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EFFECTS OF STUDY HABITS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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EFFECTS OF STUDY HABITS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS

 

ABSTRACT

In the fields of education and psychology, learning has been discovered all over the world to be a highly complex problem. Several researchers have tried to explain it differently and the description of each is partially true. Over the years, researches on factors that influence academic performance of students have attracted the interest of not only researchers but concern of teachers, counsellors, psychologists, and school administrators as well. This researcher attempts to find out the Effects of Study Habits of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State and analyze relationship between study habits and academic performance and various other factors that affect study habits. It is generally believed that a student learns effective study habits in school. So students are generally assumed to have effective study habits, but the environment of school is very different and the need of effective study habits is even more at college level as compared to school. So, this research consists of details about why effective study habits are needed in Secondary Schools in order to learn and eventually score better. This research used questionnaire, observation and data presentation in its work based on the number of the respondent of the questionnaires administered. The instrument is made up of 5 items and it consists of 20 items which formed the main part of the questionnaire. It is designed along 5 point Likert type scale; ranging from Strongly Agreed (SA), Agreed (A), Undecided (U), Disagreed (D) and Strongly Disagreed (SD). The questions were meant to elicit responses on The Effects of Study Habits on Academic Performance of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Chikun Local Government Area. The work also moved further to the finding, the conclusion, the summary and the recommendations. Due to the finding, it is observed that some responses are more effective than others. It means that most students do ideally follow Effective Study Habits. In conclusion, students should not be condemned but be encouraged and linked to teachers who they can establish intellectual companionship that will help improve Study Habits.   It was however recommended that teachers and parents should identify good study habits and find ways and means of enhancing them among students. Furthermore, Government should provide ways of improving Study Habits in Secondary Schools e.g., by providing   well equipped library buildings and facilities. 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Study habits are learning tendencies that enable students work privately. Study habits are defined as those techniques such as summarizing, note taking, outlining or locating materials which learners employ to assist themselves in the efficient leaning of the materials which is at hand.  The term “Study habits” implies a sort of more or less permanent method of studying. According to Good’s dictionary of education, “Study habits are the tendency of students to study when the opportunities are given.

In the era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual well – being and opportunities for better living. It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase in their productivity and improve in their quality of life.

Success as the name implies is wished for by everybody but  it does not easily come by on a mere platter  of gold; one  must work for it through hard work and diligence. Schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities have no worth without student. The social and economic development of a country is directly linked with student academic performance; the desire of success is derived from individual’s concept of himself and in term of the meaning of various incentives as they spell success and failure in the eyes of others.

Learning is a very important personal matter and there isn’t one study habit that works for every situation. An individual student has to take more responsibility to acquire the desired knowledge to develop positive values, critical thinking, attitudes and skills.

Effective study skills and strategies are opportunities to approach learning tasks systematically and independently. Practicing good study habits is the key to becoming smarter and achieving success in school.

            Paivio (2000) noted that habits of study, which are formed in school, have greater significance and students must realize the need to acquire these effective study habits. Effective studying will help students to prepare schoolwork in less time to achieve greater degree of mastery of the lesson. Students who study effectively and efficiently utilize methods of learning which aid the acquisition, retention, application of knowledge, facts and information from textbook and class discussion, lectures and other resources.

            According to Pascual (2001), Study skills/ habits or study strategies are approaches applied to learning. They are generally critical to success in school, are considered essential for acquiring good grades, and are useful for learning throughout one’s life. There are arrays of study skills, which may tackle the process of organizing and taking in new information, retaining information, or dealing with assessments. They include mnemonic, which aid the retention of lists of information, effective reading and concentration techniques, as well as efficient note taking. Effective study habits are often up to the students and their support, however there is an evidence that they are increasingly taught at Secondary Schools and university levels. The researchers believe that the development of study habits helps a person become successful and productive.

 Study habits are said to be improving because of the advents and wide use of the Internet, hypertext, and multimedia resources which greatly affect the study habits (Liu, 2005). Karin and Hassan (2006) also noted that the exponential growth digital information, which changes the way students perceive studying and with printed materials that are to be used in facilitating study. Liu (2005) and Ramirez (2003) report that students print material from the Internet in order to study and read later on. Igun (2005) also found that Nigerians study from materials downloaded from the Internet. Reading is an attempt to absorb the thought of the author and know what the author is conveying (Leedy, 1956). Studying is the interpretation of reading materials. Study habits and skills are particularly important for college students, whose needs includes time management, note taking, Internet skills, the elimination of distraction, and assigning a high priority of study. Fielden (2004) states that good habits helps the students in critical reflection in skills outcomes such as selecting, analyzing, criticizing, and synthesizing. Nneji (2002) states that study habits are learning tendencies that enable students to work.

            Individuals are really different; thousands would love to study at night before going to bed while thousand others will love to study at dawn. Late night is normally quite and an individual is unlikely to be disturbed by anyone. Besides, a person has longer hours to review all his notes and works unlike the dawn when an individual will have to race against time. A thorough review at night will help a person learn while the hesistant studying at the dawn is highly prone to forgetting. This is true for a particular group of people. This is entirely against the theory of ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. Waking up the whole night to study for exams is sure to affect your health. Late night study is less productive as the mind loses concentration late at night. Lack of sleep affects an individual’s daily life. It weakens the strength of the student and can make him lose focus during examination. It will also lead to serious memory impairment, thus making no use of the hard work and study. The extent of student’s learning in academics may be determined by the grades a student earns for a particular period. It is believed that a grade is a primary indicator of such learning. It is concluded that they may also have learned a lot while low grades indicate lesser learning. However, many experiences and studies found out that there are also several factors that would account for the grades. It has been interplay of so many factors- gender, IQ, study habits, age, year level, parent’s educational attainment, social status, number of siblings, birth order, etc. In fact, almost all of existing environmental and personal factors are a variable of academic performance. However, at this point in time, the research would like to investigate the possible relationship achievement of students in Secondary Schools.

The investigation becomes a real and compelling motivation for the research to conduct this study. Diverse study techniques, even for the improvement of memory stress, the importance of immediacy in remembering and learning. Thorndike’s Law of Exercise further supports this kind of principle asserting that other things being equal, the more frequent a modifiable connection between a situation and a respond is not being used over a period of time, the strength of that connection is weakened. A behaviour that is stimulated over regular period will tend to be repeated leading to habits formation.  A student who has developed this kind of behaviour, in this case, in term of having regular and scheduled study periods and following certain methods in studying proves to have better performance.

            The most common bad study habits can affect even a gifted student, bad habits can hurt a student’s scores. Studying with friends while having fun, sometimes a student may lose out on quality study time by socializing. To fix this, the student needs to find a good study group which he/she likes. Otherwise, he should just say no when everyone wants to study together.

            Too much music and noise can interfere with the brain’s ability to comprehend new information. It can also distract the student from focusing on the material at hand. If a student needs music in the back ground, he should find a specific type (usually classical) that works well for him/her. He should not keep changing it around.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1. Study Groups

2. Finding a quite place and make it a daily habit

3. Refreshing Topics in memory often

4. Setting a particular time and place

5. Poor Study Habits

6. Time Management            

7. Improving Concentration

1.3       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

        The main purpose of the study is to examine the Effects of Study Habits on Student’s Performance in Chikun L.G.A. of Kaduna State. Specially, this study seeks to examine:

To investigate the possible relationship of study habits and how it enhances good grades in improving academic performance of students in Secondary Schools. The extent of student’s good study habits which when developed improves academic performance. How environment and time management affect academic performance of students. How a student can acquire effective study habits to improve academic performance.

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.      How does acquisition of good grades improve academic performance?

2. How can good study habits be developed to improve academic performance?

3. How does environment and management of time affect academic performance?

4. to what extent does time and manner affect study habits?

1.5       THEORETICAL/CONCEPTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Robert Bjork and Fellow PT Biogger Nate Kornell have explored some of the study habits of college students in a 2007 paper in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Research on memory provides a number of important suggestions about the most effective ways to study. One of the most important tip is that students should study by testing themselves rather than just reading over the material. It is also important to study over a period of days rather  than just waiting until the last minute to study. Kornell and Bjork’s studies suggest that only about 2/3 of college students routinely quiz themselves, and a majority of students study only one time for upcoming exams.

Research has suggested that sleep and good memory are bed fellows. Burning midnight oil harms more than it serves. The researchers say that at least a good night sleep within 30hours is needed to remember a new task later. Science has also said that teen brains work most effectively at night. However, the scientists concluded that a good night’s sleep, which includes both slow –wave and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, produces the most effective performances.

What matters is not late night studying or early dawn studying just before the exams, but its about how a student benefits himself through any type of reading. So long as it benefits him, he can continue with the particular style of studying, but an individual should take care that his/her health is not deteriorated as health is the supreme here. A student can’t do anything he/she wants to do if he/she has a poor health.

Nagaraju (2004) pointed that, for good academic success, good study habits and attitudes are important. Hence, it is imperative and desirable that a probe into the pattern of study habits and attitudes of students be made.

Studies have shown that learning new information in different environments, at varying noise levels and even mood states, can significantly improve a student’s ability to recall that same information when test day comes.

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is hoped that this study will provide information for governments, teachers, parents, school administrators, agencies, students, communities to reflect upon various factors that can help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing the factors to the school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in schools.

In addition, the fact that the study is conducted in Public Schools, it shares a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the study habits as it affects the academic performance of students in Secondary Schools.

1.7       OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

1.                  Study Habit definition

The definition of study habits are the behaviours used when preparing for tests or learning academic material. It also refers to the habitual practices a student or an individual uses to help them study and learn. Good study habits can help students achieve or maintain good grades.

2.                  Habits

Habits refers to a thing that someone does often and almost without thinking, especially something that is hard to stop doing. It is a usual behaviour.

3.                  Study

Study is the activity of learning or gaining knowledge, either from books or by examining things in the world. It is also the act of considering or examining materials in detail.

4.                  Academic Performance

Academic performance refers to the outcome of education, the extent to which a student has achieved his educational goal.

5.                  Performance

Performance is how well or badly an individual does an activity.

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