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ASSESSMENT OF TEACHERS‘ PERSONALITY AND QUALIFICATION AS MOTIVATING FACTORS TO STUDENTS‘ LEARNING SOCIAL STUDIES IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
In any educational system, a teacher is expected to perform significant roles in changing the behaviour of the learners; that is, he lays the foundations for perpetuating society‘s cultural heritage and energizing human resources towards social progress. This supports the fact that the teacher is an important variable in not only teaching-learning situation, but also an agent in changing behaviour of the learners.Onyekuru (2010) puts a teacher‘s personality as a crucial factor in arranging the conditions of the learner‘s environment for effective teaching and no man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection towards his pupils with a genuine desire to impart to them what he himself believes to be of value.
A study conducted by United States Agency for International Development (2012) states that teachers contributed about thirty percent (30%) permanent changes in behaviour of student‘s achievement in later life. His knowledge, skills and attitude are instrumental in creating the conditions for learning. Indeed, it is reasonable to say that teachers and parents have more influence on the future of young people than do the members of other professions. Ladan (2014) describes a teacher as the initiator of the learning process, the facilitator of learning skills, the coordinator of learning sequence and indeed the pivotal element in the entire education development‘. This makes the teacher the most formidable determinant of quality learning. Some characteristics of an effective teacher have been discussed in several studies. For example, according to Onyekuru (2010), a teacher is a very significant figure in the school environment where he works and so his/her personality and professional qualification to work tend to have significant implications which cannot be dismissed if academic excellence is to be achieved in our educational institutions. It is very clear that a teacher‘s way of thinking and beliefs guide his/her behaviour in decision making in or outside the classroom. It is observed by this researcher that most studies carried out in the past focused on the aspect of teachers‘ personality in terms of social studies classroom management while neglecting qualification of teachers as a motive to students learning. In reality, a Teacher‘s personality and qualification are two sides of the same coin and does not affect classroom discipline but do affect teacher-student relationship for academic gains. It is also observed that the extent which a teacher‘s personality affects students‘ motivation is very low without given emphasis on his qualification. Needless to say that there is a positive relationship between teacher personality and qualification as motivating factors to students learning of Social Studies in Colleges of Education. Therefore the study is suggesting that a Teacher‘s personality and qualification should be one of the criteria in the employment of social studies teachers. The behaviour of the teacher should be checked side by side in diverse ways, such as interaction with students, teaching methods, and learning experiences. The teacher should ensure that his personality and qualification speak positively to the students in encouraging them to learn in teacher training institutions in Nigeria.
Most teachers in Nigeria have problem in achieving the goals of teaching as a profession because they are faced with the problems of inadequate exposure to pedagogical skills in teaching, poor classroom management and control, shallow subject matter knowledge, lack of professionalism and inability to motivate learners among others. In order to carry out the teaching task effectively and efficiently, a teacher is to be guided by some principles aspect of teaching and learning which have great implication in promoting students learning. To achieve academic excellence in the primary, Secondary and tertiary levels of education, the personality and qualification of teachers are very vital elements.
Despite the growing body of researches devoted to the study of personality factors, academic performance, and students-teacher relationship across levels of education. The Personality of a teacher according to Akinlana,2012 & Areepattamannil 2011, is a self expression of one to the outer world. A student starts shaping his personality from birth through his/her interaction with numerous variables; that is, he lays the foundations of his own life. In our modern social life, a healthy personality development enables the individual to perform his social role effectively, to lead an organized happy life and to gain recognition in the society (Gambo, 2012). Schools, as social institutions are the main environmental factor, very effective in the development of personality. Teachers and parents are the ones who influence the students most. Studies have shown that the personality of a teacher particularly in tertiary institutions surely affects his students learning ability. As studies carried out on the classroom teaching learning, it is observed that students while evaluating their teachers in terms of subject mastery, also pay more attention to assessment of their personalities rather than their professional characteristics and thus adopt those personality traits as theirs.
1.2 Statement of Problem
For many years, teaching which used to be regarded as a noble profession has been taking over by impostors who have no interest in classroom teaching, but rather an opportunity at hand (Ladan 2014). The low employment opportunities prevalent in the country have contributed to recruitment of the classroom teachers who are unqualified, who look upon teaching as a stop-gap which should be jettisoned as soon as their dream for the next available jobs are obtained. Also, there are qualified teachers who received relevant training in education for their teaching in different subject areas up to a minimum level, but are not familiar with the intricacies of teaching especially on how to arouse learners‘ interest and readiness. For instance, a Geography teacher who teaches Social studies, History or Religious studies in a secondary school is regarded as unqualified teacher as he neither received training in Social studies education, Religious education nor History education as the case may be. Such teachers are not familiar with the intricacies of teaching; they have low motivational level and may not bother much about their efficiency or teaching effectiveness. Most of the academic problems are solved if the teacher stimulates learning through his professional qualification and personality. This means that effective teaching implies qualification and positive relationship (personality) with both contributing in students‘ learning performances. In addition, the essence of being an effective teacher lies on what to do to motivate students‘ learning; there will be quality if one is self-motivated and responsible as a teacher. The essence of being an effective teacher lies on what to do to motivate students‘ learning. This is because students draw from their teacher‘s disposition to form their own attitudes which eventually influence their learning outcomes. The Effectiveness of teaching depends upon six components as identified by Ezenwani (2010) i.e. appreciating and encouraging students, respect for student personality and equality, social Interaction, professional enthusiasm and motivation, occupational or professional attitudes, and reflective interaction. Improvement in competencies of a teacher is either possible when the teacher properly planned for teaching, maintain class-room environment and maintain personality. Professional attitude of a teacher during teaching in class-room can be adjudged from his personality, knowledge, communication and management skills (Kadiri 2013). Also, the personality of teacher is consider as a basis for standard school build on effective and efficient teachers in terms of personality traits and motivation of learners (Andapai 2013). Consequently, many researchers conducted on the qualities of a teacher in relation to students academic performance without studying the impact of teacher‘s personality in relation to learning in teacher training institutions and the extent which teacher‘s personality traits affects students‘ motivation.
Wilson (2011) states that there is also a positive relationship between teacher personality traits and learning and the personality traits does not affect classroom discipline only but also affect teacher-student relationship for academic gains. The Teacher‘s personality suppose to be among the criteria in the employment or recruitment of teachers by employers apart from educational qualification poses. Most of the immoral conducts associated with teachers are resulted from non conformity with the personality of the teacher which could be checked in diverse ways, such as interaction with students, teaching methods, and learning experience. The teacher should ensure that his personality speaks positively to the students in encouraging them to learn in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
It is in realization of the current trend in the recruitment of unqualified teachers and personality of some teachers teaching in Primary, Secondary Schools and Teacher training Colleges in the North- western Nigeria that prompted the researcher to embark on the present study which is geared towards assessment of Social Studies teachers‘ personality and qualification as motivating factors to students‘ learning in Selected Colleges of Education in North-western Nigeria.
The problem of this research hinges on the determination of the extent to which Social Studies teachers‘ personality and qualification influences characteristics on the attitudinal disposition of learners and their interest towards learning especially in the case of teacher training colleges.