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Factors Affecting The Effective Study Of Economics In Secondary Schools In Owerri Municipal Council Of Imo State




This study was conducted to find out factors affecting the effective study of economics in secondary school in Owerri municipal council Imo State. The purpose of the study is to identify the factors affecting the effective teaching and learning in secondary schools in Owerri. The research design of the study was descriptive survey design, the population of the study was four thousand, four hundred and thirty five (4,435) one hundred and ninety (190) teachers in the senior secondary schools, seventy six (76) teachers and students were sampled in five selected schools. The instrument were used for data collection was structured questionnaire’s. The validity and reliability of the instrument were tested. Data collection was presented in a table, mean and frequency distributions were used to analyses the data. The finding show that teaching and learning of economics in our secondary schools are affected by unqualified economic teachers poor method of teaching, inadequate instructional materials and attitudes and interest the teacher and students. Based on the findings some recommendations were made thus employment of economics teacher by the government through the ministry of education should be strictly based on merit so as to make it possible for only those who studied the course to be appointed.




Background to the Study

Economics is one of an important subjects taught in the secondary schools. It is important to both students and the society because it cuts across all spheres of human endeavour as it can be seen in its simpler definition by Lord Robbins (1975) who sees economics as a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. By this definition, Robbins emphasized economics as a social science and that economic analysis should be based on scientific and logical process rather than vague judgments.

Economics according to Hornby (2001), is the study of production and distribution of money and goods of a country. It is the study of how people of the society choose to use their limited resources like land, capital, labour, goods and technical knowledge to provide various goods and services for the consumption of man. Pigou (2000), believed that economics makes it easier to institute practical measures to promote welfare, so that the society may build upon the work of economics. He concluded by saying that the study is not worthwhile for its own sake but only for the healing that the knowledge may help to bring. Economics is relevant to the field of science and art. It enables the individual to think in the sense that he/she is able to apply its principles to solve practical problems and avoid unnecessary costly mistakes. It also enables individuals to understand better the relationship between himself and his fellow human beings in his efforts to make a living.

All over the world, the importance of economics as an instrument of nation building cannot be over emphasized. It is based on this axiom that Nigeria as a sovereign nation requires excellent qualified teachers and teaching aids in the students’ understanding of the needs to effect a change in national development through the teaching and learning of economics in the senior secondary schools. There has also been a traumatic growth in commerce and industries since independence which invariably calls for specialized and qualified manpower to make the various aspect of the economy become imperative. This led to the introduction of economics as a separate subject of study in the new National Policy of Education. Economics subject was also included in the curriculum that is geared towards producing a group of people who can study and improve the structure of Nigerian economy.

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Economics as a field of study provides individuals with sound knowledge on how to be self employed and better the lots of people in his or her own society. Profoundly, in secondary schools in Owerri municipal, there has been factors militating against the teaching and learning of economics in the schools which invariably calls for the study of this research work. Consequent upon this foregoing therefore, we can briefly look at the word ‘teach and teaching’. The Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary 6th Edition (2001) defines the word ‘teach’ to mean a given lesson to students in a school, college, university etc. to make somebody learn something by giving information about it to show somebody how to do something so that they will be able to do it by themselves. Lark (2005), also sees teaching as the interaction between a teacher and student under the teacher’s responsibility in order to bring about the expected change in the students’ behavior. Alaezi (2000), describes teaching as the business of all those involved in the act of changing human behavior and transformation of society for better, particularly when their actions render them perceptibly significant, respectable and recognizable to others because of the consequences they accomplish and the unique manner they do them. He explained that a teacher must posses knowledge and method of imparting it that could bring about positive change in learners attitude or behavior.

According to Mukherjee (2002), learning is seen as an inference from some enduring change of behavior. Henghan (1990), defined learning as a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality that occurs as a result of experiencing a change and which cause people to understand situations differently. It is therefore a great concern in this regard to give absolute attention to the quality and the numbers of teachers we have in the secondary schools to enable us achieve and attain the goals for which these secondary schools were established without any impediment or hampering this purpose. Hence, being properly trained as a professional teacher and having a sound knowledge of what to teach is mote vital for a good teacher. Unqualified teachers in our secondary schools today in teaching of economics have acted persistently as canker worm devouring the efforts of achieving the educational objective for this subject. It is observed that a person can never give out what he does not have. Nwana (2002) said that the personality of teachers has significant influence on student’s performance.

The proper application of teaching materials is very important in the effective studying of economics. The learning appears to affect greatly the teaching and learning of economics. According to Okorita (2007), there isw urgent need to provide the schools with facilities and materials so as to boost the teaching and learning which will call for education for all the year 20. Writing further, he attributed the largely factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools to lack of adequate facilities and teaching materials in the school surrounding which could have facilitated the teaching of the subject.

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In teaching economics, methodology is a veritable tool for the conveyance of the principles in theories of economics as well as materials of the students for the achievement of the goals of that institution. According to Ali (2009), the ‘methodology uses materials in an instructional setting to send the principles (knowledge) which could be the cognitive, the effective and the psychomotor aspect of the school’s curriculum. Ugwu (2010), emphasized the essentiality for a teacher to select most effective method amongst others for a given purpose. If he must satisfy, the learned need to know his desire to participate actively in the instructional process.

The interest and attitudes of teachers and students over teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools are of great effects. Onyeji (2005), is of the view that teachers’ attitude discourages and scares away students from studying the subject. This is so, if the students are not properly guided, they become scared of the teachers and the subject resulting in lack of interest and the students’ performance tend to be poor since effective teaching do not take place.

Statement of Problem

Economics is being taught in secondary schools in Owerri municipal council has been observed that students performed poorly in the senior secondary certificate examination which formed the problems of the study. In that, it has been observed that there are lots of factors militating against the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools which includes; lack of qualified teachers, lack of instructional materials, poor methodology of teaching, attitudes and interest of teachers and students in teaching and learning of economics. Observations and reports have shown that the success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by students in recent times. The decline in the academic performance of students in Nigerian universities had been highlighted by Soyinka (2002), when he observed that university system in Nigeria needed restructuring. He went further to say that academic standard had fallen drastically and the universities are questionable and subject to re-examination. Poor achievement of students in academics has been of great concern to educationists, government and the public in general.

Students’ poor performance in economics has continued to pass 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 learners, such as poor physical facilities, school environment, class size etc.

Various strategies adopted by different government and agencies tend not to address the problem substantially. There is therefore further need to research into other possible factors or variables underlying the students’ performance in economics, since behavior is a product of environmental and psychosocial variables.

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Scope of the Study

The research work is delimited to the dominant effective factor that may influence the academic performance of students in economics. These factors may include, interest and attitudes of students and teachers, methods of teaching, availability of instructional materials, qualification of teachers. The research work covers some secondary schools in Owerri municipal council, Imo State and considers only economics as a subject.

Purpose of Study

The general purpose of the study is to identify the factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Owerri municipal council. The study is specifically designed to:

  1. Ascertain the educational qualification of economics teachers in the secondary schools and how it affects the study of economics,
  2. Ascertain the extent to which instructional materials are available and how they affect the study of economics,
  3. Identify the methods which economics teachers use in teaching economics in the secondary schools,
  4. Identify the extent to which interest and attitudes of students and teachers affect the teaching and learning of economics in the secondary schools.


Significance of Study

It is justifiable to conduct this research work because the findings from the study will be beneficial to the following group of people which include;

  1. The educational administrators
  2. The government
  3. The teachers
  4. The students

This study will help to make our educational administrators to see the need to have qualified economics teacher if not available to handle the subject effectively for the benefit of the students and the society.

It will also help to sensitize the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, example chalkboard, graph, audio-visual materials etc that will enhance effective learning of economics if they are not available.

This study will direct the economics teachers attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching methods in order to bring about the above mentioned desirable experience in the learners. This study will have a great significant to economists for formulation and evaluation of their plans. It will be useful to learners to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics. It will help to produce sound economics students that will function well in the economy. This work will serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hoped that the findings of this study would also form the basis for further researchers on this issue.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study;

  1. How do qualifications of the economics teachers influence the teaching and learning of economics in senior secondary schools,
  2. To what extent are instructional materials available in secondary schools and how they affect the study of economics?
  3. To what extent does poor method of teaching affect teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
  4. To what extent does interest and attitudes of students, teachers and school administrators influence effective teaching and learning of economics?

Pages:  64

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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