EFFECT OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCES IN BIOLOGY (A CASE STUDY OF AKURE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ONDO STATE)

ABSTRACT
This study examines the effects of
individual differences on students’ performance in biology. Random sampling
technique was used to select 100 students (50 males and 50 females) such that
20 students were selected from five secondary schools each. The sampled schools
were from Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State. The study in
addition to the main objective sought to look into among other things, the
effects of the following on students’ performance. The use of graduate and NCE
teachers, difference in parental background affect the students’ performance
socio-economic background, students’ attitude towards biology, availability of
well equipped laboratory facilities and teachers years of experience.
Descriptive and chi-square statistics were used to analyze the results obtained
from the field. Findings revealed that students taught by graduate teachers
perform better than their counterparts taught by NCE teachers. Also parental in
the area of provision of basic tools for studying and students taught with a
well equipped laboratory facilities performed better than their counterparts in
schools without laboratories. Findings also revealed that years of experience
of teachers play important roles in the academic performance of biology
students as evidenced from the results.
The finding therefore recommended
that government should make efforts in recruiting graduate and experience
teachers to teach biology in schools. Also, biology laboratory should be
equipped to enhance effective practical teachings. However, having given
attention to the above recommendations, parents’ socio-economic background will
not have much impact on the students’ academic performance of the students as
discovered from the findings.    

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
In recent years, the attitude of many
students towards science subjects has been suggested to be below expectation.
Hence, educationists have been concerned about the development in appropriate
knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in science subjects. This concern is
parturient in that today. The world is characterized by an advancement in
science and technology and for Nigeria
as a nation to develop like other advanced countries, the scientific manpower
and technological development must be intensified. It is in the realization of
this that the nation policy on education days emphasis on the importance of
science and technology by putting the nation of science to art students
admission into higher institution at sixty to forty (60:40)
Aghenta (2000) identified four major
factors responsible for poor performances in Biology Subject. These are:
(1)            
Teacher
related
(2)            
Pupil
related
(3)            
Authority
related
(4)            
Subject
content related
Students academic performance has
been noted to be affected by various factors including psychological and
economical factors, social and genetic factors, seginer (2000) inspite of the fact
that the observable attitudes in students have been produced by combination of
variables, it is possible to identify. The effect of individual differences on
student performance in Biology. If this psychological constrict called attitude
having being mentioned as one of the three man factors affecting performance in
Biology, Pearson and Kaezala (2000). It is important to find out if there is
any relationship between it and the parent influence. Can positive influence individual
and interested numbers of the public help to produce enough science oriented
students to read science based courses and provide manpower in the new science
area of science based occupation? Attitude is a concept, which arise from
attempt to account for observed regularities from the behaviour of individual
persons. The quality of which is judge from observed evaluate responses one
tends to make an individual can show positive or negative attitude toward a
particular subject due to the great influence of attitude on educational
pursuits, it is worth while to identify the determinant of attitude towards
Biology, chief of which are hereditary factors body, state, direct experience
and communication.
Hereditary factor (i.e inheritance
from parents) is the basis for all human activities including developing of
attitude as well as learning. Direct experience is one of the most important
determinant of performance parent/guardian need to influence their children by
increasing their familiarity with the Biology subjects by taking interest in
their school works, enroll them for extra lessons ensuring that home work is
done, acquire films and other electronic materials that can stimulate their
interest in Biology based leaner and enable the individual to develop friendly
attitude towards the subjects, these experiences are effective in removing
hostility towards school work.
Researchers in the field of education
have also show that sex differences and achievement motivation can also affect
student performance. Bloom (2005) found that female as a group choose
significantly higher social class status occupation than their male
counterpart. In secondary schools, male students are found in large percentage
in science classes compared to the female. However, female student in single
sex school show positive attitude towards science subject and perform better
than female student in mixed schools.
Statement of the Problem
This study seeks to investigate some
factors of individual differences that affect student’s performance in Biology.
These problem would be addressed by focusing at the following statement.
a.                
To
examine the effect of differences in parental background on students academic
performance in Biology. To what extent has parents been to objectively use this
factor to enhance academic progress in individual person communication either
verbal or non-vernal academic progress influences students attitude as well as
school learning sometimes unconsciously, parents / guardians through non-verbal
communication transfer their fears, likes dislike of individual students via
bodily movements and facial expression.
b.                
To
examine the effect of differences in student attitude and interest on student
performance Biology.      
Purpose of the Study
This study was aimed at looking out
the effects of individual differences on student performance in Biology. This
study was to investigate two parameters out of the various parameters of
individual difference that influence students academic performance in Biology.
These parameters are parental background and students attitude and interest
through inheritance and communication and by providing the right and
stimulating environment. The man focus of this research is to proffer probable
solutions to students problems concerning the individual differences affecting
their academic performance and their will be a tendency for students from
social class to have more positive attitude as well as greater academic
progress than their counterparts from lower social class.
Significance of the Study
The finding of this study would be
useful to the students as it will bring to their knowledge the factors that
should be taken into consideration for good academic performance so also the
student would be aware that they differ from one another which as a result,
often help them in the areas of career choosing based on their individual
abilities with this in mind. It is therefore evident that there exist among the
students some individual differences as a result of which it is then expected
of the teacher to render adequate and necessary counseling to the student
especially on the choice of their future career and which is another vital
significance of this study. And there are significant difference in their
socio-economics levels.
Research Questions
The research questions are those,
which the study attempt to answer
a.                
Is
the student performance in Biology poor or otherwise?
b.                
Is
the time allotted for Biology to sustain good performance in Biology/
c.                 
What
is the rationale of teachers qualification toward student good performance in
Biology?
d.                
Are
there enough facilities in schools to enhance good performance of students in
Biology
e.                 
Does
obedience to instruction constitute to student good performance
f.                  
What
suggestions can be offered to enable students perform better in the future
examination?
g.                
What
are the factors that adversely affect performance in Biology in senior
secondary certificate examination?
Hypothesis
The following hypothesis were
formulated by the researcher.
1.                
There
is no significant difference in the academic performance of student taught by
N.C.E holders and those taught by university graduate teachers.
2.                
There
is no significance difference in the academic performance of students with
different parent socio-economics background.
3.                
There
will be no effect of individual different in student’s attitude and interest on
students performance in Biology.
4.                
There
is a significant differences between the academic performances of students
taught in schools with well equipped laboratory facilities.
5.                
Students
performance is significantly affected by the experience of the teachers
teaching the subject.
Assumption of the Study
The study assumes that individual
differences on students performance in senior secondary certificate examination
in recent years are poor and not encouraging. It is also assumed that the
courses content (syllabus) of Biology is too wide then what can be covered
within the stipulated time of fix course and it is also centered around the
effects of individual difference of students performance in Biology such as
parental social economic background of students differences in the academic
performance of students attitude and interest of student. The study is to be
carried out among selected secondary school students in Akure South Local
Government Area of Ondo State.
Delimitation of the Study
This study covered eight selected
secondary school from Akure South Local Governments. The research was limited
to senior secondary classes offering biology both commercial, art and science
student, ten students were selected from senior secondary one. Out of senior
secondary three, three of them commercial class, three from art class and six
from sciences class. This was applied to four schools in the remaining four
schools 75% percentage of them were science students.
Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to government
owned secondary school in Akure South Local Government of Ondo State. However,
the achievement of student in their subject apart from Biology was not
investigated during this study.
Definition of Terms
Biology:- The science
of life and all its man features or an area of study concerned with living
organisms.
Individual:-
Characteristics of a single person on animal, plant or things
Genetics:- Is the origin or development of
something e.g development of child.
Psychology:- Is the
scientific study of human or animal behaviours.
Intelligence:-
The power of perceiving learning understanding and among
metal ability
Horizon:- Line at
which the earth or sea and sky seem to meet, limit to one’s knowledge,
experience thinking etc
Scientists:- Person
expert in one or more of the natural or physical science
Environment:-
Surrounding, circumstances influences
Laboratory:- Scientific
workshop where scientific investigation are carried out
Learning:- Is a
relatively permanent change in immediate or potential behaviour that results
from experiences
Waec:- West
African Examination Council. A recognized examining body
Teaching:- Is an act,
practice or profession of giving construction or imparting knowledge or skills
Ssce:- Senior School
Certificate



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