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PROJECT TOPIC- METHODS OF ASSESSING STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA

PROJECT TOPIC- METHODS OF ASSESSING STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Assessment of learners’ learning is integral to effective instruction and learning in theeducation system of Nigeria. Teachers administer their own assessment andreport the results to pupils, parents and the public in general. Assessment has beenfound to be an effective method for the improvement of learners’ learning in schools(Faleye&Ojerinde-Dibu, 2005). It provides opportunities for independent practice(Boston, 2002), thus providing good ground for self-assessment. Teachers areexpected to use the assessment to guide effective decision-making particularly withrespect to the identification, remediation and ongoing evaluation of learners.

According to Davison (2007), school-based assessment provides a cumulative teacher judgment aboutthe performance of individual students’ work, based on a systematic collection of grades or marks. If usedappropriately, school based assessment can serve as a monitoring device by feeding back the informationcollected to teachers to adjust their teaching and to students to improve their learning. According to Ahmed andWilliams’ (2004) school-based assessment contains the following features: a wide range ofassessment tasks and skills assessed, flexibility in assessment form (written or oral), and the use of open-ended questions.

From these descriptions, it can be seen that views about school-based assessment aredifferent, probably due to the different purposes that school-based assessment is used for in differenteducational settings. In school-based assessment (SBA), assessment for both formative and summative purposes is integrated into the teaching and learning process, with teachers involved at all stages of theassessment cycle, from planning the assessment program, to identifying and/or developing appropriateassessment tasks right through to making the final judgments.

As assessments are conducted by thestudents’ own teacher in their own classroom, students are meant to play an active role in the assessmentprocess, particularly through the use of self or peer assessment used in conjunction with formativeteacher feedback (Davison, 2007).

Augustine (2010) stated that economics as a subject provides training for students on howto make rational use of scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited wants, to build up theoriesand tools for economic analysis; to provide rational guide to firms and governments inallocating scarce resources; to understand and appreciate economic problems facing thesociety and suggest ways of rectifying them; to helps the planners to plan for economicdevelopment; to help solve the fundamental problem of what to produce, how to produceand for whom to produce; and to appreciate Government’s economic policies, among others.Scholars have agreed on the facts that the teaching of economics at senior secondary schoollevel faces problems which have been causing poor performance of students in the subject.

Smitter (2008) warns that economics as a subject is dying gradually in schools as a result ofthe reduction in the number of students being trained to become economics teachers.Heidentified some reasons which are that: Economics is a difficult subject which requires a strong grasp of Mathematics and this limits the number of thosewho are able to be admitted to the subject area; Economics is not part of the compulsorysubjects indicated in the National Policy on Education therefore some schools havesqueezed out the subject; the methods of teaching and assessment used by Economics teachers make thesubject complicated for the students to understand.

Ndupuechi (2009) stated that the teaching of Economics at the senior secondary school levelpresents problems that are common to the other areas of human endeavour like business andcommerce. In addition the teacher of economics encounters some problems which seem tobe peculiar to the subject. He also stated that understanding economics seemsparticularly difficult as much of the subject matter appears familiar to the students in a superficial manner because it deals with abstraction; the subject does not lend itself toconcrete illustrations and models as in Chemistry, Physics and Engineering. Beside this, thesubject does not always seem logical to the students.

PROJECT TOPIC- METHODS OF ASSESSING STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA

He concluded by also agreeing that thepoor teaching methods being applied by the Economics teachers had been the majorproblem of the students in senior secondary schools which do not make them to understand the major contents of Economics as a subject. Augustine (2010) who also subscribed to theassertion of poor teaching methodology in economics also enumerated other problems toinclude lack of trained teachers; ill-equipped libraries and outdated textbooks. For studentsto be able to comprehend and use basic Economics concepts and principles there is the needfor widespread improvement in the teaching and assessment methods as these would yieldenormous benefits to individual and the nation.

Augustine (2010) all observed that the field of Economics has placed toolittle value on the importance of assessments methods in recent decades. Theyall agreed that the best assessment method is only that which helps the students to achievemore. The teacher must therefore continue to search for the assessment method which best serves hisstudents’ interest.In order to enhance better learning and understanding of the basic conceptof economics by the students, appropriate assessment methodmust be employed.

Statement of the Problem

There is a general concern by stakeholders in education about the poor performance ofsecondary school students in all subjects including economics. The major causes have beenidentified to be the poor teaching methods and assessment strategies used by teachers whichdo not enable the students to understand the content of the subject better and also make thesubject more difficult to comprehend. It has been observed that assessment is pivotal to successful teaching and learning. Poor assessmentprocedures may result in poor decision making in the teaching-learning situation.

These situations prompted the researcher to survey the methods of assessing students’ achievement in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Purpose of the Study

The main object of this study is to survey the methods of assessing students’ achievement in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North LGA. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Examine the impact of continuous assessment on students’ achievement in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A.
  2. Determine whether any resources are put in place by schools to support classroom assessment efforts.
  3. Identify assessment challenges in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A.
  4. Determine the impact of academic assessment on students achievement in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A

Research Questions

PROJECT TOPIC- METHODS OF ASSESSING STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA

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