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AN INVESTIGATION INTO RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHING METHODS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
1.1 Background to the study
The primary purpose of teaching at any level of education is to bring a fundamental change in the learner in terms of literacy, numeracy and skills attainments (Tebabal & Kahssay, 2011). To facilitate the process of knowledge transmission, teachers should adopt appropriate teaching methods that are capable of bringing about the attainment of specific teaching and learning objectives.
In the traditional era, many teaching practitioners widely applied teacher-centered methods to impart knowledge to learners against the student-centered methods evident in the modern era. Until today, questions about the effectiveness of teaching methods on student learning have consistently raised considerable interest in the field of educational research (Hightower, 2011). Researches on teaching and learning try to examine the extent to which different teaching methods like teacher-students relationship, students-centered, teacher centered and teacher-students interactive teaching methods enhance growth in student’s learning outcome. Studies have revealed that, regular poor academic performance by the majority students is fundamentally linked to application of ineffective teaching methods by teachers to impact knowledge to learners (Hightower, 2011. Substantial research on the effectiveness of teaching methods indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected by the achievements of learners. According to Ayeni (2011), teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners so as to achieve specific outcomes. In order for the method used for teaching to be effective, Adunola (2011) maintains that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching methods that take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered.
Teachers play an important role in the trajectory of students throughout the formal schooling experience (Baker, Grant, & Morlock, 2008). Although most researches regarding teacher-student teaching method investigate the elementary years of schooling, teachers have the unique opportunity to support students’ academic and social development at all levels of schooling (Baker, Handerson, Geremy and Bryce, 2008). (Ainsworth, 2002; Bowlby,2006 ), positive teacher-student teaching method enables students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffold for important social and academic skills attainment.
Teaching methods adopted by teachers also include teacher-centered strategies; this is a situation where students simply obtain information from the teacher without building their engagement level with the subject being taught (Boud and Feletti, 1999). The approach is least practical, more theoretical and memorizing (Teo and Wong, 2000). It does not apply activity based learning to encourage students to learn real life problems based on applied knowledge. Since the teacher controls the transmission and sharing of knowledge, the lecturer may attempt to maximize the delivery of information while minimizing time and effort.
Students-centered teaching methods are the advent of the concept of discovery learning. Many scholars today widely adopt more supple student-centered methods to enhance active learning (Greitzer, 2002). Most teachers also apply the student-centered approach to promote interest, analytical research, critical thinking and cooperative learning among students (Hesson& Shad, 2007). The teaching method is regarded more effective since it does not centralize the flow of knowledge from the lecturer to the student (Lindquist, 1995).The approach also motivates goal-orientated behaviour among students, hence the method is very effective in improving students’ achievement (Slavin, 1996).
Teacher’s students’interactive strategy according to Jacoby (2008), is a strategy used by both teacher-centered and student-centered approaches. The subject information produced by the learners is remembered better than the same information presented to the learners by the lecturer. The method encourages the students to search for relevant knowledge rather than the lecturer monopolizing the transmission of information to the learners. As such, research evidence on teaching approaches maintains that this teaching method is effective in improving students’ academic performance (Damodharan &Rengarajan, 1999).
Ayeni (2011) opines that teaching is a continuous process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners through use of appropriate methods. Adunola (2011) indicated that in order to bring desirable changes in students, teaching methods used by educators should be best for the subject matter. Furthermore, Bharadwaj & Pal (2011) sustained that teaching methods work effectively if they suit learners’ needs since every learner interprets and responds to questions in a unique way (Chang, 2010). As such, alignment of teaching methods with students’ needs and preferred learning influence students’ academic attainments (Zeeb, 2004).
Student’ outcomes in school depend to a great extent on the management of schools’ available resources in terms of physical, human, material and financial resources towards the achievement of educational goals. The school is a complex social institution. It is an organization that deals with management of the available human, material, physical and financial resources for effective teaching and improvement of students’ academic performance. Students’ academic performance can be measured in many ways but the commonly used method is the result of students in public examinations, which is used to pass judgments on the schools and teachers