Influence of attitude and study habit on the academic performance of students’ in computer studies

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the study

Education is undoubtedly the greatest instrument in which man has devised for his own progress. All societies therefore have one form of education or another but the use in which it is put varies. It is often considered being the only way of getting to the top in Nigeria and so, failure brings untold hardship and frustration to the individual. Over the years, the investigations of the factors that influence academic performance of junior secondary students have attracted the interest and concern of teachers, counselors, psychologists, researchers and school administrators. This is because of the public outcries concerning the low standard of education in the country (Akindamola, 2012).

In Nigeria, there are so many factors that influence the ability of junior secondary school students to cultivate effective and efficient study habit. Such factors that are capable of influencing the academic performance of junior secondary school students are state of health, motivation, anxiety, their environment, adequacy of infrastructures like textbooks and well equipped libraries etc; Nuthana & Yenagi, (2009) have examined the causes of poor academic performance among junior secondary school students in computer studies. Some of these factors identified are low intellectual ability, poor study habit, under achievement demotivation, lack of vocational goals, low self concept, low socio-economic status of the family, poor family structure and so on. If for instance a child consistently fails or performs poorly in his examination, he presumably may develop low self concept and may lack confidence to study or pass.

The construct attitude toward school was first defined by Lewy (2001) as being the subject’s behaviours, their feelings or expression regarding to affection and judgments, favourable or unfavourable, for the school and school experiences. The affective characteristics of it may be an important explanatory element of quality-education and investment of individual actors in the different dimensions that make up the school, Santiago (2003). This construct is intrinsically related to other constructs, such as students’ perceptions and interest about learning, their competence (perceived and as result of academic achievement) and motivation.

          According to Allport (2000), an attitude is a mental and natural state of readiness, organized through experience exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual responses to all objects and situation with which it is related. Attitudes are learned behaviour and they thrive under favourable conditions. Students with favourable attitude towards school usually work to their capacities and make good adjustments in schools. Those with unfavourbale attitude in time begin to think of themselves as less able than they actually are (Hurlock 1999).     

In every school setting, students are perpetually in search of academic success, the success of academic performance is their ultimate goal. Academic performance can be expressed in the form of good scores and prizes as a result of hard work and exceptional performance in classroom tests, assignments and examination (Robinson, 2001).

Research on the relationship between attitude and study habit on students’ academic performance has for long received attention from scholars and educational agencies. For instance, Nwegbu (2000) asserted that habit saves time and saves effort. It is through the help of techniques that we carry out daily routines. Therefore, good study techniques are important ingredients in the life of a successful student in his course of study, since it helps students to accomplish the task effectively and efficiently. Denga (2001) is of the opinion that such student should choose his suitable study techniques from the various study techniques because of individual differences, since according to him, each student has his own goal in life and possesses his unique ways of pursuing these goals. A close examination of the factors that influence the academic performance of students manifest and sacrifice are required for academic performance.

However, studies of academic performance indicate that most students are under achievers. (Dizney, 2003, Okegbile, 2007 and Adetunji and Oladeji, 2007). A major reason for students’ under developed potentialities may be in their lack of learning strategies.

Study habits are learning tendencies that enable students to work privately. Azikiwe (1998) describes the study habit as “the adopted way and manner a student plans his private readings, after classroom learning so as to attain mastery of the subject”. According to her, “good study habits are good assets to learners because they (habits) assist students to attain mastery in areas of specialization and consequent excellent performance, while opposite constitute constraints to learning and achievement leading to failure”.

This means that a student study habit could be group discussion method of study, time allocation and home work or assignment method among others. It is observed that an effective study technique does not just happen, but acquired. As such, it has to go through mental processes before it can be established as a habit.

Therefore, students who have developed good study techniques do not spend much time studying before they can attain success. In the contrary, those techniques make little or no success in their academic work. Bad or poor study habit makes the process irksome an tedious Swift (2005). Furthermore, whenever a student develops effective study technique, his learning skills memory processing strategies and his general test and examination performances are appreciably improved.

          Apart from high intellectual endowment, differences in academic performance among students could be attributed to differences in study techniques. Some of the problems associated with the study techniques include:

  • Inability to make use of the library facilities.
  • Lack of concentration capacity, poor examination technique
  • Inability to share and contribute meaningfully to study group, poor time allocation, poor consultation with teachers, counselors and fellow students (Haye, 2002).

This problem of study group is a global one. Most students do not acknowledge they have poor study techniques. This is partly shown in the fallen standard of academic performance in our educational institutions. Majority of the student complain about other factors being responsible for their poor academic performance. They hardly complain about their study techniques. The result is parent and teachers are constantly in herbal warfare against others for the student’s poor academic performance (Robinson, 2001).

Performance is generally a pedagogical terminology used while determining learners’ success in formal education and which is measured through reports, examinations, research, and ratings with numerous factors of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the National Policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents according to school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects. Although studies abound on the causative and predictive nature of factors of study habit on students academic achievement, all factors of the variables tend to focus on poor study habit while the effect is yet to be fully accessed on the nations educational development.

Performance is a notable action, it enables one to excel when the action is well carried out. It could also lead to failure, when an achievement is not reached; when academic performance is not meeting with the expectation of parents, school, and society in the field of academics. There is a great deal of disagreement today about who is to be blame on why students perform badly in schools. This is simple because failure is a negative force and nobody wants to be associated with it. This then give the reason of poor academic performance causes being linked with one person or the other. Students may not realize that bad behaviours are factors that interfere with learning, thereby causing poor academic performance in schools. But teacher and all other concerned in an attempt to maintain good order and discipline realize that bad behaviours such as lack of interest in school work and truancy are problem which greatly hinder academic progress. According to Johnson (2002) certain kinds of students lack of interest in school preludes their learning as well as the learning of others.

It is in view of the above that the researcher intend to investigate the effects of attitude and study habit on students academic performance in computer studies.

1.2     Statement of Problem

Some students attitude towards studies seem to be non-chalant, because of this attitude they do not spend much time studying before going for examination or test and thus leads to the massive failure of students in the subject.

The ability to study effectively is important for students success in any of the school subjects. Many capable students at all grade levels may experience frustration and even failure in many subjects, not because they lack ability, but because they do not have adequate study skills. Good study skills such as listening and reading, note-taking, managing time, taking tests, etc are not only capable of improving their academic performance, but also increasing their feelings of competence and confidence in their chosen subjects as they learn.

          In recent time educators in Nigeria have been increasingly concerned about the need to improve on the academic performance of students (Akubuiro, 2008). In the same vein Akomolafe (2009) asserted that parents, teachers and society in general are worried and apprehensive about the best way to improve academic standards, achievement and performance. Consequently, the decline in the academic performance of students in Nigerian junior secondary schools calls for a serious concern.

In our junior secondary schools most students can only read and write but cannot think and reason logically and rationally. Some can only minimize and write in examination what the teacher has taught them. Some of the students do not have the required text books and writing materials. However, the students spend most of their time playing in the class, some discussing or distracting others when the lesson is going on, some are busy planning on what to do at home while in the classroom. Other students are unaware of various study techniques, like group discussion, time allocation and other factors that could enhance their academic performance.

Students’ poor performance in Nigerian secondary schools and Lagos State in particular has continued to pose a serious concern to government agencies, parents and the students themselves (Essien 2004, Akpan 2006 and Usoro 2007). Most previous studies had tended to attribute this problem to factors that are extraneous to the learner, such as poor physical facilities, school environment etc. Various strategies adopted by different governments and agencies tend not to address the problem substantially. There is therefore need to research into other possible factors or variables underlying students’ performance, since behaviour is a product of environmental and psychosocial variables.

          It is as a result of this poor performance experienced in the classroom by the researcher that gingered the researcher to carry out the present study which sought to ascertain attitude and study habit on students’ academic performance in computer studies in education district iv of Lagos state.

         

1.3     Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to examine the effects of attitude on academic performance. Specifically, this study aims at finding out whether:

  1. Students attitude towards learning influence their academic performance in computer studies.
  2. There is a difference in attitude of male and female students towards their academic performance in computer studies.
  • Whether homework and assignment relate to students’ performance in Computer Studies.
  1. Whether time allocation relate to students’ academic performance in computer studies.

1.4   Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to give this study a direction:

  1. What are the difference in academic performance of students with positive attitude towards learning computer studies and their counterpart with negative attitude?
  2. What are the difference in attitude of male and female students towards learning and their academic performance in computer studies?
  • To what extent does homework and assignment relate to students’ academic performance in computer studies?
  1. To what extent does time allocation relate to students’ academic performance in computer studies?

1.5     Significance of the Study

          It is the researcher’s view that the findings of the study will be of immense benefits to students, parents, policy makers, planners of educational program, students, classroom, instruction and the society in general.

          The study will be useful to parent, since the early child education and its consequence to academic performance of the child will encourage the parent to help cultivate productive habit among their children of early stages in life. The study will be of significance to the administrator because they will see the need for considering students academic and physical environment for her understanding and educational enlistment.

The research will also equip the stakeholders in education with some of the problems militating against academic performance that are related to attitude and study habit.

The educational administrators will see the need for a rich or conducive environment that will facilitate healthy study techniques, it will help the college administration to design and implement the policies to improve the students’ performance and the quality of education by changing the attitude of students towards learning, facilitating students and improving the teaching procedures.

The study will also be useful to the students because of the various study techniques pinpointed. The students will note other factors that influence their academic performance such as study techniques may now be understood and appreciated as relevant factors.

The study will as well be helpful to students in the junior secondary schools to examine and adjust to the problems of poor academic performance by adopting positive attitude towards their study and not to waste time over what they have to do. This study will help the junior secondary school students to identify the effective study methods and skills that could be used on the learning environment.

The study will also complement as well as supplement similar researches undertaken in the area of inquiry and serve as a useful reference for academic purposes. The study will expose researchers to problems associated with attitude and study habit towards learning. It will add more information to the existing literature in this area. The study will also stimulate them to carry out further research in this area.

1.7     Limitation of the study

This study would have covered the whole junior secondary school of Lagos State, but due to financial restrictions, the study was limited to junior secondary student. The psychological state of the students, which include their temperament (joy or Sadness) as at time they were supplying the information in questionnaire might affect their response thus influencing the research result.

 1.8    Delimitation of the Study

          This research is limited to five (5) Junior Secondary Schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.

1.9     Definition of Terms

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: This refers to the performance that falls within specified standard. The specified standard is usually called pass mark and the pass mark is score above average which students are considered having passed and below which students are considered having failed. It is the skill developed in a subject as the result obtained by a student in an examination.

ATTITUDE: It is the neutral and mental state of readiness which is organized through experience.

INFLUENCE: The power to affect, control or manipulate something or someone; the ability to change the development of fluctuating things such as conduct, thoughts or decision.

STUDY HABIT: This is a behaviour style that is systematically formed by students towards learning and achievement.

STUDENT: A person who is learning or studying at a place of higher or further education.

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