PREDICTORS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPIL’S PERFORMANCE: TEACHER QUALITY AND GENDER
1.1 The Study’s Background
The importance of education and its benefits cannot be overstated as the foundation of economic, industrial, political, scientific and technological, and even religious development. Education is central to all aspects of development.
Education is a critical tool for any country’s development. Every educational system, at every level, relies heavily on teachers to carry out its programs. Teachers are critical to the success of the educational system and important tools for educational development.
Teachers at all levels of education play a critical role in shaping education’s growth and direction. It is a well-known fact that the teacher is the most important cog in the educational machine, and that teachers are critical to the success of any educational program launched by any government. This is due to the fact that, in addition to being at the implementation level of any educational policy, the realization of these programs is heavily reliant on teachers’ dedication and commitment to their work (Adeniji 1999).
According to (Kaplan and Owings 2001), teacher quality is defined by two broad categories.
According to Darling-Hammond (2000), the characteristics of a good teacher are: verbal ability, subject matter knowledge, knowledge of teaching and learning, and the ability to use a variety of teaching strategies that are tailored to the needs of the students.
Another important determinant of the classroom environment is the quality of the teacher (Lundberg and Linnakyla, 1993). A teacher’s qualities include preparation and training, the use of a specific instructional approach, and teaching experience. Mullis, Kennedy, Martin, and Sainsbury (2004) agree that teacher quality is an important determinant of student performance.
The quality of education is determined by the quality of teaching that occurs in the classroom, reinforcing the notion that good teachers compensate for deficiencies in the curriculum and educational resources (Anderson 1991). Teacher quality is widely regarded as an important predictor of academic achievement, but there is little agreement on what specific characteristics constitute a good teacher (Hanushek and Rivkin, 2017).
This is a critical issue because the economic impact of higher student achievement can be determined by the rate of depreciation of student learning, the total variation in teacher quality (as measured by student achievement on standardized tests), and the labor market return to one standard deviation of higher achievement.
Researchers, policymakers, parents, and even teachers themselves agree on the importance of teacher quality. However, defining, measuring, and identifying teacher quality is a much more contentious task.
Another variable that one might think is related to teacher quality is subject matter knowledge. While there is some evidence to support this hypothesis, the findings are not as strong or consistent as one might expect. Studies of teacher performance on the
National Teacher Examination (NTE) subject matter tests have found no consistent relationship between this measure of subject matter knowledge and teacher performance as measured by student outcomes or supervisory ratings. The majority of studies show small, statistically insignificant relationships between teacher quality and student achievement. Academic Excellence
Education and learning research (Marzano R, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Teacher effectiveness research is rooted in the classroom and frequently employs classroom-based assessments. However, the recent Aspen Institute report, Beyond NCLB (Commission on No Child Left Behind, 2018), written to guide NCLB reauthorization, defines “effective” in terms of teachers’ ability to improve student achievement as measured by standardized tests.
A qualitative teacher is one who selects appropriate teaching approaches, is knowledgeable, intelligent in content mastery, hardworking and efficient, self-disciplined, tolerant, and friendly, and who serves as a role model through good character and manner commitment, respect for profession, dedicated, loyal, and responsible. The current framework for teacher education in Nigeria is based on the NPE (2004), which emphasized teacher quality.
Pupils’ achievement, on the other hand, refers to their academic achievement. However, the study will concentrate on the qualitative aspect of teachers and their impact on students’ academic performance.
The most common and least precise of all terms is “good teacher.” Shulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, defines a good teacher as follows: in a good teacher’s classroom, students are visible, engaged, attentive, and participating.
Pupils are accountable for their understanding in good teaching because they are responsible for their learning. Good teaching is passionate, and it elicits an emotional response from students… Good teaching begins with instilling mental habits, but it does not end there. Good teaching fosters practical thinking and problem-solving abilities that can be applied in a variety of settings. Furthermore, good teaching influences students’ values, commitments, and identities.
As previously stated, the definition of teacher quality identifies certain characteristics that characterize a good teacher. There are numerous issues associated with teacher quality, particularly in our secondary schools. In the last five to six years, the percentage of students who pass their final exams, which are WAEC and NECO, has decreased dramatically.
Some elites see the issue as a supply/demand issue: the profession is not attracting the “right” people. Some people see the quality issue as a concern about preparation. According to this viewpoint, teachers who complete university-based programs do not leave with the necessary knowledge and practices to be effective in modern classrooms.
1.2 Statement Of The problem
According to the Federal Ministry of Education (2017) report on Nigeria, the Academic Achievement of pupils in the senior school Certificate Examinations held between 2000 and 2017 was less than fifty percent (50 percent ). The nation’s educational standard is rapidly deteriorating, particularly in secondary schools. Academic Achievement is a major issue for the students.
Their continuous assessment is inadequate, and their terminal examination is equally depressing (“F.C.E Staff Secondary School 2018 End of Third Term Examination” report). The performance of Nigerian Secondary School pupils in external examinations revealed a 98 percent failure rate in the 2018 November/December Senior School Certificate Examinations conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO- SSCE);
out of a total of 230, 682 candidates who sat for the examination, only 4,223 obtained credits level passes and above in five subjects, including English and Mathematics (Bello – Osagie & Olugbornila, 2018).
In the 2018 May/June Senior School Certificate Examination, only 25.99 percent of the total number of candidates obtained credit level passes and above in five subjects, including English language and Mathematics, whereas in the 2010 May/June WASSCE, only 337,071 (24.94 percent) of the 1,135,557 candidates who sat for the examination obtained five credit level passes and above in subjects that included English language and Mathematics. (2010) (Owadiac).
Mathematics is one of the mandatory subjects that students must offer.
Post-Primary School, regardless of whether such students are in Science Commercial, Arts, or Social Science classes. According to the National Policy on Education (2004), there are core subjects as well as electives that students must offer in secondary school.
Following the annual release of the West African senior school certificate examination results, public unhappiness becomes more visible.
The outcomes of students do not correspond to the government and parental investment. All stakeholders are concerned about why the system produces graduates with poor outcomes. To them, it is debatable whether teachers in our secondary schools, the most important factor in school effectiveness and the quality of a child’s education, are qualified to teach effectively. According to the national education policy, “no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers.” (FGN, 2017)
Nigeria’s federal government has made several attempts and enacted laws to promote educational development. Among such efforts is the law governing teacher recruitment, which is carried out in order to achieve educational goals and objectives. This could be accomplished if qualified teachers were available to teach at the appropriate level. This research is necessary in order to achieve educational goals and objectives.
This could only be accomplished by having qualified teachers teach at the appropriate level. There is a need for this research to determine whether there is a relationship between teacher quality and student achievement, especially in these recent years when the nation has witnessed massive failures in education (SSCE).
The purpose of this study is to see if there is a link between teacher quality and gender as predictors of primary school students’ performance.
1.3 The Study’s Objectives
The following goals are set for this research:
Determine the impact of teachers’ qualifications on the performance of primary school students.
Examine the effect of a teacher’s years of teaching experience on the performance of primary school students.
Determine the effect of the teacher’s subject knowledge on the performance of primary school students.
Determine whether teachers’ gender influences students’ academic achievement in English in a sample of primary schools.
1.4 Research Issues
The study aimed to answer the following research questions:
What effect does teacher qualification have on the performance of primary school students?
Does a teacher’s year of teaching experience affect the performance of primary school students?
What effect does teachers’ subject-matter knowledge have on student performance?
Do teachers’ genders influence students’ academic achievement?
1.5 Research Theories
For this study, the following hypotheses were proposed:
HO1: There is no significant relationship between primary school students’ Academic Achievement in English taught by teachers of various qualifications.
HO2: There is no significant relationship between students’ Academic Achievement in English and teachers’ years of teaching experience.
HO3: There is no significant relationship between pupils’ Academic Achievement in English whose teachers have subject knowledge and those whose teachers do not have subject knowledge in Primary Schools.
1.6 Importance of the Research
Any educational research must contribute to the advancement of knowledge. The research findings would be extremely beneficial to the government and other stakeholders by revealing the relationship between teacher quality and students’ Academic Achievement in our schools.
As a result, the ministry will be guided in adopting a new teacher recruitment policy, which will ensure that they recruit qualified teachers who are highly effective, i.e. those with content knowledge, teaching experience, a professional certificate, and overall academic ability.
The findings will help students, particularly those in postgraduate studies, to add more or contribute from where the researchers stopped or what remains to be done in the field of study.
The research findings will be useful to anyone who is curious about the relationship between teacher quality and pupil achievement. The findings will be extremely valuable and will aid in conference writing in the field. It will encourage teachers to plan and present their lessons well, as well as encourage unqualified teachers to continue their studies in order to meet the minimum required qualification for teaching.
The research findings will assist society in determining what should be included in the curriculum in order to improve the quality of both teachers and students. Curriculum planners will find this study useful. The findings of this study will be useful to the curriculum developers of the National Policy on Education in order to avoid any lapses during the construction process.
1.7 The Study’s Scope
The study is concerned with teacher quality, gender, and academic achievement of students. The researcher was limited to primary school teachers and students in the Degema Local Government Area.
1.8 Terms Definition
A statement of the procedures or methods by which a researcher will measure behaviors or qualities is defined as an operational definition of terms. The operational terms would be used frequently in the research work. The definition of terms is critical for a complete understanding of the entire study.
Teacher quality refers to teacher characteristics that reflect their competence for effectiveness in the teaching-learning process, such as professional qualifications, experience, and communicative competence.
As a result of a relationship, one variable influences another.
in terms of treatment
Academic Achievement of Students: Knowledge and skills of students at the end of the teaching-learning process.
Professional Teacher: A teacher who has received teaching certification in Hausa, such as a B.AEd/BEd Hausa MEd MA.Ed.
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