IMPACTS OF GENDER ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SOCIAL STUDIES JSS II STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of this study is to look into the effects of gender on academic achievement of Social Studies JSS II students in public secondary schools in Jos North Local Government, Plateau State. The research was conducted on junior secondary school students. The survey method was used in the study. The students were chosen at random from a population of three thousand six hundred and twenty nine (3629) and two hundred and forty (240) for the study.
Gender and Students Academic Achievement Questionnaire was used to collect data (GSAAQ). The instrument was validated by measurement and evaluation experts as well as the research supervisor. For the study, five research questions and two hypotheses were developed.
The findings revealed that parental attitudes toward the girl child contribute to gender discrimination among public secondary school students in Jos North, and proper orientation of couples on the effects of their discrimination on their children are some of the ways this menace can be reduced.
The study made the following recommendations, among others, that girls be allowed to get an education so that they can face the world with confidence. Parents should have a flexible attitude toward their children because it affects their children’s lives and personalities.
1.1 THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Education is a lifelong endeavor. And, for the purposes of this study, education can be divided into two categories: informal and formal education. As a result, informal education is the type of education that occurs in society at all times and in all places, with every member of society serving as a student and learner. There is no curriculum, no syllabus, no subject teachers, no classrooms, no exams, no certification, and no graduation.
Nonetheless, society achieved its goals, which Fafunwa (2001) referred to as “functionalism.” With the arrival of white men in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, a formal system of education was established. Formal education is based on a specific curriculum and clearly defined content or subject syllabuses, as well as a teaching-learning process that takes place in a classroom or school.
A system of education based on examinations and certification lasted until the late 1960s. It is widely acknowledged that one of the most important, if not the most important, functions of the educational system is to produce the pool of skilled labor that a nation requires to grow.
As a result, countries all over the world rely on their educational systems to develop their future workforce (Ekeh, 2003). As a result, education is an important tool for achieving human resource development.
In Nigeria, one of the compulsory subjects in junior secondary schools is social studies. According to Udoh (2003) and Mansaray (2006), “the subject is a discipline that can be used in solving relationship and interaction problems in man’s dynamic environment.” According to Bergesom (2003), Social Studies must be centered on innovative methods that seek the truth, such as problem detection, problem solving, and learning through experimentation and discovery.
The significance of Social Studies in the Nigerian educational system cannot be overstated. The objectives of Social Studies education, which are consistent with the philosophy and goals of Nigerian education, are based on the development of high competencies required for solving man’s diverse environmental problems in order to live a better and more effective social life.
The goal of Social Studies is to free the Nigerian child from the apron strings of colonial education, which simply propagated foreign values, and to acquaint him with his own cultural values and traditions. The teaching of Social Studies is aimed at developing a strong Nigerian nation, regardless of ethnic diversity.
It is also aimed at promoting citizenship and values education, as well as skill development (Adeyemi & Ajibade, 2011). According to Akpochafo (2001), despite the enormous benefits of incorporating Social Studies into our school curriculum, there appears to be a poor handling of the subject in secondary schools.
Most Social Studies teachers still rely heavily on the lecture method to convey information, which is a major source of concern. While the presentation style is supposed to be activity-based, the majority of Nigerian secondary school teachers use the lecture method.
Despite the existence of learning style theories (detailing how people learn) for over thirty years, studies such as those of Umeoduagu (1994), Okobia (2000), Akpochafo (2001), and Arisi (2002) have found that most teachers still dispense information using the traditional lecture method without regard for students’ learning abilities.
Instead of being constructive or activity-based, this teaching method is theoretical and teacher-directed. According to Akinlaye, Mansaray, and Ajiboye (1996), Akinlaye, Bolarin, Olaniyonu, and Ayodele (1997), Ogundare (2000), and Oganwu (2004), the teacher simply becomes the expositor and drill master in the lecture method, while the learner remains the listener and a storehouse of facts that can be retrieved when a student hears his name called by the teacher.
Male attitudes toward female education differ from class to class. The vast majority of people send their daughters to school. The middle-class males have a hesitant attitude toward female education. They allow their daughters to progress to the higher secondary level based on their potential. Males in the upper classes have a very positive attitude toward female education.
The majority of the girls in this class have completed their metric education. Males allow them and even arrange for their further education. Women’s attitudes toward female education differ slightly from those of men. The trends are similar, but the percentage in favor of education lags slightly.
Because the gender of the participants may have an impact on the students’ academic achievement, gender will be used as a moderator variable in this study. Gender differences in achievement have long been studied, resulting in a substantial body of literature (Jack & Johannes, 2001).
The significance of investigating instructional strategy in relation to gender is based primarily on socio-cultural differences between girls and boys (Abra, 2001). Girls have traditionally been encouraged to conform in our society, whereas boys are expected to be active and dominant risk-takers.
To support this viewpoint, Hassan and Ogunyemi (2008) state that most boys are given toys that improve their visual-spatial ability, such as trucks, Legos (toys made of plastic building blocks and other components), and models. Spencer (2004) also confirms that girls’ games are frequently highly structured, requiring turn taking and rules. As a result, social expectations and conformity pressures can create cultural barriers for girls.
Fabunmi (2004) discovered in a study that gender composition has a significant relationship with students’ academic achievement and has a significant influence on secondary school students’ academic performance. Aside from that, inconsistencies in findings on gender differences and academic achievement have been discovered (Bello, 1990; Boling & Boling 1993; Lau & Li 1996; Gimba, 2006; Nsofor, 2006; Yaki, 2006 & Olowe, 2010). As a result, it is necessary to determine whether gender influences students’ academic achievements in Social Studies.
Academic achievement is commonly measured through examination or continuous assessment, but there is no universal agreement on how best to test it or which aspects are more important. Students contribute not only to the growth of educational institutions, but also to the growth of nations as a whole.
Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in investigating variables that contribute effectively to student achievement quality. The academic achievement of students will necessitate a reconsideration of the concept of poor performance.
According to Aremu (2000), poor achievement is defined as a performance that is judged by examinees/testees as falling below an expected standard. The interpretation of this expected or desired standard is better appreciated by the evaluator of performance’s perpetual cognitive ability. As a result, the purpose of this study is to investigate how students’ gender influences their achievement in social studies.
1.2 THE PROBLEM’S STATEMENT
Since it became a compulsory subject in Nigeria in the early 1980s, the issue of students’ underachievement in Social Studies has been a hotly debated educational issue. Such debates have always revolved around the instructional strategies used to teach the subject. When similar underachievement was observed in social studies in Nigeria, new instructional methods such as mastery learning, peer tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, simulation games, and brainstorming were implemented.
The Nigerian culture clearly regards males as superior to their female counterparts, and thus gender-role differentiation is very pronounced in our society. This has a significant impact on male and female chemistry students’ academic achievement because role differentiation or distinction limits full participation, development, and utilization of individual potentials, either directly or indirectly.
Parents’ attitudes toward their sons and daughters differ in Jos North. They would rather have a son than a daughter.
The parents desire a son because daughters must leave the parents’ home to live with their husbands, whereas sons remain with them. Another reason for wishing for a son is financial gain. When he grows up, the boy must assume the role of going out and earning money. As a result, the parents prefer boys to girls. The boys are educated because it is regarded as a source of pride and prestige to educate the boys.
Despite the fact that women make up nearly half of the Nigerian population and contribute significantly to economic development, they are still discriminated against by society, particularly in African countries. It has also been observed that the stereotype against women has a negative impact on their academic achievement. As a result, the purpose of this study is to look into the effects of gender on the academic achievement of Social Studies JSS II students in public schools in Jos North Local Government, Plateau State.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to look into the impact of gender differences on the academic achievement of Social Studies students in Jos North Local Government, Plateau State.
The following are the study’s specific objectives:
1. To investigate the causes of gender disparities among public school students.
2. Determine the effect of gender on academic achievement of Social Studies JSS II students.
3. To determine whether there is a difference in the achievement mean scores of male and female students.
4. To discover how parental attitudes influence differences in student academic performance.
5. Make suggestions for possible solutions to the problem
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
In order to address these issues, the following research questions were posed:
1. What are the determinants of gender disparities among public secondary school students?
2. What are the effects of gender on the academic achievement of JSS II social studies students in Jos North public schools?
3. How do teachers’ factors influence gender academic achievement in Jos North public schools?
4. How much does parental attitude contribute to gender disparities in children’s education?
5. What can be done to address the issue of gender disparities in student academic achievement?
1.5. HYPOTHESES FOR RESEARCH
The study will put the following hypothesis to the test.
1. There is no statistically significant difference in the achievement mean scores of male and female students in Jos North public secondary schools.
2. There is no statistically significant relationship between gender and academic achievement in Jos North public secondary schools.
1.6 THE STUDY’S SIGNIFICANCE
The findings of this study will be extremely useful to counselors, psychologists, social workers, parents, teachers, youth, and society as a whole. Because gender stereotypes or discrimination have a negative impact on secondary students’ academic achievement, their talents, abilities, and interests may not be fully developed, preventing them from achieving self-actualization in life.
The study of gender and socioeconomic status differences in academic achievement will provide educators of young adolescents with thought-provoking information on implications and specific directions to take; the need for parents to be exposed to parenting skills and their responsibilities towards their children’s academics; parents will be able to encourage and support their children’s learning through the purchase of learning materials; and learning is real for everyone.
The outcome of this work, if implemented, will hopefully assist psychologists in the application of appropriate learning theories to meet the individual differences that already existed in the classroom, as well as provide solutions to teachers on how to reduce the amount of housework assigned to students so that they can face their studies better.
The findings of this study will also benefit social workers because they will tell them how to meet the social needs of students who are suffering from emotional deprivation and how to fill the gap for the psychological and emotional welfare of the child created by societal stereotypes.
The study’s findings will also be important to the teachers who serve as surrogates and bear the burden. This study will assist the teacher in checking and supervising the students’ academic records by going through their class and lesson roles or books, as well as nurturing and assisting mentally to enhance the students’ academic achievement.
This study will also be beneficial to parents because they are the primary caregivers for their children. The study will make them aware of the negative perceptions and attitudes toward female education, leading to a shift in parental attitudes toward educating their female children.
The findings should be very useful to other researchers because they will serve as a working document or reference document for future studies on the effects of single parenting on children’s educational aspiration and achievement.
1.8 THE STUDY’S LIMITATION
The scope of this study is limited to the effect of gender differences on academic achievement of Social Studies JSS II students in public schools in Jos North Local Government, Plateau State. Because of the rising rates of gender stereotypes and discrimination in public schools, the researcher felt compelled to carry out the findings of this study. Due to the time and financial constraints involved in conducting a study of this nature, this study is also limited to the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.9 TERMS DEFINITION
The terms used in the study are operationally defined as follows:
Gender: is a term that expresses and distinguishes the characteristics of male and female students.
Academic Achievement: Scores obtained by students in both internal and external examinations following interactive classroom teaching and learning.
Local government area of investigation in Jos North.
Students: Study participants and beneficiaries
The impact of gender stereotypes on students, both positive and negative.
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