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EXTENT TO WHICH CLASSROOM QUALITIES INFLUENCE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BUSINESS STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AKWA IBOM NORTH-WEST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
1.1 Background of the Study
Classroom quality plays an important role in students’ Academic Performance. Classroom quality is a combination of different variables such as classroom size, classroom space, classroom seating arrangement, classroom lighting, classroom ventilation, classroom management, teacher-students relationship, structure, furniture, instructional technologies, room heater, ceiling fans, curtains, cupboard, and equipment, amongst others. Student experiences within the classroom could help to develop their behavioral, social, and academic skills. Classroom quality provides students with opportunities to socialize while learning interesting content. Claire, Sara, Kelvin, and Timothy (2009) opined that Classroom quality consists of infrastructural features of schooling, such as classroom materials, or space for activities. White (2007) wrote that quality classroom provides students with effective instruction and promotes smooth teaching learning process and helps in improving the overall Academic Performance of students. Managing the classroom includes planning, organizing of materials for teaching, preparation of teaching and learning materials, arranging the seating space, decoration of the classroom, enforcement of rules and regulation in the class. Duke (2007) reported that classroom is a place where the closest interaction between the students and the teachers take place. Usen, Ekanem and Foster (2017) wrote that effective classroom management creates positive impact on teaching quality and students learning attitude. It creates a sound, supportive and friendly environment in classroom where students feel safe, respected, cared for and secured. Student performance can improve through the help of the teachers
Performance according to Simpson and Weiner (2009) is an observable or measurable behaviour of a person in a particular situation usually experimental situation. Academic Performance refers to the ability of students to study, remember facts and be able to communicate their knowledge verbally or through writing. Also, Academic Performance refers to performance in tests and examinations as recorded by Cambridge University Reporter 2003. In the context of this study, academic performance of a student can be regarded as the observable and measurable behaviour of a student in a particular situation. The Academic Performance of students included observable and measurable behaviour at any point in Business Studies subjects.
Business Studies occupies a unique position among various subjects offered at the Junior Secondary School level. Business Studies is a structured subject which is used to develop the knowledge, skills and values which are necessary for students to participate responsibly, productively and effectively in business activities in both the formal and informal sectors. Ekanem (2008) wrote that Business Studies is taught as one of the basic subjects that will enable students to acquire further business skills which are common and fundamental to all personal and occupational activities. Business Studies and students' Academic Performance consists of students’ scores at any particular time obtained from a teacher-made examination or test. Therefore, the classroom qualities that could influence the Academic Performance of students in Business Studies include; classroom size, classroom space, classroom seating arrangement, classroom ventilation and classroom lighting.
One of the first areas that could make a noticeable influence on student success and Academic Performance is the classroom size. Classroom size that is too small or large could have negative effect on students’ Academic Performance and concentration as they feel distracted in such conditions. According to Ronald (2001) classroom size is the actual number of students taught by a teacher at a particular time. Michael (2010) viewed classroom size as the number of students for whom a teacher is primarily responsible for during a school year. The classroom size could be large or small. However, Sparks (2010) noted that classroom size can be said to be large when the student number is more than 25 and could influence students’ Academic Performance, if it is larger or smaller.
Classroom space is another factor that could also play a very large influence in students’ Academic Performance in Business Studies. The classroom space has to do with range of meters between students and the number of students within a classroom. Diane (2010) opined that classroom space is an indoor or outdoor location, either actual or virtual where teaching and learning takes place. Biabangard, (2000) wrote that classroom space is considerably effective on students' learning level. Suitable temperature is one of the necessities in the classroom; otherwise as a disturbing factor, it can prevent the students' attention to the teacher and lesson. If the classroom is not suitable for sitting and walking or if it does not have appropriate light or all students cannot see the blackboard comfortably, there will be academic failure.
Classroom seating arrangement could also play a remarkable role in making instructional process more effective and establishes an atmosphere favourable and encouraging to learning towards achieving Academic Performance. Pace and Price (2005) asserted that Classroom seating arrangement is one factor that is typically under teacher control and has the potential to encourage desirable behaviour or contribute to students’ Academic Performance. Also, Daniels (2008) reported that Classroom seating arrangement significantly impacts on student behaviour, and there is evidence to suggest that it impacts on academic achievement as well