TEACHER GENDER AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE
Background of the Study
Agriculture is the mainstay of economic growth and development of many developing countries including Nigeria. English adapted the word agriculture from Latin. Hornby (2012) viewed agriculture as simply a science, art or practice of farming. Livinus (2011) defined Agriculture as the human activity of cultivating crops and plantations for production of food and goods such as fibers, biofuels and animal feed. Agriculture is importance for the development of the nation because of its primary role in food production. Food is one of the basic needs of man. The development of the Nigerian economy will
therefore depend on the development and growth of the agricultural sector Tomori
Osinem (2008) opined that agriculture is a science and systems which involve the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. The researcher described agriculture as the science and systems which involve the cultivation of crops, rearing of animals, raising poultry birds and aquatics for both man and industrial use.
This science and systems of crop cultivation can be achieved through agricultural education. Agricultural practices have been the main activity of Nigerians, employing about 70 percent of the population before the oil boom. Today, about 60 percent of the Nigerian population is employed in agriculture in one form or the other (Alkali, 2010). This fact has influenced the educational policy and practice of the country. In order to achieve this policy objective, agricultural science has been made compulsory at senior secondary school level.
Federal ministry of education (FME, 2007) stated that the objectives of agricultural science are to stimulate and sustain students’ interest, to enable students acquire useful knowledge and practical skills, to prepare students for studies and occupations in agriculture. These objectives might not be realized with the current traditional approach of teaching and learning in operation.
Gbore (2013) further stretched that teachers’ role in the preparation of students to succeed in examinations cannot be undermined. There has been significant noticeable difference in the proportion of male to female science teachers in the country, Agricultural Science in particular. In Ekiti state public secondary schools for instance, statistics show that male Agricultural Science teachers constitute the larger proportion of 76.47% while female constitute about 23.53% (Ekiti state teaching service commission, 2014). Gender gaps in educational outcomes are a matter of real and growing concern.
A phenomenon in the school system that has been rather disturbing is the fact that despite the clamour for gender equality treatment and advancement in teaching and learning of science, boys and girls do not seem to e level of academic achievement in the teaching and learning of science and Agricultural Science in particular. Okoro, Ekanem and Udoh (2012) cited Ammermueller and Dalton (2006) that large literature existed on the difference between the academic achievement of boys and girls.
Academic achievement or performance is used in the school to refer to students’ success in learning specified curriculum content as revealed by continuous assessment and examination. According to Adediwura and Tayo (2007), academic achievement is designated by test and examination scores or marks assigned by the subject teachers. It could also be said to be any expression used to represent students’ scholastic standing. Levin, Wasanga and Somerset (2011) reported that the academic achievement of students at secondary school level is not only a pointer of the effectiveness of schools, but also a major determinant of the well-being of youths in particular and the nation in general. Yusuf and Adigun (2010); Lydiah and Nasongo (2009) noted that the performance of students in any academic task has always been of special interest to the government, educators, parents and society at large.
According to Ali (2013), academic achievement is a measure of the degree of success in performing specific tasks in a subject or area of study by students after a learning experience. It is the outcome of education that indicates how well a student or class of students is doing academically.
Gender as a concept, is socially and culturally determined. This means that people’s perception, ideas, values and expectation about masculinity and feminism are created, influenced and determined by culture and socialization. Thus gender is an analytic concept which projects or stresses the cultural responsibilities of men and women (masculine and feminine) in a given society.
Gender differences have become critical issues of concern around the world most especially to educators and researchers. Hansman, Tyson and Zahidi (2009) reports that there is no country in the world that has yet reached equality between women and men in different critical areas such as in economic participation or education. This is also evident from the reports of Okebukola (2002) in a study titled “beyond the stereotype to new trajectories in science teaching”, Longe and Adedeji (2003) in their study on increasing girls access to technical and vocational education in Nigeria, Yoloye (2004) in the study on increasing female participation in science and Ezirim (2006) in the study on “scaling up girls participation in science education: towards a score card on quality education” asserts that gender has impact on science education.
Francis (2007) in his study on student and teacher related variables as determinants of secondary school students academic achievement in chemistry affirms that teacher’s gender has direct effect of students’ achievement in chemistry. Francis (2012) opined that teacher’s gender has significant effect on achievement mean scores of pupils in science; male teachers were more effective than their female counterparts.
According to Kathryn (2013), teachers’ unconscious gender biases can produce stereotypic explanations for students’ success and participation in the classroom. Teachers view male students’ domination of the classroom and their time as typical masculine behavior. Kathyn (2013) affirms that gender bias can occur within subject areas and school activities. For example, in subject such as Mathematics and sciences, there are different participation patterns for girls and boys that boys are naturally better at mathematics and science than girls. Teacher unconscious stereotyped gender bias that boys are smarter than girls, especially in mathematics and the science, meant they were willing to work with boys to reach capable of achieving that goal but girls were not. Conversely, teachers of subjects perceived as feminine will spend more time engaged with girls.
Thomas (2006) in a study on how a teacher’s gender affects boys and girls affirms that one theory asserts that the teacher’s gender shapes communication between teacher and pupil, while another says the teacher acts as a gender-specific role model, regardless of what he or she says or does. According to this second theory, students are more engaged, behave more appropriately, and perform at a higher level when taught by me who shares their gender. Girls have better educational outcomes when taught by women and boys are better when taught by men (Thomas, 2006).
In Nigeria, in spite of the enormous role that Agricultural Science plays in national development and the efforts of government and other stakeholders at improving science education, Agricultural Science results in the examination conducted by most certified examination bodies like the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) have not been satisfactory. This study therefore intends to examine the teacher gender and its effects on the performance of students in Agricultural science, a case study of selected secondary schools in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state .
Statement of Problem
Educators continually search for more effective ways to engage their students during learning as well as to increase student learning outcomes. This has led to an urgent need to improve the quality of education through the determining various factors affecting students’ academic performance including teachers’ gender.
According to Alkali (2010), Agricultural science which is one of the compulsory subjects offered in secondary schools in Nigeria, seems not to have yielded a positive outcome in the way it is being delivered to students. In Nigerian educational system, agricultural science is mostly taught by equal number of male and female teachers.
This study intends to determine the teacher gender and its effects on the performance of students in Agricultural science, a case study of selected secondary schools in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to investigate the teacher gender and its effects on the performance of students in Agricultural science, a case study of selected secondary schools in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- find out the difference in the performance mean scores of boys taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
- determine the difference in the performance mean scores of girls taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
- examine the difference in the performance mean scores of students taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
The following research questions are generated for the study;
- Is there any significant difference in the performance mean scores of boys taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers?
- Is there any significant difference in the performance mean scores of girls taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers?
- Is there any significant difference in the performance mean scores of students taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers?
The following null hypotheses will be formulated and tested at p< 0.05.:
- There is no significant difference in the performance mean scores of boys taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
- There is no significant difference in the performance mean scores of girls taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
- There is no significant difference in the performance mean scores of students taught by male and that of those taught by female Agricultural Science teachers.
Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be beneficial to the following: secondary school students, Ministry of Education, researchers, parents, curriculum planners, , teachers, and the society.
The findings of this study will be beneficial to secondary school students to know the significant role of teachers’ gender in their academic successes. This will enable them to relate well to their teachers based on their gender. The acquired knowledge will be used by the students to enjoy their classroom interaction despite their teachers’ gender.
The findings of the study will be beneficial to the Ministry of Education and researchers. The results of the study will be used to guide the ministry in organizing seminars and training workshops for agricultural education teachers in order to teach agricultural science effectively despite their gender disposition. The ministry will also use the findings of the study to employ more male and female teachers’ i.e. using the findings as an interview schedule to select qualified entrepreneurial teachers in agriculture.
Similarly, researchers who are working on related study may use the findings as reference. The findings of the study will be beneficial to researchers and students who will have interest to work on a study related to this work and equally serve as reference point.
This will also help the industries minimize the huge financial expenditure on retraining of agricultural education graduate upon employment. The findings of the study will provide suitable information that will aid in the objective planning and successful curriculum coverage of practical agriculture which will also be beneficial to curriculum planners and institutions. The institutions will be able to incorporate the aspect of teacher entrepreneurial skills as identified skill in curriculum.
The findings will help the curriculum programmers aimed at persuading agricultural entrepreneurial teachers to adopt improved agriculture; knowledge and attitudes favorable to change in agricultural practice in the world today i.e. developed anti obsolete prove.
This will go a long way in achieving the much needed agricultural development in Nigeria. To a large extent, the study will provide some framework for developing entrepreneurial skills in agricultural education; through the effective utilization of farm tools, farm implement and materials. The study will also help enhance teachers’ skills by providing them with the requisite pedagogical engineering necessary for imparting knowledge to the learners. Therefore, the acquired knowledge will be used by the students to be self-reliant such that they can also contribute their quota in the field of food production in their societies after the school programme.
The study will be an eye opener to parents/guardians to know the role teachers’ gender on their children/wards’ academic performance.
This will also help the industries minimize the huge financial expenditure on retraining of agricultural education graduate upon employment. Finally, the result of this study will provide the much needed threshold to improve the present secondary school Agricultural education scheme by working on teachers’ gender for betterment of Agricultural Education.
The findings will be beneficial to both students and teachers because it will help the teacher to improve his methodology of teaching agricultural science so that both male and female students will acquire sound knowledge of the subject. It will also serve as a reference material to future researchers on gender study and add to the existing literature on the challenges of agricultural science education in Nigeria.
Scope of the study
The study is delimited to secondary school students in senior secondary school two (SS 2). The study discusses various effects of teachers’ gender on the students’ academic performance. Secondary school students in Ado will be used as respondents. Self-developed achievement test will be used as instrument for data collection.
The research involves two trained research assistants which will be trained by the researcher. The research involved the independent variable of teachers’ gender. It involved dependent variable of secondary school students’ academic performance in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state. The analysis of the data will be done using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentage.
Assumption of the Study
The researcher assumed that the students in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State have unequal distribution of male and female Agricultural Science Teachers.
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