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EFFECT OF STUDY HABITS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL

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EFFECT OF STUDY HABITS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0     Background of the Study

Education is the process of developing the capacities and potentials of the individual so as to prepare that individual to be successful in a specific society or culture. From this perspective, education is serving primarily as an individual developmental function. Education begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is constant and ongoing. Schooling generally begins somewhere between the ages of four and six when children are gathered together for the purpose of specific guidance related skills and competencies that society deems important. In the past decades, once the formal primary and secondary schooling was completed the process was finished. However, in today’s information age, adults are quite often learning in informal settings throughout their working lives and even into retirement.

Education, in its broadest sense, may be defined as a process designed to inculcate the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enable individuals to cope effectively with their environment (Abdulkareem, 2000). Its primary purpose is to foster and promote the fullest individual self-realization for all people. Achieving this goal requires understanding of commitment to the proposition that education is a primary instrument for social and economic advancement of human welfare (Verma, 2000). The world is becoming more and more competitive and quality of performance has become the key factor for personal progress. Parents desire that their children climb the ladder of academic performance to as high a level as possible. This desire for a high level of performance puts a lot of pressure on students, teachers, and schools and in general, the education system itself. It appears as if the whole system of education revolves round the academic performance of students, though various other outcomes are also expected from the system. Thus, a lot of time and effort of the schools are used in helping students to achieve better in their scholastic endeavours. The importance of scholastic and academic performance has raised important questions for educational researchers (Ramaswamy, 2000).

Jimoh (2000), also described education as the totality of the experiences made available to individuals in formal or informal situations, to make them develop a rounded personality and to be useful to themselves and the society at large. From the knowledge so far, it can be concluded that education, inculcates the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enable individuals to cope effectively with their environment. Considering the numerous advantages that are derived from education, no amount of resources expended on it can be described as too much. For that matter, a person’s education is closely linked to life chances, income level and well-being (Battle & Lewis, 2002). Therefore, it is important to have a clear understanding of what benefits or hinders one’s educational attainment.  Parents and guardians send their children to school to acquire relevant educational skills, knowledge and good morals so as to be useful to themselves and the society.

1.4Statement of the Problem

This research problem emanated as a result of the increasing nature of poor academic performance among senior secondary school students in Geography, especially in external examinations like JAMB and SSCE. Many educationists tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by teachers and lack of funds from the government to provide quality textbooks. And these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly in examinations. However, reports on the high rate of poor academic performance in senior secondary schools in the subject of Geography are of great concern to many Nigerians. Observations and interactions with students indicate that most senior secondary school students studying Geography have poor study habits which might lead to poor academic performance

1.5          Purpose of the Study

This study is to investigate the influence of study habits on the academic performance of Geography students in mainland local government area of Lagos State.

1.3     Significance of the Study

This research is intended to add to the existing information on the influence of study habits on academic performance of senior secondary school students. The results of this study could be of significance to students, teachers, parents, school counsellors, policy makers and the government in assisting and encouraging students to realize the importance of study habits on their academic performance. Students will benefit more from the findings of this study as they will be offered the necessary assistance as and how to develop good study habits which will help to improve upon their academic performance. Students will also be given information on how study habits affect their academic performances and the results of this study will make them aware of the common study habits among other co-students.

Also this could serve as a guide to teachers and school counsellors who always have the desire to see their students perform well by giving them the right techniques of developing study habits. It will again help teachers in understanding better the diversity of learning in students and as such, develop more effective methodologies in teaching their subject matter for better understanding of students.   

Furthermore, parents on the other hand will be accorded the opportunity to play their roles in providing motivation and rewards to their children to encourage the formation and maintenance of good study habits at the family level. Also, the study will help the government to provide the needed learning materials and facilities to motivate students to enhance the development of good study habits.

Finally, the study will serve as a guide and resource document to policy makers and stakeholders in developing curriculum materials and text books, taking into consideration students’ needs and aspirations as they study to pass their examinations both at the secondary and tertiary levels.

1.4     Research Questions

The following research questions were raised and answered in the course of this study:

i.                   Will poor attendance have any significant effect on academic performance of          geography students in selected secondary schools in Mainland Local           Government Area of Lagos state?

ii.                 Will poor note taking skills have any significant effect on academic          performance of geography students in selected secondary schools in Mainland           Local Government Area of Lagos state?

iii.              Will poor time management skills have any significant effect on academic          performance of geography students in selected secondary schools in Mainland           Local Government Area of Lagos state?

iv.              Will failure to read instructions have any significant effect on academic          performance of geography students in selected secondary schools in Mainland           Local Government Area of Lagos state?

v.                 Will over reliance on other students have any significant effect on academic          performance of geography students in selected secondary schools in Mainland           Local Government Area of Lagos state?

1.5     Limitation of the Study

The researcher encountered problems during the course of carrying out this research; such problems were as a result of selected respondents who refused to accept and participate and also encountered difficulty in acquiring relevant materials and items. The attitude of selected subjects to fill the questionnaire to time so as not to delay the result of the research also posed a problem. However, the researcher appealed to the participants through persuasive means.

1.6     Scope/Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited to the following:

1.     Survey Research Design

2.     Use of questionnaire, simple frequency counts of percentage was used in the presentation of demographic data while the inferential statistics of Chi-Square (x2) was used in testing the stated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.

3.     200 out of 32,899 senior secondary school students (www.ekoproject.org) served as sample for this study

4.     5 out of 43 senior secondary schools in Mainland Local Government area of Lagos state (www.ekoproject.org) provided sample for this study

1.7     Operational Definition of Terms

Academic Performance: It is the outcome of education the extent to which a student has achieved his/her educational goals.

Class Attendance: refers to the students or number of students that are present

Note taking Skill: refers to the process or art of recording information that has originated from a source for the purposes of disseminating that information at a later time. Usually, note taking will occur during discussions where a teacher or lecturer is dictating notes for a particular topic or during a presentation where the the audience will note down information being presented.

Study habit: An action or pattern of learning that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody

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