THE EFFECT OF LARGE CLASS SIZE IN THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN ENGLISH IN ETSAKO EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA IN EDO STATE
Background of the study
There were no earlier times improvement in the medical field and the paucity of medical personnel within human communities, (especially in the under the developing nation of the world) did not make for enhanced health care. This led to the hampered human resource reproduction. The phenomenal decline in death rate over the last three to four decades was not accompanied by a similar decline in the birth rate and hence increase in the population becomes the trend.
This manifested itself in an impressive growth of the population size from one billion in the nineteenth century to about five billion in the first decade of the nineteenth century. This population growth rate trend is in accordance with Sadips (1988) findings that every day the world population increases by three hundred and seventy thousand (370,000) people while the projection of the united nation shows that the world population will be ten billion (10,000,000,000) in the year 2040.
Africa is at the crossroad of demographic explosion and unless the population trend is addressed and arrested in the new millennium, man is moving towards self-distribution or population trap as predicted by rev. Thomas R. Mathus in 1798. Nigeria is the most populated country in the continent of Africa and the tenth in the world as shown by various post-independence population census from 1963 to 2006… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Statement of the Problems
Class size gives cause for students’ poor mental development these days, which in turn has other great and grave consequences on academic performance. A society may rise or fall depending on the quality of the products of its tertiary institutions.
Unfortunately, the quality of education acquired in our various institutions gets so low each day as a result of the effect among others, class size which remains on the increase. The problem of students not performing well in their academics when actually viewed critically is not wholly the fault of teachers… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Based on the stated problem of the study, the following questions were formulated to guide the direction of the study.
- Is there evidence of class population overcrowding in schools?
- Does class size affect the academic performance of the students? (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The review of related literature is arranged and discussed under the following subheadings:
Review of Related Empirical Studies
The concept of summary according to Jacques (1988:1) reveals that the English language has been traced to times when stenography was recognized as the profession of only those who were trained to take down writings in a short-hand form which made it coded and difficult to interpret by non-professionals. But with time, the need for the use of summary forms of writing in everyday transactions for quick assimilation of information directs its learning as one major part in English language, which does not require coding.
The knowledge of English language becomes as important as it aids quick understanding and digestion of meaning of a reading passage; it also reduces large volumes of information into a highly condensed version of the source document.
This pattern of summarizing without coding is presented in Onwemelu and Chukwu in (Joy 2006:38) as follows: the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) usually write summary questions in two parts, this is either to ask that students summarize the given passage by reducing it into a precise form or to extract the controlling ideas in the passage: but this does not require repetition; the language of the summary puts the original ideas into new words, repetitions are unnecessary in English language.
Otagburuagu and Helen (2005:152) emphasize that “when an individual attempts to repeat unnecessarily and awkwardly all the details in the discourse, he would be looked upon as displaying low intelligence, lack of wit and immaturity”. English language is topical to information generation. Information generation occurs in a variety of ways, however, the purpose of it is to keep the readers informed of the details about the happenings around them in a precise manner. Susan (2003:1) postulates that: (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Peretz in (Azikiwe 1986:136) enumerates the procedure involves in teaching as follows:
- Explanation of passage by the teacher
- Class discussion
- Sharing of ideas and problems between students and teachers/students
- Reading and re-reading of passage and text marking of the key and important points on the margin.
Explanation of the Passage by the Teacher:
Explanation entails the teacher simplifying the text by focusing the message, which the text writer has embedded in the pages of the book.
By this, the content becomes the working tool for students as they assimilate the same line of thoughts with the writer the explanation of the teachers may be affected by certain factors. Ronald (1988:156) states, one important factor that simplifies a passage is the interpretation of discourse markers and if students are to respond fully to the whole text, they must have a secured understanding of its parts. The purpose of the explanation is to bring out the hidden facts which may eventually aid an easier understanding of the text.
The discussion involves having a conversation or a talk about something in order to make a decision about it. In a classroom discussion, students say what they each know about the topic of a summary passage, and thereafter taking a decision on how to go about writing it. Christine (1988:127) posits that “a discussion is an approach that promotes the active struggle with the text identified as the key ingredient in the development of interpretive skill.” Classroom discussion gives direction to cohesion and unified opinion, and apart from providing a solution, it makes working together interestingly achievable… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Activities that lead to effective communication have been classified as follows:
- Note making
- Sectionalization of the passage
Note making: Note making is jotting down of essential information when reading or listening to a speaker. It is an individual perceptive ability that is done and written in individual words. Longe ( as reported in Azikiwe 2007: 126) postulates that some steps that can help students develop a sense of note-making begin with note-taking, and learners of the English language should be introduced to some basic considerations of note-taking with a list of common symbols which are conventions of abbreviations… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The psychologist, Jean Piaget (1963:219), propounds a Cognitive development theory that refers to all those activities that relate to thinking, reasoning, problem-solving which are characterized by complementary adaptive functions of assimilations and accommodation. One event that symbolizes this period is the child’s transition from the limited atmosphere of the family to the wider and more demanding world of the school.
Developing skills through learning begins with developing cognitive power; the cognitive theorists are primarily concerned with developing the functioning of the mind. The Piaget theory of assimilation and accommodation refers to the incorporation of new knowledge into the existing schemes; while accommodation refers to the modification of the child’s existing scheme to incorporate new knowledge… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Class size is a very important factor in the teaching/learning activities as it relates to student academic performance and rating. Fabunmi, Abu, and Adeniji 2002 carried out research on class size factors as determinants of junior secondary school students’ academic performance in the university of Ibadan Oyo state. The study was carried out between 1997 and 2008 and was aimed at assessing and estimating the extent to which large class determines learning outcome.
The problem of the study was that the poor funding of education in most third world countries especially Nigeria does not enable the school system to have manageable class sizes, adequate student class-room space, and appropriate class utilization rates in Oyo State Nigeria, from 1997 – 2002 school years… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter discusses the research procedure to be used in this study. These include Research Design, Area of Study, Sample and Sampling Technique, Instrument for Data Collection, Validation of Instrument, and Reliability of the Instrument, Method of Data Collection, and Method of Data Analysis.
Design of the Study
The design of this study was quasi-experimental. Nworgu (2006:88) describes quasi research design as an experiment where a random assignment of subjects to experimental and control groups is not possible, hence, the intact or pre-existing groups are used. The choice of this design is to enable the researcher to make an empirical inquiry with variables such as class, location, and gender in which their effect cannot be altered by the researcher after investigation either by direct intervention or manipulation.
Table 1: Diagrammatic Representation of the Design of the Study
|Experimental Group 1||01||X||02|
|Control Group 2||01||Y||02|
Key: X = Treatment
Y = Control
01 = Pre – Test
02 = Post – Test
Area of the Study
The area of study for this research work was Suleja Education Zones in Niger State which comprises of nine out of twenty-five local government areas in the state. Suleja education zone is chosen because it is densely populated because of its closeness to Abuja’s capital territory and with a mixed ethnic population.
Population for the Study
The target population of the study was all the SS 2 drawn from 20 schools. 10 urban school location 10 rural school location students in Suleja Education Zone consisting of nine localities in Etsako East Local Government Area in Edo State. There are one hundred and seventy-three schools in these nine localities (173), twenty schools were randomly selected which consists of two thousand students (2,000, i.e. 20% of the population)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents the data analysis in line with three research questions and three hypotheses formulated to guide the study.
Research Question One
What is the mean difference between the achievement of students taught in large classes and those taught in a small class setting?
The data to answer the research question one is presented in table one below:
Table 1: Mean Scores of Students taught in Large and Small Class Setting
Table one shows that the means score of students taught in large class settings is 32.93 with a standard deviation of 17.21 while the mean score of students taught in a small class setting is 37.89 with a corresponding standard deviation value of 19.59. The mean differences as presented in the table reveal that the students taught in a small class setting performed better than the students taught in a large class setting.
Research Question Two
To what extent does class size affect rural and urban students in the English language?
Table 2: Mean Scores of Students taught in Urban and Rural School Setting
Table 2 shows that the mean score of students in an urban school is 38.35 with a standard deviation of 17.43. On the other hand, the mean score of students in rural schools is 32.35 with a standard deviation of 17.43. The main difference between the two groups of students is that the students in urban schools had better performance than their counterparts in rural school settings… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- The Mean Achievement Scores of Male and Female Students in the English language
The evidence from this study confirms that class size has a negative effect on students learning achievement. The result on effect of class size on the achievement of students as presented in table I indicates that the mean score of students taught the English language in a large class setting is 32.93 with a standard deviation of 17.21, while the mean score of students taught in a small class setting is 37.89 with a standard deviation of 19.59.
The mean differences show that the students taught in small class settings performed better than those taught in a large class setting… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATION
Summary of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of class size on the effective teaching and learning of English language in junior secondary schools, especially in Niger State. English language is compulsory and must be passed at least at credit level before admission into any university can be guaranteed, yet students perform poorly in learning as shown in the learning outcome of this subject especially in the English language. To this effect, three research questions were developed and three hypotheses were formulated and tested at P ≤ 0.05 level of significance… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
On critical investigation of the effect of class-size on effective teaching and learning of English language in junior secondary schools especially in Niger State, the following conclusions are hereby drawn.
- Small class size facilitates the rate of achievement of students as revealed by the relatively higher mean score of students in small class settings compares to a low mean score of students in large class settings. It is as well concluded that class size has a significant, effect on the achievement of students in the English language in the study area… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made.
- The recommended teacher versus student ratio of 1:35 should be strictly adhered to and enforced by relevant government agencies in the education sector for achievement of the desired learning outcome from the learners and teacher’s stated objectives from the teaching.
- Government at all levels of learning to ensure the provision of school buildings with enough classrooms to avoid overcrowdedness… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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