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THE INFLUENCE OF MOTIVATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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THE INFLUENCE OF MOTIVATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS

 

ABSTRACT

The study attempts to investigate the influence of motivation on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, extensive and relevant literature was reviewed under sub- headings. The descriptive research survey was employed in assessing the opinions of the respondents using the questionnaires and the sampling techniques. One hundred and twenty respondents were selected as samples for the study.Four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study using the t- test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analyses, the following results emerged:A significant influence of motivation on academic achievement exists. The academic achievements of students who are motivated differ from those who are not motivated. There is no significant gender difference in the performance of students who are motivated and those who are not. In conclusion, it was found that a insignificant differences exists between the social adjustment of students who are motivated and those who are not.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM

Miller and Janet (1989) defined motivation as the study of why people think and behave as they do. It is a branch of psychology which concerned  with the understanding  of the activation, organisation and direction of behaviour. If actions that seem to lead to the same goal, such as food, are grouped together , it may be said that these actions are all energiesed and guided  by the same motive (hunger). But , unless the motives existence can be shown apart from the actions, it is supposed  to explain the explanation in circular ( why does he / she eat?) because he/ she is hungry. How do you know ? Because he eats. Psychologists  have used general approaches  to show that motives exist and that they are useful theoretical concepts. Adams (2002),claims that in an achievement setting, someone would be concerned with motivation if he were to ask , for example, why some students persist to task completion dispite erroneous difficulty, while  others  give up at the slightest  provocation, or why some students set such  unrealistically high goals for themselves that failure is bound to occur.

Motivation is the study of what pushes or pulls an individual to start, direct, sustain and finally end an activity. For example, an achievement activity such as studying for examination. Motivation researchers would want to examine what the person is doing, the choice of behaviour, how long it takes that person to get started etc or wish to see the latency of behaviour, how hand the individual actually works at the activity ( the intensity of behaviour);how long that individual is willing to  remain at the activity ( the persistence of behaviour ) and what the person is thinking or feeling while engaged in the activity or the cognition and emotional reactions that accompanying behavioural (Anet, 1999).The focus  on the “why” of achievement  is quite different from the study of achievement itself. Educationist, sometimes continue the topics of researchers who study  motivation with the topic of researchers who study performance , achievement and learning.

1.1  THEORETICAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The scientific study  of motivation as a discipline separated from learning, began researchers were primarily interested in the factors that aroused behaviour, so that got it started in the first place. It was widely belived at the time that the optional state of balance and equilibrium where all    needs were satisfied .The process of keeping the organisaiton at this optional level is known as homeostasis. Homeostatic balance  was also thought to be satisfying which was compatible with the belief that organism or the desire to maximize pleasure and minimize pains.Theories of motivation that emerged in the 1930s were based on the ideas of homeostatic and Idolism as foundational principles.

Drive Theory : The best known of these early conceptions was Clark Hull’s drive theory. (Hull 1950), behaviour is a function of drive and habit. Drives in Hullian framework are unsatisfied needs such as the need for food ( hunger) or the need for water (Thirst) .The drive to satisfy one’s needs is what arouses or energies behaviour . habits in term providers a direction for behaviour . Habits are stimulus  responses, bonds that are built up over time as a result of prior learning for example , if  someone’s needs to acheive has been satisfied in the past  studying hard for exams, then deficit in that need (arousal) should be satisfied by renewed study behaviour. Thus, behaviour can be explained by both a motivation components ( the drive that energies behaviour) and a learning component ( the habit that provides direction or indicates what particular behaviour will be initiated.

Simple, yet elegant, drive theory generated  vast amount of motivation research from the 1930s thought he 1950s of most relevance to education were studies on anxiety are conducted by Kenneth (1957) who was a student of Hull. According to Kenneth, anxiety is a drive and it therefore, arouses behaviour. In this case, the speed with which one learns simple versus complex tasks. One simple tasks where there is already a strong habit, strength anxiety will facilitate the speed of learning with complex tasks on the other hand, where there are weak stimulus- response bonds,high anxiety should interfere with  learning because high anxiety  activates incorrect stimulus- response bonds ( habits) that compete with correct response. In support of this analysis, many studies reveals that high anxiety is neither uniformity adoptive or maladaptive across all learning contexts.(puppet, 1988).

Achievement goals capture the reason why a person engages in achievement behaviour and two broad types have been identified. Students who pursue mastery goals are oriented towards acquiring new skills or improving on their levels of competence . In contrast, students who adopt performance goals are motivated by the intent to demonstrate that they have  adequate ability and avoid displaying signs that they have low ability. According to this analysis, individual can therefore, decide to engage in achievement activities for two very difficult reasons: they strive to develop competence by learning as much as they can, or they may strive to publicly  display their competence by trying to out perform others.(Amos, 1991)

A vast number of studies suggest that mastery goals increase motivation more than do performance goals. The general thinking is that mastery oriented individuals  seek challenges and escalate their efforts when task become difficult, whereas as performance ability as threatened in challenging  situations, which they tend to avoid. More recently, researcher such as Edmund et al (2003) however suggests that adopting performance goals in some situations may enhance motivation. At times , the two goal orientation may go hand in hand ( people  may strive to attain mastery and outperform others ) the pursuit of performance  goals ( ie companying one’s elf to others) can provide dues that the person is competent as will therefore, enhance motivation. It also appears that when performance  goals are differentiated by approach ( demonstrating ability) and avoidance concealing how ability) tendencies , it is mainly the avoidance components that compromises sustained achievement strivings.(Adams, 2000)

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

motivation is the reason why people think and behave as they do. It is what pulls or pushes an individual to start, direct, sustain and finally end an activity. For example,  an achievement activity such as studying for examination, motivation researchers would want to examine what the person is doing, the choice of behaviour , how long it takes that person to get started etc or they wish to see the latency of behaviour how long the individual actually works at the activity ( the intensity of behaviour), how long that individual is willing to remain at  the activity ( the persistence of behaviour) and what the person is thinking or feeling while engaged in the  activity,  or the cognitive and emotional  reactions that accompany behaviour (Anet , 1999).

Adolescents in the school setting need to be motivated if they would  achieve  high academic performance . Teachers , who are in the habit of motivating their students get the benefits of it because those students motivated in terms of rewards such as praises and using other patterns of motivation, out perform other children who are not motivated by their teachers. Children who are not motivated tend to perform very low in their academic pursuits. For example,  children who are  not given pocket money, who are not provided with educational materials such as textbooks, school fees are not paid as at when do, will no doubt, perform below expectation by parents and teachers. Also, students who are not given the needed classroom instructions by their teachers and who are not rewarded whenever they do the right things in the school will not have the interest, the desire to carry out the  same performance or task again. This is because a child carries out or repeats the same act or task again  and again when he/ she is  motivated or rewarded. The child refuses to repeat itself he / she is not motivated or punished. This study therefore attempts to examine the influence of motivation on the academic performance of students in secondary schools. This is because motivation is the central element in the academic performance of children even adults in the educational setting anywhere.

1.2    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of motivation on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary schools in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. Other specific objectives of the study include  to find out

1. Whether motivation has a  significant influence on academic performance of adolescents in schools.

2. Whether there is a significant difference in the academic performance of students who are motivated and those who are not.

3. whether there is a significant influence of motivation  on the social adjustment of adolescents in schools.

4. Whether there is a significant  gender difference in academic performance of students due to motivation.

1.3    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following  research questions will be raised in this study :

1. Will there be any significant influence of motivation on academic achievement of adolescents in schools?

2. Will there be any significant difference between the academic  performance of students who are motivated and those who are not ?

3. Do students who are motivated have better school adjustment than those who are not?

4. Is there any significant gender difference in the performance  of students  who are motivated?

5. Will there be any significant difference in the social adjustment of students who are motivated in schools and those who are not?

1.4   RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses will be tested and analysed in this study.

1. There will be no significant influence of motivation on the academic achievement of adolescents in the  school.

2. There will be no significant difference between the academic performance of students who are motivated and those who are not.

3. There will be no significant gender difference in the  performance of students who are motivated.

4.  There will be no significant difference between the social adjustment of students who are motivated.

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study will be beneficial to the following individuals.

1. Teachers will benefit from this study in that, they will know better off the impact of motivation on the academic achievement of students, with the findings and recommendations of this study, teachers would have better insight into the importance of motivating adolescents in school, so as to achieve greater academic performance.

2. Students would be the most beneficiaries of this study because they would learn a lot from the recommendations of this study  and its outcomes. They would be exposed to the concept of motivation and achievement in school. This study will also motivate them to study hard so as to increase their performance rates at school.

3. Parents would find this study of great benefit because it will enable them to have positive perception of motivation and academic achievement of their children and wards. The recommendations of this study will no doubt help parents to motivate their children and wards the more so that they would be high academic achievers in the schools.

4. Guidance and Counsellors would also see this study  as beneficial and good because the recommendations will assist them to counsel people, especially, the students who are having low academic achievement due to poor or non- motivation by either their teachers or their parents.

5. The society will also find this study a great reference point  because it will also help them to know better  the importance of motivation on the performance of adolescents in the school setting.

6. scholars , new researchers and readers would find this study beneficial in that , it will help them to carry out their work well either in the school or out of it. This work will generally be a reference material to many people who are solving problem of motivation and academic performance  of adolescents in our secondary schools.

1.6   SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study will cover the influence of motivation on the academic performance of adolescents in  some selected secondary schools in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. Time, Finance and other logistics would be a hindrance to the completion of this study.

1.7   DEFINITION OF TERMS

The following unfamiliar  terms were defined in this study thus:

1. Motivation: Incentive Psychology the mental function or instincts that produces, sustains and regulates behaviour in humans and animals. The drive or push that maintains an action or behaviour of individuals.

2. Psychology : according to Armolds (19994) , this means the science that studies the human mind and behaviour.

3. Motives:  something ( as a need or desired ) that causes a person to act.

4. Achievement Motivation : According to Camera and Barreh (1997)achievement motivation is the desire to do well on tasks, relative to a stand and of achievement. Researchers who study achievement motivation examine why some people persist on a task, when most people would giveup, and why others set unrealistically high goals for themselves.

5. Intrinsic Motivation: According to Hall (1995), This refers to the desire to perform an activity for its own sake for example, people are likely to do something when they find it inherently enjoyable.

6. Extrinsic Motivation: Hall (1995) sees extrinsic motivation as the desire to perform an activity because of external rewards,

7. Incentive Theory: Reeve (1997) defines incentive  theory as the influence of external goals. For example, incentive theory emphasizes how external goals motivates one to respond. An attractive incentive energises us to do something, and unattractive incentive encourages us not to do something.

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