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Personal, School And Peer Factors Associated With Students’ Enrollment To Study Senior School Physics In Education Zone




This study was to examine “Personal, School and Peer factors associated with students’ enrollment to study senior school physics in education zone”. The study has four objectives and four research questions. Survey research design was used for the study. The population of the study is 1,593 SSII physics senior students in all the public secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State. A purposive sampling technique was used to select 4 schools out of the 10 secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State. With the same technique the sample 40 students each from the 4 selected secondary schools with the total of 160 students as the sample size. The major instrument used for the collection of data for this study was structured questionnaire from the respondents. The findings reveal that students poor attitude towards physics influenced their choice as indicated by 50% of the teacher respondents, most Physics teachers preferred students who had good performance in junior secondary as indicated by 59% of them, Methods of teaching were found to influence the choice of Physics in Kangundo district. The study therefore recommended among others that teachers should encourage and give students the opportunity to develop positive attitude towards Physics as a subject. This will make them enjoy the subject thus change their perception that Physics is difficult. Physics teachers should avoid missing classes and headteachers should take their responsibility of curriculum instruction and supervision and ensure lessons are not missed and if they are missed there should be makeup classes. Physics teachers should cultivate a good relationship with students to inspire them hence improve the students negative attitudes towards Physics.



         This chapter is arranged under the following subheadings:

Background to the study

Statement of the problem

Scope of the study

Purpose of the study

Significance of the study

Research questions and hypothesis


1.1   Background of the study

Although the overall philosophy and objectives of education in Nigeria states among others that the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and equal education opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1981). Several factors however influence individual decision and choices. This term ‘influence’ refers to the ability to produce an effect that affects the character of a person and ‘choice’ refers to the right to choose or the ability to select out of a number of things and take a decision. In consequence, therefore, the choice of a subject by students is influenced by the dynamics of socio-economic and some related personal factors (Akintade, 2012).

The senior secondary school education (SSS) represents the third stage in the current educational system known as 6-3-3-4. This system of education that was designed by the National Policy on Education exposes the learner to as many disciples as possible in the junior secondary school (JSS) and then allows them to make choices of subjects in the senior secondary school level (SSS). The core school subjects for senior secondary school education are as follows: “Mathematics, English, One Nigerian Language, Biology, Literature In English, Agricultural Science as a vocational subject. Optional subjects include: Economics, Bible knowledge, Arabic studies, Commerce, Accounting, French, Government, Home economics, Typewriting, Music, Technical Drawing, Physical education, Health Science, Wood work and Shorthand (Akintade, 2012).

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This research work is specifically on the personal, school and peer factors associated with student enrollment to study senior school physics in Owerri Educational Zone.

Physics is one of the oldest scientific disciplines. It began in antiquity with Babylonians and Hellenistic writers such as Archimedes and Ptolemy. According to Stone (2006), Physics is a science that deals with the structure of matter and interactions between the fundamental constituents of observable universe. Physics generates fundamental knowledge needed for the future technological advances that will continue to drive economic engine of the world (Shertzer, 2006). Physics is very important to the intellectual development and career choice of individuals regardless of gender.

Physics forms a major part of the manpower needs of a nation – doctors, engineers, pharmacists, agriculturists and science teachers. All at their secondary school level offered physics. Nigeria today is in need of such manpower in order to gain economic independence, technological know-how and other desirable social amenities and infrastructures. Today people are aware of the fact that there is a subject known as physics and its importance is widely known. Hence, the increasing weight on the need for proper teaching of physics in our secondary schools.

In spite of the importance of physics and the need to teach the subject in schools, there are a number of problems confronting the teaching and learning of the subject. Some of the problems include:

  1. Shortage of qualified teachers
  2. Inappropriate teaching methods
  • Inadequate teaching and learning facilities
  1. Lack of favourable attitude of the students to the subject (Obodo, 1999)

Learning physics involves two important aspects: the theoretical and the practical aspects. The theoretical aspect deals with critical thinking, logical reasoning and ability to transfer knowledge from one concept to another. The practical aspect deals with performing activities, which have indirectly or directly led to the generation of ideas, concepts and principles. Practical activities involve processes of science, which include the formation of hypothesis, testing of hypothesis, learning of concepts, exploration, fact finding and the application of basic skill and knowledge of physics.

The teaching and learning of physics is very important to man and for social development. Physics is taught in Nigerian secondary schools. The offering of Physics in secondary schools starts from senior secondary school one. however, the students are taught Basic science in their junior secondary school classes, part of which include some aspects of basic physics, which are elements, symbols, compounds, mixtures, atoms and molecules. Though the teaching of physics needs teachers with high morale, motivation and a mastery of knowledge, the ability to understand learners’ difficulties and capacity to facilitate learning and correct use of appropriate teaching methods are critical to the successful teaching and learning of physics. Students may learn names and definition of chemical substances theoretically. But to master chemical reactions, they need to mix the chemicals and observe subsequent reactions. Knowledge of how teaching methods affect students’ learning may help teachers select methods that improve teaching quality, effectiveness and accountability to learners. It may also help them keep up with information technology and globalization (Zadra 2000). The knowledge and application of physics has led to tremendous changes and development in the society. The development in the chemical industry, the provision of good food and drugs are traceable to the development in physics and other fields of knowledge that have physics as their foundation.

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Making choices from an array of options is an integral part of life. At various stages in life, individuals have to make some important decisions. Some of such decisions tend to have everlasting impact on the individual. One of such delicate and life implicating decisions is the choice of school subjects as the senior secondary school level. It is one decision that tends to determine students’ future educational and career progress (Owoyele and Toyobo, 2008).

Some researchers have tried to identify a considerable number of factors influencing subject selections by students in secondary school. Literature indicates school policy, parental-will (Davis-Kean, 2005), peer influence (Addy and Diddulgh, 2001; Owoyele, 2007) academic ability, intelligence, age, sex, ignorance and accidental choice (Cooley and Comber, 2003) as some of the basic factors influencing students’ choice of subject selection.

The contribution of each of these factors is still obscure and studies on the most likely positive determinant of school subject selection in terms of predicting students’ success in future educational and career endeavours are still elusive (Owoyele and Toyobo, 2008).

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Students are faced with the problems of indecision when they are about to choose a subject, as a result of differences in opinion from various angles.   This problem has plagued many Nigerian secondary school students for quite some time. It is such a problem that must be looked into, knowing fully-well that the place of secondary education is highly significant in the development of a nation.

With good background, students still need to develop themselves on the subject areas they are keenly interested in and particularly the ones they have potentially for a further their education in future which can help to better their career in life. Lots of students have been found choosing subjects for senior school certificate examination not minding the aspect of their potentiality which affects them when making a choice of career in the university. Many had made mistakes of wrong choice. Hence, this research seeks to explore the various factors influencing choice of school subjects in Owerri Educational Zone.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the personal, school and peer factors associated with student enrollment to study senior school physics in Owerri Educational Zone of Imo State.

 1.4   Objectives of the Study

  1. To determine the student factors that influence enrolment in physics in WAEC in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone.
  2. To determine peer factors that influence of the physics students’ choice of physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone.
  • To establish the influence of the physics teachers in the students’ choice of physics at WAEC level in public secondary school in Owerri Educational Zone.
  1. To investigate the effects of the school environment on students’ choice of physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone.

1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings of this research upon completion will help students to understand how their attitude towards physics can affect their performance in their subject and how their interaction with the society can influence their attitude and hence, their performance in physics. And also, to determine the extent to which the teacher’s attitude towards teaching the subject can affect the students’ enrollment in Physics.

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The finding of the study will be of benefit to the students because it will enable them to have full understanding of what they have learnt, improve their skills and interest, hence eliminating note memorization. A full understanding makes the knowledge to anchor and become a veritable tool which the child can apply to everyday life. The research will also add to the body of knowledge necessary for the development of a grounded theory in science education. This is obvious because of the “hands” on science activities which involve the active participation of the learner and are capable of arousing the curiosity of the learner as the learner manipulates certain practical skills.

It will be of benefit to the physics teachers because: it will expose teachers to other innovative methods of teaching physics for increased achievement and interest in physics. The result will also help the teachers to now their own areas of weakness and strength as well as interest of their students. This can help the teachers to plan their lesson better. It will also help them to know the appropriate teaching methods to adopt at any particular time to meet the learners’ needs and to know the necessary instructional materials that will enhance their teaching and make it effective.
The finding of the research will also be of immense benefit to the curriculum planners because it will help the curriculum planners to develop a curriculum that will be relevant to the needs of. the students, increase their dexterity and make learning process become interesting to the students.
The examination bodies through the findings will get to know the areas in which the students always find questions difficult and to make necessary reports and suggestions to the curriculum planners and the teachers for such areas to be addressed.

With this study, the researchers will get access to information and qualitative research work that provides authentic, information capable of effecting a positive change in the academic setting and society at large.

1.6   Research questions

  1. What student factors influence enrolment in physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone?
  2. What peer factors influence enrolment in physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone?

iii. What is the influence of the physics teacher in the students’ choice of physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone?

  1. What school environment related factors influence the students choice of physics at WAEC level in public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone?

1.7   Scope of the study

According to Mugenda (2009), delimitations are” those characteristics of the study that limits its scope; the boundaries of a study are determined by the conscious exclusion or inclusion of certain decisions that are made throughout the development of research” . This study was delimited to Personal, school and’ peer factors associated with student enrollment to study senior school physics in Owerri Educational Zone of Imo State. The study focused on students’ enrolment because the students will be involved in improvement of future. The study was delimited to all the physics students in the senior secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone.

Pages:  90

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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