TEACHERS’ MOTIVATIONAL VARIABLES AND SSS1 STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE IN CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE IN ABAK LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF AKWA IBOM STATE A RESEARCH PROJECT
1.1 Background of the study
The quality of learning engagement in the classroom does not depend on student’s cognitive abilities alone, but is also influenced by complex motivational and affective factors. The classroom environment is powerful in activating motivational beliefs of the students, which in turn, affect their learning outcomes and teachers play a crucial role in creating motivating learning environments by employing a number of conscious and proactive motivational strategies
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular has been concern to all citizens. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standards of education in Nigeria. The quality of education depends on the teachers as affected in the performance of their duties. Over the years now, student’s academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001 ). Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in their educational attainment. This is because the teacher is alternately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students especially SS1 students.
Christian religion is being practiced in Nigeria because it is a builder of attitude and morality. Religion cannot be separated from education and that is the reason why religious education is included in the National Curriculum of Education in Nigeria (Abioye and Adekunle , 2011). Despite the importance of Christian Religious knowledge to the individual and nation in imparting moral values and behavioral change, it is worthy to note that the performance of students in the subject is diminishing everyday (Lawal, 2002). From the foregoing, the role of a teacher is very important because he is an image maker, a role model, adviser and counselor to the students. The teacher imparts knowledge and to ensure that the students have interest in the subject, there must be a motivational strategy to ensure learning. Both teaching and learning depends on teacher; no wonder an effective teacher has been conceptualized as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefuna, 2001). Unfortunately considering government’s huge investment in public school, its output in terms of quality of students have been observed to be unequal with government expenditure. Consequent upon the observed deterioration in the academic achievement , attitude and values of Secondary School Students in public secondary school in Abak L.GA of Akwa Ibom State, one wonders if the high failure rates and the poor quality of the students is not a reflection of the instructional quality in the schools. In other words, the ineffectiveness of teachers in classroom interaction with the students could be responsible for the observed poor performance of students and the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria. Poor performance in Christian Religious Knowledge occurs yearly and more students are running away from the subject. This alarming rate of poor performance in Christian Religious knowledge has generated growing concern from various quarters, the parents, teachers, schools and the government. One is also worried because of the relative importance of the subject to education excellence and moral development, if care is not taken, the country will be eroded of its moral values and cultures if the trends continue like that. The poor academic performance in Christian Religious Knowledge in Abak LGA is the focus of the researcher, hence, the need for this research in order to examine teacher’s motivational variables and SS1 student’s attitude in Christian Religious Knowledge.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Teacher enthusiasm is generally recognized as one of the most essential and desirable qualities and characteristics of effective teaching. An enthusiastic teacher often spices the class with excitement, enjoyment, and anticipation; engages students to participate; and stimulates them to explore. Thus, teacher enthusiasm sparks the curiosity of students and motivates them study. Teacher enthusiasm can lead to better teacher evaluations, positive attitudes towards teachers, better student performance, and important classroom behavior.
On the other hand, students engagement is widely regarded as an effective antidote to declining academic motivation, performance, increasing alienation and boredom. Although student behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement can be influenced by a multiple contextual factors or variables, including teachers, peer group, family, community, and culture, the teacher variable assumes a crucial role in determining students engagement in the classroom. Teacher’s support and caring have been found to be pivoted to students attitude in CRK in Abak LGA.
Interestingly, teacher enthusiasm seemed to have a weaker effect on student behavioral engagement than on cognitive and emotional engagement. The study shows that teacher enthusiasm is an effective predictor of students intrinsic motivation, but not a significant predictor of student extrinsic motivation. Teacher enthusiasm served as a positive external catalyst facilitating student interest, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation to learn. Since teacher’s enthusiasm is contagious and social, students any have converged emotionally and mimicked the teacher’s positive energy consciously or unconsciously. As a result, they became more passionate and intrinsically motivated to master the task. Thus, although teachers enthusiasm is not a panacea for all behavior problem, in the classroom, it is a powerful source of students’ behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement, as well as intrinsic goal orientation. When students perceive their teachers as enthusiastic, dynamic, and energetic, they are more likely to be interested, curious, intrinsically motivated to learn, and engage behaviorally, cognitively, and emotionally.
1.3 Purpose/Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study include the following;
- To investigate how the welfare of the teachers affect academic performance of SSI Christian Religious Knowledge students.
- To evaluate the impact of conducive working environment of Christian Religious Knowledge teachers on SSI students academic performance.
- To assess teachers’ knowledge and passion of the subject and academic performance of Christian Religious Knowledge students.
1.4 Significance of the Study
In view of the importance accorded to Christian Religious Knowledge as a subject in the school and society, this study would expand the existing knowledge of the students and attitude towards Christian Religious Knowledge. The outcome of this study with respect to the selected variables investigated would therefore be significantly used as a pointer by researcher since it provides additional empirical data for a better understanding of some of the factors that account for different levels of students’ attitude and teachers’ motivational variables in Christian Religious Knowledge. Finally, this study was significant because the result would enable future researchers to proffer useful suggestions to these problems of poor academic performance of students in SS1 in Christian Religious Knowledge.
1.5 Research Questions
To guide the researcher in the study, it is necessary to ask the following questions:
- How does the welfare of teachers affect academic performance of SSI Christian Religious Knowledge students?
- Does the impact of conducive working environment of Christian Religious Knowledge teachers on SSI students have any effect on their academic performance?
- Can teachers’ knowledge and passion of the subject enhance academic performance of Christian Religious Knowledge students?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were constructed for the study in order to guide the researcher in the course of the investigation. The hypotheses are stated in the null forms.
- There is no significant relationship between the welfare of the teachers and academic performance of SSI Christian Religious Knowledge students
- There is no significant relationship between conducive working environment of Christian Religious Knowledge teachers and SSI students academic performance.
- There is no significant relationship between teachers’ knowledge and passion of the subject and academic performance of Christian Religious Knowledge students.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study is limited to teacher’s motivational variables and SS1 students attitude in Christian Religious Knowledge in Abak Local Government Area. It does not include teacher’s motivational variables and SS11 and SS11, either does any the study extend to JS1, JS2, and JS3. The study is delimited to five public secondary schools in Abak LGA.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Time constraint made the researcher to limit the scope to five secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area. The selected secondary schools include the following: comprehensive secondary school. Ediene -Abak; Community Secondary School, Afaha Obong Abak; comprehensive secondary school, midim Abak; Holy family college, Oku Abak; and St. Mary’s senior science college, Ediene-Abak .
1.9 Definition of the Term
In order to understand some terms used in this research, it is duly necessary to define some of the terms used for clarification purposes within the context.
- Motivation: This refers to this psychological force within a person that determine the direction of another person’s behavior in an organization, person’s level of effort and a person’s levels of persistence in the face of obstacles (George and Jones, 2013). In the context of this research, what spars, energizes, reinforces and stimulates positive performance.
- Attitude: This is defined as beliefs and feelings, related to person or event and theirs resulting behavior (Myres, 2013)
- Variable: This is defined as anything that often changing, likely to change or able to change (Hornby, 2010).
- Performance: Performance results from a combination of the effort that an individual puts forth and level of ability which he has, and the way he perceives the role he should take.
- Teacher: A person whose job is teaching, especially in school.
- Incentive: This is defined as financial or other rewards that urges a person to achieve some goals especially something external to the person so urged by the reward.
- Rewards: This may be intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic are given to person by himself for good performance. They include the feelings of being accomplished, growth, success and challenges. On the other hand, extrinsic rewards include (salary, promotion, job security and status given by organization. The rewards affect the motivation (satisfaction relationship).
- C.R.K.: This refers to Christian Religious Knowledge