THE EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES

THE EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES
THE EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES

THE EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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Abstract

This study was to examine the effect of class size in effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in junior secondary school in Ilesa West Local government area of Osun State. The specific purposes was to investigate the effect of large class size, optimal class size and small class size in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies  in Secondary Schools. Research questions and research hypotheses were postulated to guide the study.

The researcher adopted experimental research design. The population of the study consisted of all the public secondary schools in the study area. Two hundred students selected from ten public primary schools to formed the sample for the study. The study adopted simple sample random sampling technique to select the respondents. Data collected were analyzed using independent t-test statistical method.

The findings of the study revealed that, there is significant difference in the teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies between in small class size and in large class size. Also, the findings of the study revealed that, there is significant difference in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in optimal class size and in large class size. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that, Government should provide enough infrastructures in schools such as classroom blocks to curb with the increasing number of students in secondary schools in the study area.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Declaration

Approval Page

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Table of Contents

Abstract

 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background to the Study

1.2          Statement of the Problem

1.3          Purpose of the Study

1.4          Research Questions

1.5          Hypotheses

1.6          Significance of the Study

1.7          Scope/Delimitation of the Study

1.8          Definition of Operational Terms

 

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

3.1          Design of the Study

3.2          Population of the Study

3.3          Sample and Sampling Techniques

3.4          Research Instrument

3.5          Validity of the Instrument

 

3.6          Reliability of the Instrument

3.7          Administration of the Instrument

3.8          Data Analysis Technique

 

CHAPTER 4: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1          Analyses of Data Results

4.2          Summary of Major Findings

4.3          Discussion of the Findings

 

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1          Summary

5.2          Conclusion

5.3          Recommendations

5.4          Suggestions for Further Studies

References

Appendixes

 

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1               Background to the Study

Without reservation, classroom variables are among the most frequently addressed topic for teachers, educators and researchers because teacher’s ability to effectively manage the classroom and organized instructions are basic components of teaching. Moreover, class-size is an educational tool that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school.

Specifically, it is also the number of students per teacher in a class. It is a tool that can be used to measure the performance of the teacher in a given subject. It is simply referred to as the teacher-student ratio (Twan, 2012). According to UNICEF, the recommended class size is 1:35.

 

However in Nigeria, the National Policy in Education recommends a class size of 1:40 in upper secondary schools (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Based on the above, class size can be classified as large, optimal or small. In Nigeria, a class is large if it has over 40 students; it is optimal if it has 40 students and small if there are less than 40 students in a class in the secondary school.

The classroom still remains the main learning environment in the schools although learning can take place in other venues. On this premise, it is imperative that educators strive to make the classroom the best venue for students to attain their full potential in academic performance (Fullon,2015).

It is what teachers’ think, what teachers do and who teachers are at the level of the classroom that ultimately shapes the kind of learning that young people get (Ukpong, 2017). A large amount of a child’s time is spent sitting in a school’s classroom. This place is where they will learn the various skills deemed necessary and proper for them to achieve success in the global society. The classroom is where they will gain an understanding of their place in the world as well as discovering their potentials. It is where the student develops what they want their future to look like, as well as knowledge of the skills needed to reach that goal.

 

THE EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES 

With the classroom being such an important place in the growth of a child it is important to understand the ways in which to affect this environment in order to receive maximum effectiveness instruction. If schools really do play a large role in teaching the next generation how to be successful members of society then every precaution should be taken to make sure that the learning environment is one thing that helps students thrive.

If not approached correctly, a classroom can be set up in a way that stifles creativity or does not promote a positive learning environment. There are many things that can affect this environment. There are physical elements such as wall art, arrangement of desks, or resources.

 

Also, there are intangible elements such as the energy of the classroom, the rules, or the sounds within the room. Each of these can affect students focus and achievement in the class. Also teacher’s attitude in the classroom is one of variables we cannot do without. The way in which a teacher organizes their class, or how they control it, will yield positive or negative consequences for their students. If a teacher is unmotivated, there will be negative effect on the students within the classroom but if a teacher is motivated there will be positive effect on their students as well. It is important for a teacher to understand this cause and effects in order to understand how to organize his classroom to create a better learning environment.

 

The different class characteristics in schools are closely related to the academic performance of students in school subjects including Christian Religious Studies . Going by the fact that the Nigerian education system has continuously experienced an upward trend in schools, the enrollment at all levels have also increased tremendously since after the civil war in 1970. This has in turn impacted on the class-size in terms of the population of individual classroom (Osim, Chika & Isaac,2012).

Inflated class-size is very critical to teaching-learning process as teachers sometimes have difficulty in dealing with students on individual bases. This is observed in a situation where a teacher stands in front of the classroom  throughout  the lesson period without moving around from time to time to supervise what the students are doing because there is hardly space between one row of lockers and another especially since the introduction of free and compulsory education in  some parts of Nigeria.

Class-size is an important factor with respect to academic performance of students. There is also a consensus among researchers and educational scholars that, students’ performance decreases as class-size increases. It is refers to educational tools that can be used to describe the average number of student per class in s school. In emphasizing the importance of class-size to the learning process, the federal government through the National Policy on Education (2004) stipulated that class-size in primary school should have the ratio of 1:40. Regrettably, the classes are so large that teachers cannot recognize the students by names and sometimes by their faces.

Class-size has also impinged on the quality of assessment, evaluation and feedback system carried out by teachers in our schools. A number of reports attest to this including Wosyanju (2015) who maintained that large classes pose teaching challenges such as delayed feedback provided to students, low quality individual feedback resulting in insufficiency and poor quality of students reduction in teaching, less assignment which encourages shallow learning and students become faces instead of people.

As a result of this, Osim, et al (2012) observes that teachers adopt the strategies of concentrating on ‘true or false’ answers or objectives test to ease marking. This reduces writing and creative skills in the students.

Class-size problem is like a vicious circle in the study area since the introduction of free and compulsory education policy. It leads to teacher’s poor work quality, which resulted in student’s poor learning outcomes and culminates in turning out half-baked products into the tertiary institutions and the labour market respectively. Against this background, this study aimed to examine the effect of class size in effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in junior secondary school in Ilesa West Local government area of Osun State.

 

1.2              Statement of the Problem

 It is observed that classroom variables are major problems that affect academic performance of students in Christian Religious Studies in junior secondary schools. These classroom variables include: class size, instructional materials, classroom structures, teacher’s attitude in the class, classroom organization, teachers leadership styles in the classroom etc.

It is also observed that most public secondary schools are over populated, as such teachers lack classroom control which in turn affects academic performance of students. These problems arise because of large class size ratio to a teacher, poor utilization of instructional materials, poor classroom structure, poor classroom organization etc.

Observation reveals that in recent years, there has been astronomical rise in class-size due to increase in enrollment of students in public secondary schools in the State, especially since the introduction of free and compulsory education policy. Some schools have as many as eighty (80) students and above per class as against the recommended ratio of 1:40 by the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2O14). This situation has multiple impacts on the teaching and learning as well as students’ academic performance in Christian Religious Studies.

 

The level of failure recorded in both internal and external examinations like the Junior WAEC in recent time calls for concern. Apart from this, students no longer have confidence in writing examination on their own without examination malpractices (Nlgbekern, 2014). This is also consequent upon the fact that large, class-sizes do not encourage conducive teaching and learning environment.

It is also on record that teachers who teach large classes are faced with the challenges on their tasks performance in terms of teaching, evaluation, feedback and assessment of students’ academic performance as well as classroom management (Osim, 2015). It is against this backdrop that this research is carried out to investigate the effect of class size in effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in junior secondary school in Ilesa West Local government area of Osun State.

 

1.3               Purpose of the Study

This study examine the effect of class size in effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in junior secondary school in Ilesa West Local government area of Osun State.

Specifically, the study sought to:

 

(i)         assess the differences in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in small class size and in large class size.

(ii)        examine the differences in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies  in optimal class size and in large class size.

 

1.4               Significant of the Study

 The study will be useful mostly to policy makers in the educational sector as well as Government. Educational planners will find the study useful in designing school facilities such as classroom in a way that will be conducive to learning.

The Government will also find this study a useful guide in deciding on the spread of infrastructure such as the quantity of classrooms that will be adequate for the available and anticipated school enrolment. The study will also be useful to school principals in deciding on the number of students to be admitted into each class in any given session.

This study would benefit the teachers who form the centre of the teaching learning process. The finding of the study will provide a basic for the teachers to evaluate their students and his /her class arrangement techniques.

It is important to note that, the findings in this study will also serve as a source of reference for other researchers who may want to conduct the same or similar study in other subjects area.

 

  Conclusion

Based on the study, it conclude that class size have a significant effect on effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies  in junior secondary schools.

Based on the study, it is concluded that, class size have both positive and negative effects on teaching and learning in Christian Religious Studies. However, small class size and optimal class size have positive effects on teaching and learning while large class size have negative  effects on teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies .

To sum it up, for a effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies  in junior  secondary schools, it is concluded that number of students in class should be reduce to the range of 20-30 per class. This will encourage a cordial relationship between teachers and the students, as well as foster a free interaction between teacher and the students in the classroom leading to the teacher knowing the students by their names.

 

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