Research Proposals

THE EFFECT OF LARGE CLASS SIZE ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

THE EFFECT OF LARGE CLASS SIZE ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background to the Study

The issue of large class size has arisen in Nigeria because of increase in the population, the quest for higher education and better living conditions of life. Overcrowded or large classes are now common places in most educational institutions, especially those in the developing world of which Nigeria is no exception. There are many challenges that teachers face when teaching large class size particularly in developing countries.

According to Benbow, Mizrachi, Oliver, and Said-Moshiro (2023), the growth of large classes in the developing world is as a result of global initiatives for universal education and rapid population growth. Naturally, in order to mitigate the effects of rapid population growth, there is the need to expand access of higher education through increasing funding.

Moreover, 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, 2023).

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 LARGE CLASS SIZE ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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 impact 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 impact on the students within the classroom but if a teacher is motivated there will be positive impact 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 Economics. 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. The effect of large class size on students academic performance in social studies in secondary schools.

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 secondary 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. This study aimed to investigate the effect of student’s large class size on student’s academic performance in social studies in secondary schools in Jos south local government area of plateau state

 

1.2  Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that most public schools are over populated with large class size, 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, 2OO4). This situation has multiple impacts on the teaching and learning as well as students’ academic performance in Social Studies.

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 student’s large class size on student’s academic performance in social studies in secondary schools in Jos south local government area of plateau state.

 

Area of the Study

This study was carried out in Jos South local government area.  Jos South local government area is situated in Plateau state, North-central geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The headquarters of the LGA are in the town of Bukuru and the LGA comprises of several districts, towns, and villages such as Du, Kuru, Vwang, Gyel, Nyango, Kogom, Kushe, and Mazaram.

The estimated population of Jos South LGA is 288,410 inhabitants with the area hosting members of diverse ethnic groups. The berom and Hausa languages are commonly spoken in the area while the religions of Christianity and Islam are practiced in the area.

The Gbong Gwom Jos is the paramount traditional ruler in Jos south LGA with the notable landmarks in the area being the Office of the state Governor in Rayfield and the Theological College of Northern Nigeria.

Jos South LGA covers a total area of 510 square kilometers and has an average temperature of 28 degrees centigrade. The area witnesses two major seasons which are the dry and the rainy seasons with the total precipitation level in the area put at 1750 mm of rainfall per annum. The average wind speed in Jos South LGA is 11 km/h.

Trade booms in Jos South LGA with the area hosting several markets such as the popular Kugiya market where a variety of commodities are bought and sold. Jos South LGA also hosts a number of Banks, Hotels, Restaurants, and Institutions. A variety of domestic animals such as rams, goats and cows are also reared and sold in the LGA. Mineral deposits found in Jos South LGA include Tin.

 

Conclusion

Based on the study, it is concluded that class size have a significant effect on effective teaching and learning of Social Studies.

Based on the study, it is concluded that, class size have both positive and negative effects on teaching and learning in Social 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 Social Studies. The effect of large class size on students academic performance in social studies in secondary schools.

To sum it up, for a effective teaching and learning of Social Studies, 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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Peter Hezekiah

I am Peter Hezekiah, a Nigerian. A graduate of Economics/Education. I'm the Editor in projectboss.com.ng (A online company that deals with writing of final year project and provision of project materials of any topic to final year project students). My personal email is lawsonpeter10@gmail.com. My personal number; +2347068634102

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