Teachers’ Proficiency as Correlate of Students’ Performance in Secondary Schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Submission Deadline-23rd July 2024
June 2024 Issue : Publication Fee: 30$ USD Submit Now
Submission Deadline-20th July 2024
Special Issue of Education: Publication Fee: 30$ USD Submit Now

Teachers’ Proficiency as Correlate of Students’ Performance in Secondary Schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria

  • Dr Adu Ebenezer Taiwo
  • 747-753
  • May 20, 2024
  • Education

Teachers’ Proficiency as Correlate of Students’ Performance in Secondary Schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Dr Adu Ebenezer Taiwo

Department of Educational Foundations and Management,

Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere – Ekiti

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2024.1104054

Received: 27 March 2024; Accepted: 12 April 2024; Published: 20 May 2024

ABSTRACT

The researcher investigated the relationship that existed between teacher proficiency and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. This research work took after survey research design. The population of this study was all teachers and students of the 219 public schools in Ekiti State. Systematic and stratified random sampling techniques were used to select 5 secondary schools from each of the three senatorial districts in Ekiti State. In each school, four teachers teaching the core subjects and ten students for each teacher were selected using simple random technique totaling 45 teachers and 145 students of senior secondary school three (SS3). All the 120 students used for this study were students who offered the four core subjects. Two instruments were used. They are; Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire (TPQ) and Students’ Academic Performance Inventory (SAPI). The instruments were validated by experts in Text and Measurement who ensured face, construct and content validity of the instruments. Reliability of TPQ was realized using test-retest reliability which yielded 0.65 level of significance. The data collected from the respondents were tested using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Statistics at 0.05 level of significance. The results of this research indicated that there was relationship between teacher proficiency and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. All the variables of teacher proficiency have relationship with students’ academic performance. It was recommended that teachers should be given opportunities to engage in professional development such as workshops, conferences and coursework so that they could improve their subject matter knowledge and teaching skills. Also, those without degree certificate should be encouraged to engage in further studies.

Keywords: Teacher, Proficiency, Teacher Proficiency, Performance, Subject Matter, and Pedagogical Skills

INTRODUCTION

The capacity of every nation to generate high-quality depends on the caliber of its educators. It is noteworthy to mention that teachers have a major influence on the standard of education that kids get. Aminulai, Ajayi and Adu (2024) revealed that there was a correlation between language proficiency and administrative workers’ effectiveness. This is an aspect of competency on the part of a teacher.  Bolarinwa (2014) reveals that teachers have a significant influence on students’ ability to do well academically in public examinations. It makes sense why teachers are regarded as one of the most valuable resources in any educational institution. The teacher is the most important instructional resource in the educational system (Aina, Ogundele and Olanipekun,2013). In his own view, Obadara (2005) reveals that teachers play a critical role in the growth of education and are vital to the smooth operation of the educational system. Adu (2019) reports that there was influence of teacher characteristics on science teacher effectiveness in Ekiti State secondary schools. Mulualem, Mulugeta and Tedesse (2024) reveal that teacher’ professional learning that is context specific, job embedded and content-based is particularly important for addressing the diverse needs of students and teachers in differing settings.

Researches have indicated that low teacher quality is a major contributing factor to Nigeria’s declining educational standards. Additionally, studies show that the academic difference between children who have the best instructors and those who have the worst teachers gets wider every year. Ojo (2018) suggests that when students receive instruction from highly qualified and experienced teachers over a period of years, the greatest gains in student achievement are likely to be realized.  It is a belief that teacher plays vital role in the success of students. Hence, this research work centers on teachers’ proficiency as correlate of students’ performance. Out of the numerous indicates of teacher proficiency, this research focuses on teacher subject matter, teacher pedagogical skills and teacher professional development.

In the sphere of education, the relationship between subject matter and students’ performance has long been of interest. For educators and politicians looking to enhance educational outcomes, it is imperative that they realize that the knowledge of the subject taught by the teacher affects student rate of learning. This qualitative study looks at the key factors of academic success or failure in order to investigate the link between subject matter and student performance. The term “subject matter” describes the particular disciplines or content areas that are taught in schools, including language arts, social studies, science, math, and more. Every subject has distinct qualities, levels of complexity, and cognitive demands that might affect how well students interact with and understand the subject matter. According to Fehintola (2014), capacity of pupils to comprehend and apply subject area information is typically regarded a critical measure of their academic achievement.

The correlation between teacher pedagogical skills and student performance has long been an area of interest in the field of education. Pedagogical skills refer to the knowledge, strategies, and practices that teachers employ in the classroom to facilitate student learning. Understanding how these skills impact student achievement is crucial for educators and policymakers seeking to enhance educational outcomes. Ojo (1918) pointed out that teachers’ pedagogical attitude has strong relationship with student performance.  This research aims to explore the relationship between teacher pedagogical skills and student performance, delving into the underlying factors that contribute to academic success or challenges.

Effective pedagogical skills are essential for creating a conducive learning environment, engaging students, and facilitating their understanding of subject matter. Teachers who possess strong pedagogical skills can effectively communicate complex concepts, adapt their teaching methods to meet diverse student needs and foster a positive and supportive classroom climate. Conversely, deficiencies in pedagogical skills seem to hinder student learning engagement, and overall academic performance.

The correlation between professional development and student performance has gained significant attention in the field of education. Professional development refers to the ongoing learning experiences and opportunities that educators engage in to enhance their knowledge, skills, and instructional practices. Maende (2012) reveals that understanding how professional development impacts student performance is crucial for educators, administrators, and policymakers seeking to improve educational outcomes. This research aims to explore the relationship between professional development and student performance, delving into the underlying factors that contribute to academic success or challenges.

Also, professional development plays a vital role in equipping educators with the necessary tools and strategies to meet the diverse needs of their students. It provides opportunities for teachers to expand their subject matter knowledge, learn about innovative instructional approaches, and stay updated with the latest research and best practices in education. Effective professional development programs can empower teachers to implement evidence-based instructional strategies, differentiate instruction, and foster a positive learning environment. Adu and Ade-Ajayi (2015) cited Kwairi (2007) that there was relationship between selected teachers’ variables and students’ performance in Sokoto State.

There are controversies on who is to be blamed on the poor quality of student outcome in Nigeria secondary schools. Adu and Ade-Ajayi (2015) opine that some blame the students for this apparent decline in the academic performance. While majority blame the teachers and the teachers in turn blame parents and the children. They also blame government for unattractive condition of service and poor physical facilities in some parts of the educational system. Numerous academics in Nigeria have studied the problem of low student performance in public examinations in secondary schools, but their findings are inconsistent. Nabukenya (2007) proves that poor caliber of teachers working in Nigerian schools may be the cause of the country’s pupils’ poor academic achievement. Many variables related to teachers’ professional attitudes have been determined to be the root causes of low student academic performance. These factors primarily include teachers’ poor subject matter mastery and poor pedagogical attitudes. This investigation was done in response to these issues.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research work was to investigate the relationship that existed between teacher proficiency and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

 Specifically, the objectives of this study were to:

1. investigate teacher mastery of subject matter and students’ academic performance;

2. examine teacher pedagogical skills, and students’ academic performance and

3. examine teacher professional development and students’ academic performance

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were generated and tested;

HO1: There is no significant relationship between teacher mastery of subject matter and students’ academic performance

HO2:There is no significant relationship between teacher pedagogical skills and students’ academic performance.

HO3: There is no significant relationship between teacher professional development and students’ academic performance.

METHODOLOGY

This research work took after survey research design. Therefore, the population of this study was all teachers and students of the 219 public schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. For the purpose of this study, systematic and stratified random sampling technique were used to select 5 secondary schools from each of the three senatorial districts making 15 schools in Ekiti State. In each school, three teachers teaching the core subjects (English, Mathematics and Civic Education) and ten students for each teachers were selected using simple random technique totaling 45 teachers and 450 students of senior secondary school two (SS2). All the 1450 students used for this study were students who offered the three core subject.

The researcher made use of two instruments. The first one titled “Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire” (TPQ) and the second instrument was an inventory titled: Students’ Academic Performance Inventory (SAPI). The TPQ instrument has two parts: A and B. A part elicited information on biodata of the respondent. This included the name of the school, the location, the class and the subject that the teacher was teaching. The section A was to enable the researcher to be able to identify the teacher under assessment. Also, part B has 3 sections thus; (1: Teacher Mastery of Subject Matter, 2: Teacher Pedagogical Skills and 3: Teacher Professional Development.  The instrument was structured along the four-point Likert scale of Strongly Agreed, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagreed. The second instrument; SAPP (Inventory) was used to collect the students’ results in the three core subject areas taught by the sampled teachers.

The two instruments were validated by two experts in Text and Measurement who ensured face, construct and content validity of the instrument.  A pilot test was conducted to ascertain the reliability co-efficient of Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire” (TPQ) by administering the questionnaires on ten teachers that were not part of the sample used for the study within an interval of two weeks. The co-efficient value obtained was .63   at 0.05 level of significance.

The researcher with two trained research assistants administered all the 450 copies of the questionnaires and all were duly retrieved from the respondents and used for data analysis. The data collected from the respondents were tested using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation statistics at 0.05 level of significance.

RESULTS

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between teacher mastery of subject matter and students’ academic performance.

In testing this hypothesis, data on teacher mastery of subject matter were collected through the responses to section one of part one of Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire and the inventory was used collected data of students’ performance. The data were tested using Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The results are presented in table I.

Table 1: Test of Relationship between students’ performance and teacher mastery of subject matter.

Variables N df r-cal r tab
Teacher mastery of subject matter 45 44 0.532 0.3044
Students’ Performance 45

p<0.05

Table 1 shows the relationship between teacher mastery of subject matter and students’ performance. The result obtained from the analysis shows that the calculated value of (0.532) is greater than r-critical or table value (0.3044) at 0.05 level of significance. As such, the null hypothesis is rejected; this shows that there is significant relationship between teacher mastery of subject matter and student’s performance.

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between students’ performance and teacher pedagogical skills.

In testing this hypothesis, data on teacher pedagogical skills were collected through the responses to section one of part two of Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire and the inventory was used collected data of students’ performance. The data were tested using Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The results are presented in table II.

Table 2: Test of relationship between students’ performance and teacher pedagogical skills.

Variables N Df r-cal r tab
Students’ Performance 45 44 0.438 0.3044
Teacher Pedagogical Skills 45

p<0.05

Table 2 shows the relationship between students’ performance and teacher pedagogical skills. The result obtained from the analysis shows that the calculated value of (0.438) is greater than r-critical or table value (0.3044) at 0.05 level of significance. As such, the null hypothesis is rejected; this shows that there is significant relationship students’ performance and teacher pedagogical skills.

Ho3: There is no significant relationship between Students’ performance and teacher professional development.

In testing this hypothesis, data on teacher professional development were collected through the responses to section one of part three of Teachers’ Proficiency Questionnaire and the inventory was used collected data of students’ performance. The data were tested using Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The results are presented in table III.

Table 3: Test of relationship between students’ performance and teacher professional development.

Variables      N df r-cal r tab
Students’ performance       45 44 0.621 0.3044
Teacher Professional Development       45

p<0.05

Table 3 shows the relationship between students’ performance and teacher professional development. The result obtained from the analysis shows that the calculated value of (0.621) is greater than r-critical or table value (0.3044) at 0.05 level of significance. As such, the null hypothesis is rejected; this shows that there was significant relationship students’ performance and teacher professional development.

DISCUSSION

The result showed that there was significant relationship between teacher mastery of subject. This result is in agreement with the report of Maende (2012), Fehintola (2014) and Kurgat and Gordon (2014) that teachers’ professional mastery of the subject goes a long way in bringing about improved students’ academic performance. Also the repot of Bangbade (2004) and Ojo (2018) is in support of this research report that good mastery of the subject content by teachers affects the students’ ability to learn effectively.

It was revealed in this report that there was significant relationship between student performance and teacher pedagogical skills. This implies that when a teacher has good knowledge of pedagogically skills, he will be more effective in the class, hence, his students would have good performance. These findings were in line to the findings of Nabukenya (2007), Maende (2012) and Shittu and Oanite (2015) who found that teachers’ professionalism in the area of pedagogy related to the students’ ability to learn effectively.

The result revealed that there was significant relationship between student’s performance and teacher professional development. This implies that when a teacher develops himself there will be more exposure in term of content which will make him to be more productive.

CONCLUSION

Based on the results of this research, the research therefore concluded that there was relationship between teacher proficiency and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. All the variables of teacher proficiency (teacher mastery of subject matter, teacher pedagogical skills and teacher professional development) have relationship with students’ academic performance.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Since there was relationship between each of the variables of teacher proficiency discussed, the following recommendations are made;

  1. Teachers should be given opportunities to engage in professional development such as workshops, conferences and coursework so that they could improve their subject matter knowledge and teaching skills.
  2. Those without degree certificate should be encouraged to engage in further studies.

REFERENCES

  1. Adu, E. T. (2019). Influence of Teacher characteristics on Science teacher effectiveness in Ekiti State secondary schools. African Journal of Educational Management, University of Ibadan. 20 (2); 37- 49.
  2. Adu, E. T. & Ade-Ajayi, J. A. (2015). Teacher Variables and School Effectiveness in Ekiti State, Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 5(7); 95- 101
  3. Aina, J. K., Ogundele, A. G., & Olanipekun, S. S. (2013). Students’ proficiency in English Language relationship with academic performance in science and technical education, American Journal of Education Research, 1(9), 355-358.
  4. Aminullahi A. R, Ajayi, O. S. & Adu, E. T. (2024).  Language proficiency and readiness as correlates of administrative workers’ effectiveness. The Seybold Report 1-8
  5. Bangbade, J.O., (2004). Effect of subject matter knowledge on the teaching and learning of Biology and Physics. Teacher and Teacher Education 4(3): 109-102.
  6. Fehintola, J. O. (2014). Teachers’ Characteristics as Correlates of Students’ academic Performance among Secondary School Students in Saki-west Local Government Area of Oyo State. Journal of Educational and Social Research 4 (6): 459-468
  7. Kurgat, S. J & Gordon, T. J (2014). The effects of teacher characteristics an attitude on students’ achievement in KCSE Economics Examination. International Journal of Education Learning and Development 2(5), 33-43
  8. Kwari, M. Y. (2007). Relationship between selected variables and student performance in primary schools in Sokoto state. Unpublished M. ed thesis of Unilorin.
  9. Maende, B. J. (2012). Influence of professional development on teacher effectiveness in public secondary schools in Mumias District, Kenya. An unpublished M.Ed. Thesis: Maseno University.
  10. Mucella, U., Melis, S. O & Ahu, E. (2011). The effects of teachers’ attitudes on students’ personality and performance in Instanbul Turkey. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 30 (2011) 738 – 742
  11. Nabukenya, M. (2007). Influence of teachers’ professionalism on teacher performance in Busiro County Secondary Schools, Wakiso District. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Makerere University.
  12. Mulualem M, Mulugeta, Y. W.and Tadesse, M (2024). Exarmining the impact of lesion study on teachers’ professional Development: A quasi-experimenttal study. Bahir Dar Journal of Education. 24 (1). 25-36.
  13. Nabukenya, M. (2007). Influence of teachers’ professionalism on teacher performance in Busiro County Secondary Schools, Wakiso District. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Makerere University.
  14. Obadara, N. O. (2005). A prospective longitudinal study of psychological predictors of achievement. Journal of School Psychology, 34(3), 285 – 306.
  15. Ojo, O. J. (2018). Teachers’ professional attitudes and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis of Kwara State. EJournal of Educational Policy. 6(8). 1-8
  16. Shittu, R. O. and Onaite, R. A. (2015). Teachers’ Attitudes: A Great Influence on Teaching and Learning of Social Studies. Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization 42, 131-137

Article Statistics

Track views and downloads to measure the impact and reach of your article.

0

PDF Downloads

270 views

Metrics

PlumX

Altmetrics