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STUDENTS/TEACHER RELATIONSHIP AND ITS EFFECT ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN GOVERNMENT IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UYO URBAN
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is one universal practice that is identified in all cultures of the world. Its importance cannot be overemphasized because not only is education linked to the survival of any practicing culture in the world, but it gives life and form to whatever culture a people chose to practice or are born into. Suffice it to say that education is the ‘red blood cells’ through which humanity is sustained.
Education is simply the sum of all the processes by which members of the society acquire the desired knowledge, skills, attitudes and other capabilities which enable them to live effectively and contribute positively to the development of the society and the advancement of the global community (Etuk, Udosen, Emah, Edem, and Afangideh, 2015)
From time immemorial, and as recorded in most traditional African experiences, education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society (Ibia, 2011). In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge, values, and skills from one generation to the next. As cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be readily learned through imitation, formal education began to develop (Assmann, 2002.).
Outside the shores of Africa, Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in Europe (Jan, Browse and Luke 2002, p. 980). The city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. Confucius (551-479 BCE), of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbors like Korea, Japan and Vietnam (Blainey, 2004) The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly. The European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion, arts and sciences spread out across the globe (Ibid).
Civilization, colonialism and cross-cultural studies made it important for education to be organized into a formal scene, which is a structured environment whose explicit purpose is teaching students. Usually, formal education takes place in a school environment with classrooms of multiple students learning together under a trained, certified teachers of the subject (Ross, 1976.)
Most school systems are designed around a set of values or ideals that govern all educational choices in that system. Such choices include curriculum, organizational models, design of the physical learning spaces (e.g. classrooms), student-teacher interactions, methods of assessment, class size, educational activities, and more (Harriman, 1935)
Teaching is a very complex, multifaceted and professional activity. Its often requires the teacher who has been dully trained in the art to shovel between multiple tasks and goals simultaneously and flexibly with the aim of achieving his/her desired out comes.
Furthermore, teaching can also be seen as a professional attempt to change the behaviour of an individual with the help of acquiring new skills, abilities, physical competences, all geared towards functional living.
In the process of teaching, the teacher does not just teach the contents, he/she also teaches both the physical contents and the hidden attributes the learners deduce from the teacher. A variety of student characteristics can affect learning. For example, students’ cultural and generational backgrounds influence how they see the world; disciplinary backgrounds lead students to approach problems in different ways; and students’ prior knowledge (both accurate and inaccurate aspects) shapes new learning. Although the teacher cannot adequately measure all of these characteristics, gathering the most relevant information as early as possible in the course of planning and continuing to do so during the term can help in the process of teaching and learning.
Furthermore, teaching is more effective and student learning is enhanced when teachers, articulate a clear set of learning objectives (that is the knowledge and the skills that the teacher expect students to demonstrate at the end of a class). The instructional activities, provide goal-oriented practices which provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and practice the knowledge and skills articulated in the objectives. Feedback from students guide further learning and proper assessment.
In all these efforts however, a conscious attempt to cover the scheme can mar the teaching process. Too many topics work against students’ learning. It is therefore necessary for teachers to make decisions – sometimes difficult ones – about what will be included in a scheme.
Though students are ultimately responsible for their own learning, the roles of the teachers are critical in guiding students’ thinking and behaviour. These roles should be chosen in service of the learning objectives and in support of the instructional activities. For example, if the objective is for students to be able to analyze arguments from a case or written text, the most productive teacher’s role might be to frame, guide and moderate a discussion. If the objective is to help students learn to defend their positions or creative choices as they present their work, the teacher’s role might be to challenge them to explain their decisions and consider alternative perspectives.
Finally, teaching and learning requires adaptation. Teachers need to continually reflect on their teaching and be ready to make changes when appropriate. Knowing what and how to change requires the teacher to examine relevant information on his/her own teaching effectiveness. Based on such data, teachers can modify the learning objectives, content, structure, and even the media resources needed to enhance the teaching learning process.
Student-Teacher relationship refers to the levels of understanding, tolerance, predictions, outcomes, hatred, love and dispositions between the teacher and the student. Mark (2015) defines students-teacher relation as the level of mutuality that exist between students in the course of learning and teachers in the course of teaching.
When a child steps into school, he/she tries to make relationships with the environment around him/her. Since human beings constitute part of the environment, he/she tries to establish a relationship with all the people around him/her especially the teachers whom he/she identifies as role models and masters of wisdom. If a teacher starts to understand his students there will be a good relationship, because when students have problems in the school, they can speak freely with the teachers and they can find solution together.
However, this work is proceeding on the assumption that if the relationship and communication between students and teachers is good, students will have more respect for the teacher and will pay more attention in class. But if that relationship is bad, then going to school and the teacher’s class will be the biggest nightmare for the student and for the teacher. Therefore, students need to have respect for their teachers and teachers need to have toleration for the students for good relationship between them.
A school is an institution designed to provide learning space and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers (Mann, 2015). Ruth (2011) sees schools as organized spaces purposed for teaching and learning. The classrooms, where teachers teach and students learn, are of central importance. Classrooms may be specialized for certain subjects, such as laboratory classrooms for science education and workshops for industrial arts education.
Typical schools have many other rooms and areas, which may include cafeteria, dining hall or canteen where students eat lunch and often breakfast and snacks; athletics field, playground, gym, and/or tracks where students participate in sports or physical education, school yards, which are, all-purpose playfields typically in elementary schools, often made of concrete, although some could be transformed into environmentally friendly teaching gardens; auditorium or hall where students theatrical and musical productions can be staged and where all-school events such as assemblies are held; offices where the administrative work of the school is done; Library where students ask librarians reference questions, check out books and magazines, and often use computers and computer labs where computer-based work is done and the internet accessed, among others.
In Nigeria, schooling is classified into four systems known as 6-3-3-4. This implies six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary, three years in senior secondary and four years in the university. However, the number of years to be spent in university is mostly determined by the course of study. Some courses have longer study lengths than others. Those in primary schools are often referred to as pupils. Those in the university as well as those in secondary schools are referred to as students.
A student is a learner, or someone who attends a school. In Britain, those attending the university are termed "students". In the United States and Nigeria, also in Britain, the term "student" is applied to both categories. In its widest use, the term student is used for anyone who is learning, including mid-career adults who are taking vocational education or returning to university for continuing education programmes. When speaking about learning outside an institution, "student" is also used to refer to someone who is learning a topic or who is "a student of" a certain topic or person.
A teacher is a person who is trained for the sole purpose of enhancing students learning in schools by providing basic formula and directions for a relative change in behaviour of the students.
The role of a teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries like Nigeria, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers, like other professionals, may have to continue their education after they qualify, a process known as continuing professional development. Teachers may use a lesson plan to facilitate student learning, providing a course of study which is called the curriculum.
In education, teachers facilitate student learning, often in a school or academy or perhaps in another environment such as outdoors. A teacher who teaches on an individual basis may be described as a tutor (James, 2000).
There is a strong unbreakable relationship between school, students and teachers. The relationship is so strong that one cannot exist independent of another. There can be no school without a teacher and a student, in fact, it is the presence of a teacher and a student that makes a school possible. Secondly, there can be no school without a teacher and there can be no school without a student. In this, the school is the environment that brings that teacher and the student together. Therefore, there is a bond that is supposed to connect the three entities: school, teachers and students, together for the social system to revolve properly. This work will therefore, examine the effect of this bond, in the classroom, outside the classroom, socially and academically.
1.2 Statement of Problem
A school is a social system because it is a patterned series of interrelationships existing between individuals, groups, and the institution and forming a whole in the process of exercising its social functions. Since the school is a social system, it therefore presupposes the fact that there is a strong relationship between the primary individual actors (students/teachers) in the system. However, research has shown that the relationship a teacher has with his/her students affects the performance of the students in their academic endeavours. The problem of this work, therefore, is to examine how student/teachers relationship in the school system affect the students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Uyo Urban.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine how the relationship between the teachers and the students affect the academic performance of the students in the study of Government in Senior secondary schools.
Specifically, the work sought to achieve the following objectives:
- Determine the influence of teacher/students’ classroom relationship on performance in Government.
- Investigate the influence of teacher-students’ social relationship on performances in Government.
- Determine the influence of the teachers and the students and how it affects students’ academic performances.
- Investigate the student’s relationship with teachers and how it affects students’ performance in Government.
1.4 Research Questions
In the course of this work, this research will attempt to answer the following questions:
- How does teachers’ relationship with students in the classroom influence performance in Government?
- How does teachers’ social relationship with students influence performance in Government?
- How does the teacher feedback relationship with students influence performance in Government?
- How Does teachers’ relationship with students outside the classroom influence performance in Government?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In order to identify the variables and to accomplish the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses will be tested
- Performance in Government does not significantly depend on teachers’ relationship with students in the classroom.
- Performance in Government does not significantly depend on teachers’ social relationship with student.
- Performance in Government does not significantly depend on teachers’ feedback relationship.
- Performance in Government does not significant depend on teachers’ relationship with students outside the classroom.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be significant to scholars, teachers in Government, researchers and scholars in the humanities because it will x-ray the effect of students/teachers’ relationship on the academic performance of students and will open an opportunity for school administrators to adjust to the recommendations that will be given at the end of the study.
This work will help teachers to know how important their behaviours and attitude towards students are. This will help them to use same, appropriately, for the desired effect to be achieved.
This work will help school proprietors and administrators to decide the base course of action as regards social and extra-social activities in the school that will foster a cordial relationship between students and teachers.
Experts in the field of Political Science will come to the realization of the effect students/teachers’ relationship can have on their course of study.
Besides these, the work will be a concrete addition to the scholarly materials on educational adding to the corpus of the existing theorizing in this field of study thereby serving as a guide to succeeding researchers in this field.
This study was limited to Senior Secondary School Students who are studying government in Uyo L.G.A. Only Public schools were covered.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research work has faced serious challenges. The researcher would have loved to carry out the research in all secondary schools Uyo but there is no such means. Besides this, the time allotted to this work does not permit for such extensive outing. This research work is by no means comprehensive.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
Classroom Relationship: The degree of freedom, unity, acceptance and tolerance between the teacher and the students in the classroom during teaching and learning process.
Students/Teacher’s Social Relationship: This refers to the level of closeness that a student has with his/her teacher on personal maters unrelated to school or learning. This is a home or private relationship.
Relationship Outside Classroom: The degree of freedom, unity, acceptance and tolerance between the teacher and the students outside the routine classes or formal environment but within the academic environment, like during games, compound work, dinning and hostels.
Students’ Academic Performance: This refers to the total cognitive behavioural outcome measured from a student in relation to the instructional objectives set out to achieve or the minimum curriculum behavioural demands of that particular subject as measured mostly by grades.