Teacher Factor as a Correlate of Students’ Academic Achievement

Teacher Factor as a Correlate of Students’ Academic Achievement

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This study examined the relationship between teacher factors and students’ academic achievement (in the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos) Akoka – Yaba, Lagos. The purpose of the study is to investigate the correlation between teachers’ qualifications, experiences, competences, modes of instruction, motivation and students’ academic achievement. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study. Five research questions and five research hypotheses guided the study. The population of the study consisted sixty students across all the departments in the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos. A carefully prepared questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection. To analyse data the research utilized Pearson Product Coefficient Correlation to test each of the hypotheses postulated for the study. The result obtained showed that teacher factors have significant correlation with students’ academic achievement. Consequently recommendations were made that the government through its agencies and parastatals should provide qualitative and functional education for the students to perform excellently at the expense of teachers’ contribution.



Background to the Study

For many years, educators and researchers have debated which school variables influence students’ academic achievement. As policy makers become more involved in school reform, this question takes on new importance, since their many initiatives rely on presumed relationships between various education related factors and learning outcomes.

However, it is not uncommon to hear people inaccurately state that the teacher has the greatest influence on academic achievement of students. Of course, the true statement is that, of all the in-school factors, teachers have the biggest influence. On top of that, research has shown that over two thirds of the factors that influence student achievement occur out of school.

That is not to say that we should not continually look at ways to help teachers become better. It does mean that we should also figure out ways to change the outside factors too (lack of affordable housing, health care, safety, etc.) It also means that placing all the blame on teachers which some school reformers are to do, is disingenuous. But the fact still remains that teacher quality is vital to student academic achievement.

No doubt, there has been a lot of interest in the provision of quality education that will ensure the school’s internal and external efficiency in the society. Hence, the academic achievement of students is of the highest concern to the government, educational managers, policy makers, parents and teachers.

But more often than not, the worrisome students’ academic achievement level the different levels of education most especially at the tertiary level has paved ways for conscious researchers to investigate the factors considered to affect students’ academic achievement

Coleman et al (1966) maintained that schools bring little influence to bear upon a child’s achievement, independent of his background and general social context. Other evidences suggest that factors such as teachers’ qualifications and experience, his competence before his learners, his creativity, resourcefulness, age gender etc are basic factors for quality education of students.

Students’ academic achievement is usually the quantifiable yardstick of theeducational system and the pride of the management of the system is a high level of students’ performance. The demand by the populace for educational accountability can be attested to by the numbers of Nigeria Newspapers, magazines and journals that usually cry out against the falling standard of our education. Ajayi (1977) declared that “from experience one is able to confirm that standards of education are really falling in so far as the competence of most university freshmen and women are concerned. The most disturbing symptom of the falling standard of our educational system is the intellectual performance of the average school leaver who, after six years of elementary school can hardly read or write. Similarly, the performance at the tertiary level reveals grave weakness in the educational system.

Parents, and in fact many people, speak as if teachers alone are responsible for students’ achievement or failure. The search for what constitutes the effective or quality teacher becomes a critical problem to the nation and researchers in education in particular. The question then is who is the effective teacher? To the layman, an effective teacher is one whose students achieve well academically. This definition of teacher effectiveness is however limited because teacher effectiveness is a very complex and controversial concept in terms of definition because there are many factors at play in determining teacher effectiveness.

Amimi (1986) opined that if real standard is to be achieved, every group and every person involved directly or indirectly in the educational service must know what to do. There has been little inquiry into the effects on achievement that may be associated with policies and institutional practices that affect the overall level of teachers’ knowledge and skill and even -students’ academic achievements.

We live in a changing world, a world in which men and things change rapidly and continually. There are changes in technology and therefore changes in job demand. There is knowledge explosion as well. People change in their values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. It is therefore necessary that the teachers should change accordingly so as to be able to cope with the changing circumstances in their places of work. This can only be achieved through staff training and staff development.

Training is a process of making someone to become more proficient, effective and efficient in the performance of a task or sets of tasks. Through training one is helped to grow and develop in a desired direction. Staff training or development in the context of schools refers to all the programmes designed for the continuing education of the teachers or school personnel. In some cases, it is referred to as professional growth, in-service education or on the job training. Halliday (1989) portrays in-service education as a design for drawing on the strength of individual to help others and to overcome weaknesses, either individually or collectively and by preparing teachers for new tasks and wider responsibilities. What is the effect of training of teachers on the cognitive growth of the students?

Read Also:  The Use of Impartial Knowledge Development Structurefor Developing Pre-service Teachers’ Professional Ability

On the issue of teacher experience, if teachers of long experience are shown to be consistently ineffective then, new tasks could be found for these teachers instead of retraining them in the classroom. The essential element of staff training is that it focuses on enhancing both the effectiveness and efficiency of all those who are involved in teaching-learning profession. Staff development properly conceived, embraces the professional development of the individual and at the same time furthers the goals of the school. Through training, the quality of a teacher will beimproved.

Statement of the Problem

No educational institution can be better than the quality of the teaching staff. One of the goals of teacher education is the production of highly motivated, conscientious and effective teachers for all levels of the educational system. Fafunwa (1964) stated that the Nigerian teacher of yesterday was expected to be, among other things, “a good citizen, a community leader, an innovator, a disciplinarian, an enlightened parent and often a reservoir of all knowledge and skills.” These were what guided the philosophy of education in Nigeria before 1966. Therefore the pre-1966 teacher was looked upon as a repository of knowledge, and a symbol of authority. He had personal knowledge of each child and his parents. He was a mediator of culture, a link between the school and the community. The school was the extension of the family and the teacher acted truly “in loco parentis.” This was why the teacher commanded respect and generated discipline among his students.

Yesterday’s good teacher is not automatically today’s good teacher. The present day teacher probably lacks proper professional training which might impact negatively on his/her job. When the UPE was introduced, teacher trainees and auxiliary teachers were selected indiscriminately from among market women, housewives, petty traders and frustrated job seekers. As a result, many unsuitable individuals with no basic aptitude, interest or calling for teaching, were found in teaching and teacher training institutions. Therefore, one should not expect such non-motivated individuals to become better teachers even if given the best training. The teacher training colleges therefore produced ill-trained and ill-equipped teachers who were pushed into the schools to teach.

The question now is “can ill-trained and ill-equipped teachers be effective? The answer is “No”, because these individuals were incapable of absorbing or learning the concepts and rigorous training programmes, since they never really wanted to be teachers.

The much-talked-about falling standard of education cannot, therefore, be solely blamed on the teachers but on the adequate planning of these teachers. A truism said, “If you don’t train them, don’t blame them” cannot give what one does not have. Certification like degree is merely a statement that says that the individual has a potential. The degree is not a testimony that one can perform but that one has the potential, capability, the promise, and not that one is fully ready to operate.

The ultimate goal of teacher training should therefore be the preparation of effective teachers who are skillful enough to bring about the behavioural changes in students using the available inputs human, physical and material in the most efficient manner. The quality, recruitment, selection and training of teachers are as important as their retention in the services.

In view of the observation made above, this study identifies the relationship between teacher factors and academic achievement of students in the University of Lagos Akoka-Yaba, Lagos.

Objectives of the Study

This study sets to achieve the following objectives:

1.      To examine the correlation between teachers’ qualifications and students’ academic achievement.

2.      To investigate the effect of teachers’ experience on students’ academicachievement.

3.      To examine the relationship between teachers’ competence and students’ academic achievement.

4.      To examine the effect of teachers’ mode of instruction on students’ academic achievement.

5.      To examine the relationship between teachers’ motivation and students’academic achievement.

Research Questions

The following questions are answered in this study:

1.      How do teachers’ qualifications have effect on students’ achievement?

2.      What is the relationship between teachers’ experience and students’ achievement?

3.      In what ways does teachers’ competence affect students’ achievement?

4.      How does teacher’s mode of instruction affect students’ achievement?

5.      How can teachers’ motivation affect students’ achievement?

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses are postulated and. tested in this study:

1.      Teacher’s qualifications significantly relate to students’ achievement.

2.     There is significant relationship between teachers’ experience and students’ achievement.

3.     There is significant relationship between teachers’ competence and students’ achievement.

4.      There is significant relationship between teachers’ mode of instruction and students’ achievement.

5.      Teacher’s motivation significantly relate to students’ achievement.

Significance of the Study

This study is significant for the following reasons: Policy makers could be well informed that the recruitment, selection and training of teachers are as important as their retention. Parents would be made to understand that the performance of their children positively and or negatively should not be blamed on the teachers alone.

Similarly, teachers also would be well informed that on-the-job training is one of the ingredients that an effective teacher need and therefore should not avoid it.

The Scope of the Study

This study covers 50 students across different departments in the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka-Yaba, Lagos.

Operational Definition of Terms

1.      Teacher Factors: The sum of all the several things that influence the teacher in the performance of his teaching to the learners.

2.      Academic: Activities involving a lot of reading and studying rather than practical or technical skills.

3.       Student Academic Achievement: The success derived by students from their academic activities using their own knowledge, effort and skills.


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