INFLUENCE OF FAMILY BACKGROUND ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL BIOLOGY STUDENTS
Background to the Study
In today’s age of science and technology when scientific knowledge has grown exponentially technological innovations have progressed at a rapid race, and the effects of science and technology are clearly witnesses in all aspects of our lines. It is obvious that science and technology educations plays a key role for the future of societies because of its importance, all societies and particularly developed countries have continuously sought to improve the qualities of science and technology education (Aydogu, 2006).
Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Science education is imperative for useful living in any society. It is at the centre for producing resources necessary for socio-economic scientific and technology development needed for advancement of any nation. Science comprise of so many courses which are biology, chemistry, physics, geography, computer science and many more (Okeye and Okeke, 2007)
Akpan (2008) asserted that science contribute to the quality of life in such areas as health nutrition, agriculture, transportation, material and energy production and industrial development. He further stated that it ensures that the air we breath and the water we drink are life sustaining and not vectors of disease and decay. He finally concluded that science and technology from the bedrock of sustainable development, that this revelation should constitutes a beckon to our nation so that science education must be given prominence in Nigeria schools.
Ware (1992) opined that the international council of scientific union council on teaching of scientific summarizes the importance of technology to economic development as follows long term sustained growth can be assured only if the money invested in science and technology is matched by the provision of funds for complementary educational programmes.
Science has therefore became a crucial factor for sustainable development worldwide. Adikwu 2008 asserted that for any nation to experience economic growth, there must be a strong stimulation of science. Biology as a case study is described as a science of life and plays a very vital role in the life of every human being. It is very vast with many division including zoology, botany, ecology, genetics, evolution and the more advanced cell biology, molecular biology among others.
Biology which is the study of living organisms which study the structure, function, growth, origin evolution and distribution of living organisms. Biology is the plant and animal life of a specific area.
Biology is very important in student’s life because it allows people to understand the diversity of life forms and their conversation and exploitation through various biological disciplines, people obtain knowledge about life and living organisms and non-living organism. It also enables people to know the behaviour and functions of each population that interacts with individuals from other communities (Orukotan, 2007). The overall importance of education in general and science education in particular to mankind cannot be over-emphasized. No nation can afford to neglect science education at any level of education and hope to thrive in any field of human endeavour.
The above not-withstanding, much has been said about secondary school students poor performance in science, generally and biology in particular. Over the years, performance in biology has been dwindling. For instance Okoye and Okeke (2007) in their study found that in 2002, 2003 and 2004,the percentage of candidates who passed west African school certificate examination(WASCE) at credit level and above (grades 1-6) in biology were 30.29% respectively. Similarly Egbunove and Ugbaja reported that only 30.29% of the biology students who sat for the WASCE between 2000 and 2005 passed at credit level above (Al-c6). In 2008 WAEC chief examiners reported a decline in performance in biology especially the theoretical aspect (WAEC 2008).
Again, the Nigerian television Authority (NTA) on March 17th 2010 reported that National Examination Council (NECO) recorded 74% failure in biology in their Nov/Dec. 2009 SSCE examination result. Statistics from May/June 2007-2012 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination by WAEC frightened by the declining in the performance of students in biological science. Individual science association such as science teachers association of Nigeria (STAN) have worked tirelessly for almost two decays to deal decisively on student’s academic under achievement in science by developing innovative teaching strategies that would improve learning of science. (Ahmad, 2011).
Home influence can be identify as very important variable that have potential for promoting directly or indirectly student academic achievement (Fehrmann et al 1987; Bloom 1984).
The implication of this persistent poor performance of students in biology is that a great percentage of them fail to get grades that will take them to higher institution for higher studies.
Usman (2003) argued that shortage of qualified teachers is responsible for the poor academic achievement observable among the students while Ademulegun (2001) argued that experienced teachers in terms of knowledge of the subject matter perform better than those taught by less qualified but experience teacher.
As important as knowledge of biology is to human beings, it appears student’s achievement in this subject at the secondary school level is becoming worse than in the other science subjects to this end, several factors have been identified by researchers as being responsible for the persistent poor performance recorded in biology especially at senior secondary certificate examination.
Some of these include lack of educational facilities like laboratories, overloaded syllabuses, laziness poor altitude and lack of interest on the part of the students, poor teaching methods by teachers, large class size: student ratio and family/home background of the students.
Despite the fact that many educationists believe that family background has influence on children’s performance in school, considering the fact that education starts from home.
The family has the potential to influence a child’s academic achievement. This is because it is the first environment of the child (Nwachukwu, 2009).
The initial experience that would mold the child’s values, aspirations, emotions interest and attitudes are offered by the parents/family (Okeke 2009). What the child learns at home and how his family motivates him towards education contributes to the child’s success in school (Essien, 2002). Similarly, Obasi (1999) observed that mere making sure that the children are prepared for school in the morning is important for the children’s successful achievement at school.
Statement of the Problem
It has been shown that researches have investigated many factors considered to affect students learning considering the home background which is collective terminology comprising of social class/status, economic status, family size, family structure, parents educational level, occupation and other factors pertaining to home/family life.
Home background in the context of this study refers to family structure, parents occupation and parents level of education, parent motivation and their social teaching in the school. By family structure is meant whether the family is monogamous or polygamous. Monogamous refers to a system of custom whereby a man or woman is allowed to have only one spouse at a time while polygamy is a system which allows one to have more than one wife, as in Nigeria and many other African countries.
Parents occupation is considered in two levels in this study-civil service and trading which are the dominant occupations of people living in the area of study. With regards to level of education; parents are classified into high level, lower level and middle level. Parent motivation is also classified into two whether parent encourage their attitude and quality of education they engage in the school settings such as the poor quality of science teachers overcrowded classrooms, lack of suitable and adequate science equipment.
The problem of this study therefore was to determine the influence of family background on senior secondary school student’s achievement in biology.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of family background on academic achievement of secondary school biology students in ikere: in addition, the study is to determine the influence of teachers’ qualification specifically, the study will determine the influence of;
- Family structure on students’ academic achievement in biology (monogamous/polygamous family)
- Parent’s level of education on student’s academic achievement in biology
- To what extent would teacher’s attitudes, experience and qualification can predict student academic achievement at the SS2 class.
- Parental financial status on student’s academic performance in biology.
- Parental motivation on student’s academic performance in biology.
The study sought relevant answers to the following research questions.
- How does the family structure (monogamous/polygamous) influence student’s achievement in biology?
- How does the parent’s level of education influence students’ achievement in biology?
- What is the relative contribution of each of the teaching attitude to the prediction of academic achievement of the senior secondary school?
- How does the parental financial status (poor/rich) influence student’s performance in biology.
- How does the parental motivation influence student’s performance in biology?
- Family structure has no significance influence on the mean achievement scores of students in biology.
- Parent’s education level has no significant influence on student’s mean achievement scores in biology.
- Parental financial status has no significant influence on the mean performance scores of students in biology.
- Teaching attitudes or learning attitudes has no significant influence on student’s mean achievement in biology.
- Parental motivation has no significant influence on the mean performance scores of student in biology.
Significance of the Study
It has been observed that the home as an agent of education played tremendous roles in shaping and reshaping the life of students’ vis and vis their academic performance and all effort made by government to improve this had proved of the inadequate.
The significance of the study is therefore to investigate on how different home condition and school effect can influence the academic performance of students.
Lastly, it is hoped that the result of the study would be of help to the government teachers to pay attention to student’s individual differences as they carry out their pedagogical activities in the classroom.
This will go a long way to encourage the weak ones to begin to improve.
Delimitation of the Study
The scope of the research is principally to cover Ikere Local Government area of Ekiti-State. However, the findings would be limited to the senior secondary student in all the secondary school in the study area.
The study assumed that senior secondary school science examinations will enhance effective teaching and learning among all science students in senior secondary schools.
Definitions of Terms
Home background; this is a collective terminology comprising of social class, economic status, family structure, family size, parents educational attainment, occupation e.t.c.
Parental motivation: The encouragement, in inducement and inspiration given to students by their parents.