effectiveness among Teachers of Economics Questionnaire (SEFTEATEQ) data collected from the study was analyzed statistically using simple percentage. Based on the data analyses in the study, it was discovered that instructional materials, school library and school location affect the effective teaching of Economics among teachers. Lastly, it was recommended that Teachers should also be motivated and encouraged to improvise where materials are not available mostly in rural areas in order to supplement the few available facilities in the school.
1.1 Background to the study
Generally in the whole world, particularly in Nigeria, education is considered to be the corner – stone for any development. It forms the basis for literacy, skill acquisition, technological advancement and ability to harness human and material resources towards the achievement of societal goals, (FRN, 2013).
Education is very important in any given society. It is a process by which abilities and capabilities of individuals are developed. These abilities might be physical abilities, emotional abilities, social abilities and intellectual abilities. It is the actualizing of human potentials so that the individual can become something more than what he was before.
According to Ugwuanyi (2003), education is the process by which society establishes to assist the young to learn and understand the heritage of the past, participate productively in the society and contribute meaningfully for the development of the society. Environment can be defined as a system within which living organisms interacts with the physical element while education environment is a learning place where the learner learn and interact with learning facilities in order to be socialized and to be able to face the challenges in the society.
Agusiegbe (2004) sees environments as consisting of all elements existing around man and which exerts some influence on him. These include physical, biological and social attributes. Environment can also be seen as aggregate of all the external conditions and influences affecting the life and development of an organism. In this study, environment factors include all the external conditions and influences in the school that affect the teaching effectiveness in school and the academic achievement of the students.
Such factors include laboratory equipment, library facilities, qualified teachers, furniture, school building, good administrative management, teacher pupil relationship and school location, etc.
Dudek (2000) opined that it could be said to be the external influences in the school that can influence teaching and learning process of students irrespective of their intelligent quotient. School environment can also be considered as the second teacher since space has the power to organize and promote pleasant relationships between people of different ages, to provide changes, to promote choices and activities and for its potential for sparking different types of social and affective learning (Okeke 2001). It has been generally accepted that environment and heredity can hardly be separated from education in influencing achievement, hence a child’s life and ability is influenced by nature and nurture. Heredity provides the natural disposition while a healthy environment makes available a window of opportunities to the learner (Ohuche 2001).
The environmental variable of the setting helps to a large extent in ensuring attainability of the goals of such setting. The environmental differences and the differences in the quality of instruction from one school to another can create differences in the level of knowledge acquisition of the students. This shows that the learning facilities children are exposed to and the socio-economic influence on them can affect their academic achievement.
School environment factors also includes the school building and the surrounding grounds such as noise, temperature and lighting as well as physical, biological or chemical agent, (Chiu 1991). School environment can then be seen to include material and human resources, a learning place which consist of the entire interaction. The learning environment is both the natural and provided setting where teaching and learning takes place. Maduewesi (1990) referred to teaching and learning environment as the setting physical and conceptual in which teaching and learning are carried out as deliberately planned. And to Okobia in Maduewesi (1990) learning environment means classroom surroundings, physical facilities in the classroom and teacher – pupil relationship. Studies on the relationship between availability of resources and students academic achievement have revealed that secondary schools provided with adequate education resources performed significantly better than those provided with inadequate resources (Balogun, 1995).
Environment could be considered as a very important factor in achievement of goal of any educational programme. Since people acquired knowledge through their interaction with facilities provided in the environment. Also learning is influenced by the environment people are exposed to, and the facilities provided in such environment. As in the words of Piaget (1964) that active interaction with the environment is regarded as the most basic requirement for proper intellectual development.
The physical appearance and general condition of school physical facilities are the striking basis upon which many parents and friends of any educational institution make initial judgment about the quality of what goes on in the school. They are often turned off by dilapidated school blocks with sinking roofs and broken walls, bushy lawn and over grown hedges. Also are profane writings on walls, littered lawns and path ways. Finally, the school physical environment is like a mirror reflecting the image of a school and through it the public decide whether or not to associate with the particular school (Mbode 2004).
1.2 Statement of the problem
The situation of Economics teaching in Nigeria is not satisfactory Udoh (1998). This is because facilities such as libraries and instructional materials are not provided for teachers to use in the teaching and learning process in Economics. It is also noticed in today’s schools, the increase population, rising school enrolment mostly in urban schools with limited space and material, makes teaching stressful. It was in this background that the researcher was interested to investigate whether school environmental factors affects the teaching effectiveness in Economics in secondary schools.
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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of Sir Pee Integrated Services and www.libraryguru.com and www.projectvilla.com.ng. A reputable researcher, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.