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THE EFFECT OF TEACHERS’ ATTITUDE ON PRESCHOOL PUPILS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
The study sets out to investigate the effect of teachers’ attitude on preschool pupils’ academic performance in selected schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. Also, some relevant and related literatures were reviewed in this study in sub-headings. The descriptive research survey was applied in the assessment of the opinions of the respondents, with the use of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. In this study also, 200 (two hundred) respondents were selected and used to represent the entire population of the study. Also, a total of three null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the exercise, the following results were obtained:
i) there is a significant influence of teachers’ life style on the pupils’ academic performance in the school;
ii) there is a significant difference in the behaviour of pupils who were taught by good teachers and those taught by badly behaved ones in the school;
iii) there is no significant difference between the teaching of well behaved teachers and those of the badly behaved ones in the classroom.
1.1 Background to the Study
Teaching is both an art and a science. According to Anyanwu (2000), it is an instrumental, practical art rather than a fine-art. That is teaching "requires an improvisation, spontaneity, the handling of a vast array of considerations of form, style, pace, rhythm and appropriateness in ways, so complex that even computers must lose the way" (Anyanwu, 2000).
Tumble (2003) states that teaching process is too complex, with a nearly infinite variety of circumstances, subjects, student groups, and age groups to be reduced to simple, how-to-do-it recipes.
Gage (2004) opines that teaching can and should have a scientific basis. Science deals with relationships between both input (independent) variables and output (dependent) variables. According to Ernest (1990), a sizeable amount of good research has been carried out that relates teaching and administrative practices to students' achievement as well as motivation, attitudes and self-esteem.
Ideally, with emphasis on ideal, an effective, successful teacher would create a good academic atmosphere and good school attitudes, maintain high academic engagement and successfully manage the classroom to prevent inattentive, off-task and disruptive behaviour. Realistically, however, misbehaviour will occur and the teacher must plan in advance for handling it (Berliner 2001). Children must be oriented to learn new material such as orientation by the teacher, often includes a review of home work, a review of previous materials and skills, an explanation of the purposes and objectives of the new material, and a statement of the relationship of the current lesson to previous material. Asubel (2005) says that such orientation or comments serve as advance organizers that help the children, easier to relate to what children already know and therefore more learnable.
There are many teacher characteristics and teaching patterns that correlate with higher children achievement and or improved school attitudes, that is, with effective teaching. Most relate to improvement of classroom climate, management and feedback and reinforcement practices, involvement in self improvement and improvement of other teaching practices that increase pupils’ engagement and content courage and improve organisation, structuring and clarity, expectations or children interest and motivation (Ayo, 2000).
The personality of the teacher matters a lot in the classroom. According to Musson (2004), personality of the teacher includes his emotion, motivation, values, goals and general ways of perceiving his environment, have become molded up and processed through training that he can be relied upon as a teacher. This also includes method of conducting oneself that is, what one should do and what one should not do as a member of teaching professions.
According to Akande (1999), other qualities of the teacher that can affect his performance at work and pupils' academic achievement includes: Scholarship, cheerfulness, firmness, tolerance, democratic attitude, impartiality, loyalty, having the knowledge of the child's psychology, honest, self discipline, sociability, creativity, resourcefulness, neatness, good sense of humor, simplicity, adaptability etc. Beside all these, the teachers should have a command of theoretical knowledge about learning and human behaviour. He should possess the technical skills of teaching that facilitate students' learning achievement (Adeleke, 2002).
Furthermore, a teacher ought to display such attitudes that promote learning and good human relationship, and should have perfect mastery of facts of his subject matter as this will enhance his/her teaching and pupils’ academic achievement.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is a truism that the teacher is a moulder of character in the school. This is because of his constant with the child. Nevertheless, the life style of the teacher is very important to the effective learnability of the child. This is because, if the teachers' characters are negative, they will also affect the child's behaviour and academic performance negatively. Therefore, a teacher who is humane, who possesses a democratic attitude, who is adaptable, sociable, creative, resourceful, humorous, neat, disciplined, scholarly, tolerant, knowledgeable etc will no doubt, influence the children attitudes towards learning. But reversibly if the teacher is unsociable, lack knowledge of what to teach and the methodology of how to teach he/she will not successfully carry out the effective teaching and learning process in the school.
Also, if the teacher does not have the knowledge of the psychology of the child, is not cheerful, not creative, not resourceful, lacks self-discipline, is not firm and tolerant, he/she cannot adapt properly with the teaching profession and his pupils will possess negative perception of their academic work. Among other things, children who are taught by teachers who do not possess positive characteristics, will exhibit or manifest negative attitude to work both in the school and also at home. The students trained by lazy and highly maladjusted teacher, will automatically become lazy and maladjusted, and this will affect their academic work which will result to low or poor academic achievement in the school.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the effect of teachers’ attitude on preschool pupils’ academic performance in selected schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Other specific objectives of the study are to:
2. find out whether teachers' life style affect pupilts' academic performance in the school?
3. determine whether there is a difference between the attitude of pupils who are taught by teachers who are perceived to have good life style and those perceived to possess bad life style.
4. find out whether there is a difference between the teaching of well behaved teachers and those who are not.
5. determine whether teacher’s personality affects pupils’ social adjustment in the school.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were posed in this study.
1. Does teachers' life style affect pupils’ academic performance?
2. Will there be a significant difference between the behaviour of pupils’ who are taught by teachers perceived to have good life style and those with bad life style?
3. Is there any significant difference in the teaching method of teachers who behave well and those who do not?
4. How can we differentiate teachers who behave well and those who do not?
5. What are the factors affecting human behaviours or attitudes among teachers?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
These hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study:
1. There will be no significant influence of teachers' life style on the academic performance of pupils.
2. There will be no significant difference between the behaviour of pupils who are taught by good teachers and those taught by bad teachers.
3. There will be no significant difference between the teaching of well behaved teachers and those of the badly behaved ones
1.6 Significance of the Study
1. Teachers would benefit from this study, because its findings and recommendations will direct them on how well to become effective teachers with good characters. The findings of this study will equally help teachers to have better insight on the essence of good behaviour in the teaching profession.
2. This study will assist the upcoming researchers to carry out more work on the issues being treated in this study. Also researchers and readers would find this work very important because, it will serve as a reference material to their work.
3. Pupils would benefit from the findings and recommendations of this work because it would assist them to work hard, identify teachers perceived to be either good or bad in the school. The recommendations of this study would help pupils/children to change their attitudes towards their studies.
4. The society will also benefit from this study immensely, including parents, the school administrators etc.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covers the effect of teachers’ attitude on preschool pupils’ academic performance in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8Definition of Terms
2 Teaching styles: It is an embracing concept referring to the teacher’s ways of getting pupils to learn through structured methodology.
3 Early childhood education: This means education that is received from 0 – 8 years.
4 Teaching effectiveness: The ability of the teacher to achieve the stated objectives at the end of the teaching.
5 Teaching techniques: Teacher’s ways or method of teaching.
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