PROJECT TOPIC- LEARNING EXPERIENCES, A TOOL FOR IMPROVING LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH–EAST DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The study focus on the Learning Experiences, a tool for Improving Learning of Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Afikpo North–East Development Center. Four specific objectives and corresponding research questions provided guide for the study. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised of 4,285 teachers and students. Sample of the study consisted of 300 respondents. Structured questionnaire was formulated for data collection. It was validated by three experts, two from Business Education Department and one from Science Education all in Ebonyi State University. An overall reliability co-efficient of 0.94 was obtained. The data was analyzed using simple statistical mean. Results from the data analyzed showed that:The study disclosed that learning experiences in Effective Office Practice influence effective evaluation of Business Studiess in Afikpo North-East Development Centre of Ebonyi,learning experiences in Commerce -the Heart of Business influence effective evaluation of Business Studiess in Afikpo North-East Development Centre of Ebonyi State, learning experiences in Book-Keeping and Business Success influence effective evaluation of Business Studiess in Afikpo North-East Development Centre of Ebonyi Stateand thatlearning experiences in Keyboarding as a Communication Tool improved effective evaluation of Business Studiess in Afikpo North-East Development Centre of Ebonyi State. Based on the findings, the study recommeded that: teachers should be encourage through government assistance to embark on in-services training in the area of Effective Office Practice, skills acquisition centers should be made available and equipped for students’ utilization in the development of management skills through Commerce -the Heart of Business, Government should help in financing schools with the needed resources in developing students’ skills on Book-Keeping and Business Success and Government should help in financing schools with the needed resources in developing students’ skills on Keyboarding as a Communication Tool. Finally, suggestions for further studies was made.
Background to the Study
Education is a continuous process in life. It is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of people. It is also the process by which the latent abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and the society (Olaniyonu, Adekoya and Gbenu, in Temitope 2015). Meaningful improvements in the quality of education that students receive are determined by the quality of teachers (Anderson in Olabanji 2015).
Therefore, quality teaching and learning are sine qua non for students‟ academic performance inline with learning experience. Learning Experience refers to any interaction, course, program, or other experience in which learning takes place whether it occurs in traditional academic settings schools, classroom or non-traditional settings outside-of-school locations, outdoor environment, (Glossary of Education Reform 2013).
Learning experience is a way to think about what a learning intervention might be in the context of desired end goals and outcomes. This can then inform individual choices about how communication channels and modes, learning activities, and resources come together to best support the end goals and outcomes, and also how these channels and activities may evolve over time, (Berlemann, & Haucap 2012).
Certainly in this context, a learning intervention is something that is much more than what has traditionally been thought of as “content.” Learning content can be thought of much more broadly and inclusively. This could mean that learning content could actually include not only the “whats” but the “hows” of learning. For example, learning content in the context of learning experiences could contain a collection of specific content resources, content pointers, functional tools or tool pointers, activity descriptions, and assessments that, when brought together, embody a particular pedagogical model, (Haustein 2012).
In fact, the reverse could also be learning content a pedagogical model describing the types of learning resources, tools, and activities needed to achieve learning outcomes. Learning outcome goes with learning evaluation. In general, the definition of evaluation can be stated as„ judgement on the value of a public intervention with reference to defined criteria of this judgement. The most frequently used criteria are: its conformity with the needs, relevance, efficiency, impact and sustainability of its effects.
More general meaning of the term „evaluation”, emphasising its utilitarian character, is given by Korporowicz (2009), defining evaluation as a systematic survey of values or features of a given programme, activity or an object, taking into consideration the adopted criteria to enhance, improve or understand them better. Evaluation always is the study with an objective. The lack of the precisely defined evaluation objective calls its reasonableness into question.
One of the most crucial evaluation objectives is to provide the people ordering the evaluation with reliable and properly substantiated data that will enable them to make decisions, the aspect of evaluation in the mind of researcher is associated with the course ( Business Studies). For a nation that wants to achieve rapid business enhancement, academic performance in Business studies is central to the attainment of this laudable goal.
Business Studies is a foundation subject that equips its recipients with basic knowledge of business subjects. Business Studies is primarily designed to be a skilled acquisition subject. It is both integrative and comprehensive in nature. The recipients of Business Studies are anticipated to be equipped with the requisite knowledge and abilities that will help them to further their education or start their own businesses.
Azih (2007) pointed out that it is expected that at the completion of the pre-secondary programme as speculated in the current educational reform, the students must be equipped with enough knowledge ready to offer the individual business subjects in the junior secondary schools. And for those who do not wish to continue, gainful employment should be provided for them. To asertain the goal of self reliance through business studies there is need for quality teaching and learning.
Teaching is an interactive process through which knowledge and skills are shared with students, with a view to improving students’ understanding and ability to manipulate the social, economic, political and physical environment to enhance their survival (Flanders, 2009). As noted by Ayot and Patel (2002), the main objective of teaching is to bring desirable learning outcome in students.
In this regard, students are expected to develop appropriate knowledge and skills, which are necessary for solving problems and improving human life. In most cases, the teacher initiates communication and influences students to think in a particular way as guided by the syllabi. Teaching is any interpersonal influence which may be exerted by somebody aimed at changing the ways in which other persons can or will behave.
Teaching is perceived to be an art and a science (Ironogie, 2010). As an art, it represents the traditional role of transmitting specific body of knowledge, beliefs, values, Skills etc, to the younger generation, in order to perpetuate the cultural heritage of the society. As a science, teaching can be seen as an organized knowledge which is applied to solve emerging problems. Since knowledge is organized, systematic, valid and reliable, the science of teaching amounts to organized instruction which places before the teacher, novel and unique challenges.
According to Ironogie (2010), teaching is meant to promote’ learning. Teacher’s choice of a particular teaching strategy and classroom management reflects assumptions about the purpose of learning and it’s out come in the learner. In its broadest sense teaching defines the process within which learning occurs. Business Education for all and pre-vocational Business Education for those planning to engage in business are the goals of Business Education in Junior Secondary Schools.
This Business Education programme in Junior Secondary Schools is known as Business Studies. Eebo (2011) pointed out that Business Studies is a foothold of all business subjects in junior Secondary Schools. Therefore, Business Studies gives students in Junior Secondary Schools the adequate training that will prepare them for and about business. Notwithstanding, the kind of education a nation plans for its people is articulated by the curriculum as well as any planned formal and informal experiences that learners undergo.
The experiences are organized into formalized teaching content or subjects. Once a curriculum is put in place, it requires constant review to reflect the changing societal needs. According to Ogula (2002) the content of the existing curriculum is critically examined to determine the extent to which it meets the requirements of the students and the needs of the society. Federal Ministry of Education (2010) outlined the component of business studies as stipulated in basic education curriculum highlighted the following:
- Effective Office Practice
- Commerce-the heart of Business
- Book-keeping and Business Success
- Keyboarding as a Communication Tool
So, curriculum for junior secondary schools was guided by specific objectives, the curriculum took cognizance of the need to provide students with the ability and skills to be gainfully employed upon completion of their programme as well as prepare them for setting up their small business as entrepreneurs. Notwithstanding, national value curriculum is an anti-corruption programme for the school system which has been into used to relevant areas of business studies such as office practice, book-keeping, commerce – the Heart of Business, keyboarding as a communication Tool. Main emphasis was to inculcate at age those worthwhile values that are required of an entrepreneur and workers in the business environment to succeed.
The objectives of business studies as recommended by Federal Ministry of Education, (FME 2010) are to: provide the orientation and basic skills with which to start an occupation for those who may not have opportunity for farther training.
- Provide basic business skills for personal use now and in the future.
- Prepare students for farther training business studies.
- Relate the knowledge and skills to the national economy.
- Develop basic skills inoffice occupation.
Furthermore, the thematic approach to content organization was adopted in order to provide the learner a holistic blind of theory and practice of business studies. The themes were introduced in ascending order of complexity through the three years of upper basic education. Though Business Studies has these components, it is treated as a single subject. These components are made up of both skilled and non-skilled units that are able to provide the students with the required cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills at the Junior Secondary level.
Skill acquisition is very important in our present day Nigerian situation. Business Education for all and pre-vocational Business Education for those planning to engage in business are the goals of Business Education in Junior Secondary Schools. This Business Education programme in Junior Secondary Schools is known as Business Studies. Eebo (2011) pointed out that Business Studies is a foothold of all business subjects in Senior Secondary Schools and institutions of higher learning.
Therefore, Business Studies gives students in Junior Secondary Schools the adequate training that will prepare them for and about business. Though Business Studies has these components, it is treated as a single subject. These components are made up of both skilled and non-skilled units that are able to provide the students with the required cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills at the Junior Secondary level. Skill acquisition is very important in our present day Nigerian situation.
In line with the above, Mkpa (2001) was of the opinion that students should be helped to develop the ability to analyze, evaluate generalize, compare and contrast, play different roles, accepting and rejecting. It is hoped that these right attitudes and values will be used to set in motion, the machinery for fighting social problems such as poverty, environmental degradation, terrorism, corruption, prostitution, over-population, inter and intra community conflicts, stealing, rape, drug abuse, armed robbery, kidnapping, disrespect for elders, examination malpractice.
It is on this note that federal republic of Nigeria (2004) made Business Studies one of the compulsory subjects in the junior Secondary Schools and the junior Secondary Schools Business Studies curriculum stresses learning experiences that will lead to the realization of the general objectives of Business Studies. Based on the above definitions it is observed that Business Studies is the study that help in training student into skills that will help them to suit the society.
One of the essential ingredients in developing good schools with high academic performance is regular supply of adequate human and material resources. Better students‟ results are the main indicator of the experience and effectiveness of teachers. In developing and developed countries the teacher factor has been linked to low achievement in business Studies.There are several states in Nigeria whose school teachers at the primary and secondary level are so unqualified that the percentage could be as high as eighty percent (Adesina 2010).
Thus the high percentage of unqualified teachers in public secondary school is a major factor responsible for the poor students academic performance but a situation where teachers are highly qualified in teaching process, the students good academic performance are rated high. Based on this researcher intend to cover the gap on the teacher’s use of learning experiences a tool for effective evaluation of Business Studies Students in JSS in Afikpo North – East Development Center of Ebonyi State.
PROJECT TOPIC- LEARNING EXPERIENCES, A TOOL FOR IMPROVING LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH–EAST DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Statement of the Problem
The Business Studies curriculum was meant to be a basic introductory course for junior school level training to students intending to pursue Business related subjects and careers. Curriculum still had concepts beyond the level of the learners, the content in the syllabus was still wide and the disciplines that make up Business Studies subject had been effectively designed. Notwithstanding, the aspect of impacting knowledge to students toward effective academic performance over business studies subject lack merit in terms of evaluating the expected learning outcome.
Teachers whose duty is to infuse student with the needed skills lacks the knowledge. Consequent upon these, are that the nature by which students needed to be a valuated have not been properly assessed. Therefore the problem of this study is to assess the Learning experiences, a tool for Improving Learning of Business Studies in Junior Secondary schools in Afikpo North–East Development Center
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to assess Learning experiences, a tool for Improving Learning of Business Studies in Junior Secondary schools in Afikpo North–East Development CenterThe Study Specifically,sought to:
1.Asertain how learning experiences in Effective Office Practice improved their learning of office managerial skills.
- Determine how learning experiences in Commerce -the Heart of Business improved their learning of day -to- day running of Business.
- Ascertain how learning experiences in Book-Keeping and Business Success improved their learning of secretarial skills.
- Asertainhow learning experiences in Keyboarding as a Communication Tool improved their learning of operational skills.
Significance of the Study
This finding of the study will be of a great benefit to some persons such as teachers, students’ curriculum planners and general public. The result of the study would benefit the teachers of Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools, because it would help to expose them to different instructional methods in relation to their teaching expereinces.
Students would benefit from the finding of the study because the information from it would be kept for their further research work, and it will also help to improve their acquisition skill in order to fit into the society we are in today.
Curriculum planners would benefit, because it will help them in planning the curriculum to prepare the student for effective use of the instructional methods such as the use of demonstration to teach Business Studies, take home assignment methods, open class question and answer, interactive method and reading method, which will help both the teachers and the students in the teaching and learning of Business studies.
Lastly, it provides information on the learning expereinces of teachers over instructional methods in which teachers will use in motivating students’ interest in learning Business Studies and choosing it as a course in their university level.
These research questions have been formulated to guide the study:
- How does learning experiences in Effective Office Practice improved their learning of office managerial skills?
- How does learning experiences in Commerce -the Heart of Business improved their learning of day -to- day running of Business?
- How does learning experiences in Book-Keeping and Business Success improved their learning of secretarial skills?
- How does learning experiences in Keyboarding as a Communication Tool improved their learning of operational skills?
Scope of the Study
The investigation is designed to assess learning experiences, a tool for improving learning of Business Studies Students in Junior Secondary schools in Afikpo North–East Development Center. The study was carried out in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State which has twenty-two (22) Junior Secondary Schools with a population of 4,285 teachers and students. This Afikpo North Local Government Area also has a common boundary with Afikpo South at the South, at the North, it has a common boundary with Cross River State, at West has a common boundary with Afikpo West East Development Centre, whereas at the East, it has a common boundary with Akpoha Development Centre here in Ebonyi State. This area is made up of both rural and urban dwellers with many schools; nursery, primary, secondary and higher institutions. The inhabitants of the zone are traders, farmers, businessmen and women as well as career Civil servants.