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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 8 NO 2, DECEMBER, 2010


EFFECT OF SCHOOL LEARNING CULTURE ON ACHIEVEMENT IN PHYSICS: IMPLICATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

M.I. Simeon

Department of Science and Environmental Eduction, Education, University of Abuja

E-mail:simeon 20012003@yahoo.com

Abstract

The study attempted to find out if there exists any relationship between school learning culture and achievement in the senior secondary school Physics. Five (5) secondary schools which offer Physics were randomly selected in Kontagora, Niger State. Twenty (20) students were chosen from each school totalling one hundred (100) students used in the research. A twenty (20) item questionnaire based on the Likert scale was designed to elicit responses from students on the school learning culture while the result of terminal Physics examination was used as achievement score. Reliability coefficient of the instrument (questionnaire) was established at 0.85 using the split-half method. The generated null hypotheses were tested using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient and the t-test statistical tool. Findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between school learning culture and achievement in student in Physics. The paper therefore recommended that stake holders in the education sector should encourage a congenial school learning culture capable of raising a high level achievement in the senior secondary school physics.

 

Keyword: Learning, Culture, Achievement, School ,Physics.

Introduction


Some schools are wonderfully stimulating and happy places to be in, while schools that are fragile and vunerable are schools that  have lost their ability to provide effective learning culture for their staff or students (Hawk, 2000). Some school learning culture are suffocating  while others naturing. Every school is perceived as different and every school has it own atmosphere and mood. “Our learning culture” is the name we have to  our collective aspiration to become as good a learning organisation as we can possibly be (Argyll and Bute Council, 2010) A school culture is one of the most difficult to describe and yet one of the most important element in it success or failure in educating it students.  The culture and climate of school can be affected by factors from disciplining problems and classroom rowdiness to educator pessimism or student apathy. School learning culture can most nearly be described as the sum of all perceptions and emotion attached to the school, both good and bad, held by students, faculty, administrators, parents and the community at large.

Classroom discipline as a school learning culture

Owoeye (1990) outlined a catalogue of the form that indiscipline takes in our secondary schools as follows: students’ riots, strike action, truancy, drug addition, vandalism, apathy, sexual abuse and harassment, oppression, theft, insubordination, fighting, lateness to school, indolence, insolence, boss intimidation, examination leakage, fraud, forgery, abduction/seduction, deviance, ostentation living, corruption, drunkenness, robbery, abortion, etc. To mention but few, one of many of these may do much harm to academic performance of the student not only in Physics but also in other subject areas. Furthermore, Owoeye (1990) defined indiscipline as a failure to submit one’s desires and actions to the restraint or orderly social conduct in recognition of the rights and desires of other. In their word Nwokafor, Ogunsenwo and Nwankwo (1999) discipline is a system of guiding the individual to make reasonable and responsible decisions. If a school system is not such as provides an enabling environment which perpetuates discipline most definitely the school learning culture is not such that is congenial for good achievement in examinations. Unfortunately as lamented by Salako (2000) students are no longer serious with their studies. Most students according to him go to school when they like while others do not even go at all. All these as negatively imbibed culture invariably affects learning at school and mar students’ achievement rather than enhancing it.

 

Learning culture and achievement

In schools that have an effective learning culture, the active love for learning is evident throughout the organisation (Hawk, 2010). According to him, the teacher, support staff, the principal, the board and the parents each plays a vital roles and has responsibility for, the overall goal of achieving an effective learning culture in the school. Learning opportunities he asserts will be maximized, when the teacher and the students work comparatively. The love for learning develops when the learning experiences are stimulating, fulfilling and help the students to make sense of their world. This is also confirmed by the Wikipedia Encyclopaedia (2010) that the culture and the environment in which children are raised may play a role in achievement gap.  

 

Availabilities of new technology and instructional materials as a school learning culture

According to Dubery, Pisani and Sedibe (1999) in Roodt and Concradie (2003), new technology has the potential to foster a learning culture and implement classroom, teaching even in remote rural areas. Kara and Kahramen, (2008) observed that visual materials are being used in every field and students are mostly in the effect of technological tools like computer and television. As a result, supporting instrument material with different sounds, images and simulations are more lasting, pleasurable and makes effective learning occur.

Ugbede (1991) affirmed that well prepared and used instructional material determines the amount of learning that can take place in a learning setting. This is why a science learning culture in tantamount  to providing an enabling environment that enhances teaching and learning of science particularly Physics which is necessary for a nation’s technological development. Obviously good and quality instructional materials or laboratory equipment will nevertheless aid in concretizing what is taught by arousing quality interest, and consequently make the learning of physics more meaningful. But when the instructional aids, equipment etc are not there, teacher – student interaction is less effective. This is why in the word of Odor and Azeke (1986) that science teaching becomes didactic, exposing or story telling when equipment and materials are lacking. Materials used intermittently during Physics lesson reduce boredom and fatigue in learners.

School teachers leadership style as a school learning culture 

Leadership defers and varies from one organization to another and from one school to another. For teachers to be able to carry along the school to value students and school achievement, such must have good leadership ability. Fashiku (2006) asserts that it is expected that school head should note that teachers' activities and its attitudes have a domineering influence on administration and achievement of the school educational goals. Also Salami (2006) opined that the role of the teacher in the classroom includes that of planning, coordination, Initiating and organizing, programming, leading, guarding and controlling environment to ensure the achievement of the desired educational goals.

If then the leadership and managerial attributes of school a teacher will affect the effectiveness and achievement of student in physics, it is then pertinent to say in line with Sidiq (2006) who opined that since teachers play prominent role in the Implementation of school curriculum there is the need to get them well prepared for task through well organized and effectively managed staff development programme

Hypotheses

1.      There is no significant relationship between school learning culture and achievement in the senior secondary school Physics.

2.      There is no significant difference between school learning culture and achievement in the senior school Physics.

 

Methodology

Sample description

The sample population used composed of one hundred (100) students selected from five (5) secondary schools in Kontagora, Niger State. In each school twenty (20) students who offer Physics were randomly selected to make up the total of one hundred (100) students.

 

Instrumentation

The instrument used in collecting data was a questionnaire indented school learning culture. It was designed in such a way that respondents could respond to items on the 4-point Liker-type rating scale. The scoring was done as follows:

Strongly Agree (SA)     -           4 points

Agree (A)                                 -           3 points

Disagree (D)                            -           2 points

Strongly Disagree (SD)            -           1 point

There were twenty (20) items in the questionnaire therefore each respondent could score a maximum of 80 points.

The achievement score in the terminal school Physics examination was also collected for each student. The score had a maximum of 100%. The score on the Likert scale was then converted to a maximum of 100 to compare favourably with the achievement score. A reliability coefficient of 0.85 was established using the split half method.

Procedure for data analysis

The two stated null hypotheses were tested using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) and the t-test statistics at the chosen alpha level (P=0.05).

 

Result and discussion

 

Hypothesis 1

 


Table 1: Result of correlation coefficient showing relationship between school learning culture and students' achievement in the senior secondary school Physics.

S/No

School

r-calculated

D.F.

r-critical

P

Decision

1

A

0.65

19

0.433

0.05

Significant

2

B

0.53

Significant

3

C

0.68

Significant

4

0

0.71

    Significant

5

E

0.66

Significant


Result on table 1 shows that the calculated values for the five (5) schools were all greater than the r-critical value at p < 0.05. This implies that there is significant relationship between school learning culture and achievement in the senior secondary school Physics. The null hypothesis 1 (H01) is therefore rejected.


Hypothesis 2

Table 2: Result of t-test showing significant difference between school learning culture and achievement in the senior secondary school Physics.

 S/No

School

t-calculated

D.F.

t-critical

P

Decision

1

A

2.01

19

0.433

0.05

Not Significant

2

B

1.82

Not Significant

3

C

1.94

Not Significant

4

0

2.83

Not Significant

5

E

1.79

Not Significant


Result in table 2 shows that the t­calculated values for four (4) of the five (5) schools were all greater than the t-critical at P < 0.05. Since majority of the school (four out of the five schools) had teal> tcri: it therefore implies that there is no significant difference between school learning culture and achievement in the senior secondary school Physics.

Discussion

On null hypothesis 1 (HO,) finding as shown on table 1 revealed that there is significant relationship between school learning culture and achievement in senior secondary school Physics. This therefore means the null hypothesis 1 is rejected. This indicates that achievement of students at the senior secondary school Physics is greatly influenced by the perceived school learning culture prevailing in the school.

On null hypothesis 2 (H02) findings as shown on table 2 revealed that there is no significant difference between school learning culture and achievement in senior secondary school Physics examination. The null hypothesis (H02) is therefore accepted. In other words the scores obtained for school learning culture and achievement in Physics were synonymous. This means that achievement of students is greatly dependent on the prevailing school learning culture in the school system.

Implication of effective learning culture on national development

Since effective learning culture has the potency of stimulating love for learning as well as play a significant role in achievement, it is therefore necessary to consider the effect of such on achievement in physics. This is because physics as a physical science is a requirement for medicine, pharmacy, engineering, information and communication technology (ICT). It is on this note that schools should provide enabling school learning culture and climatic environment that fosters, nurtures successful achievement in physics for our national development.  

Recommendation

Since findings in the study revealed that there is a close relationship between school learning and the achievement of students in the senior secondary Physics examination, the following recommendations are therefore made:

(i)        As part of school learning culture, discipline on the part of student ranging from respect for school rules and orders to punctuality should be well encouraged knowing this will invariably affect the achievement of students.

(ii)      Physics laboratory should be well equipped and student made to cultivate the habit of working very hard at school as an enviable learning culture.

(iii)    Teachers and principals should be such that are interested in students school work.

(iv)    Principals and teachers as well as every other school staff should be seen as epitome of self-discipline at school as this will go along away in encouraging the students to be well behaved and learn better.

(v)      Since teachers play prominent role in the implementation of school curriculum there is the need to get them when prepared for this task through well organized and effectively managed staff development programmes.

(vi)    Adequate provision of new technology in form of computers, audio-visual etc for computer – assisted – instruction in physics is strongly advocated for to give suitable and effectives learning culture   

 

Conclusion

Findings revealed in this study on table 1 and table 2 shows that school learning culture has an appreciable effect achievement of students in Physics.

 

Reference

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