EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE, NIGERIA.

EFFECT
OF CLASS SIZE ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN JUNIOR
SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE, NIGERIA.

 

ABSTRACT
This project analyzed
the effect of class-size on the quality of academic output of integrated
science students in junior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of  Ekiti State, Nigeria. A sample of five schools was used through stratified random sampling technique. Data
were collected through the use of a well-structured questionnaire and were
analyzed with the
use of frequency
tables and percentages.
The findings revealed that schools having an
average class-size of 35students and below obtained better results in the Junior
Secondary Certificate (JSSCE) examinations than schools having more than 35
students per class. The mean scores were higher in schools having an average
class-size of 35 and below. It was therefore recommended that Government should
provide more classrooms in all secondary schools in the State to cater for
small class-sizes.

CHAPTER
ONE
          INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
As school population
increases, class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an
issue. According to Dror (2005), class size has become a phenomenon often
mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on pupil’s feelings and
achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. In his words he noted,
that class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have
little or no control. Most researchers start from the assumption that size of
the class would prove a significant determinant of the degree of success of
students. In fact, with the exception of a few, many studies have reported that
under ideal situation, class size in itself appears to be an important factor.
          Class size refers to an educational
tool that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a
school (Adeyemi, 2008). This varies from country to country.
Kedney (2009)
saw it as a tool that can be used to measure the performance of the education
system. In relation to size,
Stepaniuk
(2000)
reported
that the rational utilization of classroom space depends upon class-size. This
in turn would depend upon the area of the classroom. He argued that there are

approved
norms of class-size, 40 pupils per class for grades 1 to 8 and 35 pupils per
class for the senior
classes; while the standard allocation
of class space per
pupil is 1:25 square metres. In this
regard, Dean (2004)
compared class-size in some countries
and found that
Turkey, Norway and Netherlands had
class-sizes of 20
more; the UK, USA, Japan, Canada and
Ireland had
class-sizes of between 15 and 20 while France,
Sweden,
Denmark,
Austria, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium had
sizes of below 15.
          In
Nigeria, however, Okoro (2005) reported that the
class-size in
secondary schools ranges between 35 or40 students. He argued that few pupils
per class are uneconomical, as they do not make full use of space,
teachers
and teaching materials.

Adeyemi
(2008) too,
reported
that average class-size influences the cost of
education while capital cost could be
reduced by
increasing
the average class-size in schools while
Nwadiani
(2000)

argued that the higher the class-size, the
lower the cost of education. He
contended however,

that
most classrooms are over-crowded spreading
resources thinly and thereby affecting
the quality of
education.
Ajayi (2000) supported the viewpoints and
argued that in order to control rising
capital cost of
education,
the average class-size could be increased.
These points were also supported by Toth and Montagna (2002)
who reported that the increase in enrollment in many institutions which has
become major concerns of students could definitely lead to an increase in class
size. Commeyras (2000)
however, disagreed with these

arguments
and reported that effective teaching seems
impracticable for teacher educators
having large class

sizes
of 50, 75, 100 or more.

In
terms of outcomes, Schultz (2003) classified the
outcomes of education into two
categories from the

economic
point of view. These are consumption and
investment. Cohn (2005) referred to the
consumption
aspect
as that related to benefits derived by students.
He regarded the investment component as
including a
variety
of outputs related to the enhancement of an
individual’s or society’s productive
skills. Thus, Blaug (2003) argued that the extension of education tends to
raise the earnings of those who benefited from it. In this
regard, Simkins (2001)
reported that output “represents the
immediate results of the system’s
activities.” According

to
him, “the main outputs in education are expressed in
terms of learning, that
is, changes in the knowledge,

skills
and attitudes of individuals as a result of their
experiences within the educational
system.” He argued

that
the educational system is a productive system in
the very sense that it produces outputs
especially
various
forms of learning. He expressed that the
components of the system could be represented
in a
model viz:

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